Bittylicious offers UK residents a method to buy bitcoin with local payment options. A good solution for small buys; otherwise, better off paying international bank fees and going to a large, global exchange.
- Bitcoin Cash
- Monetary Unit
Set by seller and undisclosedTrading Fees
- United Kingdom
- Credit Card, Bank Wire, Paym, Pingit
- Fast, easy and cheaper than much of the competition
- Local payment methods including debit and credit cards
- Multiple crypto available (theoretically)
- Low liquidity
- Will be redundant as soon as UK gets its bitcoin act together
Bittylicious is a service catered to bitcoin traders in the UK market. It is a peer-to-peer exchange matching buyers and sellers through an online interface, while providing escrow services. There are 11 different coins offered aside from bitcoin, though liquidity is extremely low. While we refer to bitcoin throughout this review, we could just as well be referring to any of cryptocurrencies offered.
Unlike localbitcoin which facilitates anonymous cash exchange, bittylicious offers online-only transactions and requires KYC verification to raise purchasing limits.
Bittylicious offers no wallet services. It provides an escrow to ensure that bitcoin buyers and sellers receive the promised bitcoin or fiat. As no buyer or seller funds or bitcoin is held with Bittylicious, and brokers are not given user funds until manual authorization is provided by the counterparty, there is little opportunity for security breach. Details as to how broker coin is held, on the other hand, is difficult to come by.
Bittylicious CEO Mark Warne is active in the bitcoin community and the London office address is publicly listed. There is little marginal cost associated to the operation as far as we can tell, and the community is growing – and with it the fees collected by Bittylicious. The business seems to be in fine order.
It is a bit difficult to find specifics concerning details of the operations, and aside from the homepage of the site content is amateurish and incomplete. While this does seem a bit unprofessional, Mr. Warne is not running off with anyones’ money.
Opening an account
Non-verified accounts are unable to purchase more than .09 BTC, with limits raised for email verification, mobile phone verification, and name and address verification. The limits offered for each different level are not publicly available.
Buying bitcoin on bittylicious
There is an extremely simple interface for buying and selling bitcoin on the bittylicious homepage. When buying, paste your wallet address and email account in the appropriate boxes. Select the number of bitcoins you would like to buy – the total amount available for purchase is displayed just under the “buy” button – and select your preferred payment from the box below.
There are five different payment options available, including bank transfer, 3D-enabled credit or debit card, Paym, which is the UK’s mobile payment option, Barclay’s Pingit, and RBS/Natwest PYC (pay your contact). After selecting the payment option, select “get some coins”, after which you will be redirected to a payment page including the necessary payment information and a reference number.
Assuming bank wire is the selected choice, simply create a wire order at your UK bank to the relevant payment information, being sure to include the reference number. The Faster Payments system, which is used by UK banks, is required in order to ensure quick order turn around. Once the payment has been sent, return to the bittylicious payment screen and click “payment has been made”. Generally speaking, it takes a few minutes for the payment to be received by the bitcoin seller, and bitcoins are generally transferred to your wallet no more than 15 minutes after clicking on the “payments has been made” button.
Selling bitcoin on bittylicious
Selling bitcoins is basically the mirror opposite of the buying process. Select “sell” on the homepage and pick your preferred payment method, limited to bank wire, amazon gift cards and Paym. Please note that the price offered for your bitcoins will vary depending on the payment method chosen. Depending on your desired payment option, you’ll need to fill in your account details on the payment screen, and then transfer bitcoin to the address provided. Generally it takes bittylicious approximately 30 minutes to confirm that the bitcoins were received, after which the agreed funds should hit your bank account within 10 minutes. Fund reception must be confirmed with bittylicious, which serves to release your bitcoin from escrow into the buyers wallet.
Careful readers might have wondered: why do buyers receive their bitcoins so much faster than sellers receive their fiat? A simple question with a very long answer. We previously defined Bittylicious as a peer-to-peer network, but this is actually inaccurate. Bittylicious operates as a peer-to-broker-to-peer network.
Brokers perform an essential role for bittylicious for a few reasons. First, Bittylicious can pick and choose trustworthy brokers. The registration process is long and detailed, and requires technical commitment. Indeed, many of the brokers are either merchants or miners, both of whom have continuous inbound flows of bitcoin that need be converted to fiat. The bittylicious vetting process limits the need for dispute management and eliminates the possibility of Sybil Attacks.
Second, connecting sellers and buyers would require a robust wallet solution similar to localbitcoins. Not only would this entirely change the business model, it would require a level of bitcoin security that the owners of Bittylicious are most likely not inclined to facilitate.
Third, complex technical integrations between brokers and bittylicious serve to speed up transactions tremendously. There is an automated process in which broker bank accounts are periodically checked for payments received. When a matching price and reference number is found, a notification is sent to Bittylicious, kicking off an automated bitcoin transfer.
Which brings us back to the initial question – why does it take so much longer for individual sellers to receive their funds and complete transactions than it takes for a broker to do the same? Broker coin is held in the bittylicious environment, and transactions are automatically signed through a secure client login. Because the coin is held with Bittylicious, they can be sure after signature that the transaction will go through. Individual sellers must transfer their coin from external wallets, and Bittylicious waits for three transaction blocks – 30 minutes – to be signed before authorizing the transaction.
Brokers are compensated for their efforts through a buy/sell spread which often reaches 20-30 quid. Bittylicious continuously adds new brokers, and is optimistic that the competition will naturally reduce the spread between buy and sell.
Buyers don’t pay a fee, though the price quoted is set by the bittylicious brokers and is thus often a good deal higher than market rate. Bittylicious charges sellers a small fee for the use of the platform, which is not specified.
Might be better off elsewhere if:
You are buying a relatively large amount of bitcoin.
The main selling point of Bittylicious is the ease of buying bitcoin and the avoidance of non-UK bank wire fees. However, at a certain point the cost of the wire fees is offset by the marginal cost of additional bittylicious fees. You are probably better off just going to bitfinex, where the transfer fees will be more than offset by the better prices .
Don’t forget to compare local peer to peer options.
Bittylicious has delivered a tailor-made solution for bitcoin trading in the UK market. It is extremely convenient, which at times comes with a slightly higher price tag. However, there is a complete absence of any bank or conversion fee, and local payment options are supported. If you are not comfortable working with LocalBitcoins and want a local UK solution, Bittylicious is a good option. With the coming liberalization of the UK-bitcoin market, Bittylicious will need to adapt to greater competition and better UK-focused products or will face a quick death. For miners or others with a high volume of bitcoin income, bittylicious could represent a decent method of off-loading the coin at higher than market prices.