Bitcoins Escrow services have recently seen a boosted interest among people, thanks to the recent Bitcoin exponential growth. Because Bitcoin is anonymous, untraceable to quite an extent and not exactly refundable, it also lacks the trust required for a transaction to go through smoothly between two parties.
A Bitcoin transaction can’t exactly be linked to any individual entity, also Bitcoin isn’t always used for legal transactions, rather it’s popular on the Dark web used to purchase drugs, weapons, and other such “not exactly legal” stuff.
Hence, if and when the other party doesn’t fulfill its end of the bargain, you can’t exactly go to the cops, cause it was an illegal transaction to begin with. Also, Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, and that’s where a Bitcoins Escrow service comes to the rescue.
What is a Bitcoins Escrow services?
A Bitcoins Escrow service is a third-party website/platform which you can use to securely conduct Bitcoin transactions. You send your Bitcoins not to the seller, but to this Bitcoins Escrow, and only after you’ve received the product you’re purchasing the Crypto escrow service releases your payment to the seller.
Note that it’s important for you to first confirm that the seller you’re buying from, accepts Escrow. Not all sellers are as liberal and in those cases you can’t use an Escrow, or you’ve got to find a seller who does.
How to Choose Best Escrow Services for Your Deals
Offer Service – Before sign escrow contract make sure checkout company offer services, Is company making escrow deals in your required field?
Support – Before any support service, you can resolve your issue if you will get anyone, that why always check out what type support company offers like email, ticket, live support or etc.
Fee – I saw many time, some company offers his service in very high fee. make sure checkout fee for deals if found fee is generic then you can go ahead.
Previous User Reviews – In this escrow industry, lot of scammer are available on the internet who doesn’t meet the supplier or buyer criteria, then always check out multiple forums or review sites where you can check escrow company related real users review. if the company still offering good service then you can hire his service.
Company Lifetime – This point also very important, you also need to check out how many years company still offering his escrow service? and because cheap sites don’t survive for long time, if company dealing in escrow field from long time then it means you are on the right hand.
Money Return Policy – Some escrow company returns your whole money if your deal was not successful and some not. that’s why check out company money return policy, policies are friendly or not?
Privacy and Escrow Guidelines – Final property that also need to check because making any deals with any escrow company, make sure carefully read all guidelines and service policy.
11 Bitcoins Escrow Services
Anyway here are the top 11 Bitcoins Escrow services existing in the industry, along with their features and fee. Also note that it’s not a “Ranking list”, hence the #1 platform on this list isn’t necessarily better than the ones listed below it.
An Escrow dedicated primarily to Darknet trades is what DarkLocker markets itself as. The fee for facilitating the Escrow trades is 1% of the total transaction amount.
The choice of paying the fee by either party is available. It also can be split 50-50. It’s quite transparent, searching for an Escrow using the transaction-ID reveals the status of the funds, the amounts and every other detail about the trade verifiable by either party.
An expected delivery-time can be set. If and when this time is exceeded, either a dispute can be opened, or the delivery time be extended further.
Maintains honesty to both parties as the fee is non-refundable, hence no reason for the Escrow to not let a trade be or not be successful. Is anonymous and doesn’t ask for registrations or personal details. Not even an E-mail ID required.
Funds can be locked using a “Locker Code“. Any involvement of the funds (refund/release) require this locker code. The transactions are multisig and no one party exclusively controls them. Seems to operating since 2015, which speaks for its legitimacy. Does offer “refunds” (minus the fee) if a trade isn’t successful.
Global Escrow is a Bitcoin Escrow service registered in Singapore, which asks for tracking information in case of physical products, or some kind of interface in case of digital goods to verify the successful delivery of the products promised.
Obviously, the signs and symbols which would indicate successful or unsuccessful delivery of the products can be set by both the buyers as well as the vendors.
There’s a 15-day auto-refund period on the platform, within which if the vendor is unable to provide the required signs (such as tracking information) the amount if refunded back to the buyer.
It also allows an “inspection period” which the buyer needs to manually activate for each transaction, this time-frame is provided in addition to the shipping time in which the buyer is expected to verify the quality and authenticity of the product.
The platform doesn’t keep any logs, and charges a 1% transaction fee/transaction in addition to the Bitcoin transaction fee. Registration is free and anonymous.
Escrow My Bits
Escrow My Bits is another Bitcoins Escrow although with a number of different Escrow types available.
It offers a Regular Escrow which simply forwards the funds from one person to another, the other type is “Regular Escrow pegged to Traditional value”. Then there’s the Multisignature Regular Escrow which is basically the Regular Escrow + multisig.
When multisig is used, the coins can’t be released without the approval of all the required signatures. The same applies for the other type which is “Multisig Escrow pegged to a Fiat value” in this case Omni or Nubits are used to peg the value of your coins.
The fee with Escrow My Bits too is 1% and the registration anonymous. Also, they’ve got a cold-storage for the coins ensuring their safety.
Bitrated has a very different working infrastructure as compared to the other Bitcoin Escrow services discussed so far. For starters, it lets users create a profile and build reputation using user reviews, a web of trust and online presence which includes Reddit Karma, Twitter followers and Stackoverflow rep.
