BitKonan is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, founded in 2013 and based in Croatia. The platform is operated by a company called Digital Assets d.o.o with official address: Put Plokita 87, Split, Croatia. At the time of this writing, BitKonan is the only cryptocurrency exchange in the country and one of the very few in Eastern Europe. The exchange is served by the local Podravska Banka. The platform’s servers are based in the Netherlands and the US.
According to the information on its website, the platform was built by a team of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and was the “first to bring advanced order management in volatile bitcoin industry.” However, aside from that, it is worth noting that BitKonan doesn’t even have a LinkedIn page, and there is no additional information regarding the people running the project on its website. All this secrecy doesn’t help in the process of earning the trust of investors.
A look into the Croatian corporate register reveals that Digital Assets d.o.o (number: 37096783668) was founded on May 22, 2013, by three individuals - Tomislav Vajić, Šime Bakić, and Jakov Dolić. At the time of this writing, though, none of the three has a LinkedIn profile to help us get familiar with their background. However, the information in local media reveals a bit about Tomislav Vajić’s professional experience. He is claimed to have worked for several years as a trader on FX exchanges. In 2011, he got familiar with BTC mining, and in 2013 he founded BitKonan.
Vajić and Bakić are also associated with another cryptocurrency-related business – the Bitcoin Store. According to the founders, they came up with the idea after realizing that many people wanted to invest in cryptocurrency but didn’t know how. The concept of the Bitcoin Store is to provide clients with a physical location, that they can visit and get assistance from the staff for things like buying cryptocurrencies, selecting, installing, and backing up a wallet, or instructions on how to navigate the cryptocurrency market safely. At the time of this writing the Bitcoin Store has two offices – one in Split, founded in April 2018, and one in Zagreb, opened two months later. Visitors can buy cryptocurrencies (at the time of this writing, the store offers 50 cryptocurrencies), as well as the Ledger Nano S wallet. In the footer of Bitcoin Store’s website, there is a mention of BitKonan as the official partner of the business.
All in all, Bitcoin Store’s website offers much more information when compared to the one of BitKonan. For example – BitKonan’s FAQ section is very limited and covers just a few topics, such as account opening, fund deposits, and withdrawals, etc. Furthermore, it fails to provide its clients with meaningful information about the employed security measures. All that the page says is that the team takes “security issue very seriously.” They also add that the platform’s representatives monitor the market and its behavior consistently (24/7). Due to the nature of this claim, though, it is impossible to verify how accurate it is.
BitKonan’s “Terms and Conditions” page is also very limited in terms of information. The platform doesn’t mention anything regarding the way it protects its users’ personal data. As a venue, registered and operating in the EU, BitKonan should be compliant with the GDPR framework. So is the case with the Bitcoin Store, for example. The business even mentions the KYC and AML procedures it adheres to. BitKonan, on the other hand, remains silent on the matter. According to information from third-party sources, BitKonan’s verification procedure requires users to submit a picture of an ID card, a driver’s license or a Passport, as well as a utility bill to confirm their address.
Several reviews of the exchange’s services highlight the same deeply concerning thing – BitKonan is claimed to store its users’ funds in hot wallets. However, at the time of this writing, there is no information to confirm or deny that, aside from some third-party analysis. Outside sources also state that BitKonan employs two-factor authentication. Considering BitKonan’s escape of responsibility in cases of lost funds and hacker attacks, stated in its “Terms and Conditions” page, if the information about keeping users’ cryptocurrencies in hot wallets is accurate, then investors should stay away from the platform.
When it comes to customer support, it is worth noting that BitKonan also falls behind most of the other trading venues. The only way for clients to get in touch with the exchange’s representatives is via email.
Regarding BitKonan’s online reputation, it is worth noting that there are very few user opinions shared online. There is, in fact, an official Bitcointalk thread, where the BitKonan’s team posts regular updates. However, the platform’s representatives are very selective in answering community questions.
At the time of this writing, there is no information about hacker attacks, security breaches, or governmental investigations, part of BitKonan exchange’s history.