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Cryptopay Review & Guide 2018
The last few years have seen the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies – decentralized, blockchain technology-based currency and payment solutions – but the technology still seems out of reach or obtuse for most users. Even though some services and providers have done an admirable job of making the concepts easier to understand, it is still difficult to purchase, store, exchange, and hold multiple currencies of bitcoins in a way that allows for easy conversion into traditional real-world fiat currencies, and vice versa.
Payment also remains a problem. While some merchants have started accepting payment with the most populous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, it is still very hit or miss in most cases for consumers. What is needed is something to bridge the gap between digital currencies and conventional assets. Like Cryptopay, which seeks to do just that.
Cryptopay, founded in 2013, is a cryptocurrency services company. They are primarily concerned with providing users solutions to purchase, store, and use Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ripple, and provide interoperability to do so with traditional banks, ATMs, and bank cards. Ethereum support is also promised to be added soon. They also recently started offering interest-free loans, exchanging Bitcoins for real-world currency with the Bitcoins being collateral for the loan.
What is Cryptopay?
Cryptopay, unlike many cryptocurrency projects, is not a coin or currency itself. While they did have an ICO recently (October 2017) for a utility token (more on that later), it is not designed as a currency system. Rather, it is a collection of services aimed at making cryptocurrencies easier to use, easier to exchange, easier to store, and easier to hold in fiat form, protecting from cryptocurrency value fluctuations. In addition to several other services offered, Cryptopay is focused on letting users pay with cryptocurrencies by providing a front-end Cryptopay debit card tied to their accounts.
While Cryptopay is based in Europe, and the full-service offering is geared toward European customers, the majority of their services are usable by anyone from around the globe – the notable exception being linkage to traditional bank accounts is limited at present to residents of SEPA-participating countries (mostly the Eurozone), which include (with a few regional exceptions): Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Norway, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, United Kingdom & Northern Ireland, Iceland, Monaco, San Marino, and Switzerland.
It should be noted especially that at present, the services are NOT available in the United States, due to current cryptocurrency financial regulations.
The company was founded in 2013 by finance and tech experts George Basiladze and Dmitry Gunyashov, who developed the concept and service of Cryptopay. In the intervening five years, the company has grown significantly, and now boasts nearly a million active users around the globe. Let’s take a closer look at some of the services offered by Cryptopay, which include:
Cryptopay Bitcoin Wallet
Allows users to buy, store, and send Bitcoins around the world, and keep them organized in a single location, backed by a FLEX account. The FLEX account allows conversion between the various bitcoin currencies and supported fiat currencies, such as USD, EUR, and GBP. Deposits and withdrawals to and from bank accounts in SEPA countries are entirely free. Cryptopay fees are quite low, at a fixed 1% for conversion to or from a cryptocurrency or fiat currency.
Allows companies to accept payments in Bitcoin from their customers.
Purchase Bitcoins with a credit or debit card
Unlike many exchanges that require payment through bank transfers, Paypal, or other means, Cryptopay users can purchase Bitcoins right through the app or website, using a regular credit or debit card.
Pre-Paid Cryptopay Debit Card
A pre-paid ATM/debit card is available, both in physical form and virtual form, that can be used to:
- Spend Bitcoins or fiat currencies anywhere that accepts debit card payments.
- Convert Bitcoin funds to fiat currencies and withdraw from any ATM.
- Make purchases in brick-and-mortar or online locations.
- Funding is linked to the Cryptopay wallet for easy management and transfer between USD, EUR, GBP, and BTC.
- Transparent fees and limits all listed on the site, depending on what currency of card users purchase.
- One of the newest features offered by Cryptopay is the ability to get fiat currency loans in exchange for Bitcoin collateral.
- There is no interest rate charged on these loans, and users retain ownership of their collateral.
- Loans are available instantly, and for up to 65% of the current trading price of Bitcoin collateral pledged.
The Cryptopay token ICO in October 2017 established a utility token (CPAY) that is used within the Cryptopay ecosystem to reward users and provide a revenue share from the use of the service. Additional uses for the token are planned for the future. The token is an ERC20 compatible ETH token and can be stored in any ETH wallet.
Trading on Cryptopay
Let’s look a bit deeper at some of the elements of Cryptopay, and some of the common questions or concerns that users have prior to using the service. Buying and Selling Information
First and foremost, it is important to note that, at present, Cryptopay wallet only supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, USD, GBP, and EUR. No other cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum) are currently supported, though the company has promised that Ethereum support is upcoming in the near future. That said, it is easy enough on the open exchange market to move between one cryptocurrency and another, meaning users can generally transit from Ethereum or other cryptocoins to Bitcoin/Litecoin/Ripple (collectively covered under the “Bitcoins” term throughout this article) with ease, and then store them (or convert to fiat currencies) within the Cryptopay wallet.
Bitcoins or fiat currency funding can be added to the wallet direct from a linked bank account (within the SEPA zone), or through traditional credit or debit card. These funds can then be used from the Cryptopay wallet for any of the services offered – backing the pre-paid debit card, purchasing/trading/exchanging Bitcoins, conversion to another currency in the FLEX account, etc.
All accounts start out with basic deposit limits for funds to purchase cryptocurrencies. When the limits are hit, the support team reviews the transaction histories on the account and raises the limits accordingly. This is done to prevent fraud and for financial security purposes. The initial limits for purchasing coins through Cryptopay are a minimum $10 USD/GBP/EUR deposit, a maximum daily deposit limit of $1,000, and a maximum monthly deposit limit of $5,000.
