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Buying Bitcoin in Italy
Although not as popular as in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland or France, Bitcoin is slowly taking its toll in yet another one European region beloved by many – Italy. If you think that the country is just a beautiful place with delicious wine, picturesque grapeyards and melting cheese on top of various margaritas, think of a place where you can rent a car and book a hotel with Bitcoin.
OK, not everywhere, certainly, but at least in Lombardy, Trentino-South Tyrol, and Veneto at a few places that can be categorized as small and medium-sized business Italy is so famous for.
Our Favorite Cryptocurrency Exchange for Italians
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Is Italy a Leader in the Cryptocurrency Market?
Based on the global Bitcoin Nodes Distribution, the boot-shaped peninsula occupies the 25th place in the ranking of 102 countries. In terms of Bitcoin ATMs, it’s tied on seventh place with 69 ATM locations, mainy in Milan, Rome and Bologna. As for Bitcoin mining, the country’s average monthly share of total hashrate is 0.05%.
It’s not hard to buy Bitcoin in Italy because the government has not banned crypto from the legislation framework. Vice versa, you can purchase this cryptocurrency from any popular exchange that operates in the country using an Italian bank and euros, but the question is on top of which exchange should you buy it? Where are the lowest fees? What tax will you pay for what? And how exhaustive is the KYC procedure on top of those exchanges?
Are Crypto and Blockchain Legal in Italy?
First things first, yes, crypto and blockchain are legal in Italy because the country is a part of the crypto-friendly region, European Union, but we should remember about a whole set of nuances here.
There is no ban on crypto in the country, but the authorities don’t regulate Bitcoin use by private individuals fully.
Blockchain is partially regulated, but a few areas still need to be addressed, they include the use of DLTs, the absence of a clear picture on the possible financing opportunities and the lack of the full legal recognition of smart contracts.
As for crypto, individuals only tax their speculative activities, and the tax in this case is 26%. What does it mean? If the amount of the crypto you own during the fiscal year is above 51k euro, you’re obliged to pay 26%. That being said, if you trade crypto, you have to tax your profits as income. However, if you hodl a less amount of money, there is no need for it to be taxed. Always be sure to check with a tax professional if you hold large amounts of crypto.
Should you purchase or sell crypto in exchange for euro once or twice, it’s considered to be a foreign currency transaction, and the transaction margin is exempt from VAT. But again, everything depends on the amount you exchange and, quite honestly, where you do.
Some time ago it was easier to transact via LocalBitcoins, these days, their KYC procedure is more strict than usual.
The companies that accumulate their revenue in crypto also have to pay taxes.
With all that in mind, as you see for yourself, some crypto-oriented activities in Italy are regulated, while the other ones, such as mining, are still under question in terms of legislation.
What is the Cheapest Way to Buy Bitcoin in Italy?
It’s not that there is a specific Italian way to buy Bitcoin in the cheapest way possible. The country looks very much alike to its European neighbors in this context. You can’t just go out and buy Bitcoin from a friend in the streets. Well, in theory, you can, of course, and they can directly send it from their wallet to yours, so that you have to pay a transaction fee only.
But honestly, how many friends do you have who own Bitcoin? These days the easiest way is probably an exchange, such as Kraken or LocalBitcoins. And we’re not even talking about mining because – there’s no point to compete with Chinese farms or mining pools in order to grab a hold of at least a fraction of Bitcoin.
Kraken is a popular trading platform located in the United States that’s been around since 2011. It’s famous for its low fees and dozens of coins it supports. On top of this venue, you can exchange crypto against USD, EUR and GBP, and the fees range from 0% to 0.26%. To top up your account, you can use SEPA and debit or credit card.
As for LocalBitcoins, it’s a legendary peer-to-peer platform for users to transact with each other by posting a quick buy or sell ad, no trading fees needed, only trust between two peers who transact.
How Can I Buy Bitcoin Anonymously in Italy?
Now, why do you want to do this? Don’t you want to pay taxes? OK, just kidding. Of course, Bitcoin is a part of the cypherpunk underground movement who hate control in any shape or form, so we understand. But be prepared for the fact that KYC is getting more and more common in the crypto niche, which is only fair.
And yet, there is still a way to stay anonymous while buying. Just like with any other country, in Italy, you can anonymously buy Bitcoin by using an ATM. Bitcoin ATMs, or BTMs, are kiosks connected to the Internet where you can buy or sell the cryptocurrency without having an extensive expertise. You can find those kiosks in shopping malls, at the gas stations and even at your office.
In Italy, there are more than 69 tellers as of writing, with 13 machines in Milan and Rome, 9 in Bologna and 5 in Brescia.
How Can I Buy Bitcoin in Italy by Using a Credit Card?
If you’re a newbie and you’re ready for an extensive KYC procedure, you can use a Bitcoin exchange to buy Bitcoin with a credit card. Basically, it’s the same with standing in the limelight, because every single authority will know, but, on the other hand, it’s so easy, especially with such services as Coinbase and CEX.IO.
If you want to buy Bitcoin with a credit or debit card, you’ll need to register with an exchange or install a crypto wallet on your phone.
There is a whole set of Bitcoin exchanges where you can buy it with a credit card. It includes but is not limited to Coinbase, Coinmama, Bitpanda etc.
As for crypto apps to buy Bitcoin, you might find Luno, Paxful, CEX.IO useful.
So, is it easy to buy Bitcoin in Italy? Sure. You just need to register with one of the exchanges, such as Kraken or Coinbase and start the whole buying procedure. In addition to trading which can be considered as a legal activity as long as you tax your income, you can even pay with Bitcoin for some services such as renting a car and booking a hotel.
But should you go to Italy to exclusively enjoy the benefits of the crypto regulation? No, the adoption has only started to spread across the boot-shaped peninsula and will take much more time. There’s a good chance that buying Bitcoin in Italy will be much easier in a few years.