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Bitcoin OTC Brokers – Buying Large Amounts of Bitcoin

By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 11/06/20

The standard methods used by most people for buying Bitcoin aren’t always suitable for high volume purchases, due to high transaction fees and a limited supply on Bitcoin exchanges.

Moreover, some investors wish to stay under the radar and not drastically affect Bitcoin’s price by placing large ‘Buy’ orders. This guide will review the top Bitcoin OTC brokers and cover the most cost-effective ways to buy Bitcoins in large amounts (exceeding $100,000).

Buying Large Amounts of Bitcoin Summary

Buying large amounts of Bitcoin requires a different approach than the “normal” day to day exchange. There are specific Bitcoin OTC (Over The Counter) brokers that deal with clients looking to place large orders so you’ll be able to get the best price.

Here are the top OTC brokers today:

That’s how you buy large amounts of Bitcoin in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed review about the different Bitcoin OTC brokers keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. Bitcoin OTC Brokers vs. Trading Platforms
  2. Best Bitcoin OTC Brokers
  3. Traditional Exchanges Suited for Large Purchases
  4. Conclusion

1. Bitcoin OTC  Brokers vs. Trading Platforms

The two main options you have for buying large amounts of Bitcoin are OTC brokers (OTC = over the counter) or traditional Bitcoin trading platforms. OTC brokers refer to companies or individuals willing to sell you Bitcoins directly as opposed to an automated trading platform.

Bitcoin OTC broker Benefits

High liquidity – OTC brokers specialize in supplying high volumes of Bitcoin for large buyers such as institutional investors. This means that most of the time you will be able to get your order fulfilled in full, faster than on a traditional exchange.

Fixed price – When you buy large amounts of Bitcoin on a public automated exchange you will probably see the price rise as your order gets executed.

This is due to the fact that once you finish buying from the “cheap” sellers, you gradually move to the “expensive” sellers. This means you don’t have a fixed price for your purchase. When you use an OTC exchange you can negotiate a fixed price (e.g. “Bitstamp rate + 1%”).

Bitcoin OTC broker Disadvantages

Less transparency – While on a traditional trading platform the order book is transparent for everyone to see, when buying Bitcoins OTC you don’t know exactly who you’re dealing with or the volume that they have to trade. You are basing your information solely on what you get from the seller.

Less regulation – Buying OTC means that there is less regulation involved since many of the OTC sellers aren’t listed as money transmitters, hence the risk with these transactions increases.


2. Known Bitcoin OTC Brokers

Having listed the various pros and cons of using OTC brokers, let’s go over some of the more known brokers in the Bitcoin economy. Most of these services require you to apply and pass a specific screening and verification process.

ItBit

ItBit is a well known Bitcoin exchange, founded in 2013. It is a regulated exchange in the US that supplies Bitcoin trading services for small and institutional investors.

ItBit for institutions is the full-service financial services company for institutions who are trading in Bitcoin. The Institutional Client Group (ICG) provides institutions and active traders with personalized service and support.

ItBit’s OTC trading is a personalized service for orders over $100K that has low fees and a quick settlement. Itbit states that its OTC market has very competitive pricing, which makes it very attractive considering it’s also a regulated exchange.

Genesis

Genesis is an institutional trading firm offering two-sided liquidity for digital currency, including Bitcoin and Ether. Since September 2013, Genesis has traded over 1,500,000 Bitcoin (BTC), worth over $600 million US Dollars, and has completed thousands of trades.

The company has a minimum trade size of $75K. Unlike some other OTC exchanges, Genesis is regulated by FINRA and the SEC. They have also submitted their request for a Bitlicense in the state of New York.

Cumberland mining

Cumberland Mining is a specialized crypto asset trading company within DRW and has been dealing with cryptocurrencies since 2014. Its global head of trading it Bobby Cho who was formerly a director for ItBit and Vice President of Second Market.

Cumberland Mining offers competitive pricing for institutional size Bitcoin transactions. They supply liquidity to some of the major traditional Bitcoin exchanges as well.

