General

What is Bitonic?

Bitonic was founded by three bitcoin enthusiasts who experienced first-hand how cumbersome the process was to acquire bitcoins in The Netherlands before Bitonic was founded. Two banks blocked payments to an international bank account and we had to trust several other parties to acquire bitcoins. Since 2012, we offer a fast and secure way by which we make bitcoins available to everyone in The Netherlands. Bitonic has become the Bitcoin expert in the Netherlands!

Bitonic.nl is a fully automated system: once the payment is finalized the bitcoins are automatically transferred, and when our stock runs low we automatically buy new bitcoins on the larger markets. For a very modest extra charge, compared to those big markets, you have the convenience of paying with iDEAL, Bancontact, Giropay or MyBank and you save yourself the time and hassle from signing up at an exchange. A summary of the advantages:

  • Fast: your bitcoins will be transferred automatically and (nearly) immediately after the payment has been completed. You’ll only need to wait for the bitcoin network to approve the transaction before you can spend your bitcoins (generally this takes around 10 minutes) *
  • Simple: no need to scan documents or transfer money to foreign bank accounts, of which it remains to be seen whether/when it arrives.
  • Reliable: The payment methods iDEAL, Bancontact, Giropay and MyBank offer, like Bitcoin, irriversible transactions. We sell from out own stock: you will always receive the exact amount of bitcoins you paid for.
  • Transparent: our prices are 100% all-inclusive, there are no hidden and/or extra fees.

You can also sell bitcoins to us for an attractive price. The payout takes place within one business day!* a one-off extra verification is required for new customers

What are bitcoins and what can I do with them?

You can find an explanation of what Bitcoin is and how it works, including a short video, here.

There are numerous uses for bitcoins, similar to the numerous uses there are for cash money or Paypal. Bitcoins can be used to make micro-payments, purchase various goods from a growing number of webshops, and pay for meals at thuisbezorgd.nl and various restaurants. In addition, bitcoins can be used for price speculation and gambling.

Getting started with Bitcoin? Essential information for starters.

Why should I choose Bitonic?

Because our bitcoins are the best of course!

Bitonic is not the only service in the Netherlands that offers bitcoin purchases through iDEAL. How do you know which service to use? We recommend making your decision based on the following criteria:

  • Price. You can compare our prices to the European average on bitcoinaverage. In addition, you can compare various Dutch services by googling. Note that prices generally are not far apart; Bitonic is usually one of the cheapest services to use.
  • Trustworthiness of the service provider. A Dutch service where you can use iDEAL to make your payment offers more reliability and security than a foreign exchange where you can only deposit money through (international) bank transfers. In addition, past experiences have shown that your funds are not always safe at an exchange (MtGox, Bitcoin24, Cryptsy, etc.). Some Dutch services add a transaction fee during the payment process, or adjust the bitcoin price while you are checking out, resulting in a different price for your bitcoins than you were initially offered. Bitonic offers an all-in price and will never change the amount you pay once you have started the payment process.
  • Expertise. It is not very difficult to build a bitcoin exchange website. However, keep in mind that Bitcoin is a complex and new technological development where things can go wrong. It is comforting to know you will be helped by a accessible, knowledgeable, experienced party in the case of such an event.
  • Speed. Bitcoin exchanges usually offer a better price than iDEAL services, typically around 1% cheaper. The main difference between an exchange and a service like Bitonic is that we offer instant bitcoin purchases for an agreed price. If you spot an opportunity to buy, you will not have to wait for your money to be transferred to an exchange; we are able to instantly send you your bitcoins from our own stock.
  • Experiences. Some service providers urge customers to leave an evaluation on a review website, by offering compensation for doing so. We believe this does not result in reliable reviews. We do not encourage customers to place (positive) reviews; instead we believe experiences shared in the Bitcoin community (e.g. Bitcointalk, Reddit) on people's own initiative are more valuable. Bitonic has been known as a good and reliable service in the Bitcoin community for many years, but you don't need to take our word for it!

Why do I not have to create an account?

Because bitcoins are transferred digitally, we don’t think it’s necessary to work with accounts. We only ask for a bitcoin address when transferring small amounts. Orders are immediately and automatically sent after the payment has been completed, so we don’t even need an email address to forward the order status. Your bank account number needs to be verified for larger amounts, see also: verification. It is possible to review your transactions at any time. Visit our contact page and enter your bank account number and bitcoin address.

