Switchere is a relatively new cryptocurrency exchange service that allows you to quickly buy crypto with your cards.
In fact, this is one of their main selling points. They give traders a simple non-custodial gateway to buy cryptocurrency – transparently and without much of the regular rigmarole that is required at other exchanges.
However, can you really trust such a new exchange?
In this Switchere review I will attempt to answer that. I will also give you some top tips that you need to consider when using their service.
As mentioned, Switchere is a relatively new exchange that was started this year. They are based in Tallinn, Estonia.
This is an important point as Estonia is known as one of the most forward-thinking countries in Europe when it comes to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
The crux behind the Switchere offering is its focus on simplicity. They wanted to develop a simple fiat gateway that could be used by those who are still new to the cryptocurrency markets.
This is a non-custodial exchange which means that they do not hold your coins. You will buy the crypto right on their platform and then they will send this right to an offline wallet address that you give them.
When it comes to country coverage, Switchere accepts cards from most European countries. However, they do have a long list of countries that they do not accept. Some of the most prominent of these are the United States and Canada. Make sure you know whether your card is accepted.
This is perhaps one of the most important questions that we will ask about a new exchange. Cryptocurrency exchanges don’t have the best record when it comes to user security.
Hence, there are a number of factors that we have to look into before we will consider using a new exchange – these range from regulation to communication and use security.
Let’s take a look into some of these shall we?
Something that I found quite reassuring about the Switchere exchange is that they are fully regulated by Estonian authorities – some of the most reputable in Europe.
There are two licences that the exchange holds from these regulators. This is their “Virtual Wallet Service” provider licence as well as their “Virtual Currency Exchange” licence.
So, what do these licences mean?
Well, they show that the Estonian authorities consider Switchere to be a sound exchange. Moreover, applying for these licences means that the company and all of its directors will have had to have completed extensive KYC.
It is also worth noting that having a regulatory framework for a cryptocurrency exchange itself is a pretty new concept. Hence, this is the reason why we would consider Estonia to be so forward thinking.
Now, given that Switchere is a non custodial exchange, you have less to worry about from a coin storage perspective than you do for some of the large centralised exchanges.
However, something that they do have to consider is their security when it comes to communications. As you will most probably note, Switchere has full SSL and TLS encryption on their site.
This means that all of your online communications with them are completely private and encrypted with SHA 256 hashing. It also means that hackers cannot steal your information in a “man in the middle” attack.
On this point, you will want to make sure that if you are visiting Switchere that you can see the secure padlock in your browser. This cannot be faked and is perhaps one of the best methods to spot a phishing attempt.
Then, when it comes to card security, Switchere uses the 3D secure protocol. This is perhaps one of the most well known and secure security layers that underpin online card payments.
Of course, security often starts with the user. If we don’t provide the hackers with the information that they require then that is the first step in the line of defense.
As such, Switchere has a number of user side security and tools that could help protect your account further. For example, they offer 2FA for those users that have created accounts.
This means that you will have to authorise a login with a mobile device every time before you login. However, hackers who have access to your password will not be able to log in.
Another pretty neat feature that Switchere has that we have not seen on other exchanges is the ability to set the auto-logout on your account. So, if you want your account to log you out pretty quickly for security, you can set it like this.
Alternatively, if you would like to stay logged in for as long as possible then you can extend this time out. Although, we would recommend against this especially if you ever use a shared PC.
Yet, what you have to consider is that they operate more as a simple “Fiat gateway” exchange. Essentially, they could provide a simple way for you to get access to crypto with your fiat currency.
Once you have your Bitcoin in your offline wallet that has been purchased on Switchere, you can send it to another large cryptocurrency exchange like Binance. Here you can buy a larger array of coins.
Something that you should note is that Switchere does not disclose their fees on the exchange. However, the price that you are quoted when you are about to purchase is already net of fees.
Their transparency is one of their main selling points – what you see is what you get. So, when we wanted to buy 100 EUR of Bitcoin Switchere was offering us 0.01299 BTC in exchange for that.
This implies a BTC exchange rate of €7,698 for one Bitcoin. At the current time, Bitcoin was trading for €6,658 on exchanges listed on Coin Market Cap – a whopping 15% premium on the market exchange rate.
Of course, there are likely to be fees involved for credit card processing with their Payment Processor. Still, the other exchanges that we have looked at only had a max fee on cards of up to 6%.
So, while we are fans of the transparency that comes with their fee model, it seems that their pricing model needs to be looked at one more time and possibly tweaked.
One of the main benefits of Switchere is that you do not have to create an account or get verified in order to get your hands on crypto.
For buys that are under €100 you can go straight through to payment and all you need to provide is an email address and your personal offline Bitcoin address.