The company trades BTC, ETH, and a number of other cryptoassets. They facilitate crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat transactions.

While there’s not much info on the company’s website, Coindesk has researched it in the past and they have also partnered with Tradeblock. A minimum trade order with Cumberland is $100K.

FalconX

FalconX is a San Francisco based OTC trading desk that offers best execution using data science to its clients. The platform is built for institutional investors such as hedge funds, crypto miners, payment providers and proprietary traders but currently there is no minimum order requirement for trade execution.

The company secured $17M funding in 2019 from a group of investors including Accel, Accomplice, Coinbase Ventures and Fidelity. The trading desk generated over $7 billion dollars in global trading volume.

Satstreet

Satstreet is one of Canada’s fastest growing cryptocurrency exchanges. The team is leveraging industry leading APIs with smart order routing and domestic banks for fast settlement.

The company’s OTC desk is offering bulk trades in various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum from $25k to over $50M for clients in the United States and Canada.

Satstreet is backed by Round13 Capital and several high net worth investors.

CoinJar

CoinJar is an Australian cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service that also has an OTC desk. Individuals and institutions looking to make larger transactions are given privacy and flexibility with their tailored solutions.

OTC trades at CoinJar are available from AUD $50,000 and above. The exchange is backed by prominent venture capital funds, like the Digital Currency Group and Blackbird Ventures.

Kraken

Kraken, founded in 2011 and based in San Francisco, is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in terms of Euro volume and liquidity.

For high volume trades (over $100K) Kraken offers Over The Counter services with a 1-on -1 service. Additionally, frequent high volume traders can receive a dedicated account manager to take care of their trading needs. OTC trading is available in Canadian dollars, US dollars, Euros, and Japanese yen.

Kraken acquired Circle’s “Circle Trade” OTC platform in 2019 and has mixed it into their existing OTC service.

You can read my complete Kraken review here.

Binance

Binance, one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, also provides its own OTC service

It is distinctly different from the other OTC platforms, in the sense that it does NOT accept fiat currency. Instead, Binance OTC takes the stablecoins USDT, USDC, or BUSD. 

Binance OTC’s minimum trade size is $10,000 worth of coins, with no fees charged. There is, however, a spread between buy and sell prices.

You can read my complete Binance review here.

Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a Hong Kong operated cryptocurrency exchange that has been in operation since late 2012.

For those who wish to trade major amounts ($100,000+) of cryptocurrency privately, Bitfinex provides an over-the-counter (OTC) trading facility. There are two ways to take advantage of the OTC desk:

  1. Access instant liquidity through Bitfinex’s OTC desk
  2. Trade directly with another Bitfinex user.

You can read my complete Bitfinex review here.

HitBTC

HitBTC, established in 2013 in the APAC region (although not clear exactly where), is a cryptocurrency exchange that supplies dedicated OTC services. The minimum trade for using OTC services is $100,000 and fees are 0.1% per trade.

HitBTC doesn’t manage the OTC service themselves, they “outsource” it to their partner Trustedvolumes.com.

The cryptocurrency community is somewhat skeptical towards HitBTC, and similar to Changelly, the company isn’t very transparent about their business.

You can read my complete HitBTC review here.

Athena Investor Services

Athena Investor Services (or AIS) launched in late 2017. It is a high-touch OTC cryptocurrency broker that allows people in the United States to buy and sell between $10,000 and $500,000 in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.

Payment is made via wire transfer, and the cryptocurrency is typically sent within a couple of hours, but can take up to 12 hours, depending on how long the user takes to complete the onboarding process.

SFOX

SFOX (San Francisco Open Exchange), headquartered in San Francisco, is a trading platform that supplies Bitcoin OTC services as well. It has received funding from top tier venture funds.

SFOX prides itself in its various trading algorithms that allow versatile trading strategies to be executed instantly. If you trade in volumes of over $10K you can get a discount on the algorithm fees as well.

The company sources over 20 exchanges, OTC brokers, and liquidity providers globally to the best price on Bitcoin possible.