I don’t see an extensive collection of (webshop) accreditation marks. Why should I trust you?

We don’t believe in the added value of accreditation marks (more often than not, they are not even verifiable). Many customers already rely on our services, and we have currently sold more than 250,000 bitcoins. You can find feedback about us on Twitter, Facebook and Google. If you still have some reservations, you could first make a test purchase starting from €2.50 or 0.001 bitcoins.

Do you expect the price to keep rising?

We don’t dare to make any projections. The past has shown that the bitcoin price can be quite volatile, where large increases in price are often followed by corrections and a subsequent recovery in the longer term. Unfortunately, what has happened in the past is no guarantee for what will happen in the future. Bitcoin, as a decentralized payment network, is a great invention and therefore has enormous potential. It offers great opportunities for investors, but it remains a high-risk investment. You should be aware that you could lose your entire investment.

As far as we are concerned, bitcoin's price is not the most interesting aspect of Bitcoin. We see great potential for blockchain technology and will continue to work hard to further bitcoin adoption. If you ask us, Bitcoin and blockchain technology will play a vital role in the future of payments and other applications. If it is up to us, Bitcoin will become the number 1 (international) currency on the internet, and who knows what else is possible!

Will you offer litecoins (or other altcoins) in the near future?

While we are not yet convinced of the added benefit of litecoins or other altcoins, we do notice an increased interest. We have placed them on our wish list, but don’t expect them to be added to our service in the near future. What you could do is buy bitcoins from Bitonic and trade these for litecoins or other digital currency on an exchange. Click here for a list of exchanges that support Litecoin.

What is bpay.to / payments.bitonic.eu?

We have registered the domain bpay.to to start payments via the new "payment protocol" in Bitcoin. By using this protocol it will become easier to make bitcoin-payments. Should something go wrong during a transaction, we will make sure the bitcoins are automatically returned to your wallet. This protocol is relatively new and is not yet supported by all wallets. For the time being, you can still make payments the old fashioned way.

We use the domain bpay.to because of its shortness which in turn creates smaller QR-codes. The payment request will be further handled via a secured connection with payments.bitonic.eu.

Can I use TOR to purchase / sell bitcoins?

We allow the use of anonymous proxies, although the chance of your transaction not being processed automatically will be increased. This is due to a higher risk of fraud. We have a (Dutch) news article about this subject.

I purchased something (online) with bitcoins but never received my purchase, what can I do?

Unfortunately, bitcoin is sometimes abused by scammers as bitcoin offers several advantages to them. We have a more detailed description of our policy surrounding fraud and scams, as well as advice to those affected, on our safety page.

Buy Bitcoins

I want to buy bitcoins. How do I get a bitcoin address?

You should see a bitcoin address as a bitcoin bank account number, where you are your own bank. Anyone can create unlimited amounts of new addresses. Every bitcoin address comes with a unique access code (private key) with which you can spend bitcoins. These are too large to remember and too complicated to use, which is why you usually manage your private keys in a so-called Bitcoin wallet.

There are many different ways to get a bitcoin address:

  • If you don’t have issues trusting a third party, an online wallet is the easiest way to get an address. We advise you to only keep small amounts of bitcoins in an online wallet.
  • If you want to manage your own bitcoins you can download wallet software. The Bitcoin-core wallet is the most ‘robust’ and by using this wallet you contribute to the maintenance of the Bitcoin network. The disadvantage is that it requires a lot of computing power and disk space on your computer and it can take hours up to several days before it is ready for use. If you want to spend your bitcoins right away, this might not be the best option. There are other, lightweight, clients that do not require full synchronization. For example, Electrum.
  • There are several apps available for smartphones. These are especially useful if you regularly make bitcoin payments. Our advice: only use these apps for small payments, do not carry more bitcoins (in overall value) than you would carry in cash. Losing (access to) your phone means losing the bitcoins stored on the phone.
  • If you are planning on saving your bitcoins for a longer period of time you can use a paper wallet. You store your bitcoins offline, which gives the added benefit that hackers and/or malware cannot get to them. If you decide to sell or spend your bitcoins, there are several websites or wallets where you can import the private key. However, it is complicated and this is not (yet) possible with Bitonic.
  • Another way is to store your bitcoins offline by using a USB-device (hardware wallet). These are easier to use than paper wallets, but do require some investment.

