Best Bitcoin Escrow Services (Review 2020)
Have you ever sent BitCoin to the third party and regretted that? It is possible to secure yourself from fraud using Bitcoin Escrow Services. You will agree that irreversibility of BitCoin transactions is sometimes a drawback, but the use of escrow services can help crypto holders to restore justice and return their funds in the case of any issues.
However, there is another challenge faced by crypto owners – how to find the best escrow service?
Look: this article will focus on the best Bitcoin escrow services operating nowadays to help every crypto holder to make the right choice.
What is a Bitcoin Escrow Service?
It is not a rarity when people who paid for some goods or services with BitCoin processed funds to the seller’s address but received nothing instead. Irreversibility of BitCoin transactions makes it impossible to complain about its illegal character if there is any issue. However, the introduction of escrow services allows feeling more confident when you send digital funds to people you don’t know.
Escrow service is a 3rd party website which works as a mediator to secure a BitCoin transaction for a sender. When you use escrow, you send funds not to the seller’s direct wallet address but to the platform which will store them until you ensure that a seller performs his obligations fully. When you receive a product or services ordered, this mediator platform releases this payment to be received by a seller. If there is any dispute and a seller has cheated a buyer or vice versa, an escrow platform will be an arbitrator to evaluate all the evidence provided by both parties and send coins to the party that deserves them more.
It goes without saying that it is possible to use escrow services only if the second party you deal with agrees on that too. Otherwise, there is no sense to do that. Moreover, there are exchanges which have in-built escrow solutions for their users and there is no need to look for other platforms. However, when you use an exchange to send funds, you need to pay additional commission, while direct transfers are much cheaper. Therefore, this article will focus on the best escrow services functioning today for you to choose the cheapest, most reliable, and comfortable way of securing your transaction.
TOP 12 Trusted Bitcoin Escrow Companies
- Reputation management system of trust agents;
- Low fees taken by trust agents;
- Support for Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Testnet (BTC-TEST);
- Consumer protection;
- Multi-signature smart contracts;
- Open data and APIs.
Bitrated is an online platform created for users who want to manage their online reputation and protect people from fraud. It works with the goal to deliver funds safely to the final destination and is a multisig wallet where users need to make several confirmations to send funds. This platform allows buyers and sellers to find arbitrators. The last ones create their reputation on the basis of reviews of other users, a web of trust, and online presence on other websites. All three parties create a wallet where a saller and a buyer has a signature for funds to be released. It is performed in the following way:
- A buyer and seller should agree on a trusted agent provided by the platform and create a new trade.
- Every part should review and authorize participation in the trade.
- A buyer makes a payment to a multi-signature address which is locked for a seller.
- A seller can verify that money is sent by a buyer and provides goods or services ordered.
- If both parties are satisfied with the cooperation, they agree with the release of the payment without the intervention of a trusted agent. If there is any dispute, it’s a trust agent’s task to review a case and decide which party deserves to get funds.
There is no specification who pays a fee to the trust agent and its certain amount. Moreover, the platform is free until it gains its popularity and credibility on the Web, but woo it may take some commission too.
MonBux (individual user on Bitcointalk)
Type: paid, fee of 1%
- PGP verification;
- Multiple positive reviews;
- 5 years of work.
You may be surprised to hear but there are individuals on the Web who work as escrow platforms and MonBux is one of them. It is a forum member of Bitcointalk who has been offering escrow services for 5 years already. He features a ‘Legendary’ position and has over 1,000 Merits to his credit. The minimum transaction he supports is 0.01BTC. By now, he has conducted thousands of transactions successfully. The procedure looks as follows:
- A client can choose the way for funds to be held.
- Buyer’s coins must be sent to almost unhackable Trezor hardware crypto wallet.
To initiate a transaction, it is enough to send a message to MonBux with the explanation who will participate and what is going to be paid for. He will start a group with all the participants to confirm their desire to use escrow services. The role of MonBux is to be a neutral mediator in the transaction and complete it successfully for both parts. If not, he will solve the dispute too.
Type: paid, fee of 1.5%
- Automated transactions;
- Impartial systematic approach to solving most common disputes;
- Secure 2 of 3 multi-signature transaction with 1 key only;
- Fully responsive (mobile devices and TOR browser);
- Affiliate program.
Operating since 2013, BTC Asia is an escrow platform trusted by many people. It has made multiple transactions with a total amount of over 11,000 Bitcoin. The only thing needed for an escrow is an email and funds. As soon as a user registers on the website, he or she can start an escrow and make the following steps:
- Confirm an email and BitCoin address of both parties.
- A buyer received a link with a BitCoin payment address used by the platform and sends coins there.
- A seller sends goods ordered to a buyer.
- A buyer inspects the item(s) ordered and approves or disapproves the release of funds. In the second case, a dispute is initiated and solved by the impartial representative from the service.
The platform has an affiliate platform for crypto holders who will be awarded 50% of income from users attracted to the services by following the link of another user.
Type: paid, fee of 1%
- Adheres to Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines;
- Powered by smart contracts;
- Minimal fees, market-rate transactions;
- E-signatures for added convenience;
- Brings buyer and seller together;
- Provides a trusted dispute resolution mechanism.
