Buy Virtual Currency, or BVC, is a UK-based digital asset broker. It’s not your traditional bitcoin exchange, but that’s part of its charm. Particularly if you’ve been disenchanted by the lack of support available on most bitcoin exchanges, or if you’re new to the cryptocurrency market altogether, BVC has something unique to offer you. It’s called Buy Virtual Currency but when it comes time to sell, you can also unload your holdings back to BVC at spot prices.
BVC was formed by investors for investors and it appears to fill a gap left by bitcoin trading platforms that leave novice investors out in the cold. Its brokers provide support on everything from establishing a safe digital wallet for a specific coin to selecting which cryptocurrencies to buy and when.
They’re offering investors a blend of traditional brokerage services and the latest in a decentralized cryptocurrency market. It’s a hands-off approach for investors, as the brokers acquire the cryptocurrencies for you and get the funds to your digital wallet asap. BVC doesn’t have any investor limits, but they do have a minimum threshold. They have a 4.5 star rating out of 5 stars based on 13 customers reviews, with investors touting features such as BVC’s service.
BVC’s brokerage team has been involved with cryptocurrencies since 2014, Litecoin and Bitcoin to start. Given their experience buying “thousands and thousands of GBP worth of cryptocurrency,” they learned first hand the issues that investors face when trying to participate in this complex market.
BVC was created to solve a problem that’s pervasive with cryptocurrency exchanges, including lengthy and confusing verification procedures that leave investors frustrated with the process. Investors should be prepared to pay a premium to receive both expert advice and cryptocurrencies faster and more seamlessly versus other trading platforms. Users get more than just a digital coin price -- they learn about the cryptocurrencies they’re investing in by professionals who trade in this market.
· Quick purchase times within the same day, sometimes in as fast as 20 minutes.
· They boast competitive fees that are better than those offered by Coinbase.
· Convenient London location and they have an open-door policy for investors.
· Individual account manager is assigned to your account for support. BVC also provides detailed contact information including the email address and phone number of your account manager. This type of transparency is unheard of at most cryptocurrency exchanges.
· Sell your digital currency back to BVC at the spot price.
· They boast an 8-star rating on Trust Pilot.
· Based on the reviews, they appear to accept non-UK residents
· Buy and sell digital coins around the clock
· BVC investors as of Q2 2018 are up nearly 35% year-to-date
· Quick identity verification process that is phone driven
· Supports bitcoin and multiple altcoins
· Simple three-step process to purchase coins
· Offers all the advice for novice cryptocurrency investors.
· Online appoint scheduling
· Engaging website with useful information about cryptocurrencies.
· Good support involving email and phone communication that won’t leave investors guessing.
· Brokers are communicative throughout the transaction process (email, etc.)
· GBP 5,000 investment minimum, which may turn off some new investors who are just dabbling in the cryptocurrency market.
· Identity verification for each and every transaction.
· They only accept payment via bank transfer.
· Limited to GBP transfers (they don’t seem to support any other fiat currencies.)
· If you’re a day trader of sorts, you won’t find the tools you’re looking for. This platform is more of a hands-off model that lets the experts do the work for you.
· Fees can be less than transparent given the volatile nature of spot prices in the cryptocurrency market. For new investors who don’t understand it, this can be particularly frustrating. But on the flipside, considering you have an account manager dedicated to your portfolio, you can talk this through with them.
· BVC must compete with the likes of Bitpanda on rates, not to mention zero-fee brokerages like US-based Robinhood that could expand into the UK. Some users complain they have found lower rates elsewhere, but they may not be factoring in the advice component that they’re receiving from BVC brokers.
· Not all potential users understand the need for telephone communication, though on other platforms customers complain about customer service ignoring them.
BVC doesn’t hold your funds for you. Instead, your funds are kept in a digital wallet, which gives you control over them. Considering the funds are not store don the BVC platform, your funds are not at risk of a security breach including a hack. This puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you more control over the security of your account. But they don’t leave you alone with the process and will advise you on the best type of digital wallet to create if you don’t have one already.
BVC is a newcomer on the block, having been launched in 2017. They have completed hundreds of orders for investors thus far. The ratings thus far are largely positive, which is a good sign.
BVC is a London-based brokerage and therefore adheres to the UK Money Laundering Regulations of 2017, which means that users must verify their identity when doing transactions. While verifying your identity for every transaction may seem like a lot of work, the company is just following the law. Besides, they target a two-hour turnaround time for identity verification, which is tough to find. Here’s what you’ll need –
· A copy of an official photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license
· Proof of your address from the most recent three-month period, such as a utility bill or bank statement.
