Interview with Peer2Cash: The ‘ShapeShift’ of Buying Bitcoin
Bitcoinist spoke with Peer2Cash, a new online cryptocurrency buying service based in Switzerland that mimics the way online exchange Shapeshift.io operates–except for buying and selling bitcoin–tapping nearly 50 exchanges.
Interview with Peer2Cash
Peer2.cash has recently rebranded from Instacash. The team head, who preferred not to use his name for “security reasons,” explains how they tap different P2P exchanges to offer the best Bitcoin price available, what’s the best method to preserve privacy, and how the service is able to not store any customer funds or info.
Bitcoinist: Why was Peer2Cash created? What major problem does it solve that regular exchanges or conversion services can’t?
Peer2cash (P2C): Peer2.cash was born nearly 2 years ago, from my own experience since early 2013 in the Bitcoin world. I was missing a simple and easy gateway between cash and bitcoin.
Most exchanges and trading sites require a lot of time registering and uploading all kinds of documents to get verified. I was amazed by ShapeShift simplicity when it came out, so decided to create a platform that makes buying and selling bitcoin an extremely simple experience, on top of existing markets.
We use [Paxful, Bitsquare, LocalBitcoins] and many others. We actually have integrated nearly 50 [P2P] markets to our platform.
Bitcoinist: How is your service different from LocalBitcoins, Paxful or Bitsquare? Do you use all three of these for your service?
P2C: Yes we use these three peer-to-peer marketplaces and many others. We actually have integrated nearly 50 markets to our platform. We want to make sure the “average digital Joe” can get the best rates out there while keeping things extremely simple. We deeply believe in the p2p markets and we have a deep knowledge on how to operate on them.
Bitcoinist: What kind of information is required to buy and sell bitcoin? How do you handle this information?
P2C: The information needed is nearly zero and that’s the most amazing thing of our platform. In fact, you only need to tell the information of the method you are using to buy or sell bitcoin, nothing else (i.e PayPal e-mail if you are selling bitcoins).
And to those of you who may wonder, the answer is NO, we never keep PERSONAL information on our servers, it is delivered encrypted to our operation team and destroyed. In fact, there’s little to hack on our servers. Not even a bitcoin hot wallet or a list of our customer’s e-mails. With these security policies, we can sleep much better at night
Bitcoinist: How do you ensure that the seller will send you bitcoin and how do you verify traders? Do you provide insurance or refunds if a trade does not go through?
P2C: We act as an escrow service and we are committed to our customers. We never release the funds when buying or selling if we are not 100% sure that trade was successful. Our experience says it’s very rare something goes wrong, but if that would happen, we have a reserve fund for this. If you search in our service history since early 2016 in Bitcointalk, Twitter or Forobits, you will never find a scam accusation. There is a simple reason, building an honest service and a good reputation it’s everything in this business.
We are just an escrow platform, we don’t handle legal tender cash.
Bitcoinist: What is the maximum amount that can be bought without having to provide any personal info? Is everything legal?
P2C: Thanks for making this question because I think it’s important to answer it clearly.
For example if you buy bitcoin at peer2.cash through bank transfer, you will be sending the funds to someone else in your country and receive bitcoins in exchange. That’s like saying that you bought them to your friend, so it’s a trade between two peers.
It’s up this persons to know and comply with local laws and taxation obligations related to Bitcoin. Generally, Bitcoin is being treated as a “good” in many countries, so it would be similar to selling your bike to a friend.
The important thing to understand is that we are just an escrow platform, we don’t handle legal tender cash (EUR, USD or whatever). However, we have hard coded some limits to our service, to avoid the transfer of very high amounts through our platform.
Bitcoinist: Which transfer method offers the most privacy?
P2C: That really depends on the taste of the customer. We offer a wide range of possibilities such as Cash pick-up, electronic wallets, remittance services or Bank transfers or deposit and even sending cash by postal mail! I particularly like “cash deposit” to buy bitcoins, because it’s as easy as going to the nearest local bank branch to deposit funds into an account, so it’s very convenient.
We like that our customers always remain in power to decide what personal data they want to share instead of what many sites do, where you feel under deep scrutiny and asked really much more personal data than you might think as reasonable just to use their service. That’s why we say that we are quite privacy caring service, we put this power back into the people.
About what methods offer the most privacy – it depends a lot on the information that our customer likes to share. Some people likes to buy bitcoin by depositing funds in a bank account because they never have to share personal data online. Other people likes remittance services because data shared is very limited (just full name, country, and province). Postal mail is also a good option, you only need to provide your name and address, similar to when you are shipped a package from Amazon, in fact. But overall, what we like is that our customers have the right to choose.
Bitcoinist: Could you please tell me what countries you are currently operating in and what are your plans for expansion to other countries?
P2C: We actually reach quite a lot of countries, around 140. We have disabled those that are not supported by our providers such as Iran, Afghanistan and some others. Once a “basic” operation is reached in a country we focus on improving it by adding a wider range of methods. For example in Spain, Poland, Philippines and Vietnam you can already sell bitcoins through ATM Cash Pick Up only by providing your phone number. We know that we should focus on delivering more and better options to our customers and that’s why we are always looking at the market and updating our site.
Bitcoinist: What’s coming next for Peer2cash?
P2C: We are really excited because after nearly 1 year and several iterations, our platform is improving drastically and the codebase and operations are scaling month after month. We have many things on near pipeline but unfortunately, we can’t reveal a lot of details for now.
What I can say is that, as far as I’m aware, I think we will be the 1st platform to allow any webpage or app to allow its users to buy and sell bitcoins directly without any other requirements (not even registration).
We will reveal more details on our site (p2.cash) and in our social networks pages but if anybody wants to contact us, feel free to do it at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer.
Have you tried Peer2Cash? Can this type of service make it easier for average people to get into Bitcoin? Share your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Peer2.cash