Glidera offers users the option to buy bitcoin directly from wallets via copay or airbitz, which really amps up the security aspect.
1-2% feeTrading Fees
- United States
- Available directly through copay and airbitz
- ACH transfers for free deposits and withdrawals
- Extremely simple on ramp to bitcoin network
- Slightly higher fees
- Product tailored for third party integrations, not the most excellent stand-alone platform
Security is obviously a pain point in the bitcoin ecosystem. Users must entrust their bitcoin to custodial exchange accounts that act more or less as banks but generally without the insurance. The collapse of an exchange, as has occurred on more than one occasion, often leads to loss of customer funds. Glidera offers an API to wallet developers which allows users to buy and sell bitcoin directly from their chosen wallet without having their money held in custodial exchange accounts. This also might help wallets find a monetization mechanism, as exchange fees, in the form of a spread, are shared with the wallet developers. However, Glidera allows only small purchases, and is primarily for beginners. If you don’t fit either of these categories, probably best to pick a different exchange.
Opening an account
Accounts may be opened either with a standard manual inputting of details, or by scanning a bitID-enabled wallet’s (most notably airbitz or copay) QR code. After your initial info has been manually or automatically entered, you will need to:
- Verify your email – simple enough
- Verify your telephone number – for two-factor authentication
- Verify your personal details – and here you’ll need to stick the last four digits of your social security number, to be completed later to raise your limits.
- Upload your photo ID – passport, driver’s license or other government issued;
- And connect your bank account to enable ACH transfers.
Once you’ve gone through this, and users must complete every step prior to even having a look around – you’ll be set up with a daily limit of $500, a monthly of $1,000. You can increase your limits to $1,000/$2,500 if you are willing to provide your complete social security number, answer additional identity questions, buy and sell $5,000 worth of bitcoin (so you’ll need to wait 5 months at a minimum) and wait at least 30 days, which seems a bit superfluous considering the previous condition. Many hoops to jump through for a measly $2,500 monthly limit!
While the signup process seems tedious – and is needed just to have a look at the product! – most users are coming from third party wallets, and really the only thing necessary for them to do, and most likely the sole reason to be at the site, is to complete this process to enable Glidera in their wallet account.
We have established that the product is extremely Spartan and meant primarily to be used through third party wallet applications, but for those still interested in buying and selling directly through Glidera the experience is not half bad, and the price rates well against Celery and Circle.
There is literally nothing on the site aside from a transaction tab, a buy/sell tab, and a setup tab where you can update your information. Assuming your ACH transfer has gone through, buying bitcoin requires inputting the bitcoin wallet to which it should be sent. Fees to exchange dollars to bitcoin, and back again, vary, but are displayed when making a transaction. Generally speaking, expect to pay between 1 to 2%. There is a very minimal spread between buy and sell prices of approximately 1% as well, but this will most likely be the case at most trading exchanges as well.
When selling bitcoin to dollars, you will basically need to scan the QR code of the wallet from where you’ll be sending the bitcoin; the price offered is locked for a short period; inability for transaction to complete prior to that may lead to an adjustment to market rate.
Of course if you, like most, use Glidera through a third party wallet app, the entire process is streamlined through your wallet, and is a much more seamless process.
Might not be for you if:
You are looking to buy more than a smallish amount.
Glidera has low by limits. If you are anyway considering setting up ACH transfer, just might as well just bite the bullet and join the Coinbase dark side.
Glidera’s API integration into third party wallets probably sets the bar in the space, and they have had initial success as demonstrated by the copay and airbitz integrations.