Coinbase is the easiest way to buy Bitcoin in the UK at the moment. They allow customers to buy bitcoin using a credit card, debit card or SEPA bank transfer. If you sign up using the link below and buy or sell $100 of bitcoin or more, you'll earn $10 of free bitcoin!
LocalBitcoins operates similarly to eBay in that you can see a seller’s feedback and trade history and make your own decision whether you deem them trustworthy. Trades are mostly smooth, though some sellers will demand ID such as a scan of your credit card before they will deal with you. If you pay attention to their terms and only use sellers with 100+ positive feedback you should be fine. You can also buy bitcoin with cash by meeting the seller and making the transfer to your mobile phone on the spot.
Bittylicious is a well-run site that facilitates peer-to-peer transfers without exposing you to the "wild west" presented by LocalBitcoins. You don't know who your seller is until you've initiated the trade, but all sellers are vetted by the site. Bittylicious won't allow you to make trades beyond a certain value until you've supplied sufficient ID verification, although smaller trades can go through without these requirements. The site also offers a growing range of other cryptocurrencies and is one of the easiest ways to get started.
Coinfloor have recently launched a peer to peer bitcoin marketplace called Coinfloor Market, with prices and liquidity sourced directly from their existing exchange. Unlike other peer to peer marketplaces, they only work with professional bitcoin brokers who have a long track record of successfully selling bitcoins in the UK and have passed through their strict vetting process. Buyers are able to speak directly to the brokers, and all bitcoins are stored in their 100% multi-signature cold storage system.
Arguably the exchange with the most liquidity (ie. money coming in and out), Coinfloor has free transfers into your trading account from £500 but charges a £10 fee for a less than £500 deposit. The site is regarded as trustworthy, publishing public audits of its assets every few months, and processing transfers out from its cold storage three times a day. It operates what's called a maker-taker fee model, whereby fees are charged according to whether you add liquidity to the order book ("maker"), or "take" liquidity away. So, if you place an order below or above the market rate you are defined as a "maker" but if you simply place at order at market rate you are defined as a "taker". Because of its liquidity, Coinfloor's prices are often very close to the global average and they sometimes have fee-free trading periods that you can take advantage of. This means you may be able to end up with a very good rate for your bitcoin, offsetting the price you will have to pay to transfer your pounds into their Polish bank.
CoinCorner operates from the Isle of Man and aims to become a one-stop shop for Bitcoin. In addition to the exchange, they offer a mobile wallet, as well as eCommerece plugins and a point of sale system for merchants. Deposits can be made via bank transfer and also credit/debit card. Fees depend on a number of factors such as trading volume and account status, but typical fees start at 1% with no fee to deposit or withdraw Bitcoin. Since regulations were introduced for digital currency businesses on the Isle of Man, CoinCorner is the first cryptocurrency exchange in the world to fall under the IOM Proceeds of Crime Act.
Cryptopay allow you to buy bitcoins in the UK via bank transfer. Before buying you are required to provide basic personal information, proof of ID, proof of residence and verify a telephone number. Cryptopay also offer merchant tools to enable your business to accept bitcoin payments and receive payouts in either pounds or euros.
QuickBitcoin offers a quick and easy way to buy bitcoins in the UK. Using faster payments, most orders are completed within 10 minutes of receiving the funds. ID is required for fraud prevention and through their site you can buy up to around £2000 of bitcoin. If you want to sell bitcoin simply contact them for a quote. QuickBitcoin has high levels of liquidity and also runs a brokerage service for larger orders. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a quote for buying or selling over £2000 of bitcoin and they will give you a better price. Orders of over £100k are possible.
Safello allow you to buy and sell bitcoins with Euro, GBP and SEK. As of January 25th, Safello lost it's ability to accept money in the UK using faster payments, meaning now money can only be sent to them using international bank wires. Upon registration they require you to verify your identity by providing basic personal information, an image of an ID card (passport, national ID card or driving license) and a utility bill. After you've verified your identity, all you need to do is confirm your email address and complete the KYC form in order to be able to start buying bitcoins.
Safello charges a transaction fee which is stated before you purchase your Bitcoins. The trading fee may vary depending on the frequency of your purchases and the size of your order.
Another useful service when looking to buy bitcoins in the UK is BittyBot. BittyBot monitors and compares the UK bitcoin market to help you find the best prices and most reputable traders.