Updated September 18, 2018
Bitcoin.com may be the starting point for many newcomers into cryptocurrency just because of the catchy website address. To stay safe with your money you need to understand what this website is and what it is not. This post is to serve as a little checklist guide for anyone entering Bitcoin.com in the browser and looking to read a quick review before using the site for anything.
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 (even though it is not either), 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 with 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.
Again, do not get confused with the currencies in your wallet. BCH is “bitcoin cash”, or “bcash”, while BTC is the real Bitcoin that you’re probably after.
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.
August 2018 BCH mistake purchases reports
Ever since this article was written Bitcoin.com moved even further into the direction of pushing BCH over BTC and disguising it as “the real Bitcoin”. There have been reports of people purchasing BCH by mistake while planning to buy BTC:
no joke – friend of mine with no crypto knowledge tried to buy $500 worth of #Bitcoin. unknowingly used the https://t.co/Y8AB7yATHz app, and accidentally bought #Bcash instead. @rogerkver is a scammer and his crooked marketing tactics are impacting innocent people pic.twitter.com/x2JdIlhDVi
— douvy (@rdouvy) August 17, 2018
A close friend asked how to get #Bitcoin last week. She started the conversation by saying, "I'm on Bitcoin-dot-com right now. Should I just download their wallet?" Lucky I was there.@rogerkver is perpetuating the worst kind of fraud and profiting from the ignorance of noobs. https://t.co/vaDLRC0HJy
— That Guy Who ⚡️ CEO of Bitcoin.com (@hq83bnn9) August 18, 2018
Friends of mine have had close calls too. 😅 pic.twitter.com/tv08JZMg09
— Dennis Porteaux (@DennisPortoMD) August 19, 2018
Meanwhile, the Bitcoin fork pushed by Bitcoin.Com, BCH, is struggling to find adoption, as explained by this Bloomberg article.
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. Bitcoin.com is NOT any kind of official website.
Bitcoin.com Review Verdict:
Consider another place to buy first your Bitcoins. Currently the best choices are
LocalBitcoins for peer-to-peer purchases worldwide;
Coinbase – ACH, credit card and wire transfer purchases for USA customers;
BitPanda – bank, credit card or PayPal purchases for EU residents;
Indacoin for credit card purchases all over the world