Are you based in the Middle East and looking to trade cryptocurrencies? If so, you might want to check out Bitoasis. The platform allows you to buy, sell and trade a range of cryptocurrencies using a traditional debit card. However, only a select few nations are supported.
If you’re thinking about joining Bitoasis but require further information, then be sure to read our comprehensive guide. Within it, we’ll discuss everything from fees, payment methods, accepted countries, user-friendliness, and more.
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If you don’t quite have the time to read our Bitoasis guide from start to finish, then, in summary, we concluded by noting that we cannot endorse the platform.
The main reason for this is that Bitoasis only allows a few nations to deposit with fiat currency, only a small number of coins are supported, and they are not regulated by any noteworthy bodies. Instead, we feel that a regulated platform like Coinbase is more inclusive, allows free debit/credit card deposits, and supports 15 cryptocurrencies.
What is Bitoasis?
Bitoasis is a cryptocurrency exchange based in the United Arab Emirates.
The platform has a direct focus on clients based in the Middle East. Although Bitoasis allows cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals on a global basis, they only allow users from six specific countries to deposit funds with fiat money. This includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
The main currency used on the Bitoasis exchange platform is United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). Although cryptocurrency purchases can be supported in USD, the exchange rate is significantly higher than the market average. This makes Bitoasis an expensive exchange to use if you’re planning to trade in dollars.
Although the exchange was launched way back in 2015, Bitoasis is still not listed on CoinMarketCap, or any other notable cryptocurrency data website. This makes it difficult to ascertain just how much is traded on the platform. However, with such a limited customer base, it is likely that these figures are a lot lower than leading exchanges such as Coinbase.
How does Bitoasis Work?
Bitoasis operates as both a cryptocurrency broker and an exchange. As a broker, they allow certain countries to buy cryptocurrencies with a debit or credit card. If you are based in the Middle East, you’ll only be able to purchase a maximum of 2,000 AED using your bank card. At the time of writing, that amounts to approximately $450, which is extremely low.
If you don’t have access to fiat currency facilities, Bitoasis allows you to deposit funds using cryptocurrency. Once your account is funded, you can then withdraw the coins into a private Bitcoin wallet, or trade on the exchange.
The Bitoasis exchange supports crypto-to-crypto trading of 8 different coins, which includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Zcash, Stellar Lumens, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic.
In order to make a profit, Bitoasis charges trading fees. This is the case if you buy coins directly using a bank card, or when you trade on the exchange.
What cryptocurrencies does Bitoasis support?
Bitoasis currently supports 8 different coins, which we’ve listed below.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- ZCash (ZEC)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- Ripple (XRP)
When it comes to supported crypto-to-crypto trading pairs on the Bitoasis exchange platform, check out the list below. By the way, if you’re wondering why Stellar Lumens isn’t listed, this is because it’s paired with AED. All other supported cryptocurrencies can also be traded against AED.
As you’ll see, cryptocurrencies can only be traded against Bitcoin, which is a bit limited.
Which countries does Bitoasis support?
Although Bitoasis focuses exclusively on the Middle East, anybody can use the platform if they are depositing and withdrawing funds via cryptocurrency. As such, there are no country restrictions.
However, if you want to deposit funds using a debit or credit card, then only six countries are supported, which we’ve listed below.
- Saudi Arabia
- United Aran Emirates
As a third party cryptocurrency exchange, Bitoasis make their profits by charging users trading fees. This is applied every time you buy or sell a cryptocurrency. The trading fee pricing structure is dependant on how much you trade each month, and whether you are a ‘market maker’ or ‘marker taker’.
For those unaware, a market maker is a person that provides liquidity for the exchange. On the other hand, the market taker is the person that trades on the prices set by the makers. If you’re an everyday trader, then it’s likely you’re a market taker.
Market maker fees
- Less than $250,000 per month: 0.25%
- >250,000 per month: 0.2%
- >500,000 per month: 0.15%
- >1,000,000 per month: 0.1%
- >2,500,000 per month: 0.075%
- >5,000,000 per month: 0.050%
Market taker fees
- Less than $250,000 per month: 0.5%
- >250,000 per month: 0.5%
- >500,000 per month: 0.45%
- >1,000,000 per month: 040%
- >2,500,000 per month: 0.350%
- >5,000,000 per month: 0.3%
Trading fees explained
While at least cheaper than platforms such as VirWoX, fees at Bitoasis are significantly high. If you are an average trader, then you’ll need to pay a whopping 0.5% trading fee every time you buy or sell a coin. For example, if you bought $10,000 worth of Bitcoin, you would need to pay $50 in fees. If you then sold the same short-term investment at $20,000, you would then need to pay $10 in fees
Furthermore, in order to get your trading fees down by just 0.005%, you’d need to trade more than $250,000 in a single month!
