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Cryptocurrencies rebounded sharply in 2023, leaving some traders with solid gains. Though prices are still down from all-time highs reached in late 2021, crypto holders may be looking for ways to cash in on current market enthusiasm and there are plenty of ways to convert your crypto into cash.
If you’re selling any asset, then you’ll want to understand the tax implications. You may owe a bundle if you’re booking a capital gain, and the tax rate will depend on the holding period, among other things. Of course, you may be able to claim a write-off, if you’re selling at a loss. But if you think crypto may continue its recovery, it might be better to stick around and wait.
Here are five ways you can cash out your crypto or Bitcoin.
1. Use an exchange to sell crypto
One of the easiest ways to cash out your cryptocurrency or Bitcoin is to use a centralized exchange such as Coinbase. Coinbase has an easy-to-use “buy/sell” button and you can choose which cryptocurrency you want to sell and the amount.
You’ll quickly exchange cryptocurrency into cash, which you can access from your cash balance in Coinbase. From there, you can transfer the money to your bank account if you wish.
And while Coinbase is a popular option to sell cryptocurrency, it’s likely most useful to go with whatever exchange currently holds your coins, if you don’t have custody of the coins yourself. Some of the top exchanges include Binance and Kraken.
2. Use your broker to sell crypto
If a broker holds your crypto coins, then the easiest route is simply to go with that broker. For example, if you’re a client of Robinhood or Webull, both of which allow extensive crypto trading, then it will be easiest for you to just execute a trade on their platform and be done with it.
After you complete the trade, you’ll have the cash in your account and be ready to trade again.
With the introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs in 2024, investors have a simple way to buy and sell Bitcoin using a familiar structure. ETFs trade on an exchange and are available through most brokers and the expense ratios on several funds are below what you might pay to trade on a crypto exchange.
3. Go with a peer-to-peer trade
You can also do a direct trade, selling your cryptocurrency directly to another person through another entity. The most popular way is through a peer-to-peer online platform that allows sellers to find the best offers through an exchange, though one could even do it in person if needed.
With an online peer-to-peer trade, you can sell cryptocurrency online in exchange for dollars. These transactions are often facilitated by an exchange, and Binance runs a well-known online peer-to-peer platform called Binance P2P. After agreeing to a trade, the platform escrows your crypto. Once you check the transaction record in the payment account and make sure you have received the money from the buyer, Binance will release the crypto to the buyer on the platform.
Another popular option is the online platform Paxful. Sellers have the ability to set their own rates and can choose from more than 350 payment options, such as cash, gift cards or other digital currencies. Clients can sell directly to over 12 million users worldwide, according to the platform’s website.
4. Cash out at a Bitcoin ATM
Cashing out at an ATM is the equivalent of selling your Bitcoin, says California Bitcoin ATM company Hermes Bitcoin. Bitcoin ATMs are a way to get immediate access to cash using your bitcoins. Bitcoin ATMs do not operate like traditional ATMs. In order to make a cash withdrawal and sell your Bitcoin from the ATM, the machine provides a QR code to which you send your Bitcoin. You simply wait a couple of minutes and receive your cash.
The commissions on Bitcoin ATM trades can be tremendously high, however, so it’s important to note how much you’re paying and whether it’s worthwhile to go another route.
5. Trade one crypto for another and then cash out
Some exchanges do not allow the conversion or selling of some cryptos to dollars, so you’ll need to take an indirect route to get your cash. Depending on which exchange you use, you may need to transfer or convert your cryptocurrency to another popular currency such as the stablecoin Tether, before finally converting to dollars.
Traders have a number of ways to sell their cryptocurrency. Popular crypto exchanges are always a good bet, as they are reliable and well-known, while online platforms with peer-to-peer selling may allow for flexibility of payment. You can go the convenient route and use a Bitcoin ATM to get fast access to your crypto but at a significantly higher commission.
If you sell your cryptocurrency, however, it’s important to understand that you could be creating a tax liability, so you’ll want to be sure you account for taxes in your decision to sell.
Former Bankrate reporter Georgina Tzanetos contributed to an earlier version of this article.