This BitBay exchange review will focus on one of the crypto platforms that have been forced to migrate from their previous location to more crypto-friendly countries. Even recently, Poland’s unfriendly regulatory stance and tax policy towards cryptocurrencies have continued to make it a difficult place for blockchain projects to thrive. Although some Polish crypto platforms have been able to maintain operations and grow their business in the country, several others have found Polish policies rather unbearable and have left the country.
Before moving, how was BitBay able to retain investors’ trust despite the harsh regulatory regime in Poland where it was situated? This question and many more like it (see below) summarise what most investors seek to know about BitBay.
What innovative product does BitBay offer to earn a prospective user’s loyalty after the first transaction on the exchange?
And, even more importantly, what evidence is there that BitBay founders are legit business persons who would not cart away customers’ funds?
In this post, we have provided answers to all these questions, so you can make an informed decision if you ever want to sign up with them.
|Form of trade||Maker-taker, p2p, and more|
|Assets||Bitcoins, Ethereum, LiteCoin, Ripple, Dash, Lisk and other altcoins|
|Trading tools||Indicators such as RSI and MACD|
|Trading platform||Mobile, desktop, offline agents and website.|
|Customer support||7 days a week, 8 am to 8 pm.|
|Interface||Advanced and simple view available|
General Information about BitBay Exchange
- The Early days
CEO and owner, Sylwester Suszek, established the exchange in 2014, as the crypto-focused arm of BitBay sp. Z.o.o. Initially located in Katowice of Poland, BitBay moved to Malta where it got a warm reception, and then, BitBay picked Estonia as its home base. While at Malta, Pinewood Holdings Limited was selected and entrusted to oversee the day-to-day operations of the exchange.
- BitBay Exchange today
Today, under the auspices of BB Trade Estonia OU and a license from the Estonian government, BitBay has grown to become the third-largest crypto trading site in Europe.
The trading platform is currently going through audits as it continues to seek Malta’s license for cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to BitBay, the exchange has over 800,000 users conducting at least 1200 transactions per minute, with over 200 staff working from the backend. In its annual report (audited and scrutinized by investors), the exchange also claims to have processed over 547,000 units of Bitcoin.
However, BitBay didn’t achieve these milestones without facing some thorns along its way.
In May 2018, BitBay had to build its whole setup from scratch, to settle in Malta. This was following the decision of BitBay’s Polish local bank to cut off ties with all crypto-related associations. Everything the exchange used to serve its customers had to be replaced; only the operating team stayed the same.
Indeed, the transition wasn’t smooth. The majority of its customers (in Poland) had to manually deactivate their previous accounts, and sign-up freshly on the newly launched BitBay platform. Then, there was the problem of dealing with the foreign banks onboarded to handle cross-border funds transfers for the Polish user base.
Yet today, 87% of the traffic coming to BitBay exchange is from Poland, and 92% of their trade volume seems to go to the BTC/PLN pair.
BitBay has won several prestigious awards and recommendations as well. Visit the About Us section of the website to see more details in this regard.
Now, let’s go over the core trading features of the exchange.
User Experience: BitBay Exchange Interface
Over the years, BitBay has never ceased to review and fine-tune the user-facing interface of its website. The result today is a customer-centred platform that is responsive, Intuitive, easy to navigate and easy to use.
Also, the number of web pages are relatively few; the web pages also adopt a simplistic design. Overall, we believe an average user will not find the platform too intimidating or overwhelming to transact with.
Funds Deposit and Withdrawals on BitBay Exchange
To make trading convenient for users, BitBay has made it possible for users to deposit and withdraw funds in multiple ways.
In addition to large-cap cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, LiteCoin, Ethereum, Lisk, and even Dash, users can withdraw and deposit funds in the form of game tokens.
The bank transfer feature also allows deposits (and withdrawals) of traditional currencies such as the US dollar, Euros, Polish Zloty, and, more recently, the Great British Pounds which is commission-free at the moment.
Since BitBay has a cryptocurrency wallet of its own, users can easily move their funds wallet-to-wallet.
