bitcoin.de is one of the best and widely used sites for buying cryptocurrencies, specially if you live in the European Union. As you can guess from the domain name, the company is based in Germany. Bitcoin Deutschland AG is a company of the Bitcoin Group SE and is associated with Fidor Bank AG, a new technologies friendly bank.
They are not a platform like Binance or Kucoin where you can exchange your bitcoins for other cryptocurrencies, they are a marketplace more similar to LocalBitcoins or eBay, where users buy and sell their cryptocurrencies for fiat money and bitcoin.de acts as a escrow service. In the platform you can buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum and only Euros are accepted, via SEPA (Single European Payments Area) transfer.
The webpage supports German, English, Spanish, French and Italian and much more through Google Translate. But only German and English are properly translated, the rest of the translations are incomplete. If you like the webpage and want to collaborate with the translation you can help them here.
The first time you use the service it may look a bit complicated, so this is, in short, how it works (example): a user that wants to sell his Bitcoin Cash registers and place an offer (quantity, price, and minimum quantity to buy). Another user that wants to buy Bitcoin Cash registers and looks at the offers in the Marketplace, he chooses the one he likes the most (several details to consider, specially the price.) and buys the amount he wants. Once accepted bitcoin.de gives the buyer the seller’s details, (name, surname, bank account and so on). Once the buyer makes the transfer and the seller confirms he has received it, bitcoin.de releases the Bitcoin Cash and accounts them to the buyer.
You can also use it as an online wallet to store your bitcoins and make transactions, as they don’t charge any fee for the online wallet.
Security measures at bitcoin.de
There are several measures that makes us very confident on bitcoin.de and consider the platform as really trustable:
- The Bitcoin Deutschland AG is acting as tied agent for the Fidor Bank AG, what gives them a security background.
- bitcoin.de is the only cryptocurrency exchange that is audited by an independent auditor firm.
- They hold 98% of their bitcoins on a cold storage, what is really important in case of an unauthorised access to their systems.
- Your trading limit raises as you close satisfactory trades, so only users with a long trade history are allowed to trade big ammounts.
- The platform offers a users rate system, what gives you another security layer for the transaction.
Let’s first see how to register. Go to https://www.bitcoin.de and click on “Register”.
Insert your username, email and password (for security reasons, the password must be at least 8 characters long and consist of numbers, letters, and at least one special character, and may not be identical to the username or email). It will catch your attention that there are 6 checkboxes to check in order for you to proceed. Don’t be scared: the first three of them are the agreements to buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Bitcoin Gold. The fourth one is an acceptance of the Fidor Bank terms and conditions, so you can access to express trades (what we recommend, as you will have access to faster and better trades). The fifth one is a personal declaration stating that you act on your own economic interest. The sixth and last one is not mandatory, is an acceptance on receiving newsletters from bitcoin.de.
Once this is done, an email will be sent to you to confirm your registration. Press on the link to confirm it and the account will be confirmed and you will be automatically redirected to the login page.
Login: for an improve security bitcoin.de uses a 2-Factor Authentication system for login. So once you enter your username/email address and password, a login TAN will be sent to your email address. This TAN is just a code you have to enter now to fully login:
As this is the first time you login, some personal information will be asked, to comply with customer protection legislations:
As you can imagine, nothing prevents you from lying when filling this form. That’s why bitcoin.de let’s you trade… with restrictions. The amount of cryptocurrencies you can daily/anually buy and the quantities per trade are limited. If you want to raise those limits or even get rid of them, you need to verify those data. You can wether send them a notarised copy of your ID or go through an identification process by PostIdent (through their mobile app). This is important: the identification is carried out solely on the data entered, so if you don’t insert your true and correct data you will not be able to verify your identity later.
First and recommended configuration
First of all, on the personal data section, you need to enter and verify a bank account in order to buy and/or sell bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. They ask you for the holder name, account number, IBAN and BIC. This is important, as when you buy some cryptocurrencies you have to make the transfer from this same account, and when you sell them the buyer will transfer the money to this account. You can verify more than one bank account, but only one can be active at a time.
Second, on the Security & Login section, it’s advisable to set the 2-Factor-Authentication, as it will give you another layer of security to prevent hacking your account.
It is also advisable to set some login restrictions and restrict login to your specfic country. But remember to remove the restriction if you are going to travel abroad or temporarily allow this new country. What if I have restricted the login to my specific country and I have forgotten to remove the restriction and now I’m abroad? Can’t I connect until I’m back home? Don’t panic: you can connect through a proxy or a VPN set in your country.