While this might not sound a lot, it is substantially higher than other leading cryptocurrency exchanges. For example, Coinbase doesn’t even charge trading fees, as they make their money in the spread.
Although Bitoasis does not make their fiat currency withdrawal fees public for those based outside of the six supported countries, we should note that withdrawals take 10 working days to process.
This is not really acceptable, as you’d still need to wait 3-5 days for your bank to credit the funds to your account. All in, that means that you’d need to wait approximately 13-15 working days before you can get your money out of Bitoasis.
Bitoasis platform dashboard
When you first log in to your Bitoasis dashboard, you’ll notice that the platform is relatively clean. On the left-hand side of the screen, you can easily access your wallet, as well as send and receive funds.
You can also easily access the support screen via the main dashboard. Once there, you have the option of sending the Bitoasis team a direct email.
In terms of the exchange platform itself, the layout is a bit ‘non-descript’. The reason we say this is that its actually quite difficult to judge what’s happening in the markets. The main trading area is dominated by the bids and asks prices.
Unless you understanding how order books work, then this might appear somewhat intimidating. As such, if you’re a newbie trader, then Bitoasis might not be right for you. If you’re looking for a super easy cryptocurrency platform to buy and sell coins, then we would instead recommend Coinbase.
How to sign up and trade on Bitoasis
Although we would suggest re-thinking your decision to use Bitoasis as your crypto day trading platform, if you still want to go ahead, then we’ve provided a simple step-by-step guide to get you started.
Step 1. Open an account with Bitoasis
Your first port of call will require you to head over to the Bitoasis homepage, and then click on ‘SIGN UP’. You’ll find the button at the top right-hand side of the screen.
Step 2. Enter your name, email address and choose a password
On the next page, you’ll need to enter your full legal name, email address, and then choose a strong password. Make sure that all of this information is correct, as you might need to verify it. Furthermore, Bitoasis ask you to confirm your email address every time you log in to your account, so make sure its an email address you can access on the go.
Step 3. Confirm your email address
You’ll now need to confirm your email address. Bitoasis will send you an email that contains a unique confirmation code. Simply copy the code from the email and paste it into the box. Then click on ‘FINISH REGISTRATION’.
Step 4. Enter and confirm your phone number
In the next stage of the Bitoasis registration process, you will need to enter your mobile number. It is important that you use your primary mobile number, as you will need to enter it every time you log in. This is good from Bitoasis, as it adds an extra layer of security on your account.
Step 5. Deposit funds
Unless you are from one of the six supported countries (see above Supported Countries section), you will need to deposit funds via cryptocurrency. In your main dashboard page, click on the ‘RECEIVE’ button. You’ll find it on the left hand-side of the screen.
You will then see your unique Bitcoin deposit address with Bitoasis. In order to fund your account, you will need to transfer coins directly from your personal wallet. You can either copy and paste the Bitcoin address into your wallet, or take a photo of the QR code.
Once the coins are sent, it usually takes about 10-20 minutes for Bitoasis to credit your account.
Is Bitoasis regulated?
Bitoasis is not a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, which is a concern. On their main homepage, Bitoasis state that “We work closely with a highly reputable legal council to ensure stable operations and regulatory compliance.” However, it remains unclear as to what this actually means. In our opinion, it is a way for the platform to water-down the fact that they hold no regulatory licenses.
It is always best to use a cryptocurrency exchange that is fully licensed by a notable financial regulatory body. For example, Coinbase is regulated on two fronts – by the UK’s FCA and CySEC in Cyprus.
Is Bitoasis safe?
One of the most important factors you should look out for when deciding whether or not to join a cryptocurrency exchange is safety. First and foremost, and as we noted above, Bitoasis is not regulated. What this means for you as an investor is that no financial bodies are overlooking Bitoasis to ensure that they operate legitimately. This essentially means that they are ‘self-regulated’, which is always a dangerous thing, no matter what industry you are investing in.
We should also note that Bitoasis is in full control of your cryptocurrency wallet private keys. This means that if the platform was hacked, your funds are largely at risk. If this did happen, there is no guarantee that Bitoasis would cover your losses.
It is for the reasons stated above that we believe Bitoasis is not a safe cryptocurrency exchange to trade with, and thus, we cannot endorse them.
Bitoasis’s security measures
Nevertheless, here’s a break down of the security features available at Bitoasis.
- You are forced to set-up Two-factor authentication (2FA)
- 2FA required every time you log in
- You are also forced to confirm your email address every time you log in
Does Bitoasis have a wallet?
