No, You Actually Don’t Own Bitcoin On Revolut
Do you buy bitcoin with Revolut? If you can answer with “yes”, you don’t want to skip this report. Your money is at risk. If you currently hold bitcoin in your Revolut account you may lose all of it. The likeliness of such scenario is explained in this article.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s take a look at the entity Revolut. Founded in 2015 Revolut ltd is a “financial technology” company with headquartes in London. As a disruptive “fintech” bank, it achieved its unicorn valuation after having raised another $250 million investor capital in 2018.
Revolut is a new type of bank which doesn’t have any bank branches or service desks. Instead, Revolut customers can do everything with the Revolut smartphone app. From creating the Revolut account, verification, payments, checking your balance and making use of all the nice features such as travel insurance, investments or airport lounge access.
Revolut is often recommended by young people as it earned an image as the revoluzzer bank, that aims to disrupt the industry. But is that image still accurate, or has Revolut become a part of the same banking industry it claims to disrupt? Has Revolut given up on their original values?
It’s an open secret that Revolut is not actually a full bank but a fintech bank. That means that Revolut is not independent but relies on other banks to offer its services. That being said, Revolut always has to comply with the rules of the big banks or it will lose all partnerships and has to close business.
Regardless of the pros and cons of Revolut as a banking service, in this article we want investigate how Revolut deals with your bitcoin investment. This, dear reader may change your opinion of Revolut forever.
Revolut has jumped on the bitcoin bandwaggon already early on. A move many bitcoiners welcomed and applauded to as a bold step to help bitcoin adoption and end banking corruption. Much buzz and talk about Revolut adding bitcoin to their app was shared in 2017 when the news came out. But soon, people realized it wasn’t that great after all. Did Revolut promise more than they could?
In July 2020 the feature was rolled out to U.S. customers as well. On their own blog, Revolut announced:
“Revolut U.S. launches easiest and fastest way to buy cryptocurrency” A blatant lie as we will discover.
And further in the blog article you read:
“What can you do with your crypto?
Once you have exchanged your money into crypto in the app, you can:
• Hold it securely, just like you would any other currency
• Instantly transfer it to other Revolut users for free
• Exchange it into any other supported cryptocurrency or any of our 28 currencies using great rates”
So what is the actual problem with Revolut’s way to deal with bitcoin? How is Revolut making bitcoin available in their app? If you desire to buy bitcoin inside the Revolut app you have to tap on the investment icon, where you will also find the option to invest in gold commodities, stocks and create vaults for your savings. Right here you will also find the tab for cryptocurrency. If you open it, you can select which cryptocurrencies you want to buy or sell. Offering shitcoins like Etherum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and alike shows the level of due diligence Revolut has applied when desigining their crypto feature. Selling shitcoins and scams like Ripple should be seen as a very alarming signal that you cannot trust this app and service. Selling shitcoins is like a sleasy cardealer who sells you a broken car and says things like “trust me, it’s all working, very good car, you will have no problems”
However, the real scandal comes to light, once you try to withdraw bitcoin from Revolut with a bitcoin blockchain transaction. This feature simply doesn’t exist. Revolut does not allow you to withdraw or deposit bitcoin in any way. The only way to add to your bitcoin balance is by using the buy button and converting fiat from your Revolut account. This is by far the worst thing someone could do to bitcoin, as it cuts off hands and legs of the bitcoin technology and restricts the usage completely. Having bitcoin in Revolut means that you can take a look at the bitcoin price but you never own bitcoin. Your bitcoins might not even exist, as you have no possibility to check the private keys and verify your ownership.
To “acquire” bitcoin in Revolut does not mean that you buy and own bitcoin. It means you get to see a virtual balance of bitcoin. The actual existence of these bitcoins cannot be verified by the end user. To make things clear again, if you think you bought bitcoin on Revolut, you have been betrayed if not scammed. You don’t own bitcoin on Revolut, you own a promise. You do not own or control the private keys of your bitcoin, which is the definition of ownership. Therefore the only one that might own bitcoin is Revolut but even here, we do not know whether they actually have it or not. What if Revolut uses the money for other purposes?
