Bitcoin.Com – A Weird Place To Buy Bitcoin From (A Review)
Bitcoin.com may be the starting point for many newcomers into cryptocurrency. Understanding what the website is and what it is not is essential in staying safe with your money. Check our extended Bitcoin.Com review to read details on services they offer, but this post is to serve as a little checklist guide for anyone entering Bitcoin.
Is bitcoin.com official?
Hell no. Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, there is nothing really “official” here except for the code supported by the consensus of core developers and users.
Bitcoin.com is a for-profit company that happened to buy this great brandable domain name in 2014. The company name is St Bitts, it’s a limited liability company in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis.
Bitcoin.org, on the other hand, would be a better match for an “official” site for Bitcoin, since all it does is list services and publishes guides on using the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin.com, on the other hand, is making money from the following services:
- gambling games & playrooms
- banner ads
- sponsored articles
- selling Bitcoin for a 2.5% commission (+ credit card processor commission)
- similar activities.
As you can see, Bitcoin.com is just there to make money. DO NOT expect to find “scientific”, “nerdy” or “impartial” information on that site, look for that on Twitter, Medium and in Github discussion threads.
The main page the site is funneling visitors to is buy.bitcoin.com – a page to buy Bitcoin. The way it works is – a user submits a Bitcoin wallet to the webpage, proceeds to pay the market price + fees using a credit card, and gets the purchased amount of Bitcoin credited to their address, same as what you get with Changelly.
The fees are not low: 2.5% to Bitcoin.Com and 5% (minimum $10) to Simplex for processing credit cards. That totals to 7.5% fee on every Bitcoin purchase. Considering an $6K Bitcoin price you could pay $420 to get it through Bitcoin.Com. That’s definitely expensive.
Bitcoin.Com has developed a desktop wallet application that they encourage their customers to use. There’s nothing really good or bad about this wallet, the most important part is it keeps you in control of your private keys – which is the golden standard in the industry.
Bitcoin Cash Controversy.
Ver is passionate about a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork and he was rooting for the cancelled Segwit2x, so much so that he promised to exchange 1000 BTC for 1000 BCH.
There are many inconsistencies in Roger’s and Bitcoin.Com stances on all of these issues which makes it very hard to either recommend or advise against their website while reviewing it. That activism is the elephant in the room that prevents you from relaxing.
Roger Ver is passionate about Bitcoin Cash and calls it simply “Bitcoin”, but Bitcoin Cash does not have Segwit, while the core Bitcoin does. At the same time Ver supported the corporate Segwit2x fork, which obviously had Segwit since it was to be split from the core blockchain. Once the Segwit2x fork got cancelled, Ver reverted to promoting Bitcoin Cash.
It often looks like Ver and his company are mostly interested in controlling a coin, so they would promote anything they can govern.
The Bitcoin.Com wallet supports both BTC and BCH, but the whole website is crafted to convince you that Bitcoin Cash (live since August 2017 only) is somehow the “real” Bitcoin. As a result, making sure you are buying BTC and not BCH through Bitcoin.com is an extremely demanding task, so much so that a newcomer would be happily buying BCH there and expecting it to be Bitcoin. A lot of actors in the Bitcoin space are simply calling this behavior a “scam“, and many call out Bitcoin.Com for spreading false information on other media channels, e.g. the r/btc subreddit where most of the mods are Bitcoin.com employees.
So… Is Bitcoin.com Legit?
Scam or not, the whole business with Bitcoin forks support is extremely confusing for a Bitcoin beginner. Bitcoin.Com is too entangled in a barely accessible political agenda to be the website where newcomers buy their first coins. There is so much newspeak and propaganda forced down the users’ throats the doing due diligence becomes nearly a full-time job.