Selling some or all of your bitcoins is very similar to buying them – you can use the same resources to sell as well as to buy.
The most popular method for selling bitcoins currently is via Bitcoin exchanges. Some of these are well-known, others less so, but all fulfill the same purpose: to allow you to trade bitcoins for another digital currency or for fiat currency such as US dollars or euros. Different exchanges have different currency options available.
Using an exchange is straightforward as many are geared to making the trading process as intuitive as possible. Which exchange you use will depend on your country of residence and the currency you wish to convert to. For example, many exchanges offer US dollars, but only a few currently offer British pounds.
To sell bitcoins on an exchange, you transfer the desired amount from your wallet to an account which you set up on the exchange, perform a trade, then use the exchange’s funds transfer service to send the resulting currency to a bank account or elsewhere.
The best-known exchanges are efficient and secure, and charge minimal fees for processing your funds. However, as cybertheft is still a problem, you should never store your bitcoins in your exchange account. Only store bitcoins in a dedicated Bitcoin wallet – ideally an offline (cold storage) wallet.
It is also possible to use private agents to convert bitcoins to another currency. These are private individuals with sufficient liquidity to operate like an exchange. A website listing individuals by country, localbitcoins.com, is the main resource for this type of exchange.
Funds are sent to the individual’s Bitcoin wallet, and the individual then sends you the equivalent in the relevant currency.
Note that this practice is unregulated and a certain degree of trust is required in all situations. Agents listed on localbitcoins.com have feedback and other consumer aids, but there is nonetheless no guarantee that your transaction will be honored. For this reason, we advise you only to use such methods in an emergency, or if you have sufficient knowledge that the agent you are using is reliable.