There are various ways to buy Bitcoin. The way that works for you mostly depends on the amount of money you would like to invest in Bitcoin and the amount of information / privacy you’re willing to give up.
From my understanding the days of anonymously buying large sums of Bitcoin are over. Exchanges now mostly have to follow KYC (Know Your Customer) policies and you will be required to provide identification and sometimes also further documentation.
As the world of cryptocurrencies is growing more and more exchanges are being opened. These are basically digital marketplaces where you can buy Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for fiat currency (USD, EUR,…). There are different types of exchanges you can use. For a detailed description of the available options refer to Types of Exchanges. In the following we will describe the prevalent process among Traditional Exchanges.
- Create an account
- Verify your account (Note: nowadays this can take a really long time as many exchanges are having trouble with the amount of new accounts being set up)
- Deposit money via SEPA transfer
- Buy Bitcoin (BTC) with Euros
- Send the purchased BTC to a safe storage place (Note: This is optional, but I personally never fully trust any exchange with my money more than I have to)
Here are some exchanges where it is possible to buy Bitcoin for Euros sent via SEPA transfer from Switzerland.
(If you send money to these exchanges it is your responsibility, there is always risk involved, just read about Mt. Gox.)
I have used Kraken and Bitstamp for a long time now. Recently (end of 2017) I had quite a few issues with Kraken for placing orders (I had to place them 20 times until they finally went into the system) and I have since stopped using it. However they updated their trading engine in January 2018 (https://blog.kraken.com/post/1449/), so potentially all is much better now.
There are many other exchanges that will accept SEPA transfers: https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/buy-bitcoin-sepa-transfer/
Other Options for “small” Amounts
SBB Ticket Machine
One of the easiest and quickest ways to buy Bitcoin in Switzerland is at the SBB ticket machines. Yes I’m not kidding!
As mentioned in my article Why You Shouldn’t Buy Bitcoin From SBB Ticket Machines the fees are really high with 6%.
Please only use this option for small one-time purchases. If you plan on buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies again in the future consider setting up an account with an exchange.
Similar to the SBB Ticket Machine option there are also Bitcoin ATMs available throughout Switzerland. Each time I check the map more are installed.
What is positive about these ATMs is that at least the fees are transparent.
For convenience I’ve attached a comparison between the ATM price in Zürich Kafi Schoffel and Bitstamp taken at the same time. On the left you can see that the Buy rate for Bitcoin was at 12’067.64. On the right side you can see the price of a Bitcoin on coinmarketcap listed at 11’920 USD which roughly equaled 11’454.00 CHF at the time. (Note: I also checked the price of Bitcoin at Bitstamp and it was a little bit higher with 11’960 USD).
So on top of having to pay a higher price for buying your Bitcoins you also have to pay a high fee of 6.3%.
There is however also good news here: Not all Bitcoin ATMs have the same fees. I just found one that has significantly lower fees with 3% for buys and 0.8% for sells. Also the maximum purchase amounts vary greatly from 2’000 CHF per day with one operator to 5’000 CHF per transaction for another.
This one for example even seems to have the option to buy Bitcoins for Cash:
I personally would only use this service for convenience with lower value purchases.