For more information and an overview of available wallets: bitcoin.org: Choose your wallet.

How do you determine your price?

We apply our own exchange rate based on the supply and demand of that moment and the exchange rate on the international markets (especially Bitstamp, Kraken and our BL3P). Our margin is variable, depending on supply and demand. When we purchase a large number of bitcoins we usually pass this on by asking a lower sales price. In this way, we try to link up supply and demand as much as possible, which is how we can offer the best possible prices.

The prices stated on our website are always all-in and binding when you start the transaction. If you buy bitcoins, the transaction fee is included in the price. This is why you’ll pay (slightly) less when you purchase larger amounts.

Can I buy bitcoins at an even lower price somewhere else?

Would you like to buy (a large amount of) bitcoins for the lowest price possible, and you don’t mind investing some of your time and effort? It’s possible that you’ll find cheaper bitcoins somewhere else. For example, on a bitcoin exchange or through an appointment with a seller for a cash payment. Would you rather have certainty, ease, and speed? Then Bitonic is the right place for you.

Our sales price is usually not even one percent above the international "market price" (an independent comparison study: bitcoinaverage.com). It could be a little more during times of large exchange rate fluctuations. Strictly speaking we are slightly more expensive than exchanges, but we process everything rapidly without the delays involved in purchasing through an exchange. When the prices are rising it might be worth to pay slightly more to have your bitcoins delivered immediately for the agreed upon price. Transferring a payment to an international market could take a few days and in the mean time the exchange rate could have already jumped or dropped another 5% (or more).

There are times when the demand is extremely high and we simply cannot deliver bitcoins at the international market price. In that case, we will need to temporarily purchase bitcoins above market price. This means that at that moment the sales price will be relatively higher too. The price is therefore always a result of supply and demand.

Whenever I want to buy bitcoins the counter says "0". When will your stock be replenished / can I reserve bitcoins?

When the top bar on the website is grey and displays "??? bitcoins", this usually means that there are some problems on the exchange we buy our bitcoins. Often times these problems are temporary.

Due to the unpredictable, sometimes enormously high demand we’re not always able to maintain our stock. We cannot give a precise answer to the question when our stock will be replenished: from the moment we know we have bitcoins they will be for sale almost immediately. Generally speaking, small amounts of bitcoins come in at a regular basis, so keep a close eye on our website! We will let our followers on Twitter know when larger amounts of coins are arriving.

Because payments between banks are suspended during weekends and holidays, it is possible that our buffer will run low. In that case, we usually add to our stock the following business day.

It is not possible to reserve bitcoins. If we’re sold out, the first new bitcoins will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. We are working hard to expand our buffer.

Why / how do I verify my bank account number?

Why: New customers who wish to order more than 50 euros worth of bitcoin per week need to have their bank account number verified. We would rather not put you through this trouble, but we are obligated to do so by our financial partners. All bitcoin merchants that offer bitcoins and other anonymous, digital products via iDEAL have to take extra measures to help prevent fraud. Without these measures, Bitcoin is (unfortunately) an appealing target for cybercriminals. These criminals are very creative in luring unsuspecting people to give out their bank account information (phishing), to defraud them or to clear out entire bank accounts with hacked computers. They use these bank accounts to buy bitcoins, making these criminals harder to trace.

Despite the fact that these measures make the buying process slightly more complicated, we are convinced that it is an effective way to prevent fraud. It protects our customers and aids our commitment to making sure that Bitcoin is associated with positive aspects such as innovation, rather than crime.

How: If verification is needed, you will see the verification process directly after completing the payment. It’s also possible to verify your account in advance, via this link. You will receive an email when the verification was successful, after which you’ll be able to order bitcoins without any delay.

The verification of your account is only needed once and will take just a few minutes of your time. You fill in your information (IBAN number, email address and mobile number). You will then receive a verification code via text message. After you’ve entered the code on our website you will receive instructions to transfer € 0.01 to our bank account. It is important that you copy the exact description given in the instructions to the description box of your bank transfer.

