Review: Bitbay Crypto Exchange


Bitbay is a Polish based Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin exchange which lets you trade in USD, PLN or EUR. In addition to basic trading features they also let you pay bills and buy BTC via SMS; although at the time of writing this service was not available. It clearly has a large following in Poland however trade in other currencies is practically non-existent.

The first thing that strikes you about Bitbay is the user interface as it is by far the most flashy to look at. This is on the one hand impressive but also means that it is more complex and less user friendly than other sites. The interface is in English and Polish, however quite often some parts return to being in Polish even when you have selected English. This does not effect the major parts of the interface and usually only some buttons etc but it makes the experience a little confusing.  There is also plenty additional information which is well presented and available, such as graphs showing trends and tables with recent trade information. Fortunately though, as I will come to next the trading interface is relative easy to use – although there are a few niggles. Also what is nice is that you can always see the % complete for certain types of transaction.

Now for the real stuff. There are three core trading options: placing an offer, instant transaction and trade with a bot. Placing an offer is like any other exchange where you set your quantity to buy or sell and the price you are willing to accept. An instant transaction lets you buy or sell at the current market rate, this is simply a case of entering how much BTC or LTC you want to trade and the transaction is done there and then. Unlike LocalBitcoins and this is not an over the counter exchange so you do not need to send money to other people or wait for receipt of funds, which means on the face of it doing a trade feels safer. The “trade with bot” option is similar to placing buy/sell offers but your offer is not visible to others on the market, it is simply fulfilled when the criteria are met. This I guess could be useful when you want to trade at prices you do not wish to disclose.

Like other exchanges Bitbay offers  security and protection, namely the now famous two factor authentication. In addition users have to be verified if they trade more than €15,000 per year. They also offer relatively fast support and quick deposits and withdrawls (although I was not able to test this).

Fees for trading in crypto are comparable to other sites and are based on 30-day trading periods. For low traders you pay 0.43%  for up to €5,0000 value (for all trade types). This progressively falls to 0.25%, but you need to trade an astronomical €875,000 to benefit from this. Depositing funds is free but withdrawing cots up to €1,50 for SEPA (EUR) accounts so is a little pricey. Withdrawing crypto also incurs modest fees.

Overall Bitbay as good an exchange as any other although the usability issues can make it  a bit off putting. The lack of serious trading in anything other than PLN is it’s biggest draw back. If however you are happy to perhaps engage in a bit of arbitrage trading between different fiat currencies and crypto then this could be the site for you. Also the range of trading options can make it attractive. If the market for EUR based trades was bigger I would use it more often myself.

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About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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