Now you’re ready to start operating.
First of all, navigate to the Marketplace and choose the cryptocurrency you want to buy. For the example, we are choosing bitcoin (BTC):
Before proceeding, it is important to select to only show offers that you can accept with your trust level, legitimization status and the seat of your bank, so the offers you are not allowed to accept will not be shown and you will not waste your time trying to buy them:
There are other options you can select or not so you configure what offers you want to show up, they are self-explanatory. On our experience, selecting only the first and recommended option has been enough to trade satisfactorily.
Let’s understand what the offers table mean:
As you can see, the first row is greyed out: it means the offer is being accepted in this very moment and thus disappearing from the table. For the rest of them, let’s take the second row as example to see what the different elements in the columns mean:
- 2: total number of bitcoins being sold
- (0.01): minimum amount you can buy
- €6,144.59: price per bitcoin
- €12,289.18: total volume being offered
- : Flag showing the seller’s country
- : Offer to purchase exclusively via express trade (later on this subject)
- : Vendor is completely identified
If you have a look at the rest of the offers, you’ll see some of them have a blue logo instead of a green one on the fifth column:
- : Offer to purchase via express trade or common SEPA-transfer
What is an express trade?
As we said at the beginning, Bitcoin Deutschland AG is associated with Fidor Bank AG, and here is where this young bank comes to play: if you have an account on Fidor Bank and you activate it on bitcoin.de, you can lock euros at your Fidor Bank to be used on bitcoin.de. This way, if both the seller and the buyer comply with this requisite, they can make an express trade: as soon as you buy the bitcoins Fidor Bank transfers the money to the seller’s account and the bitcoins are released to the buyer. The trade is performed almost inmediately. It is not necessary to open and activate a Fidor Bank account to buy and sell criptocurrencies at bitcoin.de, but if you plan to buy more than a few euros it is advisable to do it, as it will give you more and usually better offers.
If you don’t own a Fidor Bank account, you can still access to common SEPA transfers, but they will take longer to be completed.
Buy Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies
There are two ways to buy bitcoins:
- select an existing offer
- create one yourself.
Selecting an existing offer
There are 2 ways to buy:
- Express trade
- Common SEPA transfer.
As stated before, for the express trade you need to have a bank account at Fidor Bank and verify it at bitcoin.de. Once done, you need to make a reservation of bank balance, specifying amount and duration:
Once you are in the marketplace and considering the price, the amount you want to buy, the amount they are offering and the minimum amount you can buy on each of them, insert the amount you want to buy and the maximum price you are willing to pay and the system will automatically show only the offers that match your criteria. Choose the offer that best suits you and click on “BUY”. It will take you to the next screen, where you choose the exact amount you want to buy. As you can see, it shows you the maximum and minimum quantities you can buy on this offer. As you type the BTC amount, it gives you the result on Euros (“Volume”).
Be quick in inserting the amount you want to buy and pressing the “buy now” button, as the offer can be accepted by another user until then. Once done, the trade is done and in a few seconds the money will be transferred from your Fidor bank account to the seller’s bank account and the bitcoins will be credited on your bitcoin.de account.
Common SEPA transfer
Start selecting the offer as you would do on an express trade and buy the amount you want. When you press the “buy now” button the bitcoins are reserved for you. Under the “buy now” button you can read “Please note that a fee of €XX.XX will be charged when this sale is settled via SEPA bank transfer”. We will come back to this later.
You go now to the last step to complete the transaction from your side: the payment. You are given the seller bank details so you can make the SEPA transfer, but remember: you have to make it from the same bank account you verified on your profile. In case there is any discrepancy, the seller is requested not to mark the payment as received.
Three things are important there:
- Transfer the money only from the account previously registered with bitcoin.de
- Transfer the exact amount shown for the transfer
- Specify the transaction ID as the purpose of payment
If you do not do this, the seller may not accept your transfer. This means not only that you won’t get any bitcoins, but also you will get a bad rating. Once you’ve done the transfer (remember you must do it within 60 minutes, otherwise the purchase will be cancelled and you will get a bad rating) press on the “mark as paid” yellow button. A pop up window will appear to confirm you really made the transfer:
Then you are done on your part, and you will see the transaction completion page:
Now it’s time for the seller to check his bank account and once he receives the money mark as paid so the reserved bitcoins are credited to your account.
If everything has gone right with no issues, you should receive a positive rating from him and you should also rate him positively. If you don’t rate him, after 15 days he will be rated positively automatically.
