Xapo is neither an actual crypto exchange – though it does let its users purchase Bitcoin – nor does it really have anything to do with trading. It is a crypto-focused operation, in the sense that it offers a wallet service, a vault, as well as a Bitcoin debit card.
Xapo was founded in March 2014, by Wences Casares, and it is based in Hong Kong. The operation also maintains an office in Palo Alto, California, and its services reach a worldwide user-base.
Several high-profile investors pushed money into Xapo upon its launch and later, and overall, the reputation of the operation is good.
What exactly does Xapo offer you in terms of services though?
Their online wallet and mobile app give you some outstanding crypto storage options. While it is generally not a great idea to keep your long-term crypto holdings in online wallets, with Xapo – whose track record is great in the business – you probably have nothing to fear. Furthermore, Xapo gives you the option to store your Bitcoins in a cold vault, where they cannot be accessed/tampered with in any shape or form.
The Xapo web wallet is extremely easy to use and its user interface is indeed quite self-explanatory. It is also available in mobile versions for Android- as well as iOS-based mobile devices. The mobile wallet platform is just as straightforward and easy to use as the web-based one.
Those who know they want to hold their Bitcoins for the long term, can choose to transfer them to the vault. While sending the coins from the wallet to the vault is easy, getting them out of there is a different story. Several layers of security checks have to be completed, after which the coins land in the user’s wallet within 48 hours. Some describe the vault as a sort of savings account, though that would mean that the vault keeper accesses and uses the funds while they are kept there – something that most probably does not happen with Xapo.
In addition to retail clients, Xapo welcome institutional users too. Those who gain access to such an account are offered additional features that give them greater control over the storage of their crypto funds, their management and organization.
Besides storing Bitcoins, Xapo are also experts in spending them, or at least they used to be. Apparently – according to user feedback – their bitcoin-based debit card is no longer available for some reason. All we can say to that is that it’s a shame, as it was indeed an integral part of their offer.
As far as retail traders are concerned, Xapo only really offer one account type. People create their account, undergo the required verification procedures and they then deposit their BTCs/fiats. That’s all there is to it.
As already mentioned above though, corporate users gain access to additional features, when it comes to storing their cryptos. They get to create an unlimited number of wallets and accounts, among which they are free to distribute and to share their funds as they see fit.
Organization is key to every corporate actor, and Xapo allows such clients to invite users to individual wallets, while maintaining strict security.
Permission levels can also be set, thus allowing only those authorized to move funds to and from wallets and accounts.
There isn’t really any actual trading happening at Xapo. Those who wish to purchase bitcoins though, can do so through the web-based user interface of the site, at the price displayed by the operator on its front page.
Those looking to deposit money with Xapo can do so by making a bitcoin transfer to the wallet address provided, by Credit Card (VISA and MasterCard are accepted), by Bank Wire, by cash (through Xapo Network Tellers) and by online payment processors, such as Skrill and Neteller.
For the time being, Xapo is apparently only dealing with bitcoin, so its services are indeed very limited in this regard.
Xapo offers a superb customer support section, which is essentially a massive, searchable database that contains all the information one might want to know in regard to various operational aspects of the service. There does not seem to be any kind of actual support channel available though.
Featuring cold storage and two factor authentication, Xapo is indeed among the safest online crypto destinations.
While Xapo seems to be solid in regard to what it offers, and while its reputation is overwhelmingly positive as well, there are still some complainers out there, who say that the operator holds their money hostage, or who deride the quality of the Xapo support.