BitQuick is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform. It matches fiat buyers and sellers with their Bitcoin-holding counterparts in a simple format. Peer-to-peer trading platforms are not subject to the whims of the wider market, making them potentially safer than exchanges at the expense of available liquidity and choice.
BitQuick acts as a sort of mini over-the-counter market for Bitcoin/fiat trades. Another potential tradeoff is higher fees, coupled with higher prices than you might encounter on an open exchange. In this BitQuick review, we’ll take a look at how the platform operates, how to buy and sell Bitcoin, and what kind of fees and challenges you can expect.
BitQuick offers an order book format for both buying and selling. A table offers is displayed with the desired payment method and price. BitQuick offers a relatively quick turnaround time – an average of three hours – for converting fiat to Bitcoin. It also features an affiliate program, whereby you can earn a slice of each commission paid by users you refer to the site.
Creating an Account on BitQuick
BitQuick doesn’t require an account upfront, per se, to buy Bitcoin. However, buying Bitcoin requires you to provide an email address and then fill out a deposit slip at the provided payment location. Filling out a deposit slip entails giving your personal information at the payment location, and it might include showing an identification card.
Furthermore, BitQuick limits the buys you can make anonymously to $400. To make larger buys, you are required to create a profile that includes a telephone number and an identification card photo. This is ostensibly to protect BitQuick from money laundering schemes, as the service provides a relatively quick way to turn cash into untraceable Bitcoin.
Selling Bitcoin is much more involved. BitQuick creates an escrow account in your name. To create that escrow account, you need to provide your name, email address, number of Bitcoin you wish to sell along with the desired price, bank name, bank account information, and password for account modification purposes.
Trading on BitQuick
To buy Bitcoin through BitQuick, a buyer first selects the desired quantity and price from the order book displayed on the “Buy” tab. Once that order is placed, the buyer will be prompted for their email address.
The buyer must then physically visit a branch of the deposit location listed and fill out a deposit slip for the desired amount in cash only. The deposit receipt must then be brought back, scanned, and uploaded to the link BitQuick sends to the provided email address. Once the seller has cleared the deposit, the Bitcoins are released into the buyer’s wallet. BitQuick estimates that it takes about three hours, on average, for Bitcoins to be released once a seller confirms a deposit. This can vary, however.
Selling Bitcoins via BitQuick first involves creating an account to generate an escrow account. The Bitcoins to be sold are then deposited into this escrow and a listing is placed on BitQuick’s order book. The seller is notified when an order is placed and again when the potential buyer deposits cash into the seller’s physical account. The seller then authorizes BitQuick to release his or her Bitcoins when the deposit is confirmed.
BitQuick also provides buyers with a “Quick” option that automatically finds the best available price for the desired number of Bitcoin.
BitQuick deals strictly with the conversion of cash to Bitcoins and vice versa. By cash, we mean physical paper dollars and metal coins. BitQuick sellers might not accept deposits by in-person account-to-account transfers, wire transfers, ACH transfers, Wells Fargo Sure Pay, check deposits, Chase QuickPay, or any other method but physical cash.
This doesn’t mean, however, that BitQuick only deals in U.S. dollars. If an order is listed in a different currency, like euros, the deposit must be made in physical euros. This is largely geographically based.
BitQuick does not collect fees from Bitcoin sellers. Together with the higher prices that a seller can demand on BitQuick versus an open exchange, this makes for a fairly lucrative way to convert Bitcoin into cash.
Buyer fees, however, are relatively steep. BitQuick charges a 2 percent service fee and a 0.001 BTC mining fee. That works out to a minimum purchase of about $24.55 at current prices, just to cover the mining fee.
With a purchase limit of $400 without an identification scan, that puts your total fees paid to BitQuick at more than 8 percent. Of course, that figure drops with larger buys due to the static mining fee. It’s still worth noting, however, that you can expect to pay at least 8 percent to buy Bitcoin through BitQuick if you choose to withhold personal information. That is considerably more than you’ll pay at most regular exchanges, even without ID verification.
Is BitQuick Safe?
BitQuick appears to be safe for both buyers and sellers. BitQuick acts as a facilitator for Bitcoin sales rather than a direct exchange, so all cash is handled by the seller’s financial institution and all Bitcoin is placed into an escrow account at the discretion of the seller. That means BitQuick is never actually in possession of either your cash or your Bitcoin – at least directly.
The fees are extracted from the Bitcoin placed into escrow once the seller releases them, so physical cash does not change hands between the buyer and BitQuick directly.
The relative ease with which BitQuick permits the exchange of cash for Bitcoin immediately raises red flags regarding possible money-laundering applications. BitQuick addresses these directly by monitoring suspicious buys and requiring more stringent than usual identification standards for buys over $400.
In conclusion, BitQuick does not appear to be a scam, and it seems safer than some of the alternatives which require buyers and sellers – complete strangers – to physically meet to exchange money. A buyer need only visit a traditional financial institution, deposit cash, and collect a receipt. Sellers never have to directly interact with the buyer at all. Their Bitcoins are released automatically from BitQuick’s escrow account once the buyer’s deposit is confirmed.
Pros and Cons
BitQuick’s pros include relatively quick turnaround times – again, just three hours – for turning fiat cash into Bitcoin. This is a relative rarity in the cryptocurrency market, which offers few avenues for easily converting cash into digital currency. BitQuick acts as a broker between buyers and sellers with the extra intermediary of a financial institution, so it’s much safer than services that require buyers and sellers – each holding considerable sums of money – to physically meet.
BitQuick is a broker service, so it’s hard to count the lack of available deals as a negative. They can only offer what their sellers are willing to part with, and at the price those sellers desire.
BitQuick’s fees, however, are definitely a knock against the platform. It is definitely geared toward larger buyers. Small-volume buyers can expect to pay a minimum of 8 percent in total fees before they run into the $400 no-identification limit.
This brings up a second point – BitQuick is definitely not for the privacy minded. Selling Bitcoin through BitQuick involves surrendering a healthy amount of personal information, including your bank name and bank account number. Buying Bitcoin is also far from anonymous except at the aforementioned ruinously high fees. To move Bitcoin in any real number and with anything approaching a reasonable fee, you’re going to have to scan an identification card.
BitQuick appears to have identified a niche in the cryptocurrency market and filled it well. It offers an easy-to-use portal for turning fiat cash into digital currency, a service that is lacking outside of major cities and their too-few Bitcoin ATMs. BitQuick also offers a layer of legitimacy and safety that previous peer-to-peer services lacked. There are no shady meetups and no question that you’re going to walk away with legitimate Bitcoins.
This is at the expense of surrendered personal information and inflated fees. The fees are particularly onerous considering that BitQuick’s Bitcoin prices are often considerably higher than the market at large because they are set by individual sellers rather than the open market. This can potentially work in a buyer’s favor. More often, however, a buyer will find that they paid considerably more for their Bitcoins through BitQuick than they if they had gone through an exchange. BitQuick accepts cash and only cash, however, and that’s what makes it stand out.
In summary, BitQuick appears to be a safe, relatively quick cash-for-Bitcoin exchange service with high identification standards and high fees. The two shouldn’t necessarily go hand in hand, but the extra security provided by BitQuick’s broker service may be worthwhile for buyers who need to immediately convert large sums of cash into Bitcoin.