Create your own offer
Here you are doing the opposite: you are going to publish a buy offer and a seller is going to pick it. You can place one when after inserting the amount and maximum price you are willing to pay no suitable offers show up. In this case, the system allows you to place your own offer:
After pressing on the “Create purchase request” button you will be redirected to the offer details page, where you just have to enter:
- The number of bitcoins you want to buy (it can be a fraction)
- The minimum amount of BTC per trade. Consider this: if the number is big you avoid buying your bitcoins in many small trades, but you may lose many buyers and if the price of Bitcoin goes higher you may leave with your offer uncompleted.
- Price you are going to pay for the bitcoins. Here is not the maximum price you are willing to pay, here is the price you will pay for it.
- Expiration date
- Minimum trust level: the higher the level you request the safer the trade, but the lesser buyers you will find
- Seat of the bank of the seller: you may want only sellers from your own country so you avoid international transfers commissions (in case you are not using express trades), but this is not advisable if your bank is outside of Germany
- Automatic residual purchase request: if this option is checked, when a seller accepts partially your offer the system will automatically place a new offer with the remaining amount of bitcoins.
- Allow only fully identified seller: once again, if you check this option the trade will be safer, but you will loose many sellers
Once the offer is placed you just have to wait until it is accepted by any seller. If you are using express-trade you can just wait for a completed trade confirmation email. But attention: if you are using a common SEPA transfer the email will notify you that a seller has accepted the offer and will give you his bank details as explained before, you will then have 60 minutes to make the transfer. What happens if your offer is accepted during nighttime? You can wake up with a non complete trade email and a negative rating. So in case you are using common SEPA transfers, it is better to try to accept an existing offer and make the transfer at the moment or cancel your offer when going to sleep or away.
About the fees
Under the “buy now” button you can read “Please note that a fee of €XX.XX will be charged when this sale is settled via SEPA bank transfer”. This is the 0.5% that the seller pays. The buyer pays another 0.5% on fees. How do bitcoin.de collect the fees? It’s a bit tricky. bitcoin.de doesn’t get the fees on fiat currency (Euro), only on bitcoins. So this is how it works:
- From the total amount the buyer should receive, bitcoin.de detracts 0.5% and should give the rest to him.
- From the total amount of Euros the seller should receive bitcoin.de doesn’t want fiat currency, so what they do is detract this 0.5% from the traded bitcoins.
- So, is the buyer paying the whole 1% of fees? No, the buyer will transfer the seller 99.5% of the volume traded (in Euros), so the seller is paying his 0.5% of fees. And the buyer is receiving 99% of the traded BTC but he is paying only 99.5% of the money, so he is also paying 0.5% on fees.
- If you are selling, you will receive 99.5% of the money, that is ok.
- If you are buying, you will pay 99.5% of the money, but you will receive 99% of the BTC, what is ok also (you receive 0.5% less of what you pay). But if you need to buy an exact amount of BTC don’t forget to add an extra 1.11% (1/0.9) to the exact amount you need to receive.
If you are on a express trade, apart of having the bitcoins transferred automatically, you both of you will get a 20% discount on the fees. And if you trade through their API, you’ll get back 25% of the paid fees.
Sell Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies
Selling bitcoins on bitcoin.de is similar to buying, but now you own the BTC and will receive euros on your bank account.
First, we select a suitable purchase offer on the right-hand side of the marketplace, by first inserting the amount you want to sell and the minimum price you are willing to accept for your bitcoins. As we saw on the buying section, suitable offers will show up and, in case there none you will be able to create a sell offer.
Now we have to wait for the Bitcoin buyer to transfer the money to us, and shortly afterwards an info mail comes that the buyer has confirmed the transfer to bitcoin.de. If we allowed a express trade it has completed almost immediately and we already have the money in our Fidor Bank account, but if it was a common SEPA transfer trade the money isn’t in our account yet, and we have to wait until the money is on our bank account. Once the money has arrived you must confirm the receipt of payment to bitcoin.de by clicking on “Confirm receipt of payment”.
A pop up appears, on which the payment details are displayed again. Check carefully the sender account, amount and transaction ID. If everything is correct, you can conclude the process with a positive rating. bitcoin.de transfers now automatically the reserved Bitcoin amount to the buyer, which can also rate you positively, negatively or give you a neutral rating.
Here we are done with this tutorial. bitcoin.de looked a bit complicated to us the first time we used it, but we hope you will find it easier now with this tutorial.