• Bitcoin
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
Additional info
  • 1% seller, buyer fee by seller
    Trading Fees
Target Market
  • United Kingdom
  • Bank Wire, Neteller, Paym, Pingit
  • GBP
  • Easy and fast
  • Pick your own broker from large seller network
  • Buy with local UK bank transfer
  • Buyer pays a premium
  • Liquidity based on seller network


Due to a number of factors, the UK bitcoin market has developed a vibrant peer to peer marketplace in which interested buyers and sellers are connected directly to one another for commercial exchange. BitBargain is one of the largest such marketplaces, acting as intermediary and escrow to facilitate and secure transactions. Users benefit from a variety of local payment options and fast trading, but can expect to pay a premium as additional fees absorbed by the bitcoin seller – international wire transfers, exchange rates, and the bitbargain fee – are priced into the sales price.


BitBargain is meant to facilitate the peer to peer exchange of bitcoin, and should not be used to store coin. Users are generated a wallet upon sign up to which purchases will be credited, bitbargain is extremely insistent that bought coins should be transferred immediately to an external wallet. Users can set up two factor identification to secure login. However, this does not protect against server side risk. In the words of bitbargain – “If the site should ever go down, you will not have access to your coins. If the site gets hacked, you lose your coins forever.” It is for this reason that a 1% storage fee is charged after one week, every week, for funds held with BitBargain. This is not meant as a sneaky method of grabbing customer funds – rather, they do not want the responsibility of holding customer coins, and the tax acts as a strong deterrent against customers doing so. For sellers, who must maintain liquidity on the platform to quickly process buying orders, this storage fee is waived.


BitBargain was the first marketplace in the UK for instant bank transfers, and has compiled a database of 85,000 users, with close to 7,000 fully verified. In terms of trading volume, BitBargain trails only localbitcoins in the UK market, a testament to the sizable and active community built over the years. Bitbargain offers real time cryptographic proof of reserves to demonstrate all customer coins are held, that there is no fractional reserve strategy employed.

Opening an account

After setting up user name and password, most users are allowed to purchase a limited amount of bitcoin without supplying additional personal information. Raising the limits requires uploading the standard KYC documents including a government issued ID, a recent bill, bank statement, or other official document clearly showing current address and name, and a selfie holding the ID along with a piece of paper on which “bitbargain” is written.

How BitBargain works

Bitbargain provides the framework for the buying and selling of bitcoin directly between a buyer and seller. Their system encourages fast trade times – four minutes from start to finish on average – a result of incentivizing quick action through a reputational system, as well as a well-designed trading mechanism that holds the hand of both buyer and seller through each step of the process to ensure prompt completion. Bitrating – Bitbargain’s reputational management system Bitbargain employs a reputational system that assigns a bitrating to all buyers and sellers. Establishing and maintaining a good bitrating is very important – for buyers, many sellers will not transact with a buyer with a poor bitrating. For sellers, a strong bitrating influences where an offer will be positioned in the “buy btc” listing page, and is an important factor for buyers in choosing with whom to transact. This bitrating score is on a scale from 0-100, and represents the probability that a particular buyer or seller will complete a trade without any issues. According to bitbargain, a new sign up has a bitrating of 50 – or in other words, there is a 50% chance that a trade will be completed without issue. A bitrating is improved through account verification, successfully completing trades, and generally being a good bitbargain citizen. Buying bitcoin on BitBargain Bitcoin, Litecoin and Namecoin are available for purchase in the Buy BTC section, accessible from the top navigation bar. By default, offers are sorted by seller and according to price and reputation, but buyers can filter the display according to the amount of coin desired and the preferred payment method. There are a number of local payment options available, with all sellers offering local UK bank transfer – the cheapest method of transaction available – and many offering Pingit, Paym and RBS/Natwest PYC, which generally add approximately 3% to the sales price. Once a buyer has located his preferred offering, a click on the “Buy Now” button will open a window detailing the price, payment option, and the average trade time of the seller. If all is according to the buyer’s requirements, a click of the”start the trade now” button will send an internal text message to the seller, who has 200 seconds to confirm their readiness to transact. At this point, the desired bitcoin will be placed from the sellers account into bitbargain’s escrow service, and a box with the seller’s wire details – or the details of whatever payment option was agreed upon – is displayed for the user. After sending the money, the buyer should then click the “payment sent” button, which will notify the seller to check for the incoming payment. Once the seller has confirmed receipt of payment bitbargain will be notified and the relevant coin will be released into the buyer’s wallet. Selling bitcoin on BitBargain Brokers interested in selling coin on bitbargain must go through an application process that includes passing a seller’s test and completing total bitbargain account verification. Once enrolled in the seller’s program, the process is essentially the mirror opposite of buying bitcoin – simply list the price at which you would like to sell, the payment options accepted, and then wait for a buyer to engage. It is important to ensure that you accurately mark yourself on or offline, because failure to respond to buyers within the 200 second SLA will result in a lower reputational score. Once you have entered into a trade, the relevant coin will be moved from your account into escrow. The buyer then has 30 minutes to transfer the funds to your account – failure to do so will result in your coin being recovered from escrow, and the buyer’s reputational score suffering.

Bitbargain support is available via email and instant chat, and responses can generally be expected within minutes.


There is a 1% commission charged to sellers, which compensates bitbargain for the use of its marketplace and escrow services. On the buyer side, there is no fee above the quoted price, however the price includes some premium set by the seller to cover their costs of doing business.

BitBargain Might Not be for you if:

You don’t live in the UK.

Bitbargain is a product designed with the UK market in mind, offering a means of buying bitcoin in a non-friendly bank environment.  If you live outside of the UK you don’t need this type of service, and you would be better off picking one of the best bitcoin exchanges  from our top list.

You are planning to make relatively large purchases.

For small sums, the bank wire fee will offset the marginally lower fees you can get from exchanges using non-UK banking.  For larger purchases, the situation is exactly the opposite.  Planning on actively trading?  Probably best to transfer your bitcoin to a liquid global exchange like bitfinex.  Check out all the options for buying bitcoin in the UK.

Bottom Line

BitBargain offers an extremely convenient marketplace for the peer to peer trading of bitcoin. Local payment options are offered, and the vast number of sellers and buyers has led to competitive pricing. While maintaining a simple and intuitive interface, buyers can pick which seller to work with, unlike is the case with, for instance, bittylicous.