Unocoin is the largest bitcoin exchange in India. In addition to trading Bitcoins for INR, the platform offers transferring options, i.e. to send and receive bitcoins, an e-wallet and a merchants’ service for companies that are willing to accept bitcoin payments.
Currently the regulatory situation in India is quite murky. Bitcoin is not illegal, nor is trading in it, even though the country’s finance minister had said it is not a legal tender, there is still no specific regulation on the matter and exchanges operate freely.
According to recent reports in local media, the Indian supreme court has issued a notice urging the authorities to speed up the regulatory process, noting that cryptocurrencies can be used for financial transaction that leave no trace and asking them to respond to a petition on the matter. This is the latest twist in the cryptocurrency exchange regulation plans in India, after earlier reports that the government was considering closing them altogether, similarly to China.
The unclear situation, however, does not stop the Indian tax authorities from issuing notices to high net worth individuals trading on the exchanges, “reminding” them about taxes.
– Payments. Unocoin accepts transfers through all banks using the IMPS/NEFT/RTGS transfer systems, with all their limitations and fees.
– Limits. Unocoin has buy and sell daily limits, but they, in fact are quite high. For verified users there is a daily limit of 20 bitcoins to buy and to sell. Most exchanges have much lower limits, even for verified users.
– Mobile App. Unocoin has its own mobile application for Android and iOS devices that allows clients to buy and sell, send, receive and store Bitcoins.
– Security. Unocoin stores most funds offline and encrypted. Additionally, it has the standard two-factor authentication. Clients can also set a Bitcoin deposit/withdrawal daily limit, similar to the withdrawal limit of some bank cards. Any transaction above the set limit will require additional authorization from the client. There is also a “paper wallet” – a user-generated public and private key that can be printed and stored on paper.
– Platform. As with most exchanged that only offer spot exchange service, Unocoin’s platform is easy and straightforward to use.
– Fees. Unocoin’s fee structure is somewhat complicated. Initially it charges a 0.7% commission on buy and sell orders, which is not that much, even though there are exchanges that charge less. After a period of usage of at least 60 days and a “significant transaction volume on your account” (at least 100 BTC of buy+sell) there will be an upgrade to “Gold Membership”. With this upgrade the transaction fee drops to 0.5% and gives you a higher transaction limit per day (not specified). So far, so good, but there is also a government levied tax – IGST of 18.0% that will be charged on the transaction fee.
– Transaction fee. Unocoin also charges transaction fee for sending and receiving Bitcoins to/from wallets outside Unocoin’s network. Until November 2017 the fee was 0.0005 to 0.0009 BTC (the fee is set dynamically depending on the network congestion and will be displayed while sending out the bitcoin to a bitcoin address). After that, i.e. after the huge rise in interest in Bitcoin trading, Unocoin started charging dynamically set transfer fees. They are deducted from the client’s Unocoin balance. There is no fee for receiving bitcoins in the Unocoin wallet.
– Leverage. Unocoin, like most cryptocurrency exchanges, does not offer leveraged trading, but rather a simple exchange service. There are a few of the major exchanges like bitFlyer, Kraken and CexIo, who have leveraged trading, but there are also a lot of “traditional” regulated forex brokers who have CFDs on cryptocurrencies for trading on margin. This can be quite convenient for those who already have an account with such broker, as they can use the existing account and trade on the familiar trading platform.
– Anonymity. The service of Unocoin is not anonymous. The exchange requires e-mail verification, as well as a copy of the PAN card (Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a code that acts as an identification for individuals, families and corporates (Indian or Foreign), especially those who pay Income Tax. It is a unique, 10-character alpha-numeric identifier and is mandatory for the majority of financial transactions, such as opening a bank account and receiving a salary.) and proof of residence. Furthermore, the clients must be verified each year, as per regulations.
– Location. The requirement for a PAN card suggests that Unocoin offers its services only to residents of India.
– Speed. It seems that Unocoin’s service takes time. Bank transfers aside (sometimes they can be indeed slow), obviously Unocoin takes another 7-8 hours to process the deposits. Client verification can take up to 15 working days (as per Unocoin’s site and due to increased interest). This is quite a long time, especially considering the high volatility of bitcoin prices these days.
– Cards. Unocoin does not accept payments with credit cards, which can be inconvenient for some clients, as usually card payments are almost instant, as opposed to bank transfers.
– Customer support. Judging by the user comments in some forums, the customer support of Unocoin is slow to respond, if at all. They may be simply overwhelmed, or perhaps it is just the way it is.
Unocoin is India’s largest bitcoin company that offers a variety of services, including exchange, payments, transfers and storage of Bitcoins. Obviously it is targeting the local market only, but India, being the second most populous country in the world, is a big enough market.
Apparently, the main clients of Unocoin’s exchange are the retail traders, even though it has some incentives for larger traders. Its platform, however, does not provide enough features for more advanced trading with analysis tools and charts, nor does it offer leveraged trading. Besides, it seems that the service is somewhat slow, which is generally useless for professional traders.
Unocoin Review Conclusion
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