India is one of the countries with largest population, so when it comes to cryptocurrencies, the market volume cannot be ignored. A country with more than 1.2 billion people, has a lot of potential in making or breaking the market.
There are many exchanges in India, that are operating at a large scale in cryptocurrency market, and one of them is – Zebpay. Based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Zebpay was founded by Saurabh Aggarwal, Mahin Gupta and Sandeep Goenka.
It was launched in 2012 (under a different name) in India, amidst controversies around crypto-exchanges and people dealing in cryptocurrencies. Recently, a statement by Finance Minister of India put the entire cryptocurrency market in a turmoil, with the prices of Bitcoin plunging below $10,000. With that high population affecting the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that seriously, Indian users and investors do possess a great hold at the volume and rotation of money.
Zebpay was initially named ‘buysellbitco.in’, and Mahin Gupta was its first founder. And it was later changed into Zebpay in 2014, also adding two more partners – Saurabh Aggarwal and Sandeep Goenka. Zebpay became one of the very first exchanges, providing access to people of India to buy or sell Bitcoins.
Initially it started only with Bitcoins, while now it has Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. They are yet to list many cryptocurrencies like Monero, Dash, ZCash etc. as of now, but they do have plans on expanding their crytpo-portfolio. Zebpay has no web-based platform (like a website or an online portal) available for users.
They only have Android and iOS application. Zebpay is also famous for being a wallet. Since its launch, it hasn’t been hacked which makes it one of the most secure platforms to buy or sell cryptocurrencies in India.
If we talk about security, Zebpay has been under scanner and government radar since a long time. Very recently Indian government;s Income Tax Department also conducted a raid on their office, which scared the users that the exchange might have to shut their operations, but thankfully nothing happened, and Zebpay resumed its operations like before.
The app’s security is tight, as they also allow users to enable 2FA (two factor authentication). They provide a private key to all their users, and the sign-up is easy and quick. In case the user loses his private key or pin-code to access Zebpay, he can recover it quickly. Zebpay users have their unique ID that is synced with their mobile devices, but if you lose your device you can still access your cryptocurrencies and prevent them from being lost forever.
They have listed a hot-line number, if the users call on that number they can immediately block all the outgoing transactions on their account and freeze the crypto-assets.
ADVANTAGES OF ZEBPAY
There are many upsides and advantages of using this Indian cryptocurrency exchange. Some major ones are –
- Zebpay is one of the most popular platforms in India to exchange cryptocurrencies for fiat money. They accept Indian Rupees (INR), through bank wires and payment gateways. They accept payments through NEFT, RTGS, IMPS and Net-Banking, which are one of the most common ways to transfer money over internet in India.
- Zebpay as an application is extremely easy to use. It is not only user-friendly in nature, but it is also quick and effective.
- Registering for a new account on Zebpay takes hardly 5 minutes. You just need to verify your email ID and phone number. Apart from that, Indian users need to submit some identification documents like PAN card, Aadhar Card (local government issued ID). Verification takes 2-3 days typically, and sometimes even more depending upon the traffic on network.
- Zebpay gives the users the freedom to ‘receive’ as many Bitcoins in a day or a week as they want. There is no limit on receiving Bitcoins, there is a limit on sending them however.
- It is available for Android and iOS mobile devices, which gives the option to the users to use the portal with ease.
- Zebpay offers one of the best user-experiences among all other Indian cryptocurrency exchanges. It hardly lags or hangs, which makes it one of the most preferred applications on Play Store and iOS App Store.
- There is an email and SMS communication activated along with Zebpay accounts of the users. Users get alerts on every incoming and outgoing transaction. It is a nice way of ensuring that the transactions made are genuine and authentic.
- Zebpay also gives an option to users to top-up and recharge their mobile phones using Bitcoin. This is the option that no other exchange provides.
DISADVANTAGES OF ZEBPAY
There are many downsides of this India-based Bitcoin exchange. Zebpay Review would be incomplete without discussing its shortcomings –
- There is no web-based portal or website available for Zebpay. It is only available for iOS and Android applications. Lack of website makes them less attractive to potential users.
- The application is not meant for traders. It has a very simple interface which does not have much charts or information. It isn’t meant for seasoned traders, or experts who wish to trade.
- The margin between buy and sell on Zebpay is usually large. Sometimes as large as thousands of rupees. Which does not allow people to trade at all. In the recent update they have reduced the margin and made it almost equal, though.
- They do not allow payments from debit cards or credit cards, neither do they allow payments from mobile wallets like PayTM, PayPal etc. The only way to deposit money is through bank deposits.
- They do not allow any other currency to be deposited. Since it is an Indian exchange, the only currency allowed is INR (Indian Rupees).
SOME MORE DOWNSIDES
- Zebpay is user-friendly in nature, but does not have much security features. They warn users from sharing their account/profile details online, but apart from that the application is mostly open and users also have an option to ‘remove’ password or pin requirement to login every time. They can remove that feature, and open their account/profile with just one tap on the application icon.
