Buying BTC using CHF

Hi forum,

I’ve been a lurker so far but have already learned a lot from reading this forum. I’m currently 100% invested in VTI+VXUS at IB. I’m considering putting a small percentage of my net worth into BTC as a hedge against galloping inflation.

I’m wondering what in people’s experience is the best option for buying BTC as a Swiss resident with a CHF income. I assume that we’re looking to “invest” a few thousands to tens of thousands into BTC. Some options I’ve considered:

The easy, Swiss option: Swissquote. Fees are 1% up to 10k, and 0.75% up to 50k. Also, you can only trade BTC with a USD or EUR account, not with a CHF account. I didn’t quickly find the costs of currency conversion at Swissquote, so presumably they are high, and the costs will approximately double.

Binance is praised as a popular, low-cost crypto exchange. Indeed, crypto-to-crypto transactions cost at most 0.1%. But buying BTC with fiat currency apparently costs at least 2.5% (?!) (see, and that’s before paying my credit card provider’s CHF-to-USD fees.

At IB, I can convert CHF into USD for ridiculously low fees of 0.2bp (yes, that’s 0.002%). I was hoping to convert at IB, then use the USD to fund my account at some crypto exchange, but it’s not clear to me whether that works. When I try to start a cash withdrawal at IB and indicate that the funds will not go to my private bank account (but to the crypto exchange), I learn that this needs to get approved, and I don’t know how much of a hassle this will be.

At Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange, I can apparently directly use CHF to buy BTC, allowing me to save the FX fees (not 100% sure whether that’s true). The trading fees are 1.49% for customers from “Europe” (who knows whether that includes Switzerland), so surprisingly higher than at Swissquote.

I’ve neglected spread costs because I don’t know how they compare between the different exchanges.

So, what’s the Mustachian way of using CHF to buy BTC in 2019?


The mustachian way is to ignore crypto “assets”.


Hi Zumsel, I am also invested in VTI + VXUS, cheers that we have the same strategy!

I currently own some BTC & ETH. I bought for 10’000 EUR, but the current value is around 6’000.

The way I bought it (not necassarily the best, but that’s how I did it) was:

  1. Send CHF to Revolut (free)
  2. Exchange CHF to EUR at Revolut (almost free)
  3. Send EUR to Coinbase (free)
  4. Buy BTC & ETH at Coinbase (0.5% extra spread over market rate)
  5. Transfer BTC & ETH to Ledger Nano S

Ad 3: I have not heard about the possibility to buy BTC using CHF. There surely is no CHF-BTC market, is there? I only know of USD & EUR markets. So Coinbase would be doing the currency exchange for you, the question is at what rate? Edit: I see that they charge 1.49% for this, but still don’t know what rate they take.

Ad 4: If you use Coinbase Pro, the spread is gone, you have access to the actual market. I was considering doing this, but then I thought I’d rather just be done with it and do something else.

Ad 5: Sure, you can use Swissquote or even Revolut to buy Crypto, but if you already go through the hassle of playing with crypto, you might as well buy a physical wallet and learn how to use it. I admit it’s not super convenient. But if you bought gold, would you go for gold certificate or physical gold? The charm of crypto is that you can keep it outside of the system.

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This is good advice too. I am constantly battling with cryptos in my head. It’s true that investing in cryptos is purely for speculative reasons. They do not produce anything. So they should be ignored by mustachians.

But I decided to buy some, just a little, as a vote of no confidence for the fiat currencies in the World. I don’t like that they are under the control of central banks that artificially lower interest rates.

Did buy some BTC with Swissquote. Had in the past also some BTC with Coinbase and saved it on my ledger. But don`t have always a good and secure feeling with that (especially keep this long term). So decided to buy it with a bank. The SQ fees are around 0,5-1,0%.

I do the same… the only change is I that I go to Coinbase Pro. The funds sent to Coinbase are available in CoinPro automatically… There is a better price for crypto in the pro version (and you can control the price you want to pay, STL, Limit order, etc.) and… also sending back the BTC to your ledger is cheaper in Pro! A good explanation is here:

I have 5kEuros in BTC, LTC, XRP and ETH… just in case everybody became crazy about buying crypto and we can become rich!! HAHAHA… Don’t believe but…just in case :wink:


Thanks for the advice everyone!