The Cryptopay fees are relatively straightforward, with the company charging 1% to convert to or from one of the supported cryptocurrencies and/or fiat currencies supported.
The only additional fees are fees for transactions to be expedited, known as a miner fee, usually charged in BTC. The fee goes to miners on the Bitcoin network and not the Cryptopay Company. There are also fees for the debit cards, including an initial issuing fee, ATM fees, and other fees, comparable to most credit or debit cards on the market. More details on these fees can be found on the company’s website.
In order to keep the service secure and free of fraud, most of the limitations on transactions, deposit and spending amounts for the debit card, etc. require verification of user identity. While many of the features of the service are available to unverified users, the full range of services (and requisite higher limits/number of transactions/etc.) are only available once verified.
Verification is a relatively simple process, however. It requires submitting an application for verification, which is reviewed by the company within a few days. Residents of a long list of countries (not just the SEPA zone but many others) can be verified. Users simply must submit high-quality images of a government-issued ID, proof of residency documents (such as utility bills), and a selfie with the verification documents in hand and visible. Then within a few days, the company will respond, either denying/approving or requiring additional information/new pictures (if for example there are issues with clarifying of images).
The biggest special feature of Cryptopay is the new and exciting loans option. Users can put up Bitcoin as collateral and receive fiat currency funds in their account. They do not need to give up ownership of the Bitcoin (it is simply collateral, as with a traditional loan based on, for example, a house as collateral). They can receive up to 65% of the current trading price of their Bitcoin, and there are no credit score or other requirements.
As this is a relatively new feature for Cryptopay, further details (such as limitations) are not yet available, but this is potentially a new application for cryptocurrencies that could stand to disrupt some of the traditional lending markets.
Is Cryptopay Safe?
Cryptopay is quite safe and secure, as measured by a number of different aspects of their operations. These include:
Community trust and reputation
Cryptopay has nearly 1 million active users of its services. Most have posted positive reviews. There is a small minority, however, who have had issues with the company, either in the verification process or surrounding the issuance of credit/debit cards. Initially, the company offered a credit-like card, but as of the beginning of 2018, their processor, Visa, changed their regulations and people had their funds frozen, though Cryptopay was quick to extract funds to users’ wallets.
New debit cards are only starting to be issued presently. Some users caught in the middle of this for the past few months have taken to message boards and review sites and complained. All of that said, the company has a 7.5/10 score on TrustPilot, so is considered relatively reliable and legitimate.
Security and encryption
The company uses industry-standard best-practices for the security and transactions between their wallets, cards, and users’ bank accounts. These methods include cold-storage, multi-signature, device identification, individual identity verification, and other requirements to meet SEPA compliance for linking bank accounts and similar.
An important area that is often overlooked when it comes to new and emerging technology companies is support. Support is available 24/7, and the website claims that initial responses take place within 5 minutes of consumer contacts. There is also an extensive helpdesk section on the website to provide self-help and FAQ-type service for users.
Transactions that involve Bitcoins are limited by the speed of the underlying protocols and networks. However, users can pay an additional mining fee to have their transactions expedited. Transactions off the blockchain, such as depositing funds from a bank account, typically take 1-2 days, about the same amount of posting time as most deposits and purchases take to clear globally.
How to Use Cryptopay?
Most of the features of Cryptopay are fairly simple to use, and there are handy guides in the support section of their website to provide step-by-step walkthroughs for newcomers. The main features – buying Bitcoin, converting to fiat currency to store, and withdrawing fiat currency – utilize processes that are outlined below. Please note that these are generalized overviews and may not include every step in the process – users should consult the helpdesk documents for more information.>
Depositing funds to Cryptopay account:
- Log into your account and click on the Deposit tab.
- For non-verified users, only supported Bitcoins (Bitcoin/Litecoin/Ripple) can be deposited. Verified users can deposit from bank accounts or cards.
- Choose the deposit type and fill out the required information.
- Funds will clear based on the timetables established by the service.
To buy Bitcoins:
- The easiest way is to click the “Buy Bitcoin” button from within the wallet. Users can also go to the Transfers tab of their account.
- The exchange interface allows the purchase of Bitcoin (and other supported coins), as well as transfer from one fiat currency to the other, all from the same location. Users simply select the starting currency, the desired ending currency or coin, input the amounts and execute.
- This is the same process used to convert Bitcoins to fiat currency prior to withdrawal.
To withdraw funds:
- Withdrawals to a SEPA bank account take 1-2 days to process.
- Users simply go to the Send Money tab of their account, and choose Bank Withdrawal, fill out the amounts and ensure it’s to their correct chosen account, and execute the transaction.
The debit card is a bit more complicated than these processes, based on issuing regulations and other factors. However, moving money in between the base Cryptopay wallet/account and the card, once everything is setup and you have a virtual or physical card, is all accomplished through the same, straightforward interface.
Cryptopay Review Summary
Cryptopay is a great way for people of all technology levels to manage their fiat currency/cryptocurrency funds for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, and (soon) Ethereum. The fees are relatively low, and there are a number of useful, convenient features for transfers. The debit card option also really opens up new possibilities for paying with Bitcoins.
All of that said, there have been some issues along the way, including the initial credit cards being frozen by service provider Visa. Additionally, the service is not currently available in the United States due to financial regulations, and the vast majority of the value only exists for SEPA (Eurozone) customers. If you’re based in the US or elsewhere, don’t bother with the service right now. The support seems to be good to excellent, and despite some negative reviews (many of which the company has answered for), Cryptopay seems to be a promising cryptocurrency service, especially if you are based in the EU.
Thank you for reading!