Bittr: automatically buy bitcoin

Bittr is a platform that allows users in the EEA region to automatically buy bitcoin with fiat currency via a SEPA bank transfer in EUR or CHF (coming soon). Bitcoin is sent instantly to your own bitcoin wallet. It is a great tool for a buy and hold long term saving setup.

 

Bittr was founded in 2018 in the Netherlands by Ruben Waterman while studying MSc degree in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia. The platform shut down in 2020 due to extensive regulatory requirements. It has, however, resumed operations.

Bittr is back: Almost one year ago, bittr shut down its business in The Netherlands. This was due to increased regulatory pressure. Today, we are proud to announce the bittr pig has risen from the ashes! While some details have changed, we are once again the best way to stack sats and buy bitcoin in Europe! – Bittr press release, May 4, 2021.

The Problem Bittr Is Solving

If you want to acquire bitcoin you’re facing several problems. Let’s divide them into different categories.

  • Volatility problems. Bitcoin is volatile, it goes down, it goes up, what is a good time to buy?
  • Exchange problems. If you use a cryptocurrency exchange you will be tempted to buy altcoins. Should you also try some? (No, don’t!). You see the price goes up and you’re tempted to sell some and buy back at a lower price, because the price will go down, right? Well, no it’s much better to buy and hold. Playing on the market entails several problems: you may trigger taxable events, it leads to stress and you’ll probably end up with less bitcoin.
    Exchanges have gone bust regularly. Often the users will end up with no or very little recourse and loose all the coins they have stored in the exchange.
  • Custody problems. After you buy bitcoin, how do you get the coins under your own control? Remember, not your keys, not your coins.

Bittr’s Solution

  • You sign up with Bittr
  • You make a simple SEPA bank transfer to Bittr
  • Bittr automatically buys bitcoin
  • Bittr sends the satoshis to your own bitcoin wallet (Taking a plain 1.5% fee)

Now you have a great way to buy bitcoin automatically without thinking about it. The first time it’s probably good to do a one-time transfer, but if that goes well you can set up a recurring daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly transaction and without giving it anymore thoughts as you’re stacking sats (accumulating bitcoin). However, you need to deal with the custody of the coins yourself, meaning you probably want to start looking at a bitcoin hardware wallet such as Trezor or Ledger. Hardware wallets are the most secure bitcoin wallets at the moment.

 

How Bittr Works

You first need to sign up with Bittr on the website. After your account is completed, you make a SEPA payment to Bittr and then Bittr will automatically deposit the equivalent in bitcoin into your wallet within 30 minutes after your funds are received (initial deposits take 1-6 hours). You do need to know a little bit about bitcoin, mainly how to set up your own bitcoin wallet.

Bittr signup process and SEPA transfer involves four simple steps.

  • Verify your email address
  • Enter your bitcoin address: here’s where you need to have your bitcoin wallet set up
  • Set up your bank transfer

The sign up process does not require you to provide your passport, proof of residency documents or verify your phone number as it used to be before. When you are ready to buy bitcoin with bank account, you will need to sign a message with your wallet to prove that you are the owner of the wallet. Once you sign the message, you’ll get a unique banking instructions to proceed to buy bitcoin.

Signing a message means that you take a message from Bittr, copy it into your bitcoin wallet, and use a private key to cryptographically sign that message. You then have to copy the signature generated by the wallet over to Bittr.

Bittr Limits

Bittr maximum limits are 999CHF(€900) a day and/or 99.999CHF (€99.000)/year. Bittr minimum limit is 30CHF (€25). Later this year, Bittr will add functionality for providing identification documents to increase the limits.

Can I sell bitcoin with Bittr?: Bittr platform does not allow users to sell their bitcoin for fiat currency.

Bittr Payment Methods

You can fund Bittr account with SEPA bank tranfers from a bank account that’s directly on your name. With some new virtual banks, the transfer is sometimes done from a bank account that is not in your own name, notably Monzo, Wise, formerly Transferwise, and Revolut. .

You cannot buy bitcoin using a corporate account. In addition, your personal bank account must have an IBAN number. Unfortunately, you can’t set up a recurring direct debit to deduct money from your bank account to Bittr account because bitcoin transactions are irreversible (in case of a dispute).

Bittr supports almost every bank in Europe, as long as the transfer is coming from your own personal bank account and is issued in Euro (for our EUR IBAN) or CHF (for our CHF IBAN). Payments in other currencies are automatically reverted by our bank (and may cause additional fees), leading to significant delays to your payment. Please do not send EUR to our CHF account or vice versa.

Bittr Fees

Bittr does not charge any subscription fees. It charges 1.5% plus miners’ fee each time you use the services to buy bitcoin. The fees are deducted from your deposit. Bittr uses the lowest possible network fee, which means transactions may take longer to confirm on the network. You are advised not use Bittr if you are in a rush to get your bitcoin.

Bittr Supported Countries

Bittr is available to residents of the EEA, this is the EU plus Switzerland and some more countries. They are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

At the moment Bittr customer support and the website is only available in English.

Bittr Alternative

Bittr is not the only platform where you can buy bitcoin automatically. Bittr alternatives include:

Interview with Bittr Founder

We reached out to the founder of Bittr, Ruben Waterman , with some questions:

When did you start Bittr?
We started building Bittr in November 2017, which took approximately 6 months to have a working product (MVP). Bittr was officially incorporated on April 4th 2018, after which it took almost another 4 months just to get a bank account. Therefore, we opened our doors officially in August 2018 and we’ve been fully operational for over a year now.
 
What are your best tips for people who are just getting started HODLing?
Never invest anything you cannot afford to loose into bitcoin. Bitcoin is still in its very early stages and therefore very volatile. If on a certain day bitcoin drops significantly in value and you are forced to sell the bitcoin as you actually need the euros for something more urgent, you are forced to take a loss on your investment. Invest responsibly and start by investing 1-5% of your salary on a weekly basis. Imagine your salary is €2000/month, invest €100/month but spread it out evenly over 4 weeks to further improve your euro-cost-averaging strategy and spread bitcoin’s volatility more evenly.
 
How did you like the MSc degree in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia? The good, the bad…
At the time I was pursuing the Digital Currency MSc at the University of Nicosia, there was a strong emphasis on bitcoin by most of the faculty, which lead to really good class discussions. There was also a “Money and Banking” class that really thought me the fundamentals of how the traditional financial system (does not) work, which was super interesting and really motivated me to dig deeper and deeper into bitcoin and Austrian Economics. Doing the masters remotely made it challenging to really get a good relationship with professors and other students, which was a disadvantage to me (the positive being of course that you can travel and study at the same time!).
 
Now it’s only possible to buy with Bittr. Will you build a system to sell bitcoin? Until then, how do you suggest people sell? (or disHODL)
Bittr also allows you to sell back the bitcoin you’ve bought thru Bittr via . Be aware that this has not yet been automated and the actual exchange at which your bitcoin will be exchanged is generally about 2-3% better than what is being estimated on this page.

Put 1% of your monthly income into BTC, dollar cost average buy and hold.

Final Thoughts on Bittr

We’ve used Bittr ourselves, it’s a great way to automatically buy BTC with SEPA. It takes a lot of the pain away that comes with using exchanges. With negative interests soon appearing on saving accounts across the EU it makes a lot of sense to set up your own bitcoin savings account, where you can see Bittr as the slot where you put euros into your bitcoin piggy bank.

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