Vimba in Brief
If you live in the UK or in New Zealand and you’re looking for a simple way to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum with bank transfers, you may want to check out Vimba. Its commission fee is a few percentage points higher than what advanced crypto exchanges charge, but it’s much easier to use.
The most unique thing about this cryptocurrency purchasing service is that it supports dollar cost averaging. This allows you to make small cryptocurrency investments over time. This approach helps minimize your risk by giving you more opportunities to buy during price dips.
The main downside to Vimba is its limited geographical availability. Currently, only residents of New Zealand or the United Kingdom can join. In addition, Vimba currently doesn’t support credit card buys. The only way to make a purchase through Vimba is by connecting your bank account.
- Easy to use. Vimba’s user-friendly interface walks you through the process of buying cryptocurrency from start to finish.
- Dollar cost averaging. Rather than make a one-time cryptocurrency investment, you can set up Vimba to make small purchases on your behalf over time. This limits your exposure to risk and gives you more opportunities to buy during price dips.
- Helpful videos and guides. The knowledge base contains not only text-based guides, but also videos that explain how all the site’s features work.
- Supports both purchases and sales. Some crypto purchasing services only let you buy crypto, but Vimba will buy back your assets once you make a purchase.
- Live chat support. The chat icon located in the bottom right corner of the website lets you reach out to Vimba’s support team directly.
- Reasonable fees. Vimba charges 3.5% for each transaction, plus a 1% base fee to cover the costs of purchasing cryptocurrency from crypto exchanges. This fee schedule is comparable to other cryptocurrency purchasing services.
- Only available in New Zealand and the UK. Only Brits and Kiwis can buy and sell cryptocurrency through Vimba.
- No credit card support. Vimba’s payments processors only accept bank transfer payments.
What is Vimba
Simply put, Vimba is a cryptocurrency purchasing service that caters to New Zealand and UK crypto investors. It currently supports two cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The early years
According to Vimba COO Matt Gibson, the company that is now known as Vimba was originally founded with “very small aspirations” in 2014– years before the cryptocurrency industry began attracting widespread attention. Back then, Vimba was called MyBitcoinSaver. The initial goal was to make it easier for crypto investors to make small Bitcoin investments over an extended period of time.
The platform’s first customers were friends and family members. Then, as more and more people became involved with cryptocurrency, more customers started signing up. Most of them found out about the service through a friend.
From these humble beginnings, MyBitcoinSaver grew to become one of the most popular cryptocurrency purchasing services in New Zealand.
Two name changes
After several years, MyBitcoinSaver customers started suggesting that the company should add support for additional cryptocurrencies. The company’s leadership team agreed. In May of 2018, MyBitcoinSaver added support for Ethereum and changed its name to MyCryptoSaver.
The company provided this explanation of the name change:
“We are still big Bitcoin believers but we think diversification within Crypto is a sensible idea. We also listened to the feedback we received from our users who have indicated that they want other cryptocurrencies to save.”
A few months later, MyCryptoSaver’s leadership decided that the new name was “fast becoming redundant” and rebranded the company to Vimba. Vimba COO Matt Gibson wrote about the meaning of the new name in a blog post:
“In the Shona language of southern Africa it means ‘trust’. In the Zulu language it means ‘block’ (as in blockchain). In English a Vimba (or Vimba Vimba) is a common yet special species of fish that makes an annual migration up river each year in which there is an annual festival in Lithuania celebrating it’s arrival.”
At the end of October, The New Zealand Herald reported that Vimba had received a $315,000 government grant. Gibson said that his company would use the investment to develop a new feature that would let Vimba users send small amounts of Bitcoin to a large number of Bitcoin wallets simultaneously.
A few weeks later, Vimba announced that it would be expanding into the UK. In a blog post, Vimba stated that launching in the UK was “a big goal” and that the expansion would take the company one step closer to “giving as many people as possible access to cryptocurrency through small regular payments.”
Leadership and Investors
- Sam Blackmore – Chief Executive Officer, Founder. Blackmore is a serial entrepreneur with a background in software development. Development companies that he’s been involved with include Factorymedia, Sparks Interactive and Saatchi and Saatchi.
- Matt Gibson – Chief Operating Officer. Gibson was a Broadcast Engineer at MediaWorks NZ for several years and then he founded an education review site called Student Course Review. Before coming to Vimba, Gibson was a Marketing Lead at Webscope.
- Steve Copley – Chief Financial Officer. In addition to Vimba, Copley offers his CFO services to several other internet businesses including Fergus Software, Datagate Innovation Limited and Lucidity Cloud Services.
Vimba’s largest supporter is the New Zealand government. Crown agency Callaghan Innovation awarded Vimba a $315,000 grant in October of 2018. Other investors include Cartmell Holdings Limited and angel investor David Smith.