Fees are outlined in the individual invoices that are attached to purchases. Considering that BVC purchases the virtual currencies on your behalf, they probably have to pass along the exchange fee to you, the end user.
BVC states: “We charge you to handle the exchange of currency when you place an order with us. We will let you know any charges and the basis on which they are calculated before we ask you to place a formal order with us.”
BVC supports the following coins –
· Ethereum Classic
BVC has condensed the ordering process into a trio of steps that are easy to follow, catering to the novice investor anyone who is looking for speedy access to digital currencies – pick your currency, verify your identification and complete your order.
· Select your virtual currency of choice.
· Register with the exchange by sending your identification documents (described in more detail below)
· Finish your transaction. BVC will send you an invoice, and once the amount is cleared they will send the cryptocurrencies to your digital wallet.
The ordering process may be as easy as 1-2-3, but there are a few layers to get you there. To purchase virtual currencies on the site, users must complete an online form with information including a wallet address, the type of cryptocurrency you want to buy and how much in GBP. BVC has a team of account managers to provide support throughout the process.
Here are the steps to purchase cryptocurrencies in more detail. Create a digital wallet. If you don’t have one, the account managers will walk you through the process though they can’t do this step for you. They will, however, offer you tips on how to keep your funds as secure as possible (hard wallet, ledger wallet, etc.) Your advisor is there to provide support throughout the following steps -
· Asset allocation. Here’s where you decide which coins you want to buy and how much you want to invest. In addition to the logistics, the account managers also provide advice, such as recommending diversification to mitigate risk -
Before the funds can arrive in your account, you’ve got to go through a series of steps to verify your identity and the trade. These include –
· Verification – Email your photo ID and proof of address (e.g., a utility bill) to your account manager
· Invoice confirmation – this gives you a chance to review the transaction before it’s complete. The invoice is sent by email.
· Price – to lock in the most recent price, BVC advises users make payment as soon as the invoice is received, especially considering the volatile nature of cryptocurrency prices. The longer you wait, the higher your chances for a price discrepancy.
· Crypto Transaction – Once payment is received, BVC transfers the virtual currencies to your digital wallet.
· Transaction Confirmation – Your account manager will email you once the transaction is complete, including a separate tracking number for each transaction.
You can reach customer support by email at the following address: [email protected] BVC stands apart for the access it gives customers to its staff, and they’re always looking for new ways to engage with clients, such as creating groups in which to communicate with one another.
Most of the reviews for BVC are extremely positive, as evidenced by an 8-star rating on Trust Pilot. The reviews are from as recently as Q1 2018, and users rave about a unique experience with the company and its brokerage team. In fact, one reviewer must have taken advantage of their open-door policy and visited the BVC offices, where not only did they meet the broker team face-to-face but also the Head of Trading, Scott Ryder.
Investors are pleasantly surprised with the tailored investment advise that BVC’s brokers provide, with one user taking the advice of the broker to invest in Ripple’s XRP and seeing the investment double within 10 days. Others have similar stories, doubling a GBP 5,000 investment and later turning it into a GBP 15,000 balance.
While negative reviews for this platform are few and far between, there tends to always be one in the bunch. And as one reviewer points out, the negative reviews appear to originate from people without any trading experience at all, whether in cryptocurrencies or the stock market.
A user claims that the invoice gave an approximate amount and that BVC charged “elevated prices.” But the company sends the invoice first, so the details of a transaction should be transparent. One reviewer explains,
“It is volatile and coins are exchanged over the counter, this means it is impossible to lock the coins in at any price, as an astute investor myself I read the disclaimer and they clearly explain this on the invoice when they send it to you, I have averaged 133% a month totaling 1600% profit with what I have bought from BVC over the last 6 months. Investors should educate themselves before investing and always read the disclaimer, so you understand what you are getting into. I read the disclaimer and they clearly explain this on the invoice when they send it to you.”
Users with a negative perception of the fees may not realize they are also paying for the expert advice offered by the BVC brokerage team, not to mention the fast deliver of coins. Some are not happy with the GBP 5,000 investment minimum.
BVC offers investors the best of both worlds, including broker support and a platform on which to buy bitcoin or numerous altcoins. Like any brokerage, you pay for the expert advice and only you can decide what that’s worth to you. In addition to the expert advice, you can’t beat getting your coins delivered to your digital wallet on the same day as the transaction, which is rare in the virtual currency world.