In the world of cryptocurrencies, it is important to find reliable wallet service providers that are up to the task and are trustworthy. Many of them, unfortunately, turn out to be scams, bent on gaining funds unfairly. Other wallet companies, like Xapo, offer legitimate services for its customers.
Thus, we made a review of the Xapo's ability to keep its customers by examining its security functions, reputation & customer support, accepted coins, and fees. We provide overall remarks in addition to the identified pros and cons, as well as brief history of the company.
General Information about Wallet
Xapo is an online wallet and exchange platform where you can stash and purchase coins. It starts as vault service provider but added exchange services as well. The owner of the platform is Wences Casares, who holds the position of CEO within the company. The platform is based in Zurich, Switzerland and offers debit cards as a means of payment when it comes to cryptocurrency exchange.
Its services are available for all traders, regardless where they live, with exception of Xapo’s debit card. The payment system is available only for European countries while US investors would not be able to order the card.
Xapo is available as a mobile phone app only, with desktop and web version not developed as of yet. The apps can be downloaded for free at Google Play and Apple Store at any time. This is considered a weakness when compared to other platforms, like CryptoPay, Cryptonator, and Blockchain. All of them offer a wider variety when it comes to trade platforms, including at least web browsing environment as well.
Registration is free while the verification is a must when it comes to bitcoin transfers. This might be seen as an additional issue, as other exchanges offer cryptocurrency transfers for unverified users.
Xapo, since its beginning, was set to support bitcoins only and have not added any other cryptocurrencies or fiat money to the wallet services. You cannot trade with bitcoin cash or with bitcoin gold at this platform either, as exchange services are also limited to BTC.
Other exchanges, Cryptonator especially, have developed at least one more coin to store and use. In case of Blockchain, it is Ethereum while Cryptonator uses 15 coins and 4 fiat currencies. CryptoPay is very similar to Xapo in this aspect, as a platform offers bitcoins only as well.
Platforms and Features
As mentioned before since the platform is mobile-based only, other environments are not available for traders to use. To fill the void, Xapo introduced exchange marketplace and debit card as additional services for bitcoin investors. The exchange and debit card are connected tightly, as you cannot sell and purchase bitcoins without using a balance on the card.
The only other way is to transfer money through bank account and purchase BTCs through that way as well. The platform itself is easy to use and simple, with all functions visible and shown to you.
Price & Fees
The support department updates the outgoing and incoming transfer fees on daily basis, so you would need to consult their support pages once you decide what to do with the coins. The sending fees currently stand at 0.00240959 BTC while receiving them would cost you 0.00159742 BTC.
There are several ways on how to avoid these costs. For example, receiving more than 0.00159742 BTC would be carried out without any costs. The above rates correspond with classic wallets, while vaults hold slightly (1%) lower fees.
You should also add miner fees to the total equation if the said transfer was done outside of the Xapo’s network.
There are two lines of defense when it comes to the security system at Xapo. The first line is the company's security investments made into cold storage capacities and software protection of the platform. Xapo invested over $20 million in the past to secure both, as to keep hackers away from the Xapo's vaults.
The second level is the personal protection functions, which are two-factor authentication (2FA), multi-sig wallets. Unfortunately, keys are not private as the Xapo’s servers generate them. The hardware wallets like KeepKey and Ledger Nano S offer private keys while online storage services like Xapo are rare to have the feature.
The overall verdict is that although not many functions are available as with Cryptonator, Xapo offers vaults and wallets as means of storage, protecting your coins quite effectively, just in a different way.
As with other three platforms, at Xapo, you have FAQ section providing numerous questions and answers to them and the ticket system, as shown in the picture below.
The support is not very popular within the customer base, as it is said that department is slow to answer, sometimes completely ignoring requests and issues.
Overall reputation of the firm is even worse than Cryptonator’s. Most of the communities criticize the debit card’s availability, as well as the nonexistence of the support representatives. Many traders have accused Xapo of closing their accounts and taking coins away, though these reports are unconfirmed.
The company was found by Wences Casares in 2014, becoming a Hong Kong's company. In April 2014, the owner of the platform introduced debit cards for its client base as an additional method of bitcoin purchase.
In 2015, Xapo added exchange platform and has moved its headquarters from California to Zurich in Switzerland. Lastly, in 2017, the government of Gibraltar announced that e-money license was given to Xapo, allowing it to provide electronic fiat money custodial and transfer services.
Pros and Cons
+ vault has good security functions, including cold storage of coins
+ offers debit cards as a payment method (available in Europe only)
- platform available only as a mobile app
- verification is required to send and receive bitcoins
- the reputation of the company is largely negative
- fees might be high for traders that use a few coins
- only bitcoins are supported by Xapo’s wallet services
We deem Xapo as outdated wallet service provider, as it needs some serious makeover in the coming period. The platform offers only bitcoins, while the services are available on mobile phones only. The reputation is really low while debit cards are available only for European traders.
Many other rivals have gone several steps ahead of Xapo, while the company itself did not move from its start in 2014. You have many other, better options to choose from than Xapo at this moment.