Selling Bitcoin: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research October 2, 2023

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  • Learn the process of selling bitcoin, the world's leading cryptocurrency, for fiat currency or other digital assets, as it can be as simple as following the right steps
  • Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that operates on blockchain technology and is not controlled by any central authority
  • Selling bitcoin involves converting digital assets back into fiat currency or exchanging them for other cryptocurrencies
  • Factors to consider when selling bitcoin include choosing a reliable exchange, verifying the account and selecting a selling method


Learn the process of selling bitcoin, the world's leading cryptocurrency, for fiat currency or other digital assets, as it can be as simple as following the right steps. Bitcoin selling involves the process of exchanging bitcoin for another currency, such as fiat money like U.S. dollars.

To begin selling bitcoin, the seller must first choose a cryptocurrency exchange or trading platform, then create a sell order within the exchange. The amount of bitcoin the seller wishes to sell and the desired selling price should be specified, or the seller can opt for a market order to sell at the current market rate. Once the sell order is matched with a buyer, the transaction is executed, and the bitcoin is transferred to the buyer, while the seller receives the agreed-upon currency in return.

It is important to be aware of transaction fees, security measures and any tax obligations associated with bitcoin selling. An advantage of bitcoin is that associated transactions are highly secure and resistant to fraud due to cryptography. The limited supply of twenty-one million coins adds to the appeal as a store of value. Bitcoin is also divisible into smaller units called "satoshis," enabling everyday transactions.

A Brief History

Bitcoin's origins can be traced back to a 2008 white paper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. It was written by an individual or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto. In January 2009, the Bitcoin network launched, and Nakamoto mined what is known as the "genesis block," creating the first fifty bitcoins.

Bitcoin gained traction among early adopters and technology enthusiasts who recognized the cryptocurrency's potential to disrupt traditional finance. The value started rising, attracting mainstream attention and investment, and in 2010, two pizzas were purchased for 10,000 bitcoins (BTC), illustrating the cryptocurrency's early use as a medium of exchange.

Significant developments occurred in the Bitcoin ecosystem over the years. Exchanges emerged, allowing users to buy and sell bitcoin with traditional currencies, and bitcoin's price experienced volatility, reaching an all-time high of nearly $20,000 in late 2017, followed by a correction.

Selling Bitcoin: Everything to Know

  • Choosing a Reliable Exchange . Sellers should select a reputable cryptocurrency exchange with a solid track record, robust security measures and transparent fee structures. It is helpful to compare multiple platforms to find the best fit.
  • Account Verification . Most reputable exchanges require users to complete verification to comply with "anti-money laundering" (AML) and "know-your-customer" (KYC) regulations. The verification process should be initiated well in advance.
  • Selecting a Selling Method . Exchanges offer "market orders" and "limit orders." A market order sells bitcoin at the current market price, while a limit order allows sellers to set a specific selling price. Sellers should consider personal trading strategies and risk tolerances when choosing a method.
  • Transaction Fees . Exchanges charge fees for trades, which can vary significantly. Thus, it is important for sellers to understand the fee structure, including withdrawal fees, when selling bitcoin. They should also keep in mind that transferring funds to a bank account or wallet may incur additional fees.
  • Tax Implications . Selling bitcoin may have tax implications based on the jurisdiction of the seller. Sellers should consult a tax professional to understand associated obligations and comply with relevant tax laws. It is also essential to maintain accurate transaction records for tax purposes.
  • Security Considerations . Sellers should prioritize security when selling bitcoin, and choose an exchange with strong security measures, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and cold storage for funds. After the sale, funds should be transferred to a secure wallet.

Getting Started

Before diving into selling bitcoin, it is crucial to grasp the basics of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is a digital currency that operates on a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) network called the "blockchain." Unlike traditional currencies, bitcoin is not issued or regulated by any central authority like a government or financial institution. Instead, transactions are verified by network participants through a process known as "mining."

To sell bitcoin, an individual must first acquire the cryptocurrency, either by purchasing it from cryptocurrency exchanges, receiving it as payment or mining it. Once bitcoin has been acquired, the individual can choose to hold it as an investment or engage in trading activities, including selling it for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar or euro.

Unique Aspects

Selling bitcoin involves several unique aspects that differentiate it from traditional trading. Firstly, the process is entirely online, eliminating the need for physical interaction or reliance on intermediaries like banks. This enables people from different parts of the world to seamlessly transact, fostering a global marketplace for cryptocurrencies.

Secondly, bitcoin transactions are pseudonymous, meaning that they are not directly linked to individuals' identities. Instead, transactions are associated with cryptographic addresses, which are essentially strings of characters. While this offers a certain level of privacy, it also poses challenges for regulatory compliance and combating illicit activities. Cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms often implement KYC procedures to verify users' identities, reducing the risk of money laundering and fraud.

Another unique aspect of selling bitcoin is price volatility. Unlike traditional currencies, the value of bitcoin can experience significant fluctuations within short periods. This volatility presents both opportunities and risks for traders. Therefore, monitoring market trends and making informed decisions when selling bitcoin is crucial to maximize potential gains or minimize losses.

Furthermore, selling bitcoin incurs transaction fees. These fees are typically paid to miners who validate and include the transaction in the blockchain, and the amount varies depending on factors like network congestion and transaction urgency. Considering these fees is important when assessing the profitability of selling bitcoin, especially for smaller transactions.


  • Liquidity . Immediate access to cash or other cryptocurrencies is provided by selling bitcoin.
  • Diversification . Selling bitcoin helps diversify investment portfolios, reducing risk and increasing potential returns.
  • Realizing Profits . Investors can capitalize on price appreciation and secure profits by selling bitcoin.
  • Cash Flow . Because it generates cash, selling bitcoin is useful for covering expenses or making new investments.
  • Risk Mitigation . Selling bitcoin can protect against potential losses in a downturn.
  • Tax Planning . There is a strategic optimization of tax positions associated with selling bitcoin, which can potentially reduce tax liability.


  • Price Volatility . Bitcoin's volatile price can work against sellers, potentially missing out on gains.
  • Transaction Fees . Selling bitcoin incurs platform or exchange transaction fees, reducing overall proceeds.
  • Market Manipulation . The cryptocurrency market is prone to manipulation, requiring caution and monitoring.
  • Security Risks . Storing bitcoin on exchanges or wallets exposes individuals to hacking or theft risks.
  • Regulatory Environment . Regulatory scrutiny or restrictions in certain jurisdictions can affect bitcoin selling.
  • Emotional Decision-Making . Emotional factors during market volatility can influence suboptimal timing of sales.