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How do you cash out bitcoin?

Whether you're a newly minted crypto millionaire or just want to get out before you lose any more, the process to cash out bitcoin is the same. In general, you follow the opposite steps you took when buying bitcoin, and there may be a few more clicks involved than when purchasing.

The main steps when cashing out cryptocurrency are:

  1. Exchange your cryptocurrency for your local currency.
  2. Transfer funds from your cryptocurrency account to your bank account.

If you have funds held in any cryptocurrency wallet that's not connected to an exchange, you may have to transfer your cryptocurrency to exchange before you start with step one. (Or sell by direct trade or other methods.)

When transferring crypto between wallets, take extreme care that your receiving address is 100% accurate. If you send to the wrong address or an incompatible wallet, your funds will likely be gone for good.

More: What is a Centralized Exchange (CEX?)

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Cashing out bitcoin on crypto exchanges

Each exchange has a slightly different process for selling your cryptocurrency and cashing out. Here is the process for several top exchanges.

How to cash out bitcoin on Coinbase

At Coinbase (or Coinbase Pro), start by selling your crypto for U.S. dollars.  This is the process:

  1. You do this by clicking on the “Buy/Sell” button on your web browser or the Coinbase mobile app.
  2. Next select the sell option and set the amount you want to sell.
  3. Then click the button to preview your sale and the final “sell now” button to confirm.

There may be a short processing time to complete your transaction before you can withdraw. Also, if you made deposits recently, there may be a holding period for your deposit to clear before you can withdraw.

When your funds are eligible to withdraw, open your USD wallet to initiate the withdrawal. Transfers to your bank account via ACH (electronic funds transfer) are free with Coinbase.

How to cash out bitcoin on Robinhood

It's easy to cash out Bitcoin on Robinhood. All you have to do is go to the currency's Detail page, hit Trade, and then Sell in the order window. From there, you head to your Account page, which will give you an option to transfer funds to your bank.

In the past, cashing out Bitcoin on Robinhood was required if you wanted to move your funds to a different cryptocurrency platform. Until recently clients were unable to transfer digital assets to external crypto wallets. However, with the beta launch of their Robinhood Wallet, Robinhood is catching up to the competition.

How to cash out bitcoin on Crypto.com

Anyone following the cryptocurrency market meltdown will likely have come across Crypto.com in ongoing news headlines. The high-profile cryptocurrency exchange has taken a big revenue hit during this latest downturn and recently laid off about 5% of its workforce.

Users who are considering cashing out their crypto can do so through the Crypto.com App. In order to cash out, you'll need to have a USD Fiat Wallet. You'll be able to sell or convert your crypto into fiat and withdraw via ACH transfer to your bank account.

How to cash out bitcoin on Gemini

Users of the Gemini exchange follow a similar set of steps to sell their bitcoin, ethereum and other holdings for U.S. dollars. Once your sale is complete, head to the withdrawal page.

To initiate your cash-out to the bank, choose the currency (USD) from the dropdown list and select your bank account as the destination. Then enter the amount and click the button to review and send your funds.

How to cash out bitcoin on Bitstamp

Bitstamp offers a slightly different process when using the mobile app compared to the web version. In either case, you start by selling your currency for USD.

If you're on the web, navigate to the withdrawal page to complete your withdrawal. In the mobile app, click on the “wallet” button to open your USD wallet. Then click the withdrawal button. Enter the amount and select your bank account. Finally, review and confirm.

How to cash out bitcoin on Bittrex

When using Bittrex, start by selling your crypto and ensuring your funds are eligible for transfer. Two-factor authentication is required to complete the withdrawal, so you have to set that up if you haven't already.

On the web, head to the holdings page and click the button to withdraw from your USD wallet. Verify your linked bank account, choose your amount and click the button to deposit the funds into your bank.

In the mobile app, go to the holdings page and choose USD. Then tap the withdraw button. Enter the amount, select your account and confirm. Finally, enter your two-factor authentication details and your cash is on the way to your bank.