The bitcoin feature in Revolut is not just completely useless, it is dangerous. Users think they own bitcoin, they might want to hedge against inflation, they want to protect their savings and build a balance for their future. But all they get is a virtual balance and no option to withdraw bitcoin. Bitcoin sure can be used to make a quick profit when the price goes up. But the real purpose of bitcoin goes far beyond this speculative approach. Bitcoin is sound money that nobody can stop and that outclasses all forms of money of past and present. To not own bitcoin is to short bitcoin and bet against the best performing asset in the history of human kind. Revolut are tricking users into believing that they own bitcoin when in reality Revolut is taking your money and giving you some pixels on a screen for it.
Would you buy bitcoin of someone and he gives you pixels instead of bitcoin? Probably not. But that’s exactly what happens inside the Revolut app if you buy bitcoin. You send money and in return you get pixels. The value of the pixels is zero but the money you sent is real. And even more real will be the price of bitcoin in a few years. Once the bitcoin price breaks 6 digits many people will try to withdraw their bitcoin into cold storage. Then, Revolut will have a big problem because god knows if they actually have ownership over the same amount of BTC they promise to users.
Maybe Revolut never intended to give their users bitcoin. Maybe Revolut doesn’t want to sell bitcoin to it’s users but keep them all for themselves. Maybe Revolut knows more than we know and behind closed doors, they’ve made plans together with the banking elite to destroy bitcoin.
So is it a scam? What is the defintion of a scam, you may ask. Let’s quote Wikipedia here:
“A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust. Confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, and greed. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as “a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct … intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial”, as they “benefit con operators (‘con men’) at the expense of their victims (the ‘marks’)”.”
In short, you promise something but you never intend to deliver. Isn’t that exactly what Revolut’s bitcoin feature is all about. A deeply evil and sinister fraud?
Do not use Revolut to buy bitcoin ever. They cannot be trusted. Even if Revolut would, at some point allow users to withdraw their bitcoins, their reputation should be burned and the management team should be sued for fraud.
Sadly, the average user doesn’t have the time to research how bitcoin actually works and this lack of understanding can easily be exploited by compnies such as Revolut.
Don’t be a victim and protect your money. Learn how to store your bitcoins yourself so you can verify the ownership. Use only bitcoin exchanges and onramps that actually give you real bitcoin for your money.
If we wanted to speculate a bit, perhaps the directors of Revolut are fully aware of the power of bitcoin but they are not able to fully incorporate it. The banking cartel is limiting their strategy. That’s why they may decided to “soft launch” bitcoin as a service inside their app. However, this has nothing to do with bitcoin and bitcoin technology.
When people talk about owning bitcoin with Revolut, they reveal that they haven’t yet fully understood bitcoin. Revolut does not offer a proper bitcoin onramp or a bitcoin wallet. Revolut is a simple and primitive binary option to virtually buy or sell bitcoin. You do not buy bitcoin in Revolut, you buy an IOU (I owe you) a promise for bitcoin. IOU’s are prone to be exploited and used for gigantic scams as seen throughout history with the collapse of every single fiat currency ever created. The purpose of Bitcoin is to avoid this tragedy and protect people from IOU defaults.
Why Revolut may steal or lose your bitcoin.
Stealing bitcoin can be made impossible with the right methods of private key security. But if your private keys are exposed, stealing bitcoin is very easy. As a rule of thumb you must always remember that whoever owns the private keys, owns the bitcoins.
In the case of Revolut an additional layer of uncertainty and risk is added as users cannot know whether Revolut actually owns any of the bitcoin in users fake bitcoin accounts.
There are several major risk categories that you are exposed to when falling for the Revolut fake bitcoin.
Risk 1 – Major Hack
The first risk is a major cyber attack. Third party custodians are a honeypot for hackers on the hunt for a big bitcoin bag. If Revolut has a weakspot inside their organization or security infrastructure, hackers could steal the funds and Revolut may not have the finances to compensate that loss.
This happened many times in the past with exchanges bitcoin vaults being raped by remote hackers.
By the way, banks and even central banks got hacked in the past and millions where stolen.
Risk 2 – Inside Job
An inside job is a pretended hack or loss by someone inside the organization. Many speculate that past exchange hacks could actually be inside jobs. The sudden death of the founder of the Canadian crypto exchange Quadriga in 2019 has raised eyebrows by conspiracy theorists. It’s not too hard to fake your death, get a new identity and start a life in paradise when you take out multiple millions worth of bitcoin of your own customers. Any bitcoin funds stored with a custodian are exposed to this risk even if security measures can mitigate these risks.