IBC Group is a company which offers blockchain and ICO consulting services to residents of over 30 countries on the globe. One of the services added is escrow services which are launched with the goal to ensure the safety and security of BitCoin transactions.
IBC provides encrypted escrow services where a buyer and seller can find each other, agree on the transaction, and organize a delivery date. The procedure is performed in the following way:
- A buyer and seller order a transaction.
- A buyer funds a transaction within a pre-defined period of time.
- When funds are delivered to IBC, the company releases a product or service purchased.
- When a buyer gets a product and is satisfied with it, funds are delivered to the seller. If a buyer does not approve the deal, IBC company works as a judge in this situation.
The services performed by IBC are quite various and it is great that such an experienced and reputable company serves as a legitimate mediator in crypto transactions.
Type: paid, fee depends on the transaction value
- No standard fee;
- Possibility to choose the party to pay the commission;
- Tracking the transaction status;
- The average time for a transaction is 24–48 hours.
BitCoin Escrow LTD provides its users to pay with BitCoin without worry. It is possible to complete any BitCoin transactions securely for both parties and choose who will pay the commission or split it between them equally. The escrow process looks in the following way:
- A buyer and a seller make an agreement as for the terms.
- A buyer processes the payment to Bitcoin Escrow Ltd.
- A seller verifies payment and delivers order.
- A buyer inspects and approves/disapproves order.
- Bitcoin Escrow Ltd. releases payment to a Seller.
It is necessary to register on the platform to order an escrow as well as pass through 2-factor authentication. The account allows tracking the status of your transaction and does not require any personal information from users.
Type: paid, fee of 5%
- Requires manual typing;
- Is free for VIP forum users;
- Possibility to track the transaction;
- Forum admins serve as mediators.
Being primarily a forum, Carding has a branch devoted to escrow services as well as offers this feature too. The forum can boast over 130,000 active users who can order escrow services. The cost of these services is higher than in other companies and is 5% of the transaction value. Though this fee is charged only from standard users of the platform, VIP persons do not pay anything.
The forum provides users with all necessary functions including tracking the transaction status using a code provided by it, inspection period to evaluate the product purchased, while all the disputes are solved by the forum administrators.
Type: paid, a fee of 3% of the transaction value
- Simplicity of the Escrow transaction;
- Requires time for the payment confirmation;
- A seller can withdraw funds to the BitCoin wallet and PayPal once a day;
- The commission depends on the item value.
A popular forum EpicNPC has a built-in escrow platform called Trade Guardian which provides cheap and safe escrow services. It has been created with the goal to protect from chargeback and make BitCoin transactions secure by ensuring payment guarantee and the delivery of the product bought. The system works in the following way:
- A buyer and a seller create a transaction via Trade Guardian.
- A buyer deposits BitCoin to the escrow website and waits for about 30 minutes for an update of payment status.
- A seller delivers a product or service to a buyer for inspection.
- A buyer makes a confirmation that the product was received and it meets his requirements and releases the payment.
- A seller withdraws payment from Trade Guardian (available once per every 24 hours).
Any issues faced with the work of Trade Guardian are solved on Dispute Forum. The transaction can be canceled by both parties only if the item was not sent to the buyer.
Type: paid, a fee of 1%
- Escrow managed by a forum member;
- Low commission;
- Instant reply.
One more individual on the BitcoinTalk forum offers escrow services to its users. Known as Ognasty, this person has a Legendary level with a quite high Merit that speaks about his experience in this sphere.
He has a thread with reviews of previous customers and claims to have made transactions on the total sum of 19K BitCoin. The minimum amount to transfer is 0.003BTC while the commission is standard – only 1%.
To initiate an escrow, it is necessary to send OgNasty a private message and give the contact information of the seller. All the funds are received by OgNasty on one wallet address and he promises to send funds to the seller as soon as a buyer confirms the receipt of the item purchased.
Type: paid, a fee of 2.5%
- Holds funds for the period of up to 30 days;
- Support for BitCoin and Litecoin;
- Operating since 2013;
- Escrow works only for goods sold on the website;
- Reasonable refund policy.
BitiFy is a blockchain marketplace where it is possible to list some items for free and get Bitcoins for that, however, it is not the only service provided by the platform. It also suggests benefiting from using escrow services which guarantee buyers and sellers a peace of mind when they transfer crypto coins and goods to each other.
Since all the sellers list items on the platform selling them, escrow services work in a bit different way there. A buyer who has deposited BitCoin to the service and received goods meeting his or her expectations releases funds to a seller in the item account directly on the platform. If a buyer does not undertake any actions within a 30-day period, funds will be sent to a seller automatically after the expiration of this time.
Type: paid, a fee differs depending on the coin used
- Secure thanks to being encrypted using government standard AES encryption;
- Automatic payouts after the release of money;
- The escrow fee can be paid by each party or divided by percentage;
- Possibility to set up an automatic release after a certain number of days;
- Status check and tracking.
