Buying bitcoin from Norway has become considerably easier over the past 2-3 years. Foreigners residing within the country can use Norway’s BankID app to verify their ID, although with certain requirements.
In this piece we take a closer look at the following:
- Where to buy bitcoin in Norway
- How to verify your ID
- how to buy bitcoin in Norway
- General information about the Norwegian market
1. Decide where to purchase bitcoin
eToro is the easiest way to buy bitcoin from Norway. The company is registered with the national regulator, called Finanstilsynet.
- You’re allowed to buy bitcoin for up to 20.000 Norwegian Kroners (NOK) before you have to verify your ID. Trades however are settled in USD, GBP or EUR.
- Only exchange that allows for purchases with both PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and normal bank transfers.
- Extremely liquid. Some other Norwegian markets are plagued by large spreads between the best buy/sell offers on bitcoin.
1% (with spread)
Online banking, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Skrill etc.
Domestic bank transfer, Visa
Trade for up to $2.000 before you verify your ID
Requires verification with BankID or Vipps
Alternative two is Firi, a domestic exchange that only operates within Norway, for now.
Disclaimer: Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. No EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk.
2. Verify your ID before buying bitcoin
Unless you’re visiting the country on a tourist visa, your immigration status should have little impact on your ability to buy bitcoin in Norway.
There are two main ways of verifying yourself:
- BankID: Norway utilizes the BankID verification system, which is run by a consortium of banks. It allows you to verify your identity online, which in turn lets you buy bitcoin from Norway in less than 24 hours.
- Scan documents: Verify your identity and address by scanning either your driver’s license and passport, along with a utility bill or bank statement.
In order to obtain a BankID, you’ll either need Norway’s equivalent of a social security number, called “personnummer” or a D-number. The latter is an ID number issued to foreigners living in Norway on a visa. You may read more about this here.
To summarize: If you have a “personnummer” (personal number), or an immigrant identification number, you’re able to obtain the BankID chip. Foreign students may not qualify though, depending on what visa they’re using to enter the country.
Applying for a social security number or D-number can be a lengthy process. So if you wish to buy bitcoin from Norway immediately, it may be better to go with the paper verification method. Only eToro allows for this option.
3. Buy bitcoin
By now, you’ve picked a platform, and you’re ready to buy bitcoin from Norway. Here’s how you go about it.
By far the easiest alternative. For one they let you buy bitcoin in Norway almost immediately, after you’ve registered an account. You won’t need to verify your account until you’ve traded for at least 2.000 USD.
Opening an account requires you to do the following:
- Register your email, with a password
- Respond to a list of questions about your trading experience, and whether you understand the risks (they’re legally obligated to ask this).
- Deposit funds: The quickest alternative is to use PayPal or a credit card. You may also use traditional bank deposits through SEPA (Single European Payment Area).
- Once you’ve got funds in your account, navigate over to the desired market and buy bitcoin.
The main advantages of this platform is that they let foreigners buy bitcoin from Norway, even if they don’t have a BankID. Furthermore, they list prices in international currencies, including USD, GBP and EUR.
Spreads are much lower, and you’ll end up paying about 0.75% total per trade.
Norwegian platform: Firi
Firi is a domestic exchange, started by a group of Norwegian entrepeneurs back in 2019. Per 2022, it’s also the largest crypto exchange in Norway with a little over 40,000 customers. It has handled total trade volumes in excess of NOK 1,1 billion since it started, which equals about 110 million USD.
The platform is neat and easy to use. The main downside is that they only offer a very limited amount of cryptocurrencies. Currently that equates to 8 pairs, including the stablecoin, DAO.
The registration process is very simple, long as you’ve got a BankID on hand:
- Use either BankID or VIPPS to verify your identity on the platform. You will also get a welcome bonus up to 200 kroner when you register, deposit and download their app. It includes an immediate payout of 55 kroners worth of bitcoin, which is about 6 USD.
- Once you have registered as a customer (which usually takes a few minutes) you’ll need to deposit funds. Firi supports VISA deposits, as well as bank transfer. From our experience, bank deposits will take anywhere from 1-3 days, depending on which day of the week you send the funds.
- The final step is to buy bitcoin. Navigate to the market NOK/BTC and place your order. Decide whether you wish to use a limit or market order. The one thing to note about buying bitcoin in the Norwegian market, is that trades pegged to NOK/BTC tend to have a rather large spread. That means there is a wide gap between the best buy and sell price. Although Firi’s fee is 0,5%, it may go as high as 1,5% when accounting for the spread.
In addition to exchanges, there are a few other ways to buy bitcoin in Norway, such as peer-to-peer services. Examples include LocalBitcoins, Kameo Norway, Monio, Perx, etc. The main disadvantage is that the prices are rather terrible with high exchange fees and large spreads. Sometimes you also have to wait for a decent offer to appear.
Buying bitcoin from Norway through these platforms has become way less popular in recent years. Main reason is that Norway’s financial authority implemented new requirements, stating that any P2P seller has to register for a money transmitter license. In return, most sellers stopped selling overnight. Those who remain are mostly criminals, or the limited amount of entities that abide by the laws.
Another issue with P2P platforms, is their inferior alternatives of payment. Where exchanges usually offer card payment, bank transfers and Paypal, P2P usually only support 1-2 alternatives.
Always remember that cryptocurrency investments are not regulated on the EU level. Hence, there is no specific consumer protection for cross-border trades with P2P. Whether you plan on buying bitcoin in Norway, or another country – We recommend that you always use a regulated service/exchange.
Fees for buying bitcoin in Norway
When buying bitcoin in Norway, you can expect to pay fees. Based on our research, the standard bitcoin purchase commission rate is about 0.5%. An additional market order fee is charged when you buy Bitcoin at the “first and best” price available.
There is no “market order fee” per se. The reason you pay extra is that domestic exchanges have a rather large spread between the best buy and sell prices for bitcoin. That’s due to a lack of supply. In other words, not enough market makers leads to larger gaps between the buyers and sellers.
In turn, this means that you should always use a limit price when you buy bitcoin in Norway. Set the price you want to pay beforehand, to avoid the extra surcharge of spreads.
According to publicly available statistics, over 420,000 Norwegians now own cryptocurrencies. Two-thirds of those who invest in cryptocurrency own bitcoin. Since the beginning of 2022, the value of bitcoin has declined considerably. As of the moment of writing this article, the price of Bitcoin has already decreased by 46.8%.
However, some “bulls” predict the currency could jump to as much as $200 000, within the next decade. This is significantly higher than the peak price of Bitcoin, which was around $69 000 last time. Like any other cryptocurrency, buying bitcoin from Norway comes with the risk of volatility. In fact, it’s quite risky if you consider it a short-term investment.
However, if you seek to invest with a longer term perspective, now may be the best time to give it a shot.
Risk warning: Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short time frame and, therefore, are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and, therefore, is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.