Cashing out bitcoin on payment apps

When using a peer-to-peer payment platform like PayPal, cashing out is very similar to a crypto exchange.

How to cash out bitcoin on PayPal

On PayPal, start by going to the “Your Crypto” section and sell your holdings. When selling, your bitcoin instantly converts to USD. From there, you go through the standard PayPal withdrawal process for a bank account. If you're selling for the first time, confirm your tax details.

PayPal gives you several withdrawal options. These include a paid option for faster transfer times, a linked debit card or a check in the mail. An ACH transfer is the quickest way to get your cash with no added fees.

How to cash out bitcoin on Cash app

The Cash app offers a straightforward process to sell your bitcoin and cash out. To sell, open the investing tab and tap on Bitcoin. Then click the sell button and follow the prompts.

To cash out your account, tap on the balance tab and press the cash out button. Then enter the amount and make sure your account is correct. You can choose to pay more for a faster deposit time or you can use an ACH transfer free.

How to cash out bitcoin on Skrill

With Skrill you start by going to the cryptocurrency section where you buy and sell. Skrill partners with external crypto exchanges to convert your bitcoin into your local currency. Once the transaction clears, you head to the section to withdraw.

Click the withdraw button and then “withdraw now” under bank account. Then follow the prompts. You have to withdraw at least $10 at a time. Most transfers complete in two to five business days.

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Cashing out at bitcoin ATMs

If you're on-the-go, a simple way to cash out your Bitcoin is by stopping into an ATM. While they're not nearly as common as traditional bank ATMs, Bitcoin ATMs (BATMs) are slowly popping up in various retailers, airports, convenience stores and malls in most major cities. And while they operate similarly to a regular ATM — that is, scan a code, check your balance, receive cash — there are some crucial differences.

For one, not all BATMs allow you to purchase bitcoin and sell your bitcoin for cash, so you'll need to find one that does. Secondly, BATMs are nowhere near as quick as a traditional ATM: The time it takes to process and complete your transaction largely depends on traffic volume on the blockchain.

If you do happen to find a two-way Bitcoin ATM, generally the process of cashing out is the same: Instead of a bank card, you'll be prompted to scan your wallet QR code. You can then input how much Bitcoin you'd like to withdraw, based on your available balance. The BATM will display how much cash you'll receive, and once the transaction is completed on the blockchain network, you can collect and go.

Can you cash out bitcoin without paying taxes?

Cryptocurrency is taxed in the U.S. like any other investment, such as investing in stocks or bonds. So if you sell your Bitcoin at a loss, you want owe any taxes. But if you earned a profit, you can bet Uncle Sam (or your local government) will want a slice.

Cryptocurrency taxation in the U.S.

If you sell cryptocurrency in the U.S., the transactions may or may not be reported to the IRS. However, if you submitted tax information when creating your account, assume your profits will be reported to the IRS.

Even if your earnings are not reported, it's your responsibility to track and report your profits on your tax return. There are plenty of apps, mostly paid, that help you track every crypto transaction to generate accurate tax information.

More: Tax guide to cryptocurrency investments

Cryptocurrency taxation outside the U.S.

Outside of the U.S., your transactions may or may not be reported to your local government, depending on the regulations where you live. Unfortunately, we don't have room to cover every country here, so check your national taxation authority's website to learn more.

Here are links for Canada, the UK and Australia.

How to cash bitcoin out safely and avoid scams

As with any other asset, there are plenty of digital criminals waiting for a chance to steal your currency. When using crypto, work only with trustworthy, large exchanges with strong policies and security to protect users and their assets. And withdraw only to a linked bank account that you own and connect yourself. Never hand over your passwords or account details to anyone. Ever. Consider using VPN or identity protection services, such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

The bottom line

If you use common sense and follow strong security best practices, you should have no problem cashing out your Bitcoin or other crypto to your bank account. Cashing out takes only a few minutes. But always pay close attention so your transfer works as expected.

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Eric Rosenberg Freelance Contributor

Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full time.

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