SetEscrow is one of a few popular platforms that offer escrow services supporting multiple cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. Users of the service can make transactions not only in the following cryptocurrencies as BitCoin, LiteCoin, or Ethereum but also 8 other cryptocurrencies and over 30 different fiat currencies.
The escrow procedure takes only three simple steps:
- Create Escrow transaction in the menu.
- Review terms sent to the buyer’s email and deposit money to the escrow for a seller to track it (informed with an email too).
- Complete the transaction. The seller sends the product to the buyer for inspection and the last one approves it or raises a dispute.
Services of the platform can be received both if you are new on the platform or a registered user. The status of a registered user allows to save 0.15% on escrow fees and build a trust score for further transactions. If one of the parties raises a dispute, it is resolved by the panel of three judges who can give a refund to each of parties, split funds equally between them, or even give them for charity if the decision can’t be reached.
Type: paid, a fee of 2%
- Expires after 10 days;
- Automatic refunds;
- Free tumbling of deposits;
- Status check.
There are several reasons to choose BitCoin Escrow for purchasing goods safely but the main reason is to get twice more services paying only for one of them. Since BitCoin is a pseudo-anonymous currency and requires hiding any traces of the transactions made, Bitcoin escrow combines tumbler and escrow services where funds are mixed until their release to the seller.
The escrow platform is very easy to use since it is necessary to provide only a BTC amount to send, the destination address, and two passwords (view-only one and unlock one). These passwords are needed to confirm a seller that the sum was deposited to the platform and releasing coins to the seller if everything is ok.
There are limits on maximum and minimum amount ranging from 0.01BTC and 200BTC. Every transaction lasts only for 10 days and expires after this period. During this time, it is necessary to unlock funds for them to be delivered to the seller or get an automatic refund within an 8-day period.
Type: paid, a fee of 5%
- Forum escrow;
- Managed by escrow team working on the platform;
- Possibility to start an escrow leaving a message.
One more popular way to secure your purchases is using popular forums which offer escrow services to their users is Cardvilla. In addition to teaching people how to card it has a branch devoted to Escrow services entirely. It is enough to leave a request for escrow services to get a response from Escrow Team working on the service.
To be able to look through the escrow ads left on the website it is necessary to register. You will not find any additional functions there but be sure to get standard escrow services managed by a trading agent who is a website Admin too.
How to Choose a Safe Escrow Service
Due to the growing popularity of crypto assets, it is not difficult to find a cryptocurrency escrow in the search engine since there are dozens of sites, individuals, and forums offering these services online. However, not all of them are worth using since nobody is insured against scams too. Therefore, it is necessary to learn some tips on how to find a secure escrow, so keep on reading if you are interested in this question.
Check the escrow reputation
Since a key to the success of every company is the trust of its clients, there are services which pay much attention to these questions. That is why it is reasonable to check popular forums and review platforms to evaluate if this service is used by other people and what their impressions are about it.
Select platforms with a letter of guarantee
This document is an official proof that a company took your money. Even if it happens that this company does not pay out money to the seller, this PGP Signed proof-of-address or proof-of-ownership can ruin its online reputation forever.
Avoid Darknet market escrow
There are escrow sites serving the purposes of illegal and criminal activities. There are high chances that once this escrow service will be punished and you can lose your money or be accused of illegal activity as well.
Pay attention to the security measures
It is preferable to choose websites adhering to Adheres to Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines as well as providing 2-factor authentication. Moreover, it is better if the transaction can be tracked online.
Learn dispute terms
People use escrow BitCoin services because of the irreversibility of crypto transactions, but even with the presence of a mediator, it is possible to lose your funds. Therefore, always read the terms of the Escrow operation and how disputes are solved to secure yourself.
Pros & Cons of Crypto Escrow
When you use escrow services online, you undoubtedly get certain benefits but at the same time, there are some problems connected with them too. What is great about escrow services is a possibility both for a buyer and seller to ensure the safety of the transaction and prevent fraud. These services work almost always automatically and at easy to use. Moreover, they allow users to track the transaction process and offer many additional features like tumbling, for example. However, there is another side of the medal too:
- Users have to pay a fee which is quite high and depends on the cost of the goods or services ordered;
- Escrow is a risk since you still have to send your cryptocurrency to the wallet of another person who is a stranger;
- Some escrows serve representatives of the criminal world and used for purchases of drugs and weapon;
- Scams are everywhere on the Web so there is no guarantee that your funds will be delivered to a seller if you make a mistake with the choice of a platform.
Escrow Service Alternatives
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find an alternative to escrow services but there is a possibility to use reputable exchanges and marketplaces with built-in escrow services and avoid turning third parties. The most popular examples are LocalBitcoins and Paxful, where you can be confident that your crypto funds will surely pay for the goods you buy.
Every person who makes purchases online wishes to be confident that the transaction will be completed successfully and he or she will get a high-quality product or service for the money paid. It is especially important for crypto holders who cannot ask for a chargeback like in some e-wallets, for example. Therefore, so many people use escrow services and look for trusted websites providing them. This list of the services we provide has been created on the basis of the analysis of their characteristics but it is necessary to remember – none of them can be considered absolutely trustworthy, so follow the tips how to choose a reliable escrow and only then take a risk.