BuyUcoin is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, founded in June 2016 in India. According to the information on its website, the platform was the “first Bitcoin exchange with a credit card payment facility” in the country. BuyUcoin is owned and operated by the holding company Iblock Technologies Private Limited with official address 87, Collector Ganj 4th floor, Railway Road, Hapur-245101, India. Aside from the exchange business, BuyUcoin also offers a wallet service.
The platform started as an idea of three college students - Shivam Thakral, Devesh Aggrawal, and Atulya Bhatt. Prior to founding the company, Shivam Thakral, who, at the time of this writing, serves as the CEO of BuyUcoin, had worked as an Advisor to Beyond Block Labs and as a Blockchain Consultant for Blockriti. Devesh Aggrawal, CTO of BuyUcoin, is also the founder of Blockriti, a blockchain product, and service provider. Before founding the exchange and becoming its Director, Atulya Bhatt had also worked as a consultant to Blockriti, as well as a Business Analyst for Konsälidön. All three of the founders hold Bachelor’s Degrees. BuyUcoin has a very well developed LinkedIn page that links to the profiles of 16 of its team members. According to the information there, the exchange has between 10 and 50 employees.
BuyUcoin claims that the main goals of the platform “are simple: safety and security.” The exchange states that it stores 95% of users’ funds in cold wallets that are kept in “geographically isolated locations at anonymous combinations of latitudes and longitudes.” It also adds that the funds in the offline storage require manual intervention by several members of the platform’s Board of Directors. BuyUcoin continues to say that it encrypts all sensitive information and communication with AES-256. According to the information on its website, the exchange “continually updates the end-to-end security measures, improving auditing processes, and reducing the 'attack surface'” of its infrastructure. BuyUcoin also employs some standard security measures such as two-factor authentication, IP verification, daily system backups, and protection from DDoS attacks. All in all, it is safe to say that BuyUcoin does a good job of providing as much information as possible regarding the employed security measures.
To be eligible to trade, BuyUcoin’s clients should go through an identity verification procedure. To comply with the adopted AML and KYC policies, users should provide scanned copies of a PAN card, a Passport or an Aadhaar card, and a bank passbook photo. BuyUcoin’s team claims that it takes less than one day to get verified and be eligible to trade. However, from the listed information, it becomes clear that the exchange’s services are open only to clients from India.
BuyUcoin offers a P2P feature that allows users to deposit and withdraw INR directly between themselves. There is also an OTC desk that ensures trading with a 0% fee. Aside from that, clients can take part in the platform’s referral program and earn 200 INR once the invited user sets up an account and finalizes his first trade (the referred client also gets a 150 INR reward).
The exchange also issues its own token, called BuyUcoin Token (BUC). According to the information on its website, the BuyUcoin is intended to help with the launch of “web 3.0 Internet.” However, there are no additional details to clarify what this means. The BUC token runs on the NEM blockchain and has a total supply of 100 million. The exchange’s team reveals plans to build a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, where the use of the token “will be established” for purposes like paying fees, trading discounts, exchanging other cryptocurrencies against BUC, paying for products and services on third-party online portals, etc.
At the time of this writing, the exchange’s website claims that the business serves more than 250 000 customers. This is the reason why the exchange has a so well-developed customer support service. BuyUcoin states that its representatives can be contacted via several channels – by phone, email, a ticket system, social media, or WhatsApp. The platform also claims to maintain its support service 24/7. However, from the clients’ feedback, available at the time of this writing, it becomes clear that BuyUcoin isn’t living up to its self-set standards and ambitious claims. There are numerous reports where users struggle to get in touch with customer support to get help in solving issues like pending or unfulfilled transactions.
Threads on Quora and Bitcointalk, as well as some review sites, contain the same positive review coming from the platform’s CEO, Shivam Thakral. However, digging deeper, we end up finding several cases of BuyUcoin’s disappointed clients. Most of the reports describe issues like lost funds, inability to withdraw, excessively high fees, retention of a certain amount of cryptocurrencies as a “maintenance fee” for the users’ wallets, etc.
At the time of this writing, there are no reported cases of hacker attacks, security breaches, or governmental investigations targeted at the BuyUcoin exchange.