It doesn’t exactly have an Escrow, rather the “trust agents” are responsible for tipping the Transaction in favor or against of any specific party.
It’s also free from its end, although the trust agents may charge money, “may” being the keyword here. Currently, it supports Bitcoin and Bitcoin Testnet as the currencies.
MonBux (Individual User)
MonBux isn’t a website or a company, rather it’s an individual, a single person who has gained immense reputation over the last 5 years on various forums, especially “Bitcoin Talk” and is the reason he’s being listed here.
His stats are pretty impressive with “Legendary” position and 1000+ Merits to his credit:
He offers PGP verification as well, and the reviews and comments by other established and reputed users (with great individual merits, activity and forum status for themselves) is another reason why the user seems to be a trustworthy Bitcoin Escrow.
He does charge a 1% transaction fee like the other Bitcoin Escrows enlisted above.
It’s one of the few Bitcoins Escrow services which doesn’t need any registration. You can start an Escrow transaction simply by providing an E-mail and BTC address.
The fee too is lower as compared to the other escrows discussed above, set at just 0.05% of the transaction!
If and when disputes do arise, they aren’t handled by the BTC Asia team, and rather a neutral third-party does.
The process is transparent, and each stage can be tracked via a “transaction ID” provided by the platform. They also have a USD $500 guarantee which applies in certain cases such as hack or theft of server, mistakes on their parts etc.
Although the site seems to be operated by one single person, who has been featured on Coindesk, Business Talk and has a very reputable LocalBitcoins profile as well.
IBC is a registered Escrow company and hence isn’t as anonymous as we’d like it to be, rather it adheres to International KYC policies and may ask for identity proves during registration or at a later time.
It provides the buyer with a pre-specified time-frame to deposit funds, and only then the product is released providing for vendor-safety, the vendor too gets his funds only after the buyer has inspected and is satisfied with the product getting the buyer his share of safety as well.
It features Smart Contracts which speed up the whole process and let two parties conduct unlimited number of trades without any interference from the platform, unless explicitly required during disputes.
And finally, it too has a “reputation” scale which parties build up by repeatedly using the platform letting the other party know they’re trusted. It charges a 1% transaction fee.
Bitcoin Escrow Limited is a Bitcoin Escrow company that lets the transaction fee be either split in a 50-50 ratio, or covered by any one party be it the buyer or the seller.
Like most Escrows, it too provides for an Escrow period which is pre-agreed upon by both the parties.
It does require registration although it can be anonymous as no personal details are required during the process, 2-factor authentication is provided as well.
The fee isn’t clearly mentioned, rather it seems to be dependent upon the type and value of the transaction.
Carding.WS is a Forum-Escrow, what it means is that it’s primarily a Carding Forum but also has a separate Escrow service feature.
With nearly 130,000 members and 1Million+ threads trust isn’t exactly an issue here. Although the fee is comparatively higher and is set at 5% of the transaction value. Also, it’s not refundable in case a trade goes south.
The fee however applies to only normal members on the forum, for VIP members the fee isn’t applicable.
There’s a little more manual typing and talking as compared to the other automated Escrows on this list considering it’s a forum.
There’s an inspection period, although the final say in a deal rests with the administrators of the forum. It does provide a 5-digit Escrow pin which can be used to track the status of open Escrow deals.
Trade Guardian is a sub-section of EPICNPC, they provide many financial services and have a forum as well. It needs around 30minutes before deposits are marked as “confirmed”.
Once the buyer inspects the goods and is satisfied, the funds are released to the vendor. The seller or the buyer need to click on “Cancel” or “complete” based on their role in the trade to release the payment to the other party.
The fee however is slightly higher and is set at 3% of the transaction value. The Bitcoins can be withdrawn both via a Bitcoin wallet, as well as Paypal by the seller.
OgNasty is one of the most trusted and established individual Crypto escrow service providers in the industry. He has been active since 2011, has 1200+ merit and 7000+ posts to his credit.
Does provide a PGP key, and charges a 1% transaction fee although the minimum fee needs to be 0.01BTC.
The Escrows are held for 30-days by default, in case the transaction isn’t completed within 30 days and needs more time, an additional 1% fee is required per 30days.
The trust is verified not just by the Merit or his experience in the industry, but also by the 1800+ reviews left by other users on the Bitcointalk forum.
In most cases, individuals such as OG are more trustworthy than newer sites considering how those sites are new, while individuals such as OG have a lot to lose by breaking that seal of trust.
BitFy again is a Bitcoin Escrow service which has been functional since 2013, making it 5 years old today. It charges a 2.5% fee on transactions and has a 30-day Escrow period.
If the buyer doesn’t release the payment within 30days, it’s auto-released to the seller. It has a 72 hour period which is provided both to the buyers and sellers during which they can either refund, or dispute a transaction.
The platform’s decision is final and is based on the users prior reviews, sales etc. Once a refund is made, it can’t be overturned.
