Are you an American crypto-enthusiast who wants to use credit cards (or PayPal) to trade?

If so, you already know that most platforms don’t allow those kinds of shenanigans. However, one platform does. That platform is xCoins iO.

xCoins iO isn’t an exchange but a peer-to-peer lending service. It will enable you to borrow bitcoin using your credit card or PayPal account. Moreover, the transactions are instantaneous.

Is xCoins iO real, and is it worth switching from your current exchange? Read our xCoins iO review to find out.

What Is XCoins iO?

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XCoins iO falls into the cryptocurrency exchange niche, but it doesn’t truly belong.


Rather than serving solely as an exchange, it is a secured bitcoin lender.


To understand what that means, you need first to understand its core product: secured loans.



What Is a Secured Loan?


A secured loan is a borrowing tool offered by financial institutions and, in this case, xCoins.


When you enter a secured loan agreement, you provide collateral for the loan. The collateral needs to be something concrete with value. The most common secured loan agreements in traditional banking are mortgages and auto loans.


In the case of xCoins, borrowers put up their cash as collateral when they borrow bitcoin.


Keep in mind that a secured loan isn’t a single transaction. Loans come with interest, loan origination fees, and administrative fees. The same is true of xCoins. After all, lenders aren’t just handing over their bitcoin at present market value. They want to make money.



Why Use a Secured Loan?


​Doesn’t a secured loan sound more complicated than an exchange?


xCoins says that because bitcoin transactions are otherwise irreversible, exchanges go too far to protect them.


Reversing a PayPal payment is easy. Likewise, buyers can request that Visa, Mastercard, or their debit card perform a chargeback.

 

Because payment reversals and chargebacks are so simple, exchanges slow the process down. They ban credit card payments to limit chargebacks. They set low limits and mandate a cooling-off period. However, because it is a loan, you need to pay the principal back.



Paying Back the xCoins Secured Loan


The cash you put up did not purchase the bitcoin. Instead, you borrowed it as a loan for a fee. That means you must also pay it back.


xCoins says you can pay the loan back when you like. Borrowers may sit on the bitcoin for days, weeks, or months. When you pay it back, the deposit goes back into your account via your method of payment.


What if you choose not to repay the loan?


Deciding not to pay the loan back means forfeiting your collateral. The lender holds onto those funds until you repay.


Of course, the lender doesn’t hope you default on the loan. They want their bitcoin back. However, unlike banks, xCoins lenders collect interest up front, so they don’t risk missing out if you fail to pay it back.


To pay the loan back, borrowers must get in touch with the lender directly via the site. You will also need the amount of bitcoin owed in your wallet to send it back to you.

When the bitcoin is a secured loan rather than an exchange, the cash serves as collateral.

How Do I Know I’ll Get My Bitcoin?

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Fraud is rampant on exchanges despite UX/UI teams’ best-laid plans. So, how does xCoins attempt to combat fraudsters?


xCoins service does not match any borrowers with lenders who do not have bitcoin in their wallet. If you want to buy 0.05 bitcoin, then your matched lender will have a minimum of 0.05 bitcoin in their wallet.


As a result, you may find that you don’t receive lender matches for every transaction. Large transactions have a far smaller lender pool available. xCoins says to re-calibrate your offer and re-try at a later date to complete the transaction.



How to Use XCoins iO


To use XCoins iO, you’ll need an account. To do so, you must have a means of adequately identifying yourself and verifying the identity. xCoins then verifies your identity to approve your account and transaction. After manual approval on the first transaction, all others become instant.


With your account, you can then buy bitcoin. To complete the transaction, you’ll specify the amount you need and how you prefer to pay. The deal then ends in your xCoins wallet where you may spend the bitcoin as you please.


How can you pay? xCoins accepts the following payment methods:


  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • PayPal Credit
  • PayPal Balance
  • Bank account (eCheck or ACH)

Who Can Use xCoins iO?

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To set up an xCoins iO account, you will likely need to be an American citizen. The product sharpened its aim for the U.S. market and U.S. finance. Citizens or residents of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East may find they do not have payment methods supported by the site.


However, it is not a loss. Asian clients, in particular, may find they already have a service available to them.


U.S. customers, in particular, have a more prominent credit card culture and complex bank transfer systems compared to others. xCoins iO attempts to solve this problem for the American market.


Additionally, if you intend to pay via PayPal, your PayPal account must have verification. If a verified PayPal account is out of the question, then you can still sign up. PayPal adds more features to the user experience, but it is not mandatory.



What Can I Buy?


You may only trade bitcoin on XCoins. There is no rumor that the service intends to expand to other cryptocurrencies at present.

Security Requirements for Users

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Flying under the radar is not an option for xCoins iO. Because of bitcoin security issues and requirements related to working with PayPal, all participants in the transaction must meet several requirements.


First, you must allow 2-factor authentication on your account. Every log-in requires a passcode provided by SMS, Google Authenticator, or phone call.


xCoins also logs all user IP addresses. Using a VPN will likely result in a request for confirmation. You’ll find that PayPal requires the same thing.


You must verify your identity before making a transaction. The process takes place during the account creation process.


Finally, xCoins reports suspicious transactions as per anti-money laundering laws.

What Makes xCoins Different?

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Most bitcoin exchanges require bank transfers or debit cards and come with minimum wait periods from the start to the end of the transaction. XCoins, however, promises an instant purchase with greater flexibility than a traditional exchange.


