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How To Buy Bitcoin In Pakistan

Last updated 19th Aug 2022
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The crypto market in Pakistan has been plagued with regulatory struggles, accumulating in The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) attempting to ban crypto investment and trading in 2017. However, cypto enthusiasts have since found alternatives and the volume of trade has grown tremendously.

In 2022, the SBP again sought to question the legality of crypto and it seems that another ban is on the horizon. Consequently, Urdubit, the only native crypto exchange in Pakistan, is folding.

We’ll look at different ways to buy Bitcoin in Pakistan. The platforms you can use, payment methods, tips for storing your coins, and much more.

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Key Takeaways

  • SBP intends to impose a crypto ban in Pakistan emulating the likes of China. The law will make it difficult to buy Bitcoin in the country.

  • The top crypto platforms in Pakistan are Binance, Paybis, and CEX.io.

  • The SBP doesn’t recognize Bitcoin as legal tender; therefore, no taxation laws exist.

  • We advise new Bitcoin investors to conduct fundamental analysis before venturing into the crypto market. Some of the important things to consider are price volatility, fees, and security.

  • Transfer your Bitcoin away from the crypto exchange into a safe crypto wallet. We recommend hot wallets for short-term investors and cold wallets for long-term investors.

What Options Do I Have When Buying Bitcoin in Pakistan?

With crypto trading and investment somehow in limbo at the moment, let’s look at the platforms currently available and what the future may hold.

Brokers:

  • Online brokerage platforms allow users to buy cryptocurrencies. They are renowned for their lower fees and multiple asset classes like Stocks. Pakistanis can use CEX.io broker to buy Bitcoin.

Global Exchanges:

  • These are online platforms that have a presence in most counties globally. They are managed centrally and charge different fees for their services. Users can buy, sell and store crypto, including Ethereum and Polkadot. Global exchanges mostly concentrate on crypto alone offering different payment methods, including e-wallets and bank transfers. Binance and Paybis are examples of global exchanges available in Pakistan. These are most likely to suffer in the case of a ban.

Local Exchanges:

  • These allow investors to buy, sell and store crypto on an online platform. Unlike their global counterpart, local exchanges are tailored to offer services in a particular country. They also offer country-specific payment methods. Urdubit is a local exchange. However, the exchange is currently shutting down due to the SBP prohibition on dealing with virtual currencies.

P2P Marketplaces:

  • These decentralized platforms offer a medium where crypto buyers and vendors interact. Sellers and buyers can set up adverts detailing preferences such as the coin they are selling, location, and price.

Most of these platforms offer Bitcoin and Ethereum as the main crypto due to their wide adoption. Pakistan residents can buy and sell Bitcoin on P2P marketplaces such as Paxful and LocalBitcoins. Local payment methods are available.

Is Using a Broker the Best Way to Buy Bitcoin in Pakistan?

Pros

Fees tend to be lower when using a broker
Bitcoin buying process is much quicker and easier

Cons

You will have to pass an identity check (KYC)
You might have limited number of Bitcoin brokers available in Pakistan

How to Buy Bitcoin in Pakistan?

We’ve seen that Pakistanis have various options to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This section details steps you can easily use to buy Bitcoin in Pakistan. We’ll focus on Binance and the steps involved.

Step 1: Visit the Binance website and open an account
Step 2: Select the trading platform
Step 3: Select a seller
Step 4: Deposit money or fiat into the account
Step 5: Confirm payment and complete the purchase

Where to Buy Bitcoin in Pakistan?

We’ve seen several avenues to buy Bitcoin in Pakistan, ranging from crypto exchanges to P2P marketplaces. In this section, we do a comprehensive analysis of specific crypto platforms best suited for purchasing Bitcoin.

Binance:

  • Binance is a world leader in crypto trade volume. The company boasts a global presence and significant daily traffic. While the platform has run into regulatory headwinds regarding $100 million fraud allegations in Pakistan, it continues to experience considerable traffic on its P2P section in the country.

Key Features

  • Binance P2P marketplace

  • Mobile trading applications

  • Different payment methods for Pakistanis

  • Charting and other trading tools

  • Binance coin (BNB) powers the ecosystem

  • Various trading options and education material

  • Supports for crypto wallets

    Pros

    Low fees and reputable
    Escrow service on P2P
    High Liquidity
    Supports for over 500 cryptocurrencies, including XRP and Polkadot

    Cons

    Regulatory issues
    Lengthy verification process

LocalBitcoins:

  • LocalBitcoins Is an on-ramp P2P marketplace available in Pakistan.

