- High-security level, featuring 2FA
- Extra security options available for increased deposits/withdrawals
- Fiat-to-crypto pairs with MXN (Mexican Peso)
- Low fees
- Intuitive interface
- Only 16 cryptos
- Fiat currencies limited to Mexican and Argentinian pesos, Brazilian reais, and US dollars
- No on-call customer support; solving an issue might take time
Choosing the exchange to suit your needs among a staggering number of cryptocurrency exchanges out there might take some time and perseverance. If you are a beginner in the sea of crypto or just looking for more info to go with your sophisticated ‘pro’ status, this Bitso review will help you get there.
Bitso is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Mexico City. It’s the first crypto exchange to provide cryptocurrency trading in Mexican Pesos and offers bitcoin payment services from Mexican retailers.
Before further detail, here is an initial Pro and Con list to help you make up your mind about the Bitso exchange.
What Is Bitso
Bitso is a cryptocurrency exchange that provides crypto-to-crypto, crypto-to-fiat, and fiat-to-crypto trading. It’s the world’s largest exchange for buying and selling Bitcoin with Mexican Pesos (MXN). Bitso offers Mexican residents, searching for an alternative payment method, driven by remittance needs, the devaluation of the Peso, and expensive financial services, access to global financial services built on top of blockchain technology.
The Bitso headquarters are in Mexico City, Mexico. The exchange greatly benefits local users, letting them easily trade their crypto in retail stores through the Bitso wallet and make fast transactions in MNX.
Bitso features transactions in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Aave (AAVE), Decentraland (MANA), etc. (16 in total). The company offers multiple cryptocurrency products and services, among them: the Bitso App that lets users buy, sell, send, or receive bitcoin and 8 other cryptocurrencies; Bitso Alpha, a professional crypto trading platform; Bitso Business, several cross-border products for local enterprises; BitsoPay, a payment platform that allows merchants to accept payments online; Bitso wallets, created as multi-signature wallets to increase security for users’ funds, etc.
The platform is straightforward, user-friendly, and is suitable for beginners and seasoned traders. Users can start with only 100 MNX (Mexican Pesos; 100 MNX= 4.7USD). Moreover, any user from across the globe can link their bank account to the exchange and convert their fiat currency to MNX on the spot to complete the necessary transactions.
Bitso offers instant funding and withdrawals, allowing users to send and receive funds between Bitso and their bank in just a single second and completely free of fees.
The exchange follows “the best security practices and processes in the industry.”
Bitso comes with a complete set of APIs to allow third-party development of Bitcoin applications.
Bitso Exchange History
Bitso was launched in 2014 and is the first crypto exchange in Mexico. Bitso co-founders Ben Peters and Pablo Gonzalez partnered with Ripple to employ a Ripple gateway and facilitate US-Mexico remittances in pesos, USD, and Bitcoin.
In 2016 the exchange partnered with local Zmart Group to open OTC (over the counter) Bitcoin sales in convenience stores across the country. At the time, Bitso had close to 20.000 users, and the daily transactions volume stood at $2.5 million.
Today the daily transaction volume is approximately $41.4 million, and the platform has over 3 million users worldwide.
Security and Privacy
As of publication, Bitso has never experienced a hack or loss of customer funds. There has been one security breach incident in 2017 related to a technical issue; however, Bitso quickly acknowledged and officially apologized to its clients.
Bitso employs KYC (know your customer) verification, which verifies the user’s identity by matching their real name and ID at registration.
In addition to KYC, customers are offered additional security options, like two-factor authentication. The 2FA generates a 6-digit code every 30 seconds and secures the account. Despite it being an extra step to complete, the exchange highly recommends activating the 2FA option.
The website also offers the option of a Transaction PIN. The PIN is activated with each transaction, increasing the account’s security.
Finally, Bitso offers the PGP Public key as an option to protect and encrypt emails from the exchange.
Depending on your security settings, the amount of your possible daily deposits and withdrawals will increase.
How to Activate 2FA
To activate the 2FA option, you can download the Google Authenticator app or the Authy App. Once the app is successfully installed, here’s the sequence of steps to follow:
- Go to “Profile” and into your account options
- Go to “Set-up”; click on the “Enable” button next to the 2FA option
- Select “Add account,” then “Scan QR code”
- Scan the QR code in the Bitso app and choose “save”
- You’ll get a 6-digit code
- Enter the code in the “Please write here” field to finalize the process.
After the setup is complete, the Bitso exchange will request the code upon each access onto the platform. The app will also generate an emergency code, which is advisable to keep in a safe place outside your devices. If you lose access to your devices for any reason, use the emergency code.
