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
Service Category – Before selecting an Escrow service, verify that it offers escrow for the products/services you’re about to deal in. Not all Crypto escrow services facilitate the trading of everything.
Support – Extremely important. When a dispute arises, or you have a simple question, you’ll need support. Verify the modes of support available, and their response times (by sending an E-mail/ message).
Fee – Extremely cheap escrow services may not be very responsible, extremely high-priced services are just impractical. Just ensure you know what the fee is, and that you can afford it.
Previous User Reviews* – Bitcoin Escrow is one of the ripest scam-opportunities. Hence, make sure you read reviews about the company on forums and other websites.
Age of the company– How old is the company? That’s important because older companies have less chances of being scams.
Money Return Policy – Always verify the refund policy of an Escrow company. Does it return your money in full? A partial refund maybe? How much is charged in case of a refund?
Privacy and Escrow Guidelines – If you’re dealing in Cryptocurrencies, you clearly need anonymity, don’t you? Verify that the company doesn’t require documents, and/or respects user-privacy and anonymity.
*The mention of the companies below isn’t an endorsement or review for them. We aren’t sure of their “legitimacy” and all your financial actions should be your own responsibility.
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.
We promised you the best Bitcoin Escrow services you can Trust, and “trust” is what ItBit Escrow screams of. It’s a company regulated by the New York State Trust Companies and has FDIC insured funds.
Despite being a legitimate, govt. authorized Escrow company, it does require a user’s Fist name, Last name, and E-mail ID. It can be used as an Escrow both for Fiat, as well as Cryptocurrency transactions.
Fiat withdrawals have an added charge, Crypto withdrawals are free. Note that being one of the best Bitcoin Escrow companies, it has high minimum requirements. Trades lower than USD $50,000 aren’t accepted.
Basically if you’re buying high-end Merchandise (Cars, Luxury Watches, Clothes),and need the fiat-level trust with Crypto, ItBit seems like a viable option. Note that it’s not automated and a form needs to be filled, after which follow-up E-mails are exchanged to get the Escrow initialized.
CoinSavr isn’t the most “anonymous” Bitcoin Escrow if you’re looking for it. But it sure is one of the most professional. It’s a govt. registered entity and hence isn’t a scam in the least.
The platform requires Signups and accounts in order to be used. This is true for both the parties, that is the buyer and the seller.
It features a Bitcoin Wallet in each account, which is where the Escrow funds are stored. Once they’re marked “ongoing”, the other party can then accept (or reject) the deal and continue with the trade.
It lets us choose the Delivery-Time, and the amount of trade. The fee is a 1% + USD $2.00, although once the other party accepts an Escrow this amount is charged and isn’t refundable even when the Escrow fails or is disputed.
Bitcoins need to be released manually, or disputed if there’s a problem with the trade. In a nutshell, if you aren’t trading in illegal goods and only need a trustworthy platform for Escrow, CoinSavr seems like a good option.
No, it has nothing to do with the U.S Federal govt. It is an independent Escrow company, and displays a number of MNCs as its clientele.
The minimum limits seem to be confusing. It refused to accept anything lower than USD $1000.00 on our second escrow attempt. Although it also accepted a USD $100.00 escrow creation by us earlier. A basic form can be filled to initiate the Escrow.
The escrow creation form also acts as a registration form. The e-mail ID and password entered can then be used to proceed with the Escrow. Note that both the parties need to have an account in order to participate in the Escrow trade. The on-site accounts have sections for Received and Sent escrow requests and that is where each party approves or declines these requests.
The fee demanded for our USD $100.00 Escrow was 12% of the transaction, however it increased to nearly 16% for the USD $1000.00 trade. So yes, the fee structure seems to be confusing. The escrow creator can choose who pays the Escrow fee. It either can be the buyer, the seller or a 50-50 split between both.
It’s not anonymous and does mostly require KYC/AML verifications. It also support ETH, BCH and Fiat Escrows in addition to Bitcoin.
Escaroo is one of the most secure Bitcoin Escrow services in the industry. It’s registered with the Jersey Financial Services Commission, with the registration number- 129709.
