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VirWoX

VirWox Review: Still Relevant Because of PayPal Funding Option

VirWoX in Brief

VirWoX is an Austria-based digital currency exchange that’s been operating since 2007. Since its early years, VirWoX’s popularity seems to have faded away. However, VirWoX is still relevant because it offers one convenience that new exchanges lack: the ability to buy Bitcoin with PayPal.

Few other digital exchanges are willing to accept the fraud risk that comes with accepting PayPal payments. Though Bitcoin payments are irreversible, PayPal lets its users file chargeback requests. VirWoX, however, decided to continue accepting PayPal purchases, despite the risk.

Pros

  • One of the few digital currency exchanges that accept PayPal payments.
  • No publicized hacks after over 10+ years of operation.

Cons

  • No help desk, phone support line or knowledge base.
  • Fees are high compared to other digital currency exchanges.
  • Out-of-date interface that hasn’t changed much since 2007.
  • Very little information about VirWoX’s founders is available online.

What is VirWoX?

History

Perhaps because VirWox is based in Vienna, Austria, there isn’t much English-language information about VirWox available on the internet. The website states that the company that owns VirWox is called Virtual World Services GmbH.

There’s no history blurb or information about VirWoX’s corporate leadership anywhere on the site. The copyright notice on the bottom of the site is the only indication that it opened its doors in 2007.

Before 2008, VirWoX was called euroSLEX, according to a press release.

The Virtual World Services GmbH website states that the company offers software development, virtual goods billing systems, and other services connected to the design and maintenance of virtual world games.

Leadership and investors

  • Iliana Baron – CEO / Managing Director. According to her LinkedIn page, Iliana Baron (neé Iliana Suppan) has been the CEO of Virtual World Services for 10 years. Before that, she was a project manager and a customer service manager.

Protecting customers’ coins

Legal and regulatory compliance

Perhaps because VirWoX is a gaming-oriented cryptocurrency exchange, it has made no attempt to comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) standards. You do not have to provide any type of identifying information to buy and sell Bitcoins through VirWoX. This makes it unique among cryptocurrency exchanges. Almost every other cryptocurrency exchange requires its users to provide some form of identification.

Coin listing policies

Bitcoin is the only major cryptocurrency that VirWoX supports. The site’s digital coins– OMC (Open Metaverse cents), MVC (My Virtual Community), ACD (Avination c$) and SLL (Second Life Lindens) are used in various online virtual world games.

Network security

Aside from a single high profile hack in 2013 involving the removal of $12,480 worth of Bitcoin from a single user account, VirWoX has a relatively clean security record. According to an archived statement about the incident, the company that owned the affected account (Bitinstant) had neglected to enable 2-factor authentication.

VirWoX doesn’t provide much information about its security system on its site. The blurb about security in VirWoX’s FAQ page is basically just a warning to use complex passwords and to enable VirWoX’s 2-factor authentication system. 2FA options include Google Authenticator and Authenticator for Windows phones.

The only other information about security on the VirWoX website is out-of-date advice about how to determine whether or not a Second Life VirWoX ATM is authentic. In the past, Second Life users were able to access VirWoX through the Second Life game. However, Second Life developers disabled this functionality in 2015.

“Unfortunately, we can no longer send Linden Dollars from VirWoX accounts to Second Life avatars. Linden Dollars can only be bought on Second Life’s LindeX exchange.” – VirWoX website

pasted image 0 9
Second Life no longer supports VirWoX’s virtual ATM services.  Source: QZ 

Customer support

VirWoX doesn’t seem to have any type of customer support team. The contact page lists the company’s corporate email address: [email protected].

Unlike modern exchanges that offer detailed walkthroughs and how-to videos, for the most part, VirWoX leaves you to figure out how everything works yourself. Aside from a bare-bones FAQ page, there’s not much documentation on the site at all. However, there are some brief tutorial videos available on this VirWoX website.

VirWoX reputation

Because VirWoX is so niche, it did not experience the customer service issues other exchanges ran into when the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed in 2017.