Meanwhile, there is a payment gateway that supports both credit and debit cards. The Polish users can initiate funds transfer through the Polish post office, Express DorPay, and the Zabka store chain.
Interestingly, BitBay is one of a few crypto exchange sites that issue native debit cards on the MasterCard network, making them globally acceptable; this is a feat not yet attained by its biggest competitors.
Deposit and Withdrawals fees
As at the time of writing, the following is a summary of BitBay’s deposit-and-withdrawal fee structure:
- Deposits wired through bank transfers are free, though the bank itself might deduct some amount as the service charge.
- Crypto-denominated deposits are free. However, users may incur some fees to fuel the transaction.
- Deposits through Express DotPay attract a flat rate of 2%.
- Both Express Zabka Marker and Polish Post Office also retain 2% of the transaction amount before processing.
For withdrawals, BitBay uses the following fee schedule:
- For bank-wire transfers, 4 PLN or its equivalent.
- For Express transfers, 10 PLN or the equivalent.
- ATM Withdrawals initiated via SMS attract a service fee deduction of 20 PLN.
- Cryptocurrency withdrawals depend on the network situation. For Bitcoin, the network fee is 0.00045, while for Ethereum, it is 0.00126 ETH.
Note: the monthly limit for a card-based deposit is 10,000 EUR or the corresponding value in other currencies.
Also, for payments processed through credit or debit cards, a service fee of 2.99% applies, or 2.5% for Euros or 10 PLN.
Usage costs of BitBay Exchange
At the onboarding stage, you will be required to select between two types of accounts: individual or corporate accounts. While the former is provided free of charge, the latter requires an extra cost to use.
For example, the corporate account makes it easy to trade with one’s business funds; however, there will be commission charges deducted directly from the user’s enterprise account on the 10th day of each month.
For the trading fee, BitBay uses the typical maker-taker model available on most exchanges with an extra twist of its own: fees are calculated according to the trade volume of the user over 30 days.
For fiat-to-crypto trades, takers pay 0.43% of fees, while makers pay 0.30%. For crypto-to-crypto trades, takers pay a flat fee rate of 0.1% while makers pay nothing at all.
See the full summary below:
|30-day trade volume (EUR)||Maker fee schedule||Taker fee schedule|
Overall, takers pay a much higher fee on BitBay. The fee schedule is high, considering what is obtainable on similar platforms such as Bitstamp.
BitBay crypto trading services
BitBay full products suite consists of:
- BitBay exchange.
- BitBay pro.
- BitBay pay.
- BitBay Cash.
- OTC Trading on BitBay.
This is the first BitBay service that was rolled out to consumers in the retail market. Initially, it was for Polish crypto users, but the BitBay exchange services are now available to anyone across Europe and the world at large.
As of the time of writing, BitBay Exchange is the third-largest crypto trading platform in Europe, with over 1 million active users.
These days more and more expert-level investors are entering the crypto market, so it only makes sense that crypto exchange platforms provide the necessary tools that simplify trading for them.
BitBay Pro is BitBay’s advanced trading interface with special tools and features such as the MACD indicator (Moving Average Convergence Divergence), RSI indicator (Relative Strength Index), and several other indicators.
Interestingly, the interface is customizable. However, for an average level user or a beginner investor, BitBay Pro would seem a complicated interface to interact with.
Much like BSC’s Pancakeswap and Ethereum DEX platforms, Bitcantor is BitBays decentralized exchange for instant fiat-to-crypto swaps.
Though the platform can be accessed from any corner of the globe, only users with PLN can transact with the platform. BitBay designed it as a fast and convenient alternative for Polish users who wish to avoid the hassles of KYC verification. This is why it is not surprising that the default language on the exchange is the Polish language; although you can switch over to the English version.
As expected, Bitcantor is more expensive to use, in comparison to BitBay Exchange.
Crypto is growing at an incredibly fast pace, but the ultimate dream is the ability to use crypto for every day settlements. BitBay Pay, the sister company of BitBay, aims to make it easy for retail businesses to receive payments in crypto without exposing them to the notorious volatility of the assets.
