Beware! BTC-markets is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
BTC-markets is pretty much what you see. A below average broker that supposedly dabbles only with bitcoin. This is never a good sign, because limiting yourself to bitcoin is focusing on a specific audience, and also it creates an air of suspicion. The main reason for this is because bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general have always been looked at through a shady lens, mainly due to the fact that they are still te be fully regulated and centralised, although governments around the world are endeavouring to do so. Anyway, you might be guessing as to the direction this review will be taking. Nevertheless, we advice yo to read to get a better idea of BTC-markets.
The registration was fast and uneventful, leading us to a trading software, a web-trader, that also served as the main user dashboard. There it was confirmed that BTC-markets is exclusively a cryptocurrency broker, with a leverage capped at 1:20. Brokers that blend the trading software with the user dashboard might seem innovative, but this is not the case. The user area must be a place where one can manage her account, without having to be distracted by the trading software. This is an element, in a list of similar ones, that showcases the limitied nature of BTC-markets.
The website comes in English, German, and Spanish, and so does the dashboard/platform.
BTC-MARKETS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Here we are again with the classic location for scammer brokers, namely the Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. BTC-markets is supposedly located there. This does not mean that the country regulates the broker. In fact, there have been numerous statements disclaiming that SVG has not included a forex and CFD broker licensing frameworks. However, in recent times there have been rumours that the country will be implementing a new set of regulatory frameworks.
Nevertheless, BTC-markets is in no way under nay kind of supervision in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Furthermore, seeing that there is no other mention that the broker is regulated, we must conclude that this one is NOT A HOLDER OF A LICENSE, and as such is not a safe place to deposit funds!
Traders should be trading with risk-free brokers, that hold licensed from renowned and austere agencies, like the FCA or CySec , which have made a name for themselves as some of the top regulators. Readers should be aware that both agencies have adapted very strict rules of conduct, and their licensing framework guarantees safety and security for all clientele. A good example of this is the segregation of accounts which assures that client money and broker money are kept in separate accounts. Furthermore, FCA/CySEC brokers participate in a financial reimbursement scheme that cover traders losses in case the broker becomes insolvent. The FCA provides up to 85 000 pounds per person, while CySEC guarantees up to 20 000 euros.
Please do note that recently the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has issued a statement that it is planning a complete reformation of the nation’s FX and CFD regulatory grounds. This means that we are to expect SVG to start enforcing a set of rules to its brokers firms, of which there are hundreds if not thousands most of whom are complete scams.
BTC-MARKETS TRADING SOFTWARE
The trading software here is an average web based terminal, that comes with some neat features that nevertheless, do not make it any more better that other scammer broker trading platforms.
The features that are worth sticking for, for no more than an hour, are pending orders, live tv, live news, and price alerts. When you compare this one to the MT4, this one falls short in some many ways. The MT4 has become the standard by which we measure any trading software.
BTC-MARKETS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The deposit area gave us the following options through which to deposit funds: Xpate, Vload Voucher, and a crytpo wallet. All of these payment gateways are present only with illicit brokerage firms. We have reviewed our fair share of illegitimate companies, many of which have Vload as the main (and sometimes only) depositing methods.
The minimum deposit amount is $250, which is quite different from the required deposit that the account section of the website claims it to be (it’s $5000). BTC-markets has other inconsistencies that act as proof that this is still an unregulated broker.
The minimum withdrawal amount is $50 as per the Withdrawal Policy. The same legal doc reveals that the processing times for a withdrawal request is 5 days. The withdrawal gateway in the so called client dashboard reveals that user can withdraw via credit card, bank trasnfer, and a Bitcoin wallet.
There is mention of transfer withdrawal fee, but the firm never gives us any clear details on them.
Bonuses must go through a turn over requirement prior to being withdrawn. This trading requirement is equal to 30 times the bonus + the deposit.
Here is the indemnification clause that clearly states that the broker is not responsible for any losses that a user experiences when using the broker’s services:
The legal documents do not have many provisions that are too crazy or truly scammer like, but in no way should that lower you guard when looking at BTC-markets. This is an unregulated firm, and as such will not be following any legal guidelines when dealing with you and your money! Thus we do not advice you to deposit. If for whatever reason you wish to deposit, please do so with the minimum amount required.
How does the scam work?
The usual scam operates on a multi-level, though very basic model. The users will be tempted to click on an Internet ad promising quick and easy profits. If they do, it will take them to a website that will ask for their personal details, including email address and phone number. Once they submit this information, an avalanche of emails and phone calls will be unleashed. Scammers will promise the world to these potential traders in order to induce them to make an initial deposit between $200 and $300.
These “brokers” will get a fat commission from the deposited sums and will transfer the unsuspecting users to “senior” scammers. The latter are smooth talkers who will try to persuade users to invest more funds, using phrases like “now is the right time” and “the moment is perfect for making hefty profits”. Of course, these are empty words, and traders will soon have doubts whether they have not been played.
When they try to withdraw their money, these doubts will be confirmed: the con-artists will do anything to deny or at least delay their withdrawals. From trying to convince the traders that they are making a big mistake to withdraw funds now because they will lose big profits, to asking for additional documents or citing clauses in the accepted agreements, to transferring you to another department, there is a single objective to delay the users from filing for a chargeback with their financial institution and lose any chances of recovering their money.
What to do when scammed?
Anyone can fall prey to such a scam. In the unfortunate event this happens to you, there are a few things you can do. If you deposited using a credit card you should immediately file for a chargeback. In an effort to combat online fraud VISA and MasterCard have extended the period in which one can file a chargeback to a year and a half, so there is a big chance that you may be able to recover your funds. If however, you used a bank wire or bitcoin to deposit, chances to get your money back are almost none.
We should also warn against “recovery agencies” who prey on victimized traders by claiming they can recover their funds. These scammers will ask you to pay a fee for this service, but will only take your money and do nothing.