It could take a few hours or a maximum of one business day after your transfer has been processed before your account number is verified and the bitcoins are transferred. Transferring funds from Belgium will take at least one business day to process. For your first order, a so-called cool-down period of 2 to 8 hours (depending on the order amount) is in place. However, immediately after the first bitcoins are transferred there are no more restrictions on the amount of bitcoins you can purchase and bitcoins will be delivered immediately without the need for further verification. Because we have bank accounts with ABN, ING, SNS and bunq we can also verify bank accounts with these banks during weekends (on a ‘best effort’ basis). If you have an account with another bank, and you wish to have it verified during the weekend: there often are possibilities for us to do so, please contact us.

Why do you need my mobile phone number ?

The verification process requires your mobile phone number in order to receive the verification code via text message. This is part of the “Know your customer” policy for suppliers of anonymous digital products. Your number will only be used for the verification code. There are no costs associated to this verification step.

I did not receive a text message :( What do I do?

Because this only happens occasionally, we have not yet searched for another option with which you can receive the verification code. If you did not receive the text message on your cellphone, you could try one of the following options to receive a new code:

  • Go through the verification process again in a different browser or on a different computer.
  • Start the private navigation of your browser.
  • Delete the browsing information of the past hour.
  • You can request a new SMS every 20 minutes.

If you still have not received an SMS, try a different phone (preferably one with a different provider).

Why does my payment with Bancontact keep failing?

There is currently a limit of €2500 on Bancontact payments as a result of increased fraud using this payment method. It is possible that Bancontact transactions will be blocked by our payment service provider or your bank. In most cases no funds will have been transferred out of your account and error notice will be displayed on our website after 15 minutes. Please contact us if funds were transferred out of your account.

In most cases a second transaction does go through. If your transaction was canceled, please try again. We advise you to contact your bank for more information should a second attempt also be blocked.

My computer is encrypted by ransomware, what should I do?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a computer or storage medium, with the result that the information on that device becomes inaccessible. By paying an amount of bitcoins, victims are offered the possibility of decrypting the information. The police advises not to pay, because there is no guarantee it will work and it will provoke new attacks.

There are several tools available for cryptolockers (but not all of them). Most of these tools can be found here: https://www.nomoreransom.org. Two other tools can be found here: Petya cryptolocker en Keranger-ransomware. Should you still want to make a bitcoin payment to get a decryption key, please contact us if you have any questions.

Why do some transactions need manual approval?

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is an appealing target for (cyber)criminals. We are committed to preventing criminals from abusing our system. Which is why, if we have any doubt about the legitimacy of (verified) transactions, some transactions will not be sent immediately. An employee will check the information and in some cases extra verification may be needed (this should not affect regular orders). This makes Bitonic a less attractive target for criminals.

If your order is not automatically sent, but you do need it fast, it is advisable to contact us directly. Usually, your order will be sent manually within a few minutes. The desired amount of bitcoins is always immediately reserved, which means you don’t have to worry about the exchange rate in the meantime.

I ordered bitcoins, when will they arrive in my wallet?

Your bank account needs to be verified once for orders over 50 euros. The bitcoins will be reserved for you immediately, but they will only be sent when the verification process has been completed. See also: verification

When your bank account is verified and you see a bitcoin transaction-ID on our transaction overview, it means the bitcoins have been sent to your wallet. You should receive your bitcoins (almost) immediately. During peak times we group transactions together, it could take a few minutes before bitcoins are sent. In addition, our fraud detection system checks on unusual characteristics in transactions. When a transaction is classified as “highly unusual”, it will be reviewed manually. This may delay the processing of the transaction or result in the request of additional information.

It could be that bitcoins do not immediately appear in your wallet, because:

  • You use a wallet on an external website that requires confirmations (by the Bitcoin network).

    Confirmations indicate that the transaction has been recorded in the blockchain (the Bitcoin database). Miners who contribute to the network generally will, on average, find a block every 10 minutes which will confirm your transaction automatically. More confirmations mean a more definitive transaction. Some wallets only credit bitcoins when the transaction has 6 confirmations. If you still don’t see bitcoins in your wallet after 6 confirmations we advise you to contact the website.

