Exchange Review: Vault of Satoshi

Update 22 January, 2015: The ratings for Vault of Satoshi have been made unavailable, as the exchange will shut down on the 5th of February, 2015.

Vault of Satoshi (VoS) is a Canadian exchange with its headquarter in Brantford, Ontario. The exchange was founded in 2013, which makes it relatively inexperienced like many other other recent cryptocurrency start-ups.

Trades

The first thing that is noticed when using VoS is that it seems to offer only basic functionalities. VoS offers trading in over 20 cryptocurrency pairs including all major cryptocurrencies, but here are no advanced order types or even normal market orders. An order is executed as a limit order by default, and the default value of the limit price is equal to the best bid or ask price. Unfortunately, the bid-ask spreads are very wide, and even around 10 percent for the BTC/USD currency pair. VoS already charges a one percent trade fee, and spreads such as these make the exchange very expensive to use. Also for CAD/USD the spreads are still around two percent, indicating a lack of volume.

Funding

The spreads and low volumes can also be explained by two other things. At one hand there are very little funding options for international customers. VoS states that they are still working on this, but for now this severely limits access to the exchange for international customers. Less users means less liquidity. The exchange, however, does offer a good and cheap range of funding options to Canadian customers.

Compliance

VoS was also forced to cease U.S. operations. According to a statement, it is not possible to comply with FinCEN regulations. FinCEN simply does not accept paper filings or online filings from Canada. The exchange was approved by FinTRAC, the Canadian FinCEN. It was also the first exchange to launch a public proof-of-solvency service for its customers, allowing them to validate the exchange’s reserves. Even though this is a nice feature that offers some confidence, it does not equal an audit by a professional independent and recognized organization. The latter is, however, not specific to VoS.

Platform

In terms of usability VoS is a decent and simple exchange. The website is responsive, but there are no mobile apps available. Accounts can be secured with two-factor authentication, and also additional security questions have been added to further improve account safety. In line with the (over-)simplicity mentioned before, there are no portfolio performance analysis tools or research amenities. The simplicity does make the website very straightforward and easy to use.

Help & Support

Lastly, VoS offers a fair size trading FAQ and can even be contacted by phone. The support therefore seems to be the most extensive part of the website.