- Zebpay offers limited cryptocurrencies. Earlier they had only Bitcoin, but now they have Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin too. But apart from these four, there are no other cryptocurrencies or ICOs available to trade.
- The fees that is charged from the users is very high! They follow a maker-taker model just like Poloniex, but their fee payments are huge. They charge 0.59% (almost 0.6%) from makers (who make the order to buy crypto-assets), and they take 1.18% from takers (who make sell-orders for their crypto-assets).
- Sometimes, the deposits take a lot longer. If you want to make instant transfer to your account to make instant purchase, you cannot do that on Zebpay! Bank transfers take longer than debit or credit card transfers (which are quicker), since they do not have that option for users, the users only have to wait. Sometimes it takes a couple of days to get the transaction approved and the money to reflect in your account.
REACH AND REGULATION
Zebpay is an Indian exchange, which is not available in any other country apart from India. It is available only as an application (iOS and Android both). Since most of the Indian users prefer mobile apps over web-based portals or websites, so it is an ideal platform for them. India has no strict rules against crypto-trading, so Zebpay is operating freely as of now.
They might have to change their operations depending upon the local laws, but so far they have faced no hurdles in their operations. It is not available in USA and many other countries of the world, because it accepts only Indian Rupees (INR) as deposits, and that too only through bank payments. Debit cards, credit cards and mobile wallets are not allowed.
Zebpay has a stronghold in Indian crypto-asset market. If we talk about the total number of views, it would be less because their website or online portal is basically just a show-case one. The real work happens on apps. As per data available from similarweb.com, website of Zebpay has almost 2 million views in last six months, which is pretty natural considering the low popularity of its website. It is only available as a mobile application, hence it should be measured by number of downloads. The number of downloads of Zebpay on Android PlayStore are between 1 million to 5 million, which is quite a high volume considering the fact that Indians haven’t yet ventured properly into blockchain and crypto-assets, and cryptocurrency is just at its infancy in India.
Talking about geographical availability, Zebpay is mostly viewed and used by Indian users. From entire world, 89% Indians use Zebpay. India is followed by United States (3%), Japan (1%), United Arab Emirates (0.7%) and Germany (0.6%).
SIGNING UP ON ZEBPAY
Signing up or creating an account on Zebpay is very easy. It takes hardly a couple of minutes to do so. Users only need a valid email ID, and a phone number to register for an account. They can verify their accounts in four steps – first by verifying their email ID, through a verification link that they will send. Second is by linking their bank accounts with their Zebpay accounts.
To do that, users need to upload their account information. Third step is to upload PAN Card and last step is to upload Aadhar Card (government issued ID). Once all these documents are uploaded, the ID gets ‘enhanced verified’ status, which provides the users a good limit to trade in, or a higher cap to buy or sell crypto-assets.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES AVAILABLE AT ZEBPAY
Zebpay does not offer all cryptocurrencies to its users. There are only four currencies available on Zebpay – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple. They are planning on adding more currencies in future, but as of now there are only these four available. The prices of these cryptocurrencies, as per Indian rates are usually higher than other local cryptocurrency exchanges.
Zebpay offers a high fees structure for its users. Zebpay fees is one of the most debatable issues on online forums and communities, but they continue to charge the exorbitant prices from their users. They follow a maker-taker model like Poloniex. They charge 0.59% (almost 0.6%) from makers (people who ‘bid’ or buy cryptocurrencies), and from takers they charge almost 1.18% fees (people who place ‘bid’ orders, or sell their cryptocurrencies).
There are deposit and withdrawal limits set on their application, both for fiat currency as well as cryptocurrency. For deposits, the minimum limit is INR 2500 for payment gateways and INR 10,000 for normal transfers per transaction. While in one day, the minimum deposit limit is INR 5 lac (INR 0.5 million) for payment gateway and INR 1 crore (INR 10 million) for normal transfer. For withdrawals, their limit is INR 50 lacs (INR 5 million) for basic verification and INR 1 crore (INR 10 million) for enhanced verification.
Customer Support of Zebpay is lagging in many aspects. They do not have live chat option. They do have a knowledge-base section with many FAQs, but that is not enough. If the users do not find their queries in the FAQ section, they need to raise a ticket. You will get immediate response from them with a case number and ticket ID, but the issue might take days to resolve. They need to work a lot on improving their customer service and need to resolve the issues faster.
There are many alternative portals that Indian users can use, apart from Zebpay. One of them is koinex.com. Koinex allows deposits from credit and debit cards, and mobile wallets like MobiQuik (local Indian wallet), which gives the users a faster option to buy or sell crypto-assets. Zebpay on the other hand does not provide this option to their users. Koinex also charges a lower fees (0.20% to 0.25%) on buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Apart from koinex, there is ethx.in to buy Ethereum at competitive prices.
Zebpay is a good portal to buy crypto-assets in India. Despite their down-sides and shortcomings, they are the only ones available with an excellent user experience for users. Many users are still loyal customers of Zebpay solely because of the ease of use and user-friendly interface they get. If they reduce fees and improve on their customer service experience, they will surely become unbeatable at least in India!