At first glance, Xapo.com looks like a genuine, legitimate and possibly popular Bitcoin wallet solution and for a while there, it was apparently indeed just that. These days though, the community in general, and its users in particular, have apparently lost their taste for Xapo’s services. Let us take a closer look at why that happened.
While its background is still quite transparent, the wallet provider’s stated mission, to “bring Bitcoin to everyday life” has lost much of its luster lately. Its transfer fees are too big and it seems to have developed a habit of holding its users’ funds hostage, while its support is unable (or unwilling?) to sort out even the most basic of problems. Scores of its users have apparently considered suing the operator.
What exactly is the Xapo.com sales pitch though?
Like so many of its crypto industry peers, Xapo fancies itself as a sort of way for its users to ease from the familiar world of fiat currencies, into the pristine and somewhat uncertain world of cryptocurrencies. To this end, Xapo offers a wallet solution, which allegedly features cold storage-grade security. Indeed, going by some of the above mentioned complaints, the Xapo wallets are so secure, not even their owners can get the funds out of them.
Xapo’s Vault is said to feature three layers of security: Cryptographic, Physical and Jurisdictional. Due to the complexity of the identity-verification process, it usually takes the operator 48 hours to process withdrawal requests, though some users have complained about not having their withdrawals honored at all. According to the Xapo website, information pertaining to private keys and other such sensitive data, is stored on offline servers located “deep underground,” on three continents.
Through Xapo, users can also purchase cryptocurrencies, more precisely Bitcoin. This side of the business seems to work hiccup-free: users have stated that they were indeed able to purchase Bitcoin through Xapo.
In addition to the above detailed services, Xapo also offers a card, which can allegedly be used to pay for merchandize and to withdraw money, straight from ATMs, directly from one’s wallet. Getting the Xapo card ready for use is as simple as funding the wallet to which it is linked. Xapo cards cost $20 and to get their hands on them, users need to provide a valid ID and proof of address.
Xapo’s Android and iOS apps are also listed among the brand’s products, together with a WordPress plugin.
As far as its background is concerned, Xapo makes some pretty bold claims on its About page, listing a number of prominent names as advisors to the operation. One such name is Lawrence H. Summers,’ who was none other than the Secretary of Treasury under the Clinton administration. VISA’s founder, Dee Hock, and ex-Citibank CEO John Reed are also mentioned. To what degree these people are involved with Xapo, is not clear though.
The founder and CEO of the operation is Wences Casares. The About page offers a full list of brief biographies and pictures of the heads of various Xapo operational departments, so there is indeed quite a bit of transparency in this regard.
While the company behind the Xapo brand has been incorporated in Hong Kong, it also operates out of offices located in Palo Alto, California. The brand’s reach is a truly global one though. Xapo’s US address is 2983 Woodside Rd., Woodside, CA, 94063. The phone number through which the office can be reached is 3014875166.
The About page also lists a number of high-profile investors, who have apparently poured funds into Xapo, at one point or another. Ribbit Capital, Pantera, Fortress and Benchmark Capital are just a few of these institutional investors. From these sources, the startup had apparently raised more than $40 million, becoming the best funded startup ever, besting BitPay and its other competitors handily.
Should I Trust Xapo.com?
While the operation does indeed seem legitimate, answering Yes to that question is not straightforward at all, due to the overwhelmingly negative user feedback. For a while in the beginning, the operation was indeed very popular with faucet users and others involved in micro transactions, on account of its inexistent fees. All that is a thing of the past now.
Red Flags and Question Marks
As said above, the operation is technically legitimate, so there can’t really be any talk about red flags. Question marks are mostly raised by the absolutely shocking user feedback, which is abysmal, to say the least. Even some of the people commenting on various forums/message boards, are surprised by the amount of dissatisfaction voiced.
Complaints-wise, there’s plenty to talk about in regards to Xapo. Some people say the transaction fees are way too high. Others have complained about the fact that while funding a Xapo wallet is easy enough, when it comes to sending BTC anywhere, or – God forbid – withdrawing, things become downright impossible.
Still others say that their Xapo wallets have simply been drained of funds, but most of the time, the talk is about funds “held hostage” by the operator. Most complainers agree that the Xapo support simply does not handle any of the issues brought up by clients. For all practical purposes, this branch of the operation is essentially non-existent.
The bottom line complaints-wise seems to be that while people do not consider Xapo to be a scam, they do think that the quality of their services is abysmal.
That said, you will find plenty of posts out there screaming “scam” and advising readers to steer well clear of the operation.
Xapo Review Conclusion
Everything accounted for, Xapo is probably one of those crypto startups which have just failed to keep up with the changing times. Back when it was launched, its services were indeed valuable and appreciated. Since then, soaring network fees and exploding interest towards cryptocurrencies have rendered it obsolete. Other aspects – such as those related to support, or rather the lack thereof – could probably be addressed though.
The bottom line: Xapo is certainly no longer an attractive destination for crypto micro-transactions.
Official Site: Xapo.com