The company helps businesses to collect cryptocurrencies from their customers and instantly convert them to fiat equivalents (usually, EUR).
As of the time of writing, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Lisk, Dash, LiteCoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Zcash, Bitcoin Gold, and Tronix are the 10 different coins supported.
What’s more, the services can be accessed via online gateways and also offline via POS terminals.
BitBay Cash makes it possible for users to buy Bitcoin and other large-cap coins directly with Cash. This is achieved through the use of redeemable vouchers distributed through licensed distributors.
All a user needs to do is buy a voucher from a BitBay distributor, then scan the QR code attached on the BitBay website or manually enter the voucher code.
Instantly, the cryptocurrency will be credited to the wallet address supplied. For transactions exceeding 15,000 EUR, an ID card or passport will be required to approve the transaction.
OTC Trading on BitBay Exchange
The core feature of OTC Trading is that it serves as a safe window for buying and selling a large amount of Bitcoin (and other digital assets) at relatively lower fees.
Like several other exchanges these days, BitBay offers OTC trading services at a meagre fee of 1%.
KYC verification is mandatory to access the service. It is also worth noting that there might be, at most, a 1-hour delay with the first trade; however, subsequent trades are executed with speed.
Privacy and security concerns on BitBay Exchange
BitBay uses special care to protect customers’ funds. Indeed, since it launched, it has never been hacked or found itself amid a security allegation.
The platform also adopts the best practice of giving users extra protection through the use of hidden passwords, 2FA authentication, and cold wallets option. However, the exchange will do better if it takes effort to sensitize users on the need to activate those features.
Also, despite BitBay’s claim that the website is secured via HTTP servers and other advanced encryption mechanisms, some uses have complained of the exchange’s inability to detect login attempts from new IP addresses.
On the other hand, some others lamented how strenuous it was when they tried setting up the 2FA authentication method on the site as they received over 11 OTPs at once when only one is required.
To be on the safe side, we recommend keeping the notification service enabled, so you can be alerted if someone attempts to hack into your account.
KYC verification on BitBay
As part of its AML policy, BitBay might require all of the following before granting access to its services: a personal ID card, a selfie photo showing the ID card held in hand, and proof of address (such as a utility bill).
Supported countries on BitBay Exchange
Today, BitBay is an international exchange available to anyone all over the world. However, US-based investors are prohibited from trading with the exchange, as it is not yet a registered entity with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).
Also, the exchange is not fully regulated. Due to the KYC verification program, users in some jurisdictions might not enjoy the same privilege as their counterparts elsewhere, even with a successful confirmation of the KYC application.
BitBay’s customer support centre
BitBay’s customer helpdesk is split into two divisions: the Polish helpdesk and the English helpdesk; support for other languages is expected.
To ensure clients get immediate responses to complaints or difficulties encountered while using the exchange, BitBay provides a telephone support line that can be dialled 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm.
A dedicated section for frequently asked questions is also available on the site.
However, several users have complained quite bitterly, about the poor customer service experience they got. According to them, responses usually never seem to be forthcoming whenever they try contacting the support lines.
Also, on TrustPilot, there are several negative remarks about the platform. Thus, you may have to figure the way out yourself if you ever run into issues while using the website.
Project listing issues
In another comment, some users voiced their concerns over BitBay’s tendency to list coins of projects that are almost totally unheard of. Some of the coins that were flagged in that regard are Bob’s repair token and KZ Cash.
Some went as far as accusing these coins because the project owners paid the listing fee required when a more thorough process of due diligence ought to have been followed.
However, at the time of writing, there are a little over 30 coins traded on the site, yet there are over a thousand blockchain coins projects in the crypto industry.
Hence, these accusations may not be true after all.
According to BitBay, its founding goal is to become the Polish market’s dominant place for the buying and selling of crypto, while also providing better legal support for AML and KYC requirements.
Looking back now, the exchange has exceedingly achieved the goal.
Overall, we believe the exchange is safe to use. Indeed, BitBay holds the potential to emerge as one of the top 10 exchanges in the world.