Bitoasis recently launched their own native cryptocurrency wallet, which can be accessed online, or downloaded via a mobile app. The wallet performs similar functions to any other wallet on the market. You can send and receive funds, or simply use it to keep your funds safe.
However, and most perhaps most importantly, you do not have control over your private keys! The Bitoasis wallet uses a three-tier key system.
The first key is stored by Bitoasis themselves. The second key is held by a third party, notably BitGo. The final key, which is essentially the recovery key, is also held by a third party. While this does mitigate the risk of a hack, ultimately, you don’t have control over your own funds.
Does Bitoasis have an app?
The Bitoasis wallet is available to download as a mobile app. Take note, the app is only available to download on iOS devices, meaning that Android users are out of luck. The mobile wallet app operates in exactly the same as the online wallet. As such you can store your coins, or send and receive funds.
You also have the option of checking your account history. Unfortunately, the Bitoasis app doesn’t allow you to trade, as it is purely a wallet, as opposed to an exchange.
If you’ve currently got an Android phone, or you want an exchange app that actually lets you trade on the go, then you might want to consider the Coinbase app.
Bitoasis customer service
One of the worst aspects of the Bitoasis exchange is that customer support is really lacking. In fact, the only way you can contact the team is to send them a support ticket from within your account dashboard. This means that your account issue is at the mercy of the Bitoasis team.
Other exchanges such as Coinbase offer users a live chat facility and phone number. This allows traders to receive instant support, should they need it.
Ticket support: Contact the Bitoasis team from within your account at any time.
- No phone support
- No Live chat
- No social media support
Bitoasis pros and cons
Bitoasis vs Coinbase
To help you decide whether or not Bitoasis are suited for your long-term investments needs, we have created a comparison with Coinbase. Check out some of the key difference between the two exchanges.
There is often a misconception that Coinbase is purely a CFD broker. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although Coinbase does offer CFDs, meaning you can also buy blue-chip stocks and shares, forex, commodities and indices, they are also an exchange. This means that if you purchase cryptocurrencies and do not apply leverage, or go-short, then you actually own the cryptocurrency asset.
Why we recommend Coinbase wallet over Bitoasis:
- Coinbase lists a total of 15 cryptocurrencies, while Bitoasis supports just 8.
- While Bitoasis operates without any regulatory licenses or oversight, Coinbase is heavily regulated. They hold two-key licenses from the FCA (UK) and CySEC (Cyprus). This ensures that your funds are safe.
- If you trade under $250,000 per month (which most of us do), you will need to pay extremely high trading fees of 0.5%. Coinbase doesn’t charge trading fees per-say, as they make their money from the spread.
- Bitoasis only allows you to deposit funds with fiat money if you are based within one of their six supported Middle East countries. On the contrary, Coinbase supports a significant number of countries, including that of the U.S.
- Bitoasis does not have a mobile app that lets you trade on the move, while Coinbase does.
In conclusion, it’s really difficult to endorse Bitoasis as a notable cryptocurrency exchange. It is clear that the platform is primarily focused on traders from the Middle East, which means you won’t be able to deposit or withdraw funds with a debit/credit card or bank account if you’re not based in a supported country.
Not only are trading fees really high at Bitoasis, but the platform only lists a total of eight cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, all fiat pairs are matched with AED, meaning that you will pay extortionate fees if you don’t use AED as your primary currency.
When we made a comparison with Coinbase, we found that Bitoasis is lacking in most areas. Coinbase is fully regulated, they list more than 15 cryptocurrencies (as well as non-crypto assets), their fees are super low, you can trade on the go, and you can even short crypto.
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How do I contact Bitoasis via live chat?
The only support option available at Bitoasis is to raise a support ticket. This means that neither live chat nor phone support is available. As such, you won't be able to receive instant support, should you need it.
How much are Bitoasis trading fees?
Trading fees at Bitoasis will depend on whether you are a market maker or market taker, and how much you trade in a single month. To give you an idea, if you are a market taker and you trade less than $250,000 per month, you'll pay 0.5% every time you trade.
Is Bitoasis easy to use?
Bitoasis has a really clean account dashboard, which makes it easy to send and receive funds. However, the actual exchange platform itself is not particularly user-friendly.
Do I need to verify my identity to use Bitoasis?
You only need to verify your identity if you are depositing and withdrawing funds with fiat money. However, unless you are from one of the six supported countries, you likely won't be able to do this anyway.
Can I withdraw funds back to my debit or credit card?
If you deposit funds with a debit/credit card, then you will need to withdraw them back to a bank account. This is standard in the online cryptocurrency space.
Does Bitoasis offer leverage?
Bitoasis is a standard third-party exchange, meaning that you can't apply leverage to your trades. You will need to use a platform like Coinbase to get leverage on cryptocurrencies.
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