Blockchain Review 2018

Blockchain is perhaps the world’s most popular digital wallet for Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Boasting more than 25 million wallets worldwide, Blockchain certainly has reach. It’s also a wallet that lets you buy cryptocurrency with fiat money. Blockchain is conveniently available on the web, on Apple products, and on Android products. It’s easy to set up and use to make payments, or simply save.

Blockchain is old, founded all the way back in 2011. Does it stand up all these years later, or have the competitors moved ahead? Find out in this Blockchain review for 2018.

Blockchain Quick Facts

  • Overall score: 
  • Coins offered: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum
  • Minimum deposit: N/A
  • Regulation: Primarily by financial body of Luxembourg
  • Payment methods: Credit Card/Bank Wire Transfer
  • Wallet included?: Yes
  • Main benefits: All in one crypto banking solution
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How We Reviewed Blockchain

Blockchain is an unusual wallet/exchange, in that it’s quite old and it’s not truly an exchange. There are cheaper ways to buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum, but few as convenient as this longstanding cryptocurrency storage software solution. Therefore, we’ll analyze Blockchain according to its strengths (convenience, usability, international reach), while being honest about its shortcomings (not the #1 way to buy crypto, not as secure as some other wallets). If you want to see a wide variety of cryptocurrency exchanges, some of which may better meet your personal needs, check out https://coinlist.me/exchanges.

Blockchain Background

“Blockchain” is a weird name for a leading blockchain wallet/exchange, because at this point, it’s practically un-Google-able. “Blockchain”, the word, is used by so many companies, for so many articles, and in so many products, that it’s hard to find out independent info about this wallet, especially if you’re a beginner. However, once you understand how the company operates, it all makes a little more sense.

Blockchain.info was founded in 2011. It’s a blockchain explorer that shows all kind of stats about the Bitcoin blockchain. The company can also be found through Blockchain.com, at which the wallet may also be downloaded. Blockchain is a wallet first, but it also allows users to buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum through its interface, using Coinify API. Like other “instant access” Bitcoin buying options, this means users will pay a little more than they might elsewhere. But the convenience may make it worthwhile.

Blockchain is meant to be a spending wallet, a place to store Bitcoin that you plan to use for purchases. It’s not meant to be a long term storage solution, and it certainly doesn’t have the security in place to function this way in most cases. Still, Blockchain is secure enough to be trusted around the world. As long as you use it for what it’s meant to do, Blockchain is a pretty good wallet, and a passable way to buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.

Regulation & Safety

Blockchain is technically based in London, but is headquartered in Luxembourg. It is, basically, internationally available. Countries like China may ban it individually, but it is more or less available everywhere it is not specifically restricted. Like most widespread exchanges/wallets, Blockchain is regulated here and there, most often dwelling in a regulatory grey area, and most assiduously so in Luxembourg. While not regulation in itself, Blockchain’s good reputation over many years indicates that this company is above board, regardless of its status with regard to traditional financial regulations.

Blockchain is safe for what it does. This is a wallet meant to store limited amounts of cryptocurrency for spending. You wouldn’t carry all the money you own in your back pocket, would you? The same goes for Blockchain. Blockchain is a web wallet, which users can use on desktops and mobile devices. It gives users the ability to password and 2FA protect their accounts, but “hot” wallets like these can only be so secure. Convenience and vulnerability go hand in hand in cryptocurrency storage. This is not a weakness in Blockchain; it’s simply a reality users have to understand and prepare for.

Blockchain Trading Platform

Blockchain doesn’t have its own trading platform. Instead, it uses Coinify API to fill orders for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. These orders can be filled in minutes, with payment from bank wire transfers and credit cards accepted. Coinify is its own kettle of fish, but is generally regarded as secure. Whenever a user uses a third party service within an existing platform, they can bet they’ll pay more than they would at a dedicated exchange. What’s more, this method doesn’t allow users to do complex trades like limit orders, or leverage. It’s a simple way to get crypto when you need it, for the payment-first use case for which Blockchain is primarily built. For large or frequent orders, we’d recommend you look elsewhere.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Blockchain supports only Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. Bitcoin was the first coin supported, back when the company was first introduced in mid 2011. Ethereum came later as Buterin’s blockchain emerged as a true competitor and complement to Bitcoin. When Bitcoin forked in 2017, Bitcoin Cash was supported, both as a way to give Blockchain customers their forks tokens, and to support the new population of Bitcoin Cash supporters, investors, and users.

Blockchain Fees & Limits

Blockchain’s fees are built into its transactions, with the company taking a small (an undisclosed) commission every time coins are transferred through the platform. There are fees inherent to blockchain transactions, which are sent to miners for the work they do. Blockchain presumably takes a cut from Bitcoin/Bitcoin Cash/ Ethereum purchases made (through Coinify) within the platform, though this also is not specifically disclosed. The user doesn’t know how fees are split between Blockchain, Coinify, and the relevant blockchain for each purchase.