  • You use a local wallet on your computer or phone, but it is busy synchronizing or a network error occurred.

    If your wallet is still synchronizing it means that the blockchain is not yet completely loaded. Your transaction will be placed at the end of the blockchain, which is why the purchased bitcoins will only appear when the blockchain has been fully downloaded. It could also be that your wallet cannot make a connection to the network, because of a firewall for example.

    Should this be the case, and you need your bitcoins urgently, you could choose to import your "wallet.dat" file to a web-wallet. At blockchain.info this option is provided, for example.

  • You use Multibit and the transaction does not appear.

    Multibit sometimes does not see incoming transactions. You can fix this by clicking on the menu bar on "Tools" and then "Reset Blockchain and Transactions". Click here for more detailed instructions.

I do not have a Dutch bank account, is there any other way I can pay?

Aside from iDEAL, we also offer Bancontact (Belgium, former MisterCash), Giropay (Germany and Austria) and MyBank (Italy and Luxembourg) as payment methods!

We also support international phone numbers: use your country code (e.g. +32 for Belgium) and leave out the initial zero.

We currently do not support any other payment methods. Naturally, we would like to be able to provide our service to as many international customers as possible. However, there currently are no other online payment methods that offer the same reliable and fast user experience. As Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, the payment methods we offer should also allow irreversible transactions for us to be able to provide instant bitcoin purchases. Only the four payment methods we currently offer provide the same finality of payment.

It is possible to sell bitcoins to us from outside of the Netherlands; we accept IBAN bank account numbers in the SEPA banking zone.

Selling Bitcoins

I want to sell bitcoins, how does that work?

To sell bitcoins, you enter the amount of bitcoins that you wish to offer us or the amount of euros you wish to receive. You then enter your payment details and a return address in case the payout cannot take place (an address from your wallet).

Please take into consideration the miners' fee when entering the amount of bitcoins you want to sell!

After you have agreed to the terms you will see an overview with a bitcoin address (and accompanying QR code) to send the bitcoins to. No further action is required once the bitcoins have been sent, our system automatically detects your bitcoins and the confirmations by the network. The payout of the agreed upon price will be processed the following business day at the latest. Our price is fixed, with Bitonic you do not have an exchange risk as with other parties that determine the payout after you’ve sent the bitcoins.

The time period we offer you to send the bitcoins is limited in order to minimize our exchange risk. It could happen that your bitcoins arrive too late. No problem, we return the bitcoins after one confirmation to your return address. You can try again later (you will have to enter all the details again, though).

Should you be hesitant to send us your bitcoins, you can first send us a small amount to ease your concerns: our system also accepts payments in installments. You should see the bitcoins appear in the overview within about 30 seconds. We understand if you’d like to personally contact us before sending larger amounts. We’re happy to answer any questions!

The urgent payment option is described below, click here for details about the payout of a normal order.

I have created a bitcoin address on bitaddress.org, how can I sell my bitcoins?

To be able to send/sell bitcoins you will need to import the private key (recognizable by a long sequence of numbers and letters, starting with a '5') into a wallet, for example on Electrum. Read here how to do this.

After you’ve imported the private key, the accompanying bitcoin address will be added to the wallet and the bitcoins will be added to your balance. Read here how you can sell the bitcoins.

Attention: protect your private keys. Do not enter these on a website, especially if it does not use a secured connection. Please make sure that you completely trust the website, software or person to whom you hand over your private key. You are giving them access to all the bitcoins that are associated with that bitcoin address. Bitonic can never be held accountable for lost bitcoins. The safe use of bitcoins and private keys is always your own responsibility.

My sales order has been denied, what do I do?

Your sales order may have been denied for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The bitcoins arrived too late.
  • You did not transfer any bitcoins.
  • You transferred too few bitcoins.

Even though you sent your bitcoins on time, they could still arrive too late. For example, when you send them from an exchange or web wallet. These sites sometimes wait a while before processing the transaction. This is why we recommend that you send the bitcoins to your own wallet first. It could also be that the transaction does not arrive immediately, this usually happens when a miner's fee has not been included.

If you transfer too few bitcoins or if they arrive too late, we will automatically return the bitcoins within 5 minutes after we’ve received a network confirmation. This confirmation appears automatically, usually within a few minutes, but sometimes it could take up to an hour. If your bitcoins have not been returned to your wallet within 2 hours, please contact us.

