bitcoin switzerland buy spend guide
Investing & Retirement

How to Buy Bitcoin in Switzerland

January 18, 2024 - Daniel Dreier

Get informed about how to buy actual bitcoin in Switzerland, and compare the costs of Swiss bitcoin service providers.

Switzerland has long been a leader in banking, finance, and the use of alternative currencies. It is not surprising then that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are also widely available to the general public. In addition to investing in bitcoin derivatives like bitcoin ETFs, it is also possible to buy actual bitcoin. In this guide, moneyland.ch compares the fees charged by Swiss bitcoin service providers for direct purchases of bitcoin.

Which fees and charges apply when you buy bitcoin?

  • Currency exchange markups: If the bitcoin service provider adds markups to the bitcoin spot price when exchanging Swiss francs into bitcoin, those markups can add a substantial cost to the transaction. This is especially relevant when you buy larger amounts of bitcoin. Every service provider has its own currency exchange rate, and rates can change at any time, so comparing is key.
  • Service fees: Bitcoin providers charge a brokerage fee when you buy bitcoin through their platform. These brokerage fees vary broadly between service providers, as shown in Table 1 and Table 2.
  • Withdrawal fees: In order to use bitcoin to make payments, you have to transfer it to your personal bitcoin wallet. Some Swiss service providers charge you a fee when you transfer bitcoin from the online platform to your personal wallet. The fees charge to withdraw bitcoin from the service provider’s platform and transfer it to your wallet are shown in table 2.
  • Bitcoin network fees (mining fees): This cost applies when you transfer bitcoin from one wallet to another (from a paper wallet or an online bitcoin service provider to your personal wallet, for example). This fee is charged by the bitcoin network – not by bitcoin service providers. Typically, the mining fee ranges between 0.50 and 5 Swiss francs, but they can also be much higher than that depending on how busy the bitcoin network is. Additionally, the cost of mining fees in Swiss francs fluctuates along with the exchange rate, because mining fees are charged in bitcoin.

How can I buy bitcoin offline in Switzerland?

You can buy bitcoin from special bitcoin ATMs and from the ticket vending machines of the Swiss federal railways (SBB/CFF). Some bitcoin service providers also have partnerships with stores so that you can buy bitcoin at these outlets. Buying bitcoin offline is easy. You can pay for the bitcoin in cash, and often by debit card as well, without having to first open an account with a bitcoin service provider. When you purchase bitcoin at a store or vending machine, you get a QR code (on a paper wallet, for example) that lets you access an automatically-generated bitcoin wallet that contains the bitcoin you bought. You can then transfer the bitcoin to your personal bitcoin wallet.

The disadvantage of buying bitcoin at brick-and-mortar locations, compared to buying it online, is that the fees are much higher, and the exchange rates used are often much less favorable.

Table 1: Swiss service providers for buying bitcoin offline

Service provider Can I pay in
Swiss francs?
Limits for bitcoin
purchases
Fees
Bity ATMs Yes, in cash.
Euros also accepted.
CHF 1000 per 30 days.
Higher limits with
registration.

CHF 2, plus 3.5% to 9.5%,
depending on which ATM you use.

Cryptonow cards
(Värdex)
Yes, at the post office,
at Coop, in stores from
the Valora Group
(including K Kiosks),
and at some other
Swiss stores.
CHF 1000 per 30 days. 9.9% plus CHF 1 activation fee.
SBB/CFF ticket
vending machines
(Sweepay)
Yes, in cash. Debit
cards are also accepted.
CHF 500 per day. 14.3% to 7.6%, depending on
the amount you buy.
Start2coin cards
(Sweepay/Tangem)
Yes, in stores from the
Valora Group (including
K Kiosks).
CHF 1000 per 30 days. One-time fee for the card: CHF 29.90.
Transaction fees unknown.
Tibc ATMs Yes, in cash.
Euros also accepted.
CHF 1000 per 30 days.
Higher limits with
registration.
Fees vary between ATMs.
Värdex ATMs Yes, in cash.
Euros also accepted.
For purchases at partner
stores:
Debit cards also accepted.
CHF 1000 per 30 days.
Higher limits with a
Värdex account.
CHF 1 plus 6.4% to 10%, depending
on which ATM you use.
Zeus ATMs Yes, in cash. CHF 1000 per 30 days. 6% to 10%.

Note: All of the Swiss service providers listed in Table 1 are regulated by a Swiss self-regulatory organization (SRO) and registered with FINMA.

You can find the locations of Swiss bitcoin ATMs from Bity, Tibc, and Värdex on Coinatmradar.com. The locations of SBB/CFF ticket vending machines are shown on the SBB/CFF website. Overviews of vending machine locations are also typically available on the websites of service providers.

How can I buy bitcoin online in Switzerland?

You can also buy bitcoin from online cryptocurrency platforms. There are many Swiss online bitcoin service providers, including one licensed bank (Swissquote). The fees are generally much lower than those charged by Swiss offline bitcoin service providers. The disadvantage is that most online service providers require you to open an account with them in order to transfer money from your bank account and buy bitcoin. The account-opening process takes some time and effort.

The table below shows you which Swiss service providers you can use to buy bitcoin online. Be aware that the bitcoin exchange rates can vary broadly between service providers. In addition to comparing the fees charged, it is beneficial to compare the exchange rates as well.

Table 2: Swiss service providers for buying bitcoin online

Service provider Bank license Can I pay in
Swiss francs?
Fees for
buying bitcoin *
Fees for transferring
bitcoin to your
personal wallet *
Bitcoin Suisse
(Minimum account
balance:
CHF 100,000)
No Yes, by bank transfer. 0.95% CHF 50
Bity No Yes, by bank transfer
(verified customers can
also pay with Visa or
Mastercard)
0.8% (1.2% for
non-verified users)
None
DFX No Yes, by bank transfer. 0.99% None
Lykke No Yes, by bank transfer. None BTC 0.00025
Mt Pelerin
(Bridge)
No Yes, by bank transfer.
Card payments accepted
with an additional fee of
between 2.5% and 3.4%.
No fee for purchases
of up to CHF 500 per year.
For purchases in excess
of CHF 500 per year:
0.9% to 1.3%, depending
on the amount you buy.
Lower fees for holders of
Mt Pelerin tokens.
None
Pocket No Yes, by bank transfer. 1.5% None
Relai No Yes, by bank transfer.
Card payments accepted
with an additional fee of
between 1.5% and 3%.
2% to 2.5%, depending
on the amount you buy.
None
Smart Valor

No

Yes

1.29% to 8.9%, depending
on the amount you buy.

BTC 0.0005

Swissborg No Yes, by bank transfer.
Card payments accepted
with an additional fee
of 2.25%.
1.49%. Lower fees for
holders of Swissborg
tokens.
BTC 0.00035 to
BTC 0.0026
Swissquote Yes No. Bitcoin can only be
purchased with EUR or
USD.
You can load your
Swissquote account
with CHF by bank
transfer. Card payments
accepted with an
additional fee of 1.9%.
0.5% to 1%, depending
on how much you buy
USD 10

* The mining fees charged by the bitcoin network are not accounted for. Mining fees typically apply in addition to the fees charged by the service provider.
Note: With the exceptions of Swissborg, all of the Swiss bitcoin service providers listed in Table 2 are regulated by a Swiss self-regulatory organization (SRO) and registered with FINMA.

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Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at moneyland.ch.
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