The significant differences between a secured loan or an exchange are as follows. A secured loan allows you to:


  • Receive your bitcoin in minutes
  • Pay with debit or credit cards or PayPal
  • Return the bitcoin

A traditional exchange requires:


  • Payment exclusively with bank transfer
  • Multi-day waiting periods
  • Inability to return bitcoin

xCoins says the benefit of bitcoin return is that buyers can buy what they think they need but return the bitcoin if they:


  • Change their mind and want less bitcoin
  • Find a more favorable exchange rate

The flow of cryptocurrency works like this:


First, the lender sends their bitcoin loan amount to their personal xCoins wallet. Following that, a buyer provides payment for the loan amount (and transaction fees) to the lender. The buyer then receives the bitcoin purchased to their xCoins wallet.


The process reveals how xCoins can claim to be faster. Because the bitcoin is already available in a lender’s xCoins wallet, you don’t need to wait for a transfer. When the lender accepts the transaction, the bitcoin then moves fluidly between accounts.


Another difference lies in the fee structure, which we intend to cover more in depth later in the xCoins review.

Pricing and Fees

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Anywhere you go, you’ll find transaction fees. No bitcoin wallet, exchange, or mining pool operates without them. Fees are also fair. After all, the excellent infrastructure isn’t cheap, and cheap infrastructure isn’t any good.


xCoins requires four fees for each transaction:


  • Interest fees
  • Loan security deposit
  • Loan origination fees
  • Payment processing/bank transfer fees

xCoins offers a fee structure that differs from most other bitcoin products. Rather than setting a price according to size, payment method, or output, xCoins allow lenders to compete for expenses.


xCoins lenders set their interest rates as a way to keep interest rates competitive and make them fair.


Making an account and shopping around is the best way to check rates. However, you may find fees between 15 and 30 percent of the transaction value. A price of even 15 percent is extraordinarily high for the crypto-community. Yet, lenders retain control over them, so criticism is problematic.



Refunds


xCoins allows you to request refunds from the lender.


All exchanges occur between borrowers and lenders, and xCoins never holds any funds in escrow.


Keep in mind that refunds will be less the interest, origination, and processing fees. You’ll also need the full amount of bitcoin available in your xCoins wallet to transfer back to the lender’s wallet.

What Users Say

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Anywhere you go, you’ll find transaction fees. No bitcoin wallet, exchange, or mining pool operates without them. Fees are also fair. After all, the excellent infrastructure isn’t cheap, and cheap infrastructure isn’t any good.


xCoins requires four fees for each transaction:


  • Interest fees
  • Loan security deposit
  • Loan origination fees
  • Payment processing/bank transfer fees

xCoins is a good idea on paper, particularly for the U.S. market where the banking system is far from agile.


Users like xCoins, but you can’t help but notice all the strange, negative reviews about the service.


The biggest complaint is support. There is little support despite the promised 24-hour help desk turnaround. xCoins uses a ticket system rather than a live chat or help desk number. It presents problems for users who want high-value transactions.


Some of these complaints have a basis in reality. When xCoins opened, it received hype, but it was also severely understaffed. Because no one wants to hear nothing but radio silence from a crypto-platform, users went to message boards to vent. The remnants of that period continue to hit Google’s search results.


The second significant issue is PayPal.


Using PayPal is like opening Pandora’s box on a good day. Trying to use it in the cryptocurrency sphere is akin to asking for trouble. Plenty of people, typically lenders, saw their PayPal accounts frozen for 180 days. A high volume of loans or strange activity trips PayPal’s security and fraud wires, and PayPal is ruthless when it suspects fraud.


xCoins never addressed the PayPal issue. Perhaps, it never discussed its plans with PayPal, and the integration is a rogue one. Maybe, it doesn’t care. Neither seems likely given the way the platform showcases its PayPal capabilities. However, if you use your PayPal for business or a stream of income, be wary of using it for large transactions right away. Ease in and use all the security features offered.

XCoins io vs. Competition

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No other cryptocurrency exchange runs a secured loan option. Thus, comparing it to an exchange is like comparing apples and oranges.


However, you can compare exchange services and lenders to understand their services better. The best comparison we can think of is xCoins iO vs. Coinbase.


Coinbase is another California-based crypto-company. It's an exchange rather than a lender, but it competes for the same customers.


The benefits of Coinbase are three-fold:

  • More users, more bitcoin, and higher liquidity
  • Use both debit and credit cards
  • Plenty of tutorials for new users

The high liquidity offers something that critics dislike about xCoins: rejected transactions. More bitcoin means larger purchases, so it’s better for high rollers in the crypto community.


On the other hand, xCoins offers a bit more user security, at least up front. Verification and 2-factor authentication win it points. It also goes further than Coinbase and accepts PayPal, which adds more simplicity and security. xCoins also offers a referral program that benefits new and existing users.



Issues with xCoins and Coinbase


Both platforms present different issues that impact all users.


First, hackers targeted xCoins, which leaves some questions about security.


At the same time, Coinbase allegedly violates user privacy in an errant and extreme way. Coinbase also puts its investors before its customers, which sounds like typical corporate policy but also contributes to the volatility that plagues cryptocurrency.


While Coinbase has privacy issues, xCoins comes with transparency issues. The trading volume isn’t visible, so you can’t be certain of what goes on behind closed doors.

The Bottom Line

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The bottom line is that xCoins offers an imperfect product that remains highly competitive among traditional cryptocurrency exchanges. Its limitations are apparent, but no cryptocurrency platform comes without issues.

If you previously found yourself locked out of the crypto-community because of your ability to pay, then xCoins is a great option.