Because Blockchain is a wallet first, there is no specific limit to how much can be purchased or stored there. To be clear, the wallet does not store fiat currencies like US Dollars. It is meant for “pocket money” amounts of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum, though the user can choose to store any amount (high balances not recommended).

Blockchain Payment Methods

Blockchain accepts a wide variety of fiat currencies, but only through credit card and bank wire transfer. If you live in the EU, for instance, you may be required to pay with Euro instead of your local currency. Blockchain doesn’t release a complete list of the fiat currencies they accept. This list is gradually changing anyway, so if you want to see if your local currency is accepted, just download the wallet and give it a try. Bank transfer purchases take a few days to fully complete, while credit card orders are completed within seconds or minutes.

Blockchain Customer Support

Blockchain has passable customer service, but they go out of their way to influence you to figure out your own solutions. Support is performed via the all-familiar ticket email system. This can be slow, and the user doesn’t always know where her ticket stands, but we’ve never known Blockchain to ignore tickets outright. When searching for a way to send in your support ticket, you’ll be led through numerous knowledge resources on Blockchain.com/Blockchain.info, with the hope that you’ll solve your own problem.

Blockchain’s Unique Features

Nothing about Blockchain is unique. In the 7 years since its introduction, Blockchain has been copied many times. Blockchain simply offers a strong solution for a real world use case for Bitcoin (spending it!). To have 25 million wallets active for this purpose is unique, though high adoption rates are a reflection of (not a feature of) the Blockchain network.

How Blockchain Compares to eToro

Blockchain and eToro really couldn’t be more different, and that’s why you should be aware of both of them. As we’ve mentioned already, Blockchain is not meant for the investor, primarily. It’s meant for people who use cryptocurrency as money, and want to have some cash conveniently onhand (through their mobile device) at all times. eToro is a way to invest in cryptocurrencies, but offers no way to spend them at all.

This is because eToro doesn’t sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Instead, they let users buy CFDs (Contracts For Difference) which essentially let users bet on the future price of these digital assets. If 1 Bitcoin costs $8000 and you want to invest in 1 Bitcoin on eToro, you will deposit and “lock up” $8,000 in an eToro CFD. That money stays locked up until you cancel the contract. Hopefully, the price of Bitcoin will rise, so they you can cancel the contract and be awarded profits by eToro along with your initial deposit. Of course, if the price falls and you choose to cancel your contract, your losses will be deducted from your balance.

eToro makes available about a dozen popular cryptocurrencies, like EOS, NEO, Bitcoin, and Stellar Lumens. Blockchain supports only Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. eToro doesn’t require you to use addresses or to transaction with crypto at all. Blockchain requires all users to perform transactions, which can be challenging to new users.

Basically, if you want to invest in the most convenient way possible, eToro is the exchange we’d recommend you try more than any other. If you want to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash as a routine part of your life, Blockchain is the obvious choice.

Tutorial: How to Register and Trade With Blockchain

Signing Up:

Signup with Blockchain is a breeze. Just give them your email and a new password and you’ll be on your way.

Verification:

Primary verification just requires you to copy and paste a code from an email sent to you by Blockchain. Additional levels of verification involve linking phone numbers and blocking TOR traffic from your wallet (TOR is a traffic anonymizing software used for a variety of purposes, legitimate and illicit).

Deposits & Withdrawals:

Deposits and withdrawals for cryptocurrencies employ the standard public address method. Users don’t truly deposit cash for Bitcoin purchases, as payments are directly made and there is no cash wallet function. Cash withdrawals can’t be made at all.

How to Buy/Trade:

To buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Ethereum, users just have to click the “Buy X” button associated with each currency, link their bank or credit card, and pay up. “Trading” doesn’t happen in a true sense, as users transact through Coinify, not P2P. Obviously, market orders are the only buying option.

How to Store Your New Cryptocurrency:

Blockchain very much is a storage solution, but only for small balances. For long term storage, use a hardware wallet or any of the other high quality solutions found on this page: https://coinlist.me/bitcoin/best-bitcoin-wallets

Blockchain Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Advantages

✓ Convenient all in one buying/wallet solution

✓ Trusted long term

✓ Perfect for spending

  • Disadvantages

✓ Not secure for long term storage

✓ Costly for purchases

Conclusion: Is Blockchain Safe?

Blockchain does what it does very well: act as a daily spending wallet for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. It’s also a quick way to buy these currencies on short notice, using Coinify API. Using Blockchain any other way may have less than satisfactory results. Blockchain is generally thought of as “secure enough” for the daily spending of small crypto balances, but not at all safe enough for long term storage of large balances. This is not a flaw in Blockchain, but is simply the price the user pays for convenience.

Operating as directed, Blockchain is quite safe. It’s safe enough that more than 25 wallets have become active in less than a decade, and Blockchain continues to be the #! Bitcoin wallet solution in the world. As an exchange, Blockchain is secure, though a bit anemic. Still, the exchange services are completely secondary to the sites mission to be a high quality hot wallet. Considered thus, it’s one of the safest ways to not just buy and store, but use, Bitcoin among the many offered in this crowded market.

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