Bitso exchange provides a wide array of tools to help customers. For example, if you have a question to ask, or you are experiencing a glitch, you can go to the website’s main page and scroll down until you find the “Support Center” button.
Once you click on it, the interface gives you options to watch specific tutorials, look into frequently asked questions, address the “Buying Guide,” etc.
However, if none of the options above answered your question, you can open a ticket, i.e., leave an official inquiry. The company will respond in 24 hours.
Mobile App Review
Bitso is available not only through the website and the wallet but also through the mobile app. You can easily download it for both Android and iOS-powered phones on Apple Store or Google Play.
The app is relatively intuitive and doesn’t require any special knowledge in trading, making it suitable for beginners. Use the login button to access your already existing account, or create a new one on the app, if you are new to the platform.
The app allows users to:
- Buy and sell cryptocurrencies
- Transfer funds through stablecoins
- Check crypto prices in real-time and execute any of the actions described above
- Use the increased security option to protect your account further.
Note that wire transfers aren’t allowed on the app.
At this point, you have likely made up your mind on whether you want to register and trade with Bitso based on our Bitso exchange review. If the answer is positive, read on to learn how the platform works and start trading right away.
How to Start Trading on Bitso Exchange
Step 1: Sign Up
The signup process is very straightforward. First, you’ll be required to provide basic info, and after completing the step, you’ll get an email containing a 6-digit confirmation code. Provide the code, and the signup is complete!
Step 2: Provide KYC
Once you complete the registration, you can use the website, search for pairs, etc., but you cannot trade yet, as your limit is 0. To increase the deposit limit to at least $185, you need to fill in additional information about yourself.
If you provide your full name, date of birth, sex, profession, source of funds, and phone number, you can start trading.
If, later on, you choose to increase the deposit and withdrawal limit to $750, or $1,500, you can provide further information, including legal documents proving your identity.
Step 3: Fund Deposit
The exchange allows users to deposit funds through wire transfers and stablecoin transfers. The wire transfer stands at a minimum of $100 for a $10 fee. The transfer takes 1-5 working days and can be made from a bank account in your name.
Bitso fees depend on the deposit currency, and if you complete the deposit in Pesos, you can do it for free. As mentioned, the possible deposit currencies include Mexican pesos, Brazilian reais, Argentinian pesos, US dollars, and Bitcoin.
Step 4: Trading
Now that you have deposited some funds into your account, you can start trading! Click on “exchange” in the top right corner. You’ll see two options: Trading and Bitso Alpha. The Trading option suits beginners, while Bitso Alpha is designated for more advanced users.
Similar to many other exchanges, Bitso fees depend on the currency of your choice and the trading volume. You can choose your preferred currency with Bitso. Note that Bitcoin has the lowest fees for makers and takers (0.075% and 0.098%, respectively), while fees are higher for USD traders: 0.095% and 0.099%.
Deposits and Withdrawals
As mentioned earlier in the review, Bitso supports two deposit methods. You can either use wire transfers directly from your bank account or make cryptocurrency transfers on the Ethereum network. Deposit and withdrawal fees would vary for both cases.
For example, no deposit fees are involved if you deposit in Bitcoin. However, there is a 0.00016442 BTC withdrawal fee for Bitcoin.
What is a NIP, and what do I do with it?
The “transaction NIP” is a four or five-digit number that you have to input every time you make a transaction, a withdrawal, or a transfer of any kind. It increases the security of your account and prevents unauthorized activity. You can change the transaction NIP in your profile settings.
What to do if I lose my NIP?
You need to log in to your Bitso account to reset it. In detail, you have to fill in some information on the reset form. Then you will receive an email link to confirm your new NIP.
How to make a Bitcoin withdrawal?
All you need to do is go to the withdrawal section and enter the amount of BTC you want to take out. Then, enter the destination address. Afterward, enter your transaction NIP to complete the transfer.
If the transaction goes through, it should be complete in a few minutes.
How long is too long?
If your transaction takes longer than 10 minutes, you’ll need to get in touch with customer support.
Is Bitso available for US residents?
No, US residents cannot use Bitso due to the sturdy and complicated governmental trading regulations.
Bitso has several advantages and disadvantages to consider. The platform features only sixteen cryptocurrencies, which is not a lot. However, it makes trading easy for Mexican residents, as they can use their crypto to pay directly for goods and services.
Bitso has several security systems in place to ensure no unauthorized transactions occur. Additionally, it features relatively low fees and an easy-to-use interface. If you do use Bitso, don’t forget to connect it to CoinStats: It makes tracking crypto and DeFi 10x more convenient!