Risk 3 – Government seize
Experts are very alerted as recent changes in regulation seem to go towards a direction of canceling self-custody of bitcoin. If a major economic crisis occurs, governments could try to blame bitcoin users for their own failure. Through emergency acts, government could force a tax or haircut on saving accounts, banks and also bitcoin portfolios held through custodians. This means your bitcoin balance in Revolut is at risk.
Revolut is acting unethical and insincere and hence cannot be trusted. It can be used and exploited but always with calculated risk. The way Revolut deals with bitcoin could be seen as amateurish at best, But being a regulated fintech bank, a company that raised millions of funding and a lead by a professional management team, we cannot excuse it as a mistake – this is intentional. Revolut is misleading, misinforming and deceiving users. Bitcoin was invented to free humanity from central banks and counterparty risk. Revolut is showing that they have no interest to support this revolution and the safety and monetary sovereignty of their users. Revolut does not help their users they betray them and scam them.
What you should do
If you are in fact owning fake bitcoin in your Revolut app, there is still a way out. You will lose significant sums through transaction fees but it will be a save way to become a bitcoin owner in the true sense and meaning rather than being played by a fake bank.
The first step is to learn about the right way to safely store bitcoin in self-custody. It’s highly recommended to consult a trusted expert or friend who can explain you the technical details of bitcoin wallets and the different ways to install it.
Once you have decided on the level of security for your bitcoin cold storage, the process that lies ahead is to sell your bitcoin in Revolut and re-purchase real bitcoin through a trusted onramp, exchange or ideally a private purchase. Depending on the amount this could be fast and easy or hard and cumbersome.
If you own less than 1.000 EUR you can simply use your credit card to buy bitcoin on another platform and then send those bitcoins to your cold storage wallet. Note that using wire transfers or credit cards can harm your bitcoin privacy and can cause unwanted consequences in the future which puts your portfolio at risk. If you still want to use the simple way of repurchasing bitcoin with a bank transfer or credit card you can try services such as bitcoinmalta.best or relai.ch (REL045 for 0.5% less fees).
If you have more money locked in your Revolut bitcoin balance, it could turn out to be a much more difficult process than initially thought. Large euro transfers often raise questions in the anti money laundering departments and can cause account locks and re-verification demands. Therefore you may have to split the repurchase into smaller batches.
If you have to reallocate over 50.000 EUR another problem occurs which is timing. It can take up to several working days for wire transfers to be settled. This can be a problem if the bitcoin price moves up in the meantime. If you convert your fake bitcoin balance on revolut back into fiat currency at a certain bitcoin price and then transfer those funds to an exchange, you might get less bitcoin for the money. Therefore you should test the process before sending all the funds and calculate the risks and delays.
Finally you may also want to consider to try and time the market. If you expect a big dump at some point, it could be endlessly smart to sell at the top and then use the dollar cost averaging method to rebuy. Considering the historic cycles of the bitcoin price this strategy may present an opportunity to multiply your bitcoin stock significantly. The only downside is that it’s extremely hard if not impossible to predict the market. It’s a risky but rewarding avenue only recommended for experts.
Is there anything positive?
Yes there is. Revolut is great for some things. They collect all your data about your credit card purchases. So at some point they may know better what you need and want than yourself. How convenient. Jokes aside, many users like Revolut for payments and shopping and are happy about some of the features. What people don’t like is when Revolut is freezing and closing accounts.
One last piece of credit we can give Revolut is that at least they promote bitcoin in some way. Users that figure out that “orange coin good” and “number go up” might be intrigued to learn more about bitcoin. And finally, people learn from mistakes. If Revolut would ever be in the position of not being able to pay out users bitcoins (let’s hope this never happens) a lot of users would be angry at first but then had to admit it was their own mistake to not do better research.
Although there is a chance that Revolut integrates bitcoin in a proper way in the future, we have little hope. Revolut has run the fake bitcoin show for a couple of years without regrets and hence lost all credibility and reputation. Use Revolut if it serves you but understand the risks and downsides. Always do proper research when it comes to bitcoin and learn how to store your own keys safely.
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