Protecting customers’ coins
Legal and regulatory compliance
Because of the newness of the blockchain technology underlying cryptocurrency assets, businesses involved with crypto are regulated differently compared to traditional financial services. Some cryptocurrency exchanges and purchasing services do the bare minimum to comply with financial service best practices and regulations. Other types of businesses try to conform to existing standards with the expectation that they will be regulated similarly to other financial services in the future.
From the looks of Vimba’s Terms and Conditions document, the company seems to be among the cryptocurrency purchasing services that are in favor of complying with financial service rules and regulations. The document indicates that Vimba’s services are provided by an Auckland, New Zealand-based company called Little Crypto Limited. It is registered as a New Zealand FSP (Financial Services Provider). To use Vimba’s systems, Vimba users must agree to “comply at all times with New Zealand law.”
Coin listing policies
Vimba originally only supported Bitcoin, but more recently decided to start listing other cryptocurrencies. A blog post about the change in philosophy contains a high-level overview of how Vimba evaluates different coin projects:
“We will add coins one at a time, as they will need to go through a few checks and balances first. They will need to be coins that are established with a high market cap and liquidity, coins that have a high use-case and coins that can be stored on a Trezor device.”
No specific information about Vimba’s security system is available on the Vimba website or blog. However, whatever security protocol Vimba is using seems to be working. Since Vimba first started operating in 2014, it has never been hacked.
With live chat and video tutorials, Vimba offers more support than most other cryptocurrency purchasing services. The self-service ticket system and detailed knowledge base provide additional ways for Vimba customers to find answers to technical problems.
Vimba seems to have a good reputation on Reddit and elsewhere around the web. During Vimba’s Reddit AMA, a number of Vimba customers chimed in to verify that Vimba is a legitimate cryptocurrency business. Vimba COO Matt Gibson has a BitcoinTalk forum account. His posts there seem to have been generally well-received by the Bitcoin community.
How to Join Vimba
Who can join?
Residents of the UK and New Zealand can sign up for Vimba.
Like many cryptocurrency purchasing services, Vimba prevents you from using parts of its interface until you complete ID verification. Unless you complete two savings transactions, you can’t use the Instant Buy feature until you send in a photo of a government-issued ID card and a selfie.
Vimba relies on an automated verification service to quickly process most of its users. However, if you have problems using the automated verification system you can request a manual ID verification by sending an email to [email protected]
What Can You Trade on CoinCorner?
Currently, Vimba supports only two cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Vimba accepts British pounds and New Zealand dollars.
Vimba only supports fiat-for-cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency-for-fiat transactions. It doesn’t yet support the direct exchange of cryptocurrencies.
The Vimba website
The first thing that you’ll see once you land on the Vimba website is the signup form. Pick your country (available options include New Zealand and the UK), then type in your email address and the password you want to use and then click the Sign up in 2 minutes button.
Next, Vimba will send a confirmation email to your inbox. Open the confirmation message and click Confirm My Email to proceed.
The next step of the signup process involves setting up your cryptocurrency wallet for Vimba. Copy and paste your address into the box to continue.
If you don’t have a cryptocurrency wallet yet, you can watch Vimba’s tutorial video to learn how to set one up with Blockchain.com. To learn more, read our cryptocurrency wallet tutorial linked below.
The next page of the signup form contains a short guide that explains how to setup a cryptocurrency wallet with the Blockchain.com mobile app.
Now, verify your identity by sending in a photo of a government-issued ID card.
This is what Vimba’s dashboard view looks like. Buy/Sell buttons appear on the top of the screen. Save lets you set up recurring cryptocurrency purchases.
All you have to do to set up recurring cryptocurrency purchases is connect your bank account to Vimba.
You can scroll down when you’re in the dashboard view to see how much you’ve saved so far.
These sliders give you the ability to adjust the ratio of your cryptocurrency investments.
The Latest Transactions view displays all your buy and sell orders. This can come in handy at tax time.
Mobile app support
Vimba doesn’t currently have any native mobile apps, but the website adapts to mobile devices.
Deposits and withdrawals
The only way to deposit and withdraw fiat through Vimba is via bank transfers.
Vimba doesn’t charge for crypto deposits and withdrawals because it’s not a custodial purchasing service. In other words, the responsibility of storing your crypto assets is yours.
Limits and transaction fees
Vimba charges a 1% fee to cover the costs of purchasing cryptocurrency from crypto exchanges. An additional “Vimba fee” is added to each cryptocurrency purchase. This knowledge base article contains additional details:
“As we bulk buy Bitcoin and Ethereum much of these fees are significantly reduced and amount to a total of ~ 1%. The ‘rate’ on the account page is inclusive of the market rate we bought Bitcoin and Ethereum at and these base fees added on. We are constantly trying to streamline this process to make the base fee as low as possible. Our Vimba fee of 3.5% is added onto the base fee before we send Crypto out to our users.”
If you don’t want to make a large cryptocurrency investment but you still want to invest in the space, Vimba makes sense. The purchasing service provides a simple way to make small recurring cryptocurrency purchases.