Aside from a single high profile hack that occurred because the user involved did not follow the recommended security guidelines, VirWoX has a clean security record. There are no stories of any successful VirWoX break-ins on any major news sites.

How to Join VirWoX

Who can join?

VirWoX places the responsibility of figuring out any relevant legal issues on their user base. The exchange does not use a geographic filter to prevent people from signing up. Anyone in any part of the world can join VirWoX.

Verification

Individual accounts

Unlike most digital currency exchanges, VirWoX does not require any form of identity verification. Any user can make purchases and withdrawals immediately after signing up.

Business accounts

VirWoX does not have a separate on-boarding process for business customers. Businesses and institutions are free to open VirWoX accounts, but all VirWoX accounts have identical features.

What Can You Trade on VirWoX?

Cryptocurrencies

The only cryptocurrency you can buy on VirWoX is BTC (Bitcoin Core).

Digital coins

VirWox supports four digital coins: SLL (Second Life Linden Dollars), OMC (Open Metaverse cents), MVC (My Virtual Community) and ACD (Avination c$).

Fiat currencies

VirWoX users can trade four fiat currencies: USD (US Dollars), EUR (Euros), GBP (British pounds) and CHF (Swiss francs).

Currency exchanges

VirWoX offers 12 different currency pairs: EUR/SLL, USD/SLL, GBP/SLL, CHF/SLL, EUR/ACD, USD/ACD, SLL/ACD, SLL/OMC, EUR/OMC, USD/OMC, BTC/SLL and EUR/MVC.

Advanced trading

Though VirWoX is thought of as a cryptocurrency exchange for gamers, it does offer some advanced trading features, like multiple order types (market and limit) and extensive API support.

There are three different APIs available: Basic, Trading and MicroPayment. The basic API can calculate exchange rates, display graphs and trigger alarms. Advanced traders can set up trade bots using the Trading API. The MicroPayment API was designed to integrate VirWoX into Second Life, but it can also integrate with cryptocurrency trading websites.

Find out more information about VirWoX’s API features in the developer section of the VirWoX website.

Trading Tools and Fees

Trading interface

VirWoX’s grey, text-heavy interface probably hasn’t changed much since VirWoX first debuted in 2007. Here’s a quick guide for how to make a deposit and place a trade.

First, click the Not Registered Yet? link on the left side of the page. Then, fill in the form to sign up for an account.

reg 1
Source: CoinIQ

You should see a congratulations message. Next, verify your email address. Once you verify, you’ll get a random password that you can use to log into your account.

congrats
Source: CoinIQ

Now choose Deposit from the menu on the left.

deposit 3
Source: CoinIQ

Scroll down to see your deposit options.

payments2
Source: CoinIQ

If you want to buy Bitcoin, you’ll have to use your fiat currency to buy some Linden Dollars first. Once you have some Linden, you can get Bitcoin. VirWox doesn’t support BTC/USD, BTC/EUR, or any other cryptocurrency-to-fiat pair.

Click USD/SLL to buy some Linden dollars.

buylinden
Source: CoinIQ

Now, click BTC/SLL to trade your Linden in for Bitcoin.

last
Source: CoinIQ

Unlike newer digital currency exchanges, VirWoX does not feature real-time charts. The interface provides a 30-day graph and a 24-hour graph for each currency pair. You have to reload the page to get the latest pricing information.

reload
Source: CoinIQ

Mobile app support

VirWoX does not have any official apps. Any VirWoX apps that you find in Google Play may be scams intended to get your account credentials.

Deposits and withdrawals

In addition to the fees listed below, VirWoX charges an inactivity fee. if you have not used your VirWoX account for more than 12 months, VirWoX charges 2 EUR (or the equivalent in other currency) per month if there is a positive balance on the account.

Fiat currencies

VirWoX supports four different fiat currencies: euros, US dollars, British pounds, and Swiss francs.

PayPal is just one of several fiat deposit methods. OKPAY, Skrill, paysafecard and Sofortbanking payments are also available.