Are you sending bitcoins from a Multibit wallet? It could be that the transaction is ‘stuck’. See here for instructions to fix the problem.

What does an urgent payout mean?

The option for urgent payout means that the payout will be manually processed by us as soon as possible. The cost for this action is 0.25% with a minimum of € 7.50 for an amount up to € 5000 (it can be lower sometimes, you will not see a checkbox for urgent payout at those moments). If you have a bank account with ING, SNS, ABN-Amro or bunq, we will transfer the money from our account at the same bank and you will receive the payout almost immediately. If you have a different (Dutch) bank, we will process an urgent payout from our SNS bank account.

An urgent payout requested on weekdays between 9:00 and 3:30 PM should be received within two hours (if the bitcoin transaction has been confirmed on time by the network and there is no delay from the bank). Urgent payments to foreign bank accounts should be requested and confirmed before 3 PM.

Usually the money is received within half an hour. We cannot give any guarantees during the evenings and weekends, but the payout will take place faster than a normal payout.

Always use a sufficient amount (min. 0.0003) of miner's fee for urgent sales orders Urgent payouts are transferred after the first network confirmation.

I’m sending bitcoins, what is the miners' fee?

Bitcoin is a decentralized network and therefore does not have transaction fees, bitcoin transactions are nearly real-time. However, the transactions need to be verified and must be recorded in a so-called block in the Bitcoin Blockchain before the transferred amount can be spent. The blocks are 'mined' by Bitcoin miners, these miners spend time and computing power (with specialized equipment) to secure the Bitcoin network. When a block is found, new bitcoins are generated and transactions are verified.

Therefore, you need these miners to send your bitcoins over the network. You can give the miner who confirms your transaction a tip. Every time a miner finds a new block it can record a certain number of transactions, but not all of them. Most miners will prioritize the transactions with a tip (also called a miner's fee) when recording them in a block.

If you transfer bitcoins, to Bitonic for example, we will receive the transaction almost immediately. But we can only spend the received bitcoins when they have been confirmed. Which is why we wait with the payout until the transaction has been confirmed by the network.

The tip/fee can be very low, we recommend BTC0.0003 for normal transactions (a few cents). If you received a lot of small amounts of bitcoin and you want to send it in one transaction to us, please add more fee. This transaction will be big, and therefore need more fee. Transactions without or with too little miner's fee can stay unconfirmed for a long time, especially when it is very busy on the network, simply because miners will most likely keep prioritizing other transactions. It is for this reason that we recommend to always include a miner's fee in your transaction.

How do I include a fee?

The transaction fee is added to the total of your transaction amount, which is why you can only transfer slightly less than what you have in your Bitcoin wallet. Most wallets do this automatically. You might want to check your settings to see at which amount it is set. Example: If you have exactly BTC1 in your wallet, you can transfer BTC0.9997 and have spent everything. The miner who confirms your transaction will receive BTC0.0003 as a fee. If you were to send this transaction to us, you indicate on our website that you wish to sell BTC0.9997, since that is the amount you have available.

Are you not sure which fee your wallet uses? Look this up in the manual of your wallet before you transfer bitcoins and make sure that it is at least at BTC0.0002. Transactions that don’t have a miner's fee can go unconfirmed for days sometimes, and we cannot pay out without a confirmation!

I sold bitcoins, when can I expect to have the money in my account?

We process payments every business day around noon. You can look at your transaction overview to see if the payout has been processed. You can find this here with your (return) bitcoin address and bank account number.

Depending on the time at which you sent your bitcoins, your payment will be processed the same day or the following business day. We guarantee that, for bitcoins that are offered (and confirmed) before 12:00 (noon), the payment order will be processed the same day. Usually you will receive the money before the end of the day. However, it could happen that our/your bank is slow in processing the payment and the payment will not arrive until the following business day.

Are you selling on Friday after 12:00 (noon) or during weekends? You will receive the payment on Monday, or in some cases on Tuesday, since payments between banks are suspended during the weekend. If you need a fast payment and you have a bank account with ABN, SNS, ING Bank or bunq, choose the fast payout option. The money will be transferred to your account within two hours. More info