It boasts of its KeylessEscrow® . The funds stored on Escaroo can only be accessed by the person who deposits them, no one else not even the company can access the funds.
Initiating an Escrow requires registration as well as an identity proof. This provides 100% security and trust for both the parties. You can create your own Escrow-terms for the agreement and send it to the second party. The second party if and when agrees to the terms, the trade/transaction can be initiated.
Escaroo isn’t limited to Bitcoin, it also accepts other Cryptocurrencies. It’s primarily used for high-ticket products such as Cars, Jewelry, Real-Estate etc. Although there’s no such official restriction or list, so you can use it for almost anything.
The company offers three pricing plans- “Personal“, “Small Businesses” and “Corporate“. Fortunately, all the packages demand the exact same fee, 1.5%/transaction. Whitelabelled corporate accounts for companies too is soon set to launch. It’s 100% legal as well.
Counos is one of the best Bitcoin Escrows because its legal and licensed. Being so, it can’t be used for illegal trades unlike other crypto escrow services such as Dark Locker.
The interface is completely automated. It requires you to sign up > create contract > print and sign the contract > upload it.
The user-profiles too are rated depending on their previous transaction history.
There are three types of fees involved, the transaction fee which is obvious. However, it’s fixed at 0.00048 BTC /transaction.
Then there’s the service fee which is 0.05% and has to be a minimum of 0.00011 BTC. And, there’s another agent-fee which depends on the escrow agent you’ve chosen.
The wallets are multisig which further enforce security.
It also allows creating “Milestones”, or basically EMIs. The payment can be made in parts. Milestones can be set, and the payment is only due after a certain milestone is completed.
The company does have a live-chat feature but it’s not always online. It says anyone can become an Escrow-agent after amassing enough repute.
However, this also means that not all Escrow agents can be trusted. Either way, despite the license and clearnet guarantee, proceed at your own risk.
Escrow Lion is pretty unique when it comes to offering Bitcoin Escrow. More on that later, but well, for starters you just have to fill a form specifying your name, address, product-info, photos of the item and other details (it’s not “anonymous.)
Note that this isn’t “registration”. It’s just a form. However, registering enables you for a 0.10% discount, and also helps build your profile which can help validate and enforce trust for future transactions.
Then, surprisingly (and this is the unique part) a telegram link is shown. Which is “EscrowLion” or t.me/escrowlion. This is where an admin creates a group chat both for the buyer and the vendor.
The rest of the transaction takes place in the Telegram chat. Well, it’s primarily just that the buyer sends in his/her funds to a wallet that they get from Escrow Lion. The vendor ships the product and uploads proof of the same.
The Escrow then releases the funds to the vendor. Unless, ofcourse, a dispute arises. Which is then sorted by the Escrow Lion team based on proofs submitted by both the parties.
The fee is based on the total transaction amount. It’s starts at 1% (minimum USD $10.00) for transaction lower than $10,000. From $10,000+ it’s 1.5% of the transaction.
They offer a second payment plan called the “Concierge”. It costs 2.5% ($100.00 minimum)for transactions lower than $10,000.00 For $10,000+ it’s 2%.There’s also a payment processing fee of 1.5% on all transaction. Non-U.S transactions cost an additional USD 10.00.
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.
Onion vs. Clearnet Escrows
While we mostly talk of anonymity, privacy and share .onion links, in this case you may have noticed all the links above are from Clearnet escrow services. That’s not without reason.
So .onion Escrow services totally exist, and infact are a lot more anonymous than Clearnet Escrows. That is the reason we prefer clearnet as far as Escrow services go.
Clearnet Escrows are more easily accessible than .onion Escrows. Hence more number of people know of them, and hence they stand to lose more if a scam is attempted. Moreover, some of these best Escrow services are even registered with the govt. further reducing the chances of a scam.
Last but not the least, the owners of Clearnet escrows are more easily traceable than those of .onion Escrows.
However, .onion Escrows are preferred by those who wish to indulge in illegal activities. Being on the Dark web, those escrows are able to facilitate trades involving guns, chemicals, financial data etc. But as we do not support illegal activities, we’ve refrained from sharing such .onion Escrow services here.
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.