SetEscrow is another Bitcoin Escrow site which lets users use their Escrow service for secure transactions on the web; the company has been here since 2016 racking up 3 years of experience today.
They do not require any registration necessarily; although registered users pay 0.15% lesser in transaction fee as compared to non-registered users.
It offers extensive control on the Escrow settings; users get to select their role, choose from a number of currencies the transaction is being done in (such as BTC, ETH, DOGE, PPC, XVG, BLK etc). and specify the name and E-mail addresses of the two parties.
It’s one of the very few Bitcoin escrow services which lets the Escrow-creator (the one setting up the Escrow page) choose from the following fee-structures for the transaction:
- 50%-50% split between the buyer and the seller.
- 0% Buyer- 100% Seller.
- 25% Buyer- 75% seller.
- 75% Seller- 25% Buyer.
- 100% Buyer- 0% Seller.
The Escrow-creator also gets to manually set the number of days; until which if the item isn’t received the funds are sent back to the buyer. Auto-release date of funds too can be set by the Escrow-creator which is when the funds are automatically released to the seller requiring no action from the buyer.
Bottomline; arguably it’s the most liberal Bitcoin escrow service in 2019 which lets the users control nearly all the aspects of the transaction and nothing is fixed from the platform’s end.
Bitcoin Escrow came up with yet another unique idea of getting users the security of Bitcoin Escrow along with a lot of control for the same.
It has an Interface which has all the important options on the homepage, they being “Create Escrow“, “Check Status” and “Unlock Funds“.
The Create Escrow button lets users create escrow and users have to specify:
- BTC amount.
- The destination address where the BTC should be sent after a successful trade.
- a View-only password.
- an Unlock password.
The view only password would let the other party confirm that the Bitcoins are really deposited in the Escrow wallet; the Unlock Password can then be released after delivery to the other party which can be used to unlock the funds.
If the buyer doesn’t get what he bought, the Escrow service auto-refunds BTC to the address from where the funds were deposited in the first place.
There’s a 2% fee (of the trade amount) involved. Also, 0.03BTC is the minimum amount and 200BTC is the maximum which the Escrow can be used for.
The Escrow also claims “Free tumbling of deposits” which does imply that the deposited funds are tumbled for increased anonymity; for more details you can read our detailed article on Best Bitcoin Tumbler services 2019.
CardVilla isn’t primarily a Bitcoin Escrow service, rather a Carding forum which teaches people how to card as well as makes the tools of the trade available on the forum.
Beware though, the site is massively flooded with Ads so it’s going to take some scrolling and hunting for you to find the right options, also it’s a registrations-only site so unless you register over there you can’t access any part of the forum.
Once you do register, there’s a thread called “Escrow” under the “Marketplace” section which can be used to initiate Escrow trades. It charges 5% as the Escrow fee, also this being a Forum there aren’t any advanced options it’s just that the Admin acts as the Escrow agent and holds your funds till successful transaction.
The Escrow service is primarily for CardVilla trades, however I’ve seen couple threads there for third-party Escrow as well.
Questions Related to Bitcoin Escrow Services
I’ll answer some of the most common questions frequently associated with Bitcoin Escrow throughout this section.
Can you Trust these Bitcoin Escrow Companies?
Not exactly, no company is ABSOLUTELY TRUSTWORTHY. That is why we’ve scribbled down that list of factors which you ought to check before deciding which company to go with.
But note that even the most trustworthy companies may at times scam users if the payday is big enough, or depending on other factors.
Is Using Bitcoin Escrow Services Illegal?
Absolutely not. Bitcoin Escrow companies are completely legal, as long as the “trade” facilitated by them is legal. For e.g. you may just purchase something completely legal from another party using Bitcoins, a completely legal trade.
So in a nutshell, simply using the Bitcoin Escrow companies isn’t illegal.
What Guarantee do I Have that the Company Won’t Run Away with my Funds?
Some Bitcoin Escrow companies provide users with a PGP Signed proof-of-address or proof-of-ownership. This is called the letter of guarantee.
It can be used to prove that the deposit address for the Bitcoins where you sent your funds was indeed owned by the Escrow company.
So, if and when the company refuses to complete its end of the bargain, or runs away with the funds the letter can be used to publicly ruin its reputation, and reputation being their currency most companies would refrain from such acts.
So that’s a wrap as far as this Bitcoin Escrow services piece goes folks, we’ve provided you with companies, groups of people, forum and even individual escrow services, I believe that’s variety and options!
Also note that we haven’t checked out or verified every single Escrow service listed above, so even though we’ve tried my best to vet them as best as we can and only include the ones which seemed trustworthy, the final responsibility still remains with you we won’t be responsible if any trade goes south.
Disclaimer: Using an “Escrow” by itself isn’t illegal, although using it for illegal/Darknet Market trades is. Make sure you aren’t involved in any such activity. If you are, it’s completely your own responsibility. These reviews are only for the “Escrow services” exclusively, we aren’t supporting/encouraging or promoting any illegal activity whatsoever.
Do let me know what you think of the Crypto escrow services listed above, and also if this review helped you, you can use our social media page or group to connect with us.