I was going to do the transactions at Coinbase Pro, but just when I was about to send my EUR there, they increased their trading fees which are now 0.50% in the lowest tier. So I went for liquid, where fees are 0.10%. My limited experience with liquid so far was very positive:

  • Nice, minimalistic interface.
  • When transferring my EUR, I stupidly forgot to include the reason for payment at Revolut. Their customer service was very responsive.
  • Easy lending of BTC which allows you to earn a few percents per year on your holdings.

As for exchanging the CHF into EUR, I used my free GBP 5000 worth of currency exchange at Revolut, exchanged the rest at IB, sent the EUR from IB to my Revolut EUR account and then from there to liquid. Caution: after doing the currency exchange at IB, the exchanged currency is locked at IB for 5 days. TBH, I’m not sure the saved fees were worth the hassle. It might have been easier to just exchange everything at Revolut.

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I have been selling my BTC for fiat lately (not because I don’t believe BTC will go up again, but to reduce risk and rebalance my crypto/fiat holdings). I am doing it on Kraken, selling for EUR and sending it to my bank account (SEPA transfer), and then to IB. I have had no problems with Kraken so far. Another reliable exchange is Bittrex, but I have only used them for crypto to crypto trading, and also they don’t have EUR, only USD.
With the daily volatility of crypto, I wouldn’t worry so much if the fee is 0.1 or 0.5%, more problematic is finding a brokerage or bank that doesn’t complain about transactions to/from crypto exchanges. I have heard that Revolut and TransferWise don’t accept such, but since you say you use Revolut maybe it is for incoming only.

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I’d like to share with you another option… I have an account in Bitwala that is a German bank (EU 100kE guaranty ) that works perfectly for:

  • Exchange Euros <-> Bitcoin
  • Having a real bank… with EU guaranties
  • Have a free Mastercard to expend the millions we are going to earn with the bitcoin :wink:

The downside… the BTC are “expensive” but sometimes I prefer to pay a bit more and have a complete bank in the back. The bank is SolarisBank, not Bitwala, BTW…

I am also a happy Kraken user since 2016. Getting money in and out (mostly out) always worked with out any problems.

Really nobody worried, that the crypto trading platform are constantly a high value target for hacking? There is a really long history about this starting with Mt. Gox and newer with Binance and Bitfinex.

If you are worried, keep your BTC outside of the exchange in a cold wallet.

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Yeah don’t keep that stuff on the exchange unless you want to trade. Exchanges come and go, kraken has been pretty reliable though.

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hello everyone,

As a lot of you, I used Coinbase Pro, I liked it and had no problems. But then they increased their fees a lot and right now I don’t know if it’s still worth. I don’t know any other exchange that I can buy from Europe. I’ve heard about some of them and did a quick research but you can’t see much without registering sending all your data, etc.

So to avoid that, I come to ask, is there a better and cheaper and still safe way to buy BTC in Europe that’s not Coinbase Pro? I don’t mind a lot about KYC because I know it’s hard to avoid that.

thanks and regards

About a year ago I used Bitstamp. I don’t really know if it’s cheaper than Coinbase Pro right now. But kyc/transferring money/buying btc/withdrawal has always been a smooth experience for me.

Has anyone here used Lykke? What does their pricing look like? I would imagine that you would get a good CHF/BTC rate since it is a Swiss or semi-Swiss company, but I’ve never used it so don’t know.

When it comes to money I think the cost must not be an issue

What people should look for is security and service and as far as security and service is concerned Coinbase tops the list.

Regards, 9apps cartoon hd

Occassionally you get good deals on bitcoin through Localbitcoins buying directly from private individuals an paying by bank transfer or cash. It’s kind of a hit and miss, because some people have unrealistic price expectations. But you also get folks who need cash or get scared when the price falls and will sell below market rates.

This comes with a considerable risk to becoming involved in a money laundering net.

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Possibly, although from my experience it was either bitcoin enthusiasts who wanted to onboard new bitcoiners, or highway robbers hoping to profit off dumb people and the bitcoin hype. I just noticed that Localbitcoins has changed a lot since I last used it, and activity (and competitive pricing) seem to have gone down.

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