Bitit is a French exchange platform that was founded in 2015 by three friends and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. While crypto exchanges such as Binance are often targeted towards traders, Bitit is very clearly targeting itself towards crypto novices. The service aims to make it easy for anyone to buy cryptocurrencies using a credit card or various other payment methods.
In this Bitit review, we look at the features and give you our overall verdict of the Bitit platform.
|Credit card, payment voucher, gift card (bank deposits available soon)
|Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, Bitcoin Cash plus 15 other coins
While “exchange” is the only word we have to describe Bitit, it’s not a typical exchange like Coinbase or Bitstamp. Bitit is just a fiat-to-crypto service that allows you to buy crypto and deposit the funds in your own wallet. It doesn’t offer a crypto-to-crypto service, and you cannot use it to sell your cryptocurrency.
By this stage, most seasoned crypto enthusiasts are probably scratching their heads and wondering “But what’s the point then?” What’s important to understand is that Bitit is not marketing itself towards the seasoned crypto enthusiast. It is firmly trying to establish itself as a platform that opens up the world of crypto to new entrants, even to those who would otherwise be unable to access it.
To this end, Bitit aims to make itself as easy to use as possible. According to the company blog, it’s targeting as many local currencies and languages as possible to widen the net for potential new adopters of crypto.
The company is also working on integrations with different payment providers to enable easier cash payments for countries that don’t have a large base of credit card users. Bitit even offers gift cards, so you could give your Granny the opportunity to buy her own bitcoins on Bitit as a Christmas gift if you like.
The Sticking Point
Once you get your head around this idea of targeting the mainstream for an entry point to crypto, then it makes more sense that Bitit doesn’t offer full exchange services. But we’ve come across one big sticking point in the logic of the Bitit business model.
Bitit doesn’t store any crypto funds on its platform. Users must have their own wallet addresses to buy crypto on Bitit. Their website recommends the Ledger Nano S for security, which is admittedly a great wallet used by many. Plus, we all know that storing crypto on an exchange is generally a bad idea.
However, once you’ve given Granny her Bitit gift card, can you really see her spending the rest of Christmas Day browsing Amazon for a Ledger Nano S and then setting it up all by herself? No, us neither. Let’s face it, most people who are new to cryptocurrencies end up leaving their coins on an exchange for some time until they read enough to realize it’s a bad idea.
While our Granny example may be far-fetched, Bitit does state that it is working to open cryptocurrency up to users in developing countries. This goal is laudable, however, users need that external wallet setup regardless of where they are. Offering the Ledger Nano S as the only wallet recommendation, which is not a cheap piece of hardware and no picnic to set up for a total newcomer, still seems to be more of a barrier than an enabler.
Using the Bitit Platform
Anyway, let’s put all this aside for a moment and imagine you’re our hypothetical crypto noob. Of course, you’re way more tech-savvy than Granny. You’ve gone onto the Bitit website for a first look and realized you need a wallet. You’ve nailed setting one up for yourself, and now you’re there, clutching your new wallet address, ready to make your first foray into cryptocurrency using the Bitit platform.
Creating an Account
It’s easy, especially for a now-experienced, wallet setter-upper like you. You go onto the Bitit website, enter basic details including name, address, phone number, birthdate, email address, and password. Then confirm your account using the email that Bitit sends to you.
As things stand, there is no Bitit app available, so everything is done through the website.
To actually buy any crypto, you’ll need to undergo the verification process. This process involves submitting a scan of your passport, together with a selfie of you holding up your password and a piece of paper with the word “Bitit” written on it.
It may take a few days for the verification process to complete.
At least with our UK registered account, we could only choose to pay either by credit card, with payment vouchers Neosurf or Cashlib, or with a Bitit gift card.
The range of coins available to buy on Bitit is shown below:
As a noob, you probably don’t know a whole lot about fees. Which is just as well, because you’re about to pay the price for the comfortable ride you’ve been enjoying so far (wallet setup proficiency notwithstanding).
Bitit charges a hefty 6.9% fee on all credit card purchases. If you use the payment voucher service, it can go up to an eye-watering 11.9%. This fee seems to apply regardless of the transaction value. This kind of flat-fee is different from other newcomer-friendly exchanges such as Coinbase, which charges large fees as a percentage of low-value transactions, but fees become progressively lower for higher-value purchases.
With a credit card, Bitit limits exchanges to a maximum value of €1500 (around $1700) per week. Using the payment voucher or gift card options, this goes up to $2500 per week.
You’ve probably worked out by now that your best option is to use your credit card to buy a Bitit gift token. You can then use that to make your cryptocurrency purchases, taking advantage of the lower fees and higher purchase limits.
Bitit complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, meaning your credit card details are safe on the Bitit website.
As you’re storing your crypto purchases in your own wallet, the security of your coins depends on the security of your wallet, not of the Bitit exchange.
In general, reviews from users of Bitit tend to be fairly positive. Most of the complaints tend to be about frozen transactions, but no major issues appear to have been reported.
The Bitit website has a comprehensive help section, covering a wide variety of questions that should answer most user concerns. In case of any issue you can’t resolve using the help section, there is a contact form on the website.
Bitit has certainly achieved its goal of being easy to use. The interface is clean and intuitive. For a beginner, it could be one of the best options, but only if the said beginner is happy to go away and navigate the process of setting up their own wallet.
Given the high fees, Bitit is highly unlikely to appeal to any seasoned crypto traders or investors. After all, low fees are one of the attractions of dealing with cryptocurrencies.
In our view, if Bitit really wants to corner a market for beginners in crypto without offering its own wallet, then there is one thing it could do. While we fully advocate the security of a hardware wallet for keeping your coins safe, recommending that beginners buy a hardware wallet straight off the bat isn’t really encouraging, Especially if it ends up costing more than the value of their first investment.
Therefore, simply providing recommendations for some alternative hot storage wallets more suitable for beginners, such as Jaxx or MyEtherWallet, would be one easy way for Bitit to make itself more welcoming to newbies.
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