The short answer is 18. You must be 18 to purchase bitcoins under your name. But that doesn’t limit you from using other equally legal means to buy bitcoin. Allow me to expound more and reveal these legal ways you can use to get your hands on bitcoin as a kid.
At this point, you know that Bitcoin is a digital currency with intrinsic value. Why, because the technology behind it is phenomenal and it offers solutions that current fiat currencies cannot.
Also, people love it and nerds are working every day to ensure the concept behind it becomes the foundation for the future of finance. Bitcoin has opened the eyes of the common citizen towards money in ways that nothing else has ever done.
Do you now see why it has intrinsic value?
Now, since it has value, it has the potential to replace money as we know today. We can have an economy operated under bitcoin and it can strive just as much as an economy based on any fiat currency as the USD would.
So in many ways, Bitcoin is like the dollar. To legally handle money especially through digital platforms, one has to be of age 18 and above. That’s because adults are fully responsible for how they spend money.
That’s why you need to be 18 years old before you can purchase bitcoins under your name. How come so? Because in most countries, you cannot own a debit or credit card unless you’re 18 years of age. A bank card is the most common means of buying bitcoin at least globally.
Secondly, online money platforms like Paypal, Skrill and Neteller also require you to be 18 years of age to have an account with them.
The reason behind these restrictions is that children or any person below the age of 18 are considered under the control of their parents and hence all their actions including financial transactions are tied to their guardians.
For a child to have a bank account or an account with any online financial institution, it must be tied to a parent, guardian or a close relative who is an adult. Also, most bitcoin exchange platforms which you will use to purchase and sell bitcoins require identity verification before allowing you to transact.
Over the past bitcoin has been used by criminals to move money around the world due to anonymity and thus financial institutions and governments have instilled high requirements from cryptocurrency exchange platform to ensure verification of the identity of all account holders to reduce criminal activities.
So it will be very hard to purchase bitcoin if you are under 18 years old.
But here’s is the thing, you can still bend some rule to buy bitcoin. There are so many young people interested in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. It’s the technology that will define their adulthood and future.
If I was underage too, at this very moment, I would be desperately looking for a way to buy bitcoins, invest in cryptocurrencies and get my hands dirty with the technology. So here are a few tips to get you into bitcoin ownership
1. Talk to your parents or elder siblings
Talk to your parents to help you set up accounts with banks, online fin-tech and cryptocurrency exchange platforms. You can buy bitcoin using an account owned by your parents or siblings as long as you don’t take part in illegal trades because soon the authorities will be knocking on your door.
You need to convince them why you want to do it and have them invest in your idea too. Once you hit 18, you can transfer all your bitcoins to your new accounts and wallets.
2. Use bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin ATMs are sprouting everywhere today because as I said early, people are loving the innovation. Yet still, they are not nearly enough. You might have to trek for long distances before you find a bitcoin ATM. Start by searching bitcoin ATMs in your area then zero in on the one closest to you. Visit the ATM accompanied by an adult of possible to ensure if anything goes wrong, you will be someone else’s responsibility. Buy bitcoins and have them loaded in your wallet, whether online or cold wallet. After this, it’s your responsibility to take care of your coins. Be aware of ways cons can steal your money or have you deposit the bitcoins you have purchased to their account through ATMs. This has happened before for instance in Canada. Bitcoins sent to a scammer’s address cannot recovered
3. Attend local Bitcoin meetups
Another ingenious way to get hold of some bitcoins is to attend local cryptocurrency meetups. Here you can interact with other bitcoin enthusiasts especially adults who you can talk into selling you some bitcoins of course after studying them and being certain they cannot con you. Be accompanied by a friend and more preferably an adult who can guide and care for you while dealing with other adults.
4. Use none-strict exchange platforms
Despite many exchange platforms requiring strict verification before any transactions are made by an account holder, there are some like LocalBitcoins and Paxful, peer to peer exchange platforms that need verification to an allowable extent for a teenager to purchase bitcoins. Most importantly, once you create an account with any of these platforms, strive to make and meet these people before making any transactions. Peer to peer platforms have many conmen who would easily defraud you if not careful. Make a point again to have an adult or a friend by your side while meeting up with these people. I cannot emphasis more the importance of this as a security and backup plan.
5. Social media crypto groups
You can also interact with bitcoin enthusiasts through social media groups. Set up a meeting with some of them who sound friendly and not so desperate for money. Ensure to practice caution when meeting and have a buddy once again to back you up. Do not pay any money until a transaction is fulfilled and have a neutral intermediary to ensure that.
Good luck bitcoin hunting.