CoinCorner in Brief
Have you ever aborted an attempt to purchase cryptocurrency because the process was too confusing and complicated? If the answer to that question was “yes” and you live outside the US, then you may want to consider signing up with CoinCorner.
CoinCorner is one of several cryptocurrency related business headquartered in the UK’s Isle of Man, which is developing a reputation as a blockchain hot spot. It’s over four years old, making it one of the most established cryptocurrency services on the market– and it has never been compromised by hackers.
The main downside: CoinCorner’s fees are somewhat high compared to similar services. Another negative point is the lack of US availability. CoinCorner’s leaders have chosen to wait to enter the US market because of its unclear regulatory environment. Because of this, US citizens, residents and people with close ties the country are barred from CoinCorner’s services.
- Easy to use. You don’t have to be a cryptocurrency expert to use this service. Multiple deposit and withdrawal options and a simple interface are some of CoinCorner’s most user-friendly features.
- Bank card deposits and withdrawals. CoinCorner is one of the only crypto exchangers that lets you deposit or withdraw funds directly to or from a bank card.
- Public payment page. You can set up a personal payment page on the CoinCorner site, which you can send to your customers if you run a business.
- Good security track record. Though it’s one of the oldest cryptocurrency purchasing services, it’s never been hacked.
- Bitcoin is the only coin you can transfer off the platform. CoinCorner now supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple, but the only crypto you can deposit or withdraw is Bitcoin. The only way to cash out the other three is to make an exchange.
- Very high fees. Most of the criticism of CoinCorner centers around the exchange service’s high fees compared to competing beginner-oriented crypto services.
What is CoinCorner
CoinCorner is a simple cryptocurrency purchasing service. According to the company’s “About Us” page, its original mission was to address the trust issues that plagued early crypto exchanges.
This summer, CoinCorner co-founder Danny Scott explained his company’s origins story to Real Business magazine. During the interview, he talked about why he and his partners decided to headquarter CoinCorner in the Isle of Man. In 2014, its forward-thinking local government was “starting to dip their toes in” the space and wanted to learn more about it. This open-minded attitude provided an opportunity for CoinCorner to explain how the industry could be regulated properly.
The “About Us” section of the CoinCorner website sheds further light on the company’s early history:
“After some musing in the space, we decided the only way forward was to pull together the right people and start putting in place a system of best practices whilst working extensively with the Isle of Man Government to ensure that when regulation comes we are at the forefront of what that might bring.”
Since CoinCorner’s 2014 debut, the crypto purchasing service has expanded into 47 countries around the world. The company passed the 100,000 user mark in November of 2017.
In September of 2018, CoinCorner made headlines when it hired former bank regulator Chris Wilson to serve as its Head of Compliance. Wilson provided the following comment about his new position to FinExtra:
“I am excited to join the CoinCorner team as Head of Compliance, especially at such a crucial time for regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. CoinCorner’s compliance culture is very impressive and deeply embedded throughout the organization. I will be responsible for helping the team to navigate the ever-changing compliance landscape and ensure the highest possible standard of regulatory compliance.”
- Daniel Scott – Co-founder. In the late 2000s, Scott helped create online turn-based games for KJC Games. Then, he worked for MemoryBits, an e-commerce company. He did some freelance C# development work for Microsoft before co-founding a software company called Bug Net. He co-founded CoinCorner in 2014 with his business partner Phil Collins.
- Phil Collins – Co-founder. Collins is one of the public faces of CoinCorner. He’s provided comments about his company and the blockchain industry in general to CoinDesk, The Isle of Man Today and other publications.
- David Brown – Co-founder. Like Scott, Brown worked for Microsoft as a freelancer in the early 2010s. Other projects that he’s coded for include Febland Group, Infinium Associates, AM Limited and Block Zero.
- Charlie Woolnough – Co-founder. Woolnough’s background is in finance. He was a Managing Director at ABN AMRO Prime Fund Solutions, Before that, he was a Business Development specialist at HSBC.
- Chris Wilson – Head of Compliance. Wilson has a banking supervision and regulation background and was a member of the MCM working group on finance and technology.
Protecting customers’ coins
Legal and regulatory compliance
Some cryptocurrency exchanges and purchasing services prefer to operate outside of the established financial system, but others try to integrate within it. CoinCorner’s leaders belong to the latter category.
After Chris Wilson was hired to serve as the CoinCorner’s Head of Compliance, he called the company’s compliance culture “very impressive” and went on to say that a pro-compliance attitude was “deeply embedded throughout the organization.”
Prospective users must provide documentation sufficient to comply with the Isle of Man’s AML (Anti-Money Laundering) laws as well as its CFT (Countering the Financing of Terrorism) policies.
Coin listing policies
CoinCorner doesn’t have a comprehensive coin listing policy. However, this knowledge base article sheds some light on the company’s approach to selecting which coins to support:
“We are regularly asked about introducing new coins to our Exchange, and while we may look at adding even more coins/tokens in the future, no further coins will likely be getting added to our Exchange any time in the near future.”
“In the interests of security, CoinCorner retains and securely stores all Digital Currency private keys in a mixture of both online and offline facilities. As a result, the retrieval of the information required to facilitate our transactional services may be subject to procedural delays of seventy-two (72) hours or more.”
Cold storage wallets are considered to be more secure compared to hot wallets because they are not connected to the internet and are therefore harder for hackers to compromise. Whatever security approach that CoinCorner is using seems to be working because it hasn’t ever had a publicized hack.
CoinCorner relies on email and a ticket system to track its customers that need help. The FAQ page is searchable and contains an extensive array of knowledge base articles that address a wide range of topics. There is no live chat support, though.
