Cryptocurrency, also known as virtual money or “crypto,” exists digitally on an online ledger called blockchain and provides an alternative to traditional currencies like the Canadian dollar that does not rely on one centralized entity for regulation.

However, many exchanges require their users to be at least 18 years old in order to comply with KYC (know your customer) regulations – making it more challenging for minors without parental supervision to purchase crypto without assistance from them.

1. Online exchanges

Crypto exchanges are online marketplaces where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ether. They typically offer various trading features such as margin accounts and futures trading, along with educational resources to help educate traders about their chosen market.

If you want to use a crypto exchange, you must be at least 18 years old. This age requirement serves to protect customers from fraud and money laundering as part of Know Your Customer (KYC) rules enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Most cryptocurrency exchanges require identity verification in order to protect their customers against being used for illegal activities, preventing underage buyers from using stolen credit cards or cash to purchase cryptocurrency. This step helps prevent unsuitable individuals from opening accounts with them and engaging in unlawful activity through these exchanges.

However, underage buyers still have other ways of accessing cryptocurrency without encountering these obstacles. If they have an adult sibling or parent over 18 who can help them buy cryptocurrency.

An alternative method would be to locate a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange that operates in your area, which enables you to buy crypto from local users more securely than online marketplaces.

These platforms typically feature escrow services to protect both buyer and seller against losing funds, as well as an easy system for comparing rates across users.

LocalBitcoins and Bisq are excellent peer-to-peer exchange platforms that make trading bitcoin easy and safe, without age requirements or official restrictions in place. You should familiarize yourself with your country’s legal environment before using one safely.

There are also online gift card exchanges that provide underage buyers with an avenue for exchanging their gift cards for cryptocurrency, providing an additional resource for underage crypto traders. Many of these platforms also feature a reputation rating system to aid new traders.

Investing in cryptocurrency as an underage individual may seem intimidating; a broker that offers custodial accounts for children could make the experience simpler for both you and your parents alike. Such platforms make setting up accounts easy while accepting numerous payment methods including PayPal and credit/debit cards.

2. ATMs

ATMs enable you to withdraw cash, deposit funds and make purchases with your bank account anytime and from anywhere – whether that be banks, groceries stores, convenience stores or shopping malls.

Over the years, ATM technology has advanced significantly. Modern machines feature numerous security features and are built to withstand harsh elements; some ATMs may offer only financial transactions or offer both financial transactions as well as services like printing receipts simultaneously.

To use an ATM, insert either your debit or credit card into the slot and choose which transaction type you would like to perform. The machine will read your card, authenticate you with a PIN number and transfer the information directly into your bank account.

Most ATMs today are EMV-enabled, meaning they accept cards with embedded chips that help validate customer identities by storing a PIN into a chip similar to bar code technology.

Some older ATMs are still operating with versions of Windows XP, a legacy operating system discontinued by Microsoft in 2014. But an increasing trend toward using J/XFS – a Java implementation of CEN XFS API – is emerging.

ATM developers have found using “off-the-shelf” operating systems and programming environments has helped reduce the complexity of creating custom software applications written using high-end proprietary languages like C, RMX or OS/2.

ATMs have increasingly transitioned toward commodity PC hardware. This enables these ATMs to run standard, commercial “off-the-shelf” software applications such as Microsoft or Sun Microsystems’ Java OS; such apps may also run on other types of devices.

While ATMs can be invaluable tools in daily tasks, they’re also vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacking attempts. To prevent such breaches from occurring, physical barriers such as reinforced steel walls and other security measures are usually placed around them as additional defense.

When looking for an ATM, if you want to ensure the safety of yourself and others when using one, the best choice would be a well-lit public location with video monitoring – this can help protect against identity theft as well as other crimes from occurring at an ATM.

3. Using your sibling or parent

Teenagers’ interest in cryptocurrency can lead them to explore ways of buying it on their own, which could prove costly as they might lack sufficient understanding of the cryptocurrency market and could lose money as a result. Therefore, adult guidance through this process and teaching how to handle their funds would likely prove invaluable.

Siblings or parents can purchase cryptocurrency on behalf of children under 18 using custodial accounts, which are brokerage accounts opened solely for the child and legally belong to them. Once they turn 18, however, their child can open their own crypto wallet and transfer your purchases – however this involves tax implications as well as taking great care with protecting their seed phrase wallet.

Parents purchasing cryptocurrency for their children must ensure they select an exchange that offers custodial accounts and is fully regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They should also assess if it has FDIC insurance, meaning that it must meet certain government standards of transparency and reliability.

Teenagers can invest indirectly through cryptocurrency-related stocks, ETFs or mutual funds that utilize blockchain technology – this way their value will remain tied to that of cryptocurrency markets.

Parents looking to assist their children invest in cryptocurrency can also open a joint account, enabling you to deposit cash or assets on behalf of your child into it and assume control of those funds when they turn 18. From then onwards, this money can be used for any purpose including cryptocurrency investments.

Parents can use crypto investing as an excellent way to introduce their children to investing, while building their portfolio simultaneously. If your child shows an interest in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds this is an excellent opportunity to introduce them to crypto investment while building their portfolio simultaneously.

4. Buying gift cards

If you’re under 18, buying crypto can be done several ways. One such way is via an online exchange where an account can be created and cryptocurrency purchases and sales started immediately.

Younger individuals can find purchasing cryptocurrency a bit challenging. Many exchanges impose an age restriction or require other proofs of identity before buying cryptocurrency on them, making this purchase challenging as they may require photo identification or proof of identification as proof of purchase – meaning you will likely need another means of purchasing crypto as a minor.

Find someone willing to buy bitcoins from you in exchange for fiat currency can be tricky and risky; take extra precaution when doing this as both your money and seller’s reputation may be at stake.

Search social media to locate someone willing to sell bitcoins near your location; this may be more convenient, though be wary about both the transaction itself and seller reputation.

As well, you can purchase bitcoins on eBay and Paypal; or purchase a cryptocurrency exchange wallet on behalf of your child. While these options may be more complicated to use, they still provide an easy way for people under 18 to purchase cryptocurrency without hassle.

Multi-signature wallets offer an easier and safer method for purchasing cryptocurrency for your child, as they require two or more private keys to sign and send transactions.

Your child can gain more control of their funds and the security of their wallet with these multilingual wallets that are simple to setup.

Paxful, Localbitcoins and Solidi are some online gift card exchanges that enable minors to purchase cryptocurrency without revealing their age.