  • The platform is decentralized, meaning no central authority controls the buyer and seller interaction. The service sits as a third party to facilitate purchases and settle disputes.

Key Features

  • Local payment methods

  • Chat feature

  • Escrow service

  • Android and IOS mobile app

  • Reporting tools

  • Free wallet

Pros

A wide array of sellers
Bank transfer and EasyPaisa are available
Reputable
Beginner-friendly
Quick sell and buy feature and filter widget
Reporting and analysis tools are available

Cons

1% fee for every completed trade that has an advert
Transactions to other Bitcoin wallets are subject to a fee

Binance P2P vs. LocalBitcoins:

  • Both are industry behemoths that support the buying and selling of cryptos. These two platforms have many similarities, including escrow service, minimal fees, and a great reputation.

  • Differences arise in the number of cryptos, fiat currencies, and fees. Binance has a wider variety of coins. Apart from Bitcoin, you can purchase DAI and BUSD. On the other hand, LocalBitcoins provides over 200 fiat currency options. The fees have marginal differences, although LocalBitcoins doesn’t have deposit or withdrawal fees.

CEX.io:

  • The CEX.io brokerage unit operates in Pakistan. Users can buy Bitcoin using this beginner-friendly platform. It provides an easy avenue to purchase crypto using debit and credit cards. Apart from trading, advanced users can trade in Contract for differences (CFDs)

Key Features

  • Wire, debit, and credit cards are available

  • CFDs available

  • Integrated wallet

  • Leveraged trading

Pros

Easy to use
Reputable
A variety of trading instruments
Supports advanced traders

Cons

Local payment methods not integrated
The brokerage may be complicated for beginners

Paybis:

  • Paybis is another crypto provider with a worldwide presence. It supports multiple cryptos. The platform is beginner-friendly, and users can easily purchase Bitcoin.

Key Features

  • Low commissions

  • Fast security checks

  • Instant payouts

  • Multiple products

  • Purchase Bitcoin with fiat

Pros

Transparent fee structure
Simple registration and verification process
Regulatory compliance in jurisdictions like the USA and the UK
Simple and intuitive user interface
Great customer support

Cons

High credit card fees
Lack of advanced features

CEX.io vs. Paybis:

  • CEX.io caters to both beginners and advanced traders. It is characterized by great customer support and an integrated wallet. Both platforms have great customer support and demand KYC verification.

  • Paybis is beginner-friendly with a transparent fee structure. It provides better fees with low commissions. CEX.io trumps Paybis when it comes to crypto variety.

What Are the Regulations and Taxes When Buying Bitcoin in Pakistan?

The SBP doesn’t recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. In 2017, the top intelligence bureau in the country started going after crypto traders. This followed claims of tax evasion and money laundering using cryptos.

Currently, no laws regulate the trade in Bitcoin. However, the SBP has announced intentions to ban trade and investment in crypto. Bitcoin investors, therefore, don’t pay taxes in Pakistan.

Other Considerations When Buying Bitcoin in Pakistan

Privacy:

  • Crypto providers require proof of ID in line with AML and KYC regulations in Pakistan. All mainstream avenues to purchasing Bitcoin will need you to give away your personal information.

Regulation:

  • There is uncertainty about the laws on cryptos in Pakistan. The apex bank seeks to ban cryptos citing their use for illegal activities like terror financing. As such, adoption may be limited, and crypto providers may close down, as is the case with Urdubit.

Transactions Can’t Be Reversed:

  • Bitcoin transactions are not reversible. Always ensure to double-check your transaction details, especially the wallet addresses. A wrong address and your Bitcoin is lost.

Security:

  • The security of your funds, personal data, and Bitcoin is the responsibility of the exchange and yourself. Ensure you register on crypto providers with strong security fundamentals.

  • On exchanges, look out for SSL encryption, insurance for crypto assets, and cold offline storage for assets. On your end, you’ll need to activate 2FA, have strong passwords, hide your private keys and transfer your Bitcoin to cold wallets.

Volatility:

  • Anyone who ventures into crypto trading should understand the volatility of cryptos. Bitcoin is no exception, with prices fluctuating periodically. We urge beginners to carry out fundamental analysis by watching out the market sentiments and news on Bitcoin.