However, if you would like to make larger purchases of cryptocurrency then you will need to verify yourself a bit more. There are four levels of verification available at Switchere.
These verifications will have to be checked manually by the team at Switchere. However, their customer support is generally quite fast (point I will touch on below). So, your verification could be done quite quickly.
Let’s move onto the main platform of Switchere. Something that really struck us was the simplicity of its design as well as its easy to navigate UI.
Even when compared to some of the other non custodial exchanges like Shapeshift or Changelly, the interface of Swithchere is that much more simplified and easier to use for those new to crypto.
On the main homepage you have your simple order form where you can select the amount that you would like to purchase. This will then move you onto a payment gateway where you can input your card details.
If you do choose to create an account then you have additional options in your dashboard. You can easily update your preferences, set up your security, observe your previous transactions and monitor your verifications.
Even if you are only considering small buys, you may want to consider creating an account. You don’t have to provide your KYC information for these small buys but having an account means that you have a record of all your transactions.
Assuming that you are happy with Switchere and would like to buy some crypto then the process is super simple. Firstly, you will need to know how much you would like to buy.
If you are going to make a buy for less than €100 then you won’t need to verify anything. You can enter the amount that you would like to purchase in the order form. This will then present how much you will eventually get in Bitcoin.
Once that is done you can click “Buy Bitcoin”. This will then take you to the next screen where they will request your email address as well as your offline Bitcoin address. This is the address where your funds will immediately get sent to.
You will see the final amount that you will get in Bitcoin. You can accept the terms and then move onto the next stage which is the payment stage. This is a payment processing gateway where you will have to hand over your credit card details.
As mentioned above, your credit card details are safe on this page. Do take note though that the time to make the payment is limited to 10 minutes (for added security). So you should try and send the payment through before this time elapses and you are logged out.
If your card is accepted by the payment processor and the transaction goes through, the Bitcoin will automatically be sent to your address provided.
Unfortunately, transactions will not work the other way. This is not like a traditional exchange where you can sell your coins as well. You can only buy crypto through Switchere.
Another really strong selling point of Switchere has to be their support function. We were really surprised at how quickly they respond to questions – something other exchanges need to improve on.
This support is also available 24/7 so you can get help no matter what time you are about to make your Bitcoin purchase. Perhaps the quickest way to reach them is through the online chat function.
We did that on a Saturday afternoon and were almost immediately helped by Yunus. He was also quite knowledgeable about the service and was able to most appropriately answer our questions.
Of course, there are other methods by which you can reach the team. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thankfully, they also provide a phone number (rare amoung exchanges). You can give them a ring on +3726104250.
Something else that we really like about Switchere was their referral program. This is some of the most generous that we have seen in the crypto space and could be a great way for users to earn extra income.
If you refer people to the Switchere exchange then you will earn up to 80% on the fees that are generated by this user. Moreover, if this user goes and refers someone else then you will earn 10% of that user’s commission.
There are a number of benefits that come from the Switchere referral program. These include the following:
Something else that Switchere provides is banners and other advertising material. This will allow you to easily promote their services in your social media channels or on specific websites.
Now, there was a lot that we really liked about the Switchere exchange. However, we would be irresponsible if we did not list some of the things that we didn’t like too much.
Firstly, you have that limited coin support. In today’s exchange environment, only having three cryptocurrency assets that you can buy is quite limiting. There are plans for adding more support so we will keep our eyes on that.
Secondly, that Bitcoin price that we were quoted seems a bit too high. We understand that they are a new service and have PSP expenses etc, but the premium on the market rate is above most of the competition.
Finally, it would be great if they included a mobile app some time soon. These are the days when the majority of users are on the go and prefer the convenience of a mobile phone.
Overall though, we were pretty happy with Switchere. They have built one of the simplest online non-custodial exchanges that we have seen on the market.
Moreover, given that this is a non-custodial exchange you don’t ever have your coins at risk. This is something that cannot be said about some of the large centralised exchanges.
We also love the fact that they are fully regulated in Europe by the Estonian agencies. This means that you can be sure that they are fully vetted and have complete oversight by these respective agencies.
Finally, that rapid response customer support as well as the generous referral program are other great features that make Switchere stick out for us.
Yes, there are a number of things that need to be worked on and improved. However, they are still a new exchange and are more than happy to take that feedback on. This is even something the customer support mentioned to us when we raised an issue with them.
So, is Switchere the exchange for you?
Well, if you want an advanced centralised exchange with numerous trading pairs and functionality, then probably not. However, if you want a quick and painless way to get your hands on crypto, then its worth considering.
Featured Image via Switchere