May 2018 update – Bitcoin.de continues to be a reliable peer to peer bitcoin exchange, and since this article has been written has expanded to cover bitcoin cash, bitcoin gold and ethereum in addition to bitcoin.
Our experience selling bitcoins on the Bitcoin.de Exchange (originally published March 2015)
Please note: This review is based on selling a relatively small amount of bitcoin into euro. The stats outlined in this review may not apply to larger traders. This review is part of our series of bitcoin exchanges.
So as we’ve been generating some bitcoin for the last few weeks as a result of our time spent on our mining pool reviews, we’ve reviewed a couple of places that use bitcoin. However, we wanted to turn our bitcoin into real money, and began by looking at different exchanges we could use. I came across bitcoin.de while I was looking for a European exchange, and as they’re in Germany (which has lots of rules) we thought we’d give them a go to see how their exchange works.
So to begin with, Bitcoin.de isn’t an exchange in the traditional sense. Instead it’s a mix of a peer to peer marketplace backed by their escrow service. Registering is relatively straightforward, and they enforce a two-stage login, and then further recommend using 2FA to secure your account. Once registered, you then need to verify your details with them by sending on various pieces of identification. I was rather hesitant about this after supplying details to Mt. Gox just before it tanked, and after looking at various exchanges I settled on a German one because they’re within the EU, and there are contact details on the website including a phone number that’s actually answered.
The exchange works by allowing you to lodge funds to your account, and then matching you with a corresponding seller. I originally lodged a relatively small amount, about 0.04 BTC, but the system requires that you work from a minimum of 0.1 BTC. So in total between two lodgements, I placed 0.18400951 on my account. I then put the bitcoin up for sale, in my case picking a price of €305. Within a couple of minutes, I received an email alert saying that my bitcoins had been sold, and that the counterparty was wiring the funds to the bank details I had on file. Sure enough, within 24 hours, I could see the lodgement arrive in my bank account, and then I logged back into the system to confirm receipt of the funds, which deducted them from my balance and sent them on.
The site operates through their own escrow service, and a marketplace fee of 1% is charged, split evenly between the buyer and seller in a very clear way. When I was putting the sale through, it deducted 0.005% in the bitcoin value, with the balance payable by the buyer. Before sending the bitcoins on, the exchange then deducts another 0.005% from the buyer. Both parties can then rate the other member, just like the ebay feedback system.
I was pretty impressed with the exchange, as while I’ve traded bitcoin into fiat and back on the likes of BTC-E, their high lodgement and payout requirements meant I wasn’t able to sell due to high charges or minimum fees. However, being able to make sales on amounts over 0.1 btc was very handy. Lodging money on the account took about six network verifications, and once it was on, I could pick my price. I was really happy that my first experience selling was so positive, as I got 99.5% of the value of my euro lodged by SEPA into my account within a very short timeframe. So the exchange works very well, and I’m happy to recommend Bitcoin.de to people looking for an exchange in Europe that can wire funds straight to their bank account.
Update: 17th March 2015 – We have done a number of trades this month on bitcoins.de that were settled in the same day. Trades that went through before about 11am and which were quickly acted on by the other party were received in four cases before 6pm the same day. Alternatively, you can visit our Buy Bitcoin page to get bitcoin right now.