The volatility of Bitcoin has made investors lose much of their investments. For instance, the price of Bitcoin has changed by as much as 39% from November 2021.

Fees:

  • Crypto exchanges will most likely charge you deposit and withdrawal fees. On the other hand, P2P marketplaces will charge minimal fees. Escrow and payment processing fees are some of the fees you can expect.

You should also note that prices on P2P marketplaces are controlled by the seller and therefore don’t let the minimal fees make you pay higher prices. Credit and debit card users pay higher fees compared to those who utilize bank transfers.

Delivery Times:

  • How fast you get your Bitcoin will depend on your payment method. National bank transfers may take longer than options like credit cards.

Geo-restrictions:

  • There are exchanges that Pakistan residents can’t use due to geo-restrictions. Due to the uncertainty of Bitcoin trading regulations in the country, many businesses and exchanges fear venturing into the market.

What Payment Methods Can I Use to Buy Bitcoin in Pakistan?

There are various payment methods you could successfully use to buy Bitcoin. Here are a few examples:

Bank Transfer:

  • This is a convenient method available on crypto exchanges and P2P platforms. Transfers are normally cheaper but may take time before completion.

  • Bank transfers are good for investors who would like to purchase large amounts of Bitcoin. It also accommodates investors who yearn for greater transaction limits and those mindful of fees. Binance and LocalBitcoins support national bank transfers.

Credit / Debit Cards:

  • Cardholders can pay through credit from their financial institutions. Debit cardholders must have some cash in their banks. These two methods are convenient for those who would like instant purchases. On the downside, expect higher fees. CEX.io and Paybis support credit and debit cards.

PayPal:

  • Although rare, it is possible to find vendors accepting Paypal on P2P platforms. The drawback is that they are likely to ask for higher prices. You’ll also have to contend with higher fees.

EasyPaisa:

  • This is a mobile wallet that facilitates payment. It also provides a branchless banking system providing its users with a two-pronged approach to payments. Most P2P accommodate Easypaisa, including Binance P2P and LocalBitcoins. It is fast, easy to use, and widely adopted in Pakistan.

JazzCash:

  • It is another mobile payment and branchless bank service. Users can transfer cash to each other from their wallets. The option is also common on P2P marketplaces such as Binance P2P and Paxful. It is fast, easy to use, and widely adopted in Pakistan.

Wire Transfers:

  • It is possible to find vendors who accept wire transfers. Crypto exchanges also accept wire transfers, for example, Binance P2P.

Perfect Money:

  • Like Paypal, this option is not widely adopted. However, you may find vendors on P2P marketplaces that accept this method. You can check on LocalBitcoins or Binance P2P.

How to Store Coins?

Finding a suitable way to store your Bitcoin is as critical as finding the right crypto platform. There are two ways to take care of your Bitcoin, depending on your trading strategy.

See below the two main methods of storage:

Hot Wallets:

  • These are downloadable online. Most of them are free and require you to register an account before use. You’ll have to be online to operate them. They are easy to access, use and transfer your Bitcoin.

  • We recommend them for short-term Bitcoin investors who periodically conduct trades. Hot wallets come in three versions: web, desktop, and mobile. Examples include Exodus and Mycelium wallets.

Cold Storage:

  • These are small USB-like devices that operate offline. They are recommended for long-term Bitcoin investors or those with a large amount of Bitcoin. Please note that you will require to pay for them, unlike hot wallets. On the upside, cold wallets are tamper-proof as long as you don’t share your private keys. Examples include Ledger and Trezor.

Final Thoughts

Despite regulatory uncertainty, Pakistanis continue to buy Bitcoin in droves. This is because Bitcoin provides an alternative investment with a promise of great gain. It is also available to the masses without control from central authorities.

We believe that Binance P2P is the best provider to buy Bitcoin in Pakistan. The signup and verification processes are not too complicated, and there are various local payment options like Easypaisa.

FAQs

Do I need to pay tax on profits in Pakistan?
Can I buy Bitcoin without an ID in Pakistan?
Is there any Bitcoin ATM in Pakistan?
Stephen Ngari

Stephen Ngari

Stephen is a seasoned crypto and fintech specialist with industry experience. Having worked in tech, helping people send money globally and rollout solutions, he understands the impact that tech like blockchain brings to real world issues. He is passionate about crypto, writing and basketball.