In general, CoinCorner seems to have a good reputation on Reddit and elsewhere around the web. A Reddit post submitted by CoinCorner’s communications team celebrating Bitcoin pizza day accumulated over 70 upvotes and 25 comments.
Negative comments about CoinCorner usually involve criticisms of the service’s high fees relative to other beginner-focused purchasing services. The below comment typifies this kind of complaint:
“Coincorner looks like a good service but the spreads between buy and sell are horrendous. Any plans to introduce a proper exchange at coincorner, where buyers and sellers can place limit trades on an orderbook like Kraken? The percentage that Coincorner would get would be less than the current spread but I expect Coincorner would gain long-term by much more business for the site by trading activity.”
How to Join CoinCorner
Who can join?
CoinCorner is available in over 40 countries worldwide. The United States, however, is not on the company’s list of supported countries. The uncertain and overly burdensome regulatory environment has discouraged CoinCorner from operating there.
You can buy up to £100 worth of cryptocurrency on CoinCorner. Beyond that point, you’ll have to upload a picture of a government-issued ID card and a proof of address document to continue trading. If CoinCorner’s ID verification system flags your account, you may also have to upload a picture of yourself holding the identity card and a document and a note that has the word “CoinCorner” written on it.
What Can You Trade on CoinCorner?
CoinCorner supports four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. However, Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that you can withdraw or deposit.
CoinCorner supports two government-issued currencies: GBP and EUR.
CoinCorner only supports fiat-for-cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency-for-fiat transactions. You can’t directly exchange cryptocurrencies.
The CoinCorner website
Next, you’ll be asked to submit your ID verification documents. Once you’ve uploaded all the necessary documents, you can submit your verification application and proceed to the trading interface.
This is what CoinCorner’s dashboard looks like. Buy and sell tabs let you quickly exchange cryptocurrency and fiat money. A bar displaying your current trading limits appears on the left side of the page.
Setting up 2FA (Two-factor Authentication) is a quick and easy process. Just download Google Authenticator on your phone, then come back to CoinCorner and click Settings. Next, click the Authentication tab and scan the QR code.
CoinCorner has an accessible API, which you can use to connect trading bots and other cryptocurrency software programs to the exchanger.
CoinCorner’s PayMe feature lets you set up a public profile page. You can use the page to collect payments.
The History tab (accessible from the dashboard view) displays a record of each order you place though CoinCorner. This information is useful for adding up your gains and losses at tax time.
One of the most unique things about CoinCorner is that it lets you deposit and withdraw funds to a bank card. To initiate a card deposit, all you have to do is click the Deposit link on the left side of the dashboard.
Mobile app support
CoinCorner has an iOS and Android app. The iOS app doesn’t seem to have any ratings or comments and the Android app has a 3/5 star rating. Many of the complaints about the app are actually complaints about CoinCorner’s fee schedule. Other complaints center around CoinCorner’s ID verification procedure, which some believe is a hassle.
Deposits and withdrawals
CoinCorner offers three different fiat deposit options: bank cards, bank transfers and Neteller. Whatever transfer method you choose, you’ll pay a 2.5% administrative fee.
The maximum amount you can deposit through bank cards or Neteller depends on your ID verification status. With bank cards, you’re limited to two deposits per 24 hour period. You can only make one deposit through Neteller each day. Bank transfers take longer to process compared to bank cards and Neteller, but there are no maximum deposit limits.
CoinCorner offers two withdrawal methods: SEPA and SWIFT. SEPA transfers cost €30 and take one to three working days to process. SWIFT withdrawals cost €1.50 and the wait time is three to five working days. You have to withdraw at least €10 to use either method. There are no maximum withdrawal limits for either method.
CoinCorner only supports Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals. There are no deposit fees, but there is a small variable fee that CoinCorner applies to withdrawals that cover mining fees.
If you buy Ethereum, Litecoin or Ripple through CoinCorner, you have to trade for Bitcoin or fiat if you want to withdraw. There’s no way to deposit those cryptocurrencies directly, either. A knowledge base article contains further details:
“While we have introduced these alt-coins on the site to buy and sell, we are not offering full support in the same way that we do with Bitcoin. This means that you can buy and sell Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple, but there is no functionality in place allowing you to send and receive them.”
Limits and transaction fees
The minimum purchase/sale amount is £5. Likewise, the maximum amount of cryptocurrency you can buy or sell through CoinCorner is £30,000.
CoinCorner applies a flat 1% fee to every cryptocurrency purchase and sale. Moreover, there’s an additional 2.5% administrative fee for deposits under 2000 GBP. Dormant accounts incur fees, as well.
One of the main things that CoinCorner has going for it is reputation. The CoinCorner team positioned themselves as operators of a trustworthy cryptocurrency service at a time when many cryptocurrency businesses were run by enthusiasts with very little experience.
The sands have shifted in recent years. More and more cryptocurrency purchasing services are setting up shop. Many new purchasing services have lower fees. To stay competitive, it may be time for CoinCorner to reduce its fees.
For new traders
Beginners will find CoinCorner easy to use. You don’t need any technical knowledge at all to make a purchase. The fact that CoinCorner is a custodial exchange means that you don’t have to set up your own crypto wallet before you buy.
For advanced traders
Experienced cryptocurrency traders probably won’t want to use CoinCorner on a regular basis due to the high fees. However, the fact that CoinCorner supports fiat-for-crypto buys means that it could come in handy for those that are trying to get started on an exchange like Binance. Binance and many other advanced crypto exchanges do not support any government-issued currency.