Note: Support for PayPal comes with a caveat regarding fees. According to the help section of the VirWoX website, PayPal’s fees can change, depending on a number of factors including your location, payment method used, transaction size, and the size of your previous transactions with PayPal. The exact fee is determined only after the transaction has taken place.

  • PayPal. Out of all the payment methods that VirWoX supports, PayPal is the most popular. Fees are high, but Business and Premier level PayPal users can reduce fees down to a maximum of $1 payment by using PayPal’s Mass Payments feature. Visit the FAQ section of VirWox to find out more information.
  • OKPAY. OKPAY is an international eWallet money transfer and payment service provider. It supports bank transfers, transfers from other payment systems, money transfer services, OKPAY MasterСard, and other funding methods.
  • Skrill. Like OKPAY, Skrill is an e-commerce business that allows payments and money transfers to be made through the internet. It is owned and operated by Skrill Limited, a UK-based company.
  • Paysafecard. Paysafecard is a prepaid online payment method for people who don’t have a credit card or PayPal account. If there is a local Paysafecard sales outlet near you, you can trade in cash for either paper or plastic Paysafecards. Each card contains a unique 16-digit code, which unlocks your funds.
  • Sofortbanking. Sofortbanking is an online banking payment service available to customers who have a bank account in Germany, Austria, Belgium or the Netherlands. If you have a bank account in one of those countries, you can use your personal online banking credentials to log in and transfer money into and out of VirWox.

Here’s a breakdown of payment limits and fees:

limitsandfees
Source: CoinIQ

In addition to the fees listed above, there are also “handling fees” for fiat currency withdrawals.

  • PayPal withdrawal handling fee: 1 EUR (1 USD, 1 CHF, 1 GBP) + 2%.
  • Handling fee for all other withdrawals: 1 EUR (1 USD, 1 CHF, 1 GBP) per withdrawal.

Digital currencies

In addition to the Bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency, VirWox supports four digital currencies for games: SLL, MVC, OMC (aka “OM¢”) and ACD.

  • SLL. Though VirWoX supports SLL (aka “Linden dollars,” Second Life’s official in-game currency), VirWoX disabled some SLL functionality in 2015. According to the news section of the VirWox website, Linden Dollars can now only be bought on Second Life’s LindeX exchange.
  • MVC. In addition to Linden dollars, VirWox supports a newer type of game currency called MVC (My Virtual Community). MVC is compatible with around a hundred different virtual worlds, including Second Life and many others.
  • OM¢. Yet another game currency that’s featured on VirWox is OM¢ (Open Metaverse Cent). Unlike SLL and MVC, OM¢ can be bought or sold for fiat currencies like EUR and USD. It is also possible to directly exchange Second Life Lindens (SLL) for OMC and vice versa through VirWoX.
  • ACD. Avination was one of the oldest and largest virtual worlds, but it shut down in 2017 after hackers stole $126,000 from its grid. Nevertheless, Avination’s currency still seems to be available on VirWox.

VirWoX charges a “handling fee” of 0.0005 BTC for every bitcoin withdrawal.

Transaction fees

VirWoX’s fees are high compared to other digital currency exchanges.

Market order fees

When placing market orders, VirWoX’s fee schedule varies depending on the currency pair. There are 12 different currency pairs available on VirWox:

marketfees
Source: CoinIQ

There are no discounts for market orders, but the commission counts towards limit order fee discounts. Generally, limit orders are cheaper compared to market orders. Your current discount level is displayed on the Account Overview page.

Limit order fees

limits 1
Source: CoinIQ

Final Word

If you have some money in your PayPal account and you want to invest in small amounts of Bitcoin, VirWoX isn’t a bad option. Though VirWoX’s fees are very high, it’s one of the only exchanges that accepts PayPal payments. If you plan on using a payment method other than PayPal, there are better digital currency exchanges out there.

For new traders

VirWoX is not a good exchange to start out with if you have no experience trading cryptocurrencies. Customer support is nonexistent and the interface is technical and clunky.

For advanced traders

Aside from its APIs, VirWoX doesn’t have much to offer advanced traders, either. Professionals will be put off by VirWoX’s high fees.

Alex Munkachy

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