Bleutrade is one of the multiple cryptocurrency exchanges, headquartered in Valletta, Malta. The centralized trading venue was founded on March 24, 2014, in Brazil, but later on, decided to relocate to the European cryptocurrency capital citing the island’s “flexible regulations and responsiveness to innovation” as the main reasons. Since September 22, 2018, Bleutrade serves its clients from Malta. The trading platform is founded and operated by Bleu Digital Enterprises Ltd.
Although the Bleutrade’s website lacks information about the team running the project, it is known that the CEO is Felipe Melo. However, at the time of this writing, there is a lack of meaningful information about his profile and background. Bleutrade’s LinkedIn page suggests that the company has a staff of 11 to 50 individuals. The page also suggests the profiles of some employees, such as Marcos Morais (Strategic Advisor) and Marlos Lima (COO), who has a solid managing background but non-of-which seems to be relevant to the cryptocurrency or financial industry.
Bleutrade defines security as its top priority and adds that the platform uses “Bleutrade Global’s International, high security, digital currency enterprise wallet service.” It also adds that the exchange is protected by “an advanced DDoS-mitigation layer and multi-factor authentication.” In reality, Bleutrade is known to provide standard user security features such as two-factor authentication, SSL-encrypted requests, IP address timestamping, algorithms, tracking suspicious behavior, and so on. The exchange claims that it stores “the majority” of users’ funds in cold-wallets and “only a few percentage” in hot-wallets. However, investors, using Bleutrade’s services, are advised to deploy additional security features to ensure further protection for their funds. The Bleutrade team does provide such advice on its “Security” page, but the majority of them is related to the trading process and philosophy, rather than the platform’s operation. Regarding system security, Bleutrade states that it filters user input to “prevent front-end and back-end attacks like XSS, CSRF, Clickjacking, session hijacking, and others.” The exchange ensures its users that it performs internal periodical audits “to keep the systems up-to-date.”
Although most Bleautrade reviews state that the Malta-based exchange is non-regulated, the truth is that it complies with all European and local regulatory frameworks, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Money Laundering Prevention Policy (MLP), Terrorist Financing (TF), and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policies. It follows the procedures of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and adheres to legislative policies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) covered by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) in Malta. To find out more about the local regulation and how Bleutrade complies with the Virtual Financial Assets Law (“Law”) and other laws, check the “AML/KYC” page on its website.
Although the exchange complies with the established AML/KYC policies, it provides a loophole for investors who do not want to provide all of the needed personal information. Clients can subscribe to the exchange’s services with only an email and phone and even without providing their real names. However, the trick here is that those who decide to sign up that way will be granted only partial access. They will be able to deposit, trade (but with small amounts) and withdraw cryptocurrencies. Some of the exchange’s features, however, will remain unavailable, unless the user goes through the complete KYC/AML compliance procedure (copy of ID, selfie, ID card number, proof of residence, etc.).
At the time of this writing, Bleutrade claims to be serving more than 300 000 clients. The concerning fact here is that the only way to get in touch with the customer support is through submitting a support ticket – there are no contact emails or phones. Considering the significant number of clients, this way of communication is undoubtedly not helping users get their questions answered promptly. This is one of the reasons why Bleutrade’s online reputation is so mixed. Some users (mainly on Reddit), express their trust in the exchange and praise its usability, while the majority (mainly on Bitcointalk and Trustpilot) report that they had been struggling to get in touch with the support or have simple issues like inability to access their accounts solved.
At the time of this writing, there are no reported cases of hacker attacks or governmental investigations against Bleutrade.