Coinfloor is the UK's preeminent bitcoin exchange, offering decent BTC/GBP liquidity at low trading fees
- Bitcoin Cash
Maker: 0.1-0.15%; Taker: 0.3-0.38%Trading Fees
- United Kingdom
- Bank Wire
- Top GBP-only exchange in the market
- Brokerage service allows domestic bank transfers
- Monthly solvency audit shows 100% reserve strategy
- Still have to pay international transfer and conversion fees to use exchange.
- Rubbish mobile
GBP bitcoin trading is problematic. Due to the standoffish approach of UK banks to bitcoin, domestic trading has taken the form of a peer to peer marketplace where buyers and sellers are either connected to one another directly or through an online interface, or are forced to deal with brokers who themselves trade on large international exchanges.
Coinfloor offers both the most liquid GBP exchange in the marketplace, as well as a platform connecting end users to professional bitcoin brokers, who place trades on the Coinfloor exchange on a customer’s behalf. UK traders can trade directly on the Coinfloor exchange, where they will enjoy the unparalleled BTC/GBP liquidity and very attractive trading fees. Alternatively, users can trade through Coinfloor’s broker network, who pass the trades on behalf of their clients to the exchange, for a fee. While this saves users the hassle of transferring money abroad, and associated wire and deposit fees, there is a hefty premium – currently about 6% – charged by the brokers for the service.
Coinfloor holds 100% of client bitcoin in multisignature cold storage. Private keys are distributed across multiple underground vaults stores, and no single individual has access to all private keys. A Coinfloor-owned hot wallet containing only company owned coins allows for instant withdrawals up to two bitcoins. Any withdrawal requests above this level are processed en-masse with all other withdrawal requests at three designated times daily.
All traders are prompted to set up either two-factor authentication or their Yubikey immediately after registering.
Coinfloor is the first exchange to be registered with HM revenues and customs in the United Kingdom, with offices located in London’s banking district. The executive team is relatively well-known in the industry, including CTO Obi Nwosu, who has run a successful technology consulting firm for 20 years, and CEO Mike Lamb, a former bitcoin broker who was thought to have managed 10% of the UK market’s bitcoin liquidity.
While not independently audited, Coinfloor issues monthly solvency reports, which shows the total amount of customer funds on deposit with Coinfloor. Ownership is cryptographically demonstrated by making a transaction to themselves with all the held coins, which is shown on the blockchain.
Open a Coinfloor account
Coinfloor’s account opening process is relatively standard for the market. They endeavor to verify documents within 24 hours of delivery.
|Individual account||Corporate account|
|Identity confirmation||Passport or valid UK driver’s licence. Front and back copies in full colour, no larger than 4MB.||Same|
|Residence confirmation||Bank Statement or utility bill no more than 90 days old, or valid UK/EU license showing current address||Same|
|Corporate requirements||N/A||Incorporation certificate, document listing the directors and beneficial owners (i.e. shareholders of 20% or greater), beneficial owners passport and proof of address|
Please note that the same document cannot be submitted as proof of both Identity and Residence. However, users may submit a passport photo for identity confirmation and a driver’s license with current address for proof of residence.
The Coinfloor Product
The website is simply designed and easy on the eye. Users are directed post-login to a dashboard page, which displays account balances, recent account activity and, for advanced traders, access keys for the Coinfloor API. There are additional tabs for depositing and withdrawing, as well as a transactions section which breaks down a client’s entire transactional history.
Coinfloor has two different trading products: an exchange and a broker market.
The Coinfloor Exchange
When it comes to BTC/GBP trading liquidity is the name of the game, and coinfloor excels in this regard. The coinfloor exchange serves as the market for the largest UK-based bitcoin brokers, meaning retail traders can piggyback on the deep order books and thin spreads available.
The exchange interface is simple and intuitive, with the trade slip limited to limit and market orders. The bid/ask history is laid out beneath a market depth chart, and a trader’s open orders and recent trades are displayed just beneath the trade slip.
The Coinfloor Market
On July 2nd, 2015, Coinfloor announced the launch of Coinfloor Market, “the first exchange backed peer to peer bitcoin marketplace”. The marketplace consists of 21 of the largest Uk-focused bitcoin brokers who all signed a pledge, tagged the Bitcoin Broker’s Agreement, to “make the market safe” for people to buy bitcoin. With perhaps a bit of prodding by Coinfloor, the parallel has been drawn to the Buttonwood agreement that marked the launch of the New York Stock Exchange.
When navigating to the market tab, clients are shown a series of prices offered by various bitcoin brokers. Should a client choose to buy bitcoin, they are prompted to wire money to the relevant broker’s local UK bank account. The bitcoin is then held in escrow by Coinfloor until the money hits the broker’s account.
Generally speaking, it seems brokers add a premium of approximately 6% to orders, which we hope will fall as broker participation increases. For relatively small orders, the convenience and quickness of the broker option combined with wire transfer and deposit fee savings, might make this an attractive option for casual, retail traders. However, for larger orders, there is no reason not to use the exchange itself.
Coinfloor IOS and Android
Coinfloor does not have an IOS or Android app, and the website is not mobile friendly. It is possible to squeeze and pinch your way to a trade on the website, but it will be an uncomfortable experience. A third party developer created CoinFloor Connect for Android, which allows users to integrate the Coinfloor API and trade in a mobile-optimized environment. Mark Lamb, CEO of Coinfloor, has left positive reviews for the app, so whilst not developed directly by Coinfloor the app at least enjoys tacit support.
Coinfloor Exchange Fees
Coinfloor has a very competitive maker/taker fee structure. Maker fees are applied to trades in which liquidity is added to the order book, while taker fees apply when liquidity is removed from the books.
|30 day trailing volume (in GBP)||Maker fee||Taker fee|
Deposit and withdrawal fees
|Deposit fee||Minimum deposit||Withdrawal fee||Minimum withdrawal|
|PLN||Free||PLN 1,000||PLN 1.00||PLN 5.00|
Might Look Elsewhere if:
You are not from the UK.
No reason to be using coinfloor if you are not in the UK – you can compare bitcoin exchanges and filter according to your requirements. UK residents should also compare coinfloor to the competition as well – check out UK bitcoin exchanges.
You are a high frequency trader.
Unfortunately Coinfloor still hasn’t really achieved much market depth. If you are day trading – or even just trading regularly with largish sums – best to go to an international exchange. Bitfinex is probably the best of the bunch.
Coinfloor’s API allows clients to access their accounts and make trades from third party applications or programs. To utilize Android application Coinfloor connect, users must input the API key, which can be found in the dashboard.
The Coinfloor exchange provides a GBP market and a very competitive trading fee structure. For traders looking to trade btc/gbp, it’s coinfloor or coinbase, and we vote for coinfloor. As for the brokerage option, we anticipate that with time the premiums charged will drop. As it currently stands, the offers available are a bit more expensive than Localbitcoins. For casual buyers, you might anyway prefer the straightforward exchange model of Coinfloor.