3. Traditional Exchanges Suited for Large Transactions

If you want to use traditional automated and regulated Bitcoin exchanges to buy large amounts of Bitcoin, there are several exchanges that are suited for that purpose.

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro

Coinbase is one of the leading Bitcoin companies today. There are two options for you to buy large amounts of Bitcoins through Coinbase: One is Coinbase’s brokerage service and the other is Coinbase Pro (Coinbase’s trading platform). You can read my complete Coinbase review here.

Coinbase brokerage service

Coinbase’s brokerage service allows you to buy up to $25,000 Bitcoins per day, If you’re a fully verified member. Even though the price is very close to the market price, Coinbase will take 1% of these transactions which is relatively expensive.

Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro has no limits to how many Bitcoins you can purchase on the platform. When you place an order at the market price that gets filled immediately, you are considered a taker and will pay a fee between 0.04% and 0.50%.

If, however, you place an order which is not immediately matched by an existing order, you are considered a maker and your fee will be between 0.00% and 0.50%.

Bitstamp

Bitstamp, the oldest Bitcoin exchange around, currently has a relatively large trading volume. Fiat currency deposit fees are as low as 0.05%, and depending on your trading volume you will pay a transaction fee between 0.00%-0.50%.

If you are using SEPA or ACH to transfer your money, you won’t be charged any deposit fees. You can read my complete Bitstamp review here.

(On a personal note, I use this method to buy large amounts of coins)


4. Conclusion

Bitcoin is in its infancy and the options to buy large amounts of it are still somewhat limited. However, the services listed above will give you a more than fair solution for this situation.

Regulated trading platforms will give you a more automated process while Bitcoin OTC brokers will allow you to stay under the radar and create less price movements.

Once the trade is complete, make sure you have a safe place to store your newly bought Bitcoins, such as a hardware wallet or a paper wallet. You wouldn’t want all of this hard work to go to waste….

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tom jones
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tom jones

Coinbase pro charges a fee for both maker and taker. as your volume passes certain thresholds, the fees decrease, but in order to see a 0% maker fee you need to have traded 50m+ in the past 30 days. The fees start out at 0.50% for maker and taker, so it’s going to cost you some to even get to that 0% point…

Kumar
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Kumar

I have a question. I don’t want to receive a quote in my country’s currency. I want to receive the quote in USD. I also want to view the chart they are offering me in USD. Which platform offers such a service? Does Coinbase offer such a setting?

Bryan
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Bryan

Very informative article!
I’d also like to add Changelly to your list.
Changelly is a non-custodial instant cryptocurrency exchange, which means that no users’ funds are placing in the service. Changelly acts as an intermediary between crypto exchanges and users, offering access to 140+ cryptocurrencies. The company mission is making the exchange process effortless for everyone who wants to invest in cryptocurrency. Operating since 2015, the platform and its mobile app attract over a million visitors monthly who enjoy high limits, fast transactions, and 24/7 live support.

Taxman
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Taxman

Problem with Coinbase is that you are limited to a cumulative $100,000 USD Deposits and Withdrawals combined for the entire year. So if you deposit 100K in one day or week, you would have to wait an entire year to withdraw money or deposit more. In other words the max amount you can with draw is lowered by the amount of deposits you have made. It’s a nickel and dime exchange for that reason. While you’re locked out of your cash the market can crash and it’s just too bad for you.

wallace hershberger
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wallace hershberger

I did a high volume buy with itbit for about 23 btc. They were quick to approve my account, answered verification questions and then sent me an email to that effect. I went into my bank and proceeded to do a wire transfer. Wire complete and about 6 hrs later( very nerve racking time frame) i got an email stating that my money had deposited. I tried to do a withdrawal , after waiting for about 4 hours and not seeing any broadcast to the blockchain, i checked my email and i got this message from itbit SEP 25, 2017… Read more »

Bart
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Bart

Hey Ofir, pretty extensive article. Setting up a fixed price in such high volume transaction is a huge plus that in my opinion outweighs the disadvantages. Saying so, it’s nice that you’ve listed some trusted exchanges. Great job and keep it up!

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