Can You Buy Bitcoin With PayPal?

Buying Bitcoin with PayPal is not as straight forward as it seems. Here’s what to consider if you are looking to purchase Bitcoin via PayPal.

By Steven Gleiser
Published Mar 20, 2019 and Updated Jan 15th, 2022
Can You Buy Bitcoin With PayPal?

PayPal was a pioneer in the internet of money. Its stated goal was to enable transactions and payments using online accounts for which you would be able to sign up with your email. As such, Bitcoin eclipsed PayPal, becoming a censorship resistant alternative that is much more efficient, cheaper and far less intrusive.

As more people discovered Bitcoin, some started wondering about using their PayPal accounts to migrate to the Bitcoin ecosystem. That, however, is not as straight forward as it seemed. So, can you buy Bitcoin with PayPal and migrate into crypto through an early internet-based payment company?

Charge Backs are at the Crux of the Issue

The advantage of using PayPal at all as a consumer is the charge back policy. If you raise a claim asking PayPal to give you your money back because you didn’t get the goods or services that you paid for, then PayPal will review the case and could reimburse you at the vendor’s cost. Bitcoin is absolutely resistant to this idea because there is no central authority you can raise a claim with. That means Bitcoin favors the vendor.

These approaches create a conflict when you buy Bitcoin with PayPal, in that you can send the fiat to the vendor, get the coins and then raise a claim telling PayPal you did not get the coins. PayPal could reimburse you, allowing you to keep the coins and your fiat.

Therefore, PayPal has been historically opposed to enabling cryptocurrency sales through its system, although lately it has partnered up with certain platforms to enable these transactions.

P2P Transactions to Buy Bitcoin with PayPal?

Apart from these new partnerships between PayPal and certain cryptocurrency exchanges, using PayPal to buy Bitcoin on the basis of a strict P2P exchange is risky. PayPal could freeze the accounts of people who engage in these P2P exchanges, despite being created to enable more online transactions between people.

You must remember that PayPal is a financial institution that works according to acceptable norms of financial behavior in the fiat world. That means PayPal has the right to freeze your account if it deems you violated its policies.

Fees Will be High!

Since PayPal is part of the fiat ecosystem, it also charges a fee for most transactions. On top of that, PayPal will also charge a fee if you need to exchange currency in order to make a purchase. Therefore users, looking to buy Bitcoin with PayPal through cryptocurrency platforms that allow it, will have to check if the fees are not too high.

In many cases the cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy Bitcoin with PayPal will also charge an additional fee on its side on PayPal deposits.

So buying Bitcoin with PayPal could be the most expensive way to acquire coins due to the combination of all these fees. In many cases, you would be better off buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at a local Bitcoin ATM.

Make sure you check all the alternatives with our ultimate guide to buy bitcoin and all the alternatives to buying Bitcoin with PayPal.

Don’t allow the convenience of using PayPal to blur your judgement.

Which Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency Exchanges Accept PayPal?

If you are already convinced that the best option for you is to buy Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies using your PayPal account, then your choice of exchanges is limited. Here are some exchanges or platforms that will allow you to buy Bitcoin with PayPal:

Do Your Research

Before picking any of the platforms above, make sure you do your own research about them and about their availability in your country. Some of these platforms will not allow you to use your PayPal account from certain locations.

Others will allow you to buy Bitcoin with your PayPal account, but not in your home country’s currency, making your purchase even more expensive. You should also check their fee structures before you go ahead with your purchase. These fees may also vary, so make sure you check close to the point in time at which you would like to purchase your coins.

Are There Any Advantages to Buying bitcoin with PayPal?

After going through all the nuances and the alternatives you have to buy Bitcoin with your PayPal account, you will notice that there are no clear advantages of doing so besides convenience. PayPal might even make your Bitcoin purchase more expensive than it should be, and it will restrict your ability to choose your preferred exchange. Therefore, we recommend you use PayPal to buy Bitcoin only if it is your last resort.