Bitspark is a bankless money transfer company that helps you convert cash to cryptocurrency, globally.
Hong Kong has always been a great market for buying and selling Bitcoin in every sense of the word. Next to a thriving Bitcoin community, Hong Kong now boasts a new cash in/out network across Cali-Mex restaurants, Bitcoin ATMS spread citywide, peer to peer platforms and a number of crypto exchanges that serve the local market.
In late September 2019, a new way to buy and sell Bitcoin with cash was introduced in Hong Kong that has a different flavour all of its own. Cali-Mex, a Californian/Mexican food chain, has partnered with Bitspark to create a Cash Point network which will eventually extend across its 16 restaurants in Hong Kong.
To use this service, all you need to do is download the Bitspark mobile app and go to the nearest Cali Cash Point. Scan the QR code inside the Cali-Mex restaurant with the Bitspark app, then use HKD cash to buy crypto.
Buying Bitcoin with HKD cash is by far the easiest way to get BTC, and at 1.5% fees this Cali-Mex Cash Point also gives you the best rates in town. Plus, where else can you buy Bitcoin and order a burrito at the same time? Find out more about Cali-Mex Cash Points.
Another way to buy Bitcoin with cash in Hong Kong is by using Bitcoin ATMS. This too is a rather convenient way to buy BTC with HKD cash, but that convenience does come at a premium. Typically, buy rates have a 7% charge built into the exchange rate.
That said, it’s easy to find the nearest BTC ATM near you as they are all over Hong Kong, with most of them located in Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay for Island side, and Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok for Kowloon side.
Before you go, you should have a BTC wallet address that’s ready for cash deposits. At the Bitcoin ATM, you can then scan the QR code of your BTC wallet address, which is where the machine will send the money to after you have inserted HKD cash. You can also do this without an existing Bitcoin wallet and have the machine print one for you, but this is less user-friendly.
Still one of the more popular ways to buy and sell Bitcoin is through peer to peer platforms. There are many p2p platforms out there, but arguably the biggest one, in Hong Kong and around the world, is LocalBitcoin.
The LocalBitcoin acts as the custodian between peer to peer transactions. When you go to the platform, you’ll see other members “advertising” buy and sell rates, and deposit/withdrawal methods they are willing to support.
Cash trades used to be a big part of LocalBitcoins success, but they have had to cancel cash trades due to changing regulations in Finland - the home jurisdiction of the company. So most transactions are now done using bank transfers. For buying Bitcoin with cash in Hong Kong, you can still use the two methods as described above.
There a number of crypto exchanges that serve the local Hong Kong market with bigger names such as Binance - which accept credit card purchases - and HK specific crypto exchanges like Weever - which accept HKD bank transfers.
Most exchanges have KYC requirements which means you will need to send proof of ID before you can deposit or withdraw money to and from your account on the exchange. In a previous post, we made a list of all crypto exchanges that serve the Hong Kong market, excluding those that only accept credit cards (as this is the most expensive way to buy Bitcoin).
See the full list of Hong Kong crypto exchanges.
Pro tip: If you want to use an exchange like Binance from Hong Kong, but don’t want to use your credit card to buy Bitcoin, you can deposit into Binance from your Bitspark app after making the cash purchase at a Cali-Mex.
Bitspark is a bankless money transfer ecosystem that enables businesses and people to cash in and cash out cryptocurrencies across Asia and Africa.