Bottlepay Review (2021)
I’m really impressed with Bottlepay.
Verification took me about 10 minutes, my GBP deposit was credited within a minute, and I could then buy Bitcoin (BTC) in a few taps without paying high fees (1%).
And best of all? It allows you to send and receive payments via the BTC Lightning Network. There aren’t many providers which have this functionality built-in yet.
Bottlepay is a UK-based mobile app that you can use to buy, sell, store, send, and receive Bitcoin (BTC). All with the power of the Lightning Network.
It sounds awesome, but how does it measure up?
In this Bottlepay review, I’ll give you a first-hand look at what it’s like to use the app. I’ll cover everything you need to know – including pros, cons, features, fees, limits, and more.
Let’s get to it!
Advantages & Disadvantages
- UK-based company.
- Registration and verification are quick (10 minutes).
- Low fees (1%) on all Bitcoin (BTC) purchases.
- GBP deposits credited quickly (within minutes for me).
- You can send and receive Bitcoin (BTC) via the Lightning Network.
- You can setup automatic purchases of Bitcoin (BTC).
- Can send and request Bitcoin (BTC) via social media channels (e.g., Twitter, Reddit).
- Founded in 2018, but app was only recently launched (August 2021).
- No option to buy BTC with a credit or debit card (yet).
- Lightning network limits are lower than you’d expect.
What is Bottlepay?
The original Bottlepay app actually shut down soon after its initial 2019 launch due to European regulatory issues. However, it was relaunched in August 2021 (after being in beta since February 2021).
According to Peter Cheyene, Bottlepay’s mission is to become a global payments disruptor. The firm wants to facilitate “safe, secure, and social micropayments in a way that benefits businesses and consumers”.
Bottlepay is a relatively new platform (launched August 2021), so it doesn’t have much of a track record to look at yet.
But what do we know?
It’s a UK-based company that’s listed on Companies House under company number 11266919 and registered as an EMD (Electronic Money Directive) agent with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under reference number 902781.
It also currently has a 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot (but there are only around 15 reviews).
Most of the reviews on Bottlepay’s Trustpilot page mention how easy it is to use and how fast it is to buy Bitcoin (BTC) using the app. Many reviewers also mention that Bottlepay has great customer service.
Reviews for the app on the iOS and Android app stores also, overall, seems positive.
My own experience with Bottlepay has been excellent. l echo what many other reviewers say about the speed and user-friendliness of the app.
There’s some awesome stuff on the horizon that I’ve been told about:
- Adding support for LNURL and Lightning Addresses. They’re also “experimenting with new lightning capabilities”.
- Exploring how they enable auto-withdrawals of Bitcoin (BTC) to external addresses (which means you could auto-buy BTC, then auto-transfer it to cold storage).
- Adding support for Apple Pay and Google Pay so that you’re able to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card.
- Expanding Open Banking support to include standing orders for UK residents (which will make regularly buying BTC that much easier).
- Adding Open Banking support (top-up only) for EU residents.
Bottlepay has emphasised to me that “most important to us is listening to and responding to customer needs” and that the roadmap is “constantly evolving” based on feedback. If you have any ideas yourself, then you can submit them via the app or head here on a desktop.
No, Bottlepay holds Bitcoin (BTC) on its balance sheet and fulfils all the orders made themselves.
My personal experience with setting up a Bottlepay account was easy and convenient. The whole process took about 10 minutes.
Along the way, you will need to provide personal details including:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Residential address
And you’ll also have to submit a valid government-issued photo ID and take a selfie. I didn’t have to, but you might also be asked for a second photo ID or proof of address too.
Buy & Send Bitcoin (BTC)
The primary feature of the Bottlepay app is that it allows you to easily buy, sell, store, send, and receive Bitcoin (BTC).
One of the big standout features here is that you can use Bottlepay to send and receive Bitcoin (BTC) via the Lightning Network. This isn’t possible in most other places I’ve checked out in the UK.
Buying Bitcoin (BTC) on Bottlepay is a straightforward process once you fund your account with GBP or EUR.
To buy Bitcoin (BTC):
- Open the Bottlepay app and sign in.
- Click the ‘Trade’ button on the bottom of your screen.
- Choose either a one-time trade or a recurring purchase.
- Enter the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) that you want to buy.
- Confirm your transaction.
- Your Bitcoin (BTC) should then be immediately available in your account!
Like in other places, you can send Bitcoin (BTC) to people via an on-chain transfer by scanning a QR code or their wallet address.
You can access this by tapping ‘Scan’ on the Bottlepay Dashboard.
In the same place, you can also send Bitcoin (BTC) via the Lightning Network by scanning a QR code or copying in the recipient’s wallet address.
You can also send and request money on Bottlepay by entering the recipient’s phone number, Bottlepay username, or social media handle.
This is quite unique – comparable to how apps like Revolut have made it simple to send money to your friends and family.
But FYI: this method only works if your recipient already has a Bottlepay account. If not, Bottlepay will send them a link to download the app and make an account.
Payment Routing Control
Bottlepay operates on three currencies: BTC, GBP, and EUR.
When you receive funds in your Bottlepay account, you can decide how you get paid through Bottlepay’s payment routing control feature.
For example: If you send GBP to your account, you can tell Bottlepay that you want to have it automatically converted into Bitcoin (BTC).
This saves you time by eliminating the need to manually convert your money whenever it’s received.
This is subtly quite awesome.
It means that you setup automatic recurring purchases of Bitcoin (BTC) by changing a few settings in the app, and then just setting up a standing order of GBP to your Bottlepay account. (For more details, check out this help article.)
In a nutshell, Bottlepay’s social payments tool lets you transfer money to people via social media.
How it works is simple. You navigate to the Quick Payments page on the Bottlepay app and scroll down to the ‘Pay via Social Network’ section. You can then choose to send money to people on Twitter, Github, Twitch, Reddit, or Discord.
Once you select a social media channel, you need to enter your recipient’s social media handle.
If your recipient has a Bottlepay account, they’ll receive the funds directly into their wallet. If not, Bottlepay will send your recipient a link to download the app and claim their funds.
If you add someone as a friend on Bottlepay, then they’ll only see your Bottlepay username and profile picture.
Both of these things can be customised in the Bottlepay app. See here for details.
Bottlepay Bots are a secondary function of Bottlepay’s social payments tool.
With this, you can send money to or receive money from anyone on social media using a simple link.
— Bottlepay (@bottlepay) October 12, 2021
For example: if you want to tip someone on Twitter, you can send them BTC, GBP, or EUR as a token of your appreciation by sending a tweet that follows some simple syntax.
To do so, you first need to link your social media accounts to Bottlepay. You’ll also need to learn a bit of Bottlepay Bot syntax, which you can learn how to do in the firm’s help pages. Then, you can send money around the world in an instant using Bottlepay Bots.
Bottlepay Bots is currently only available for Twitter and Discord. However, they’re currently finalising bots for Reddit, Twitch, Telegram, and Mastadon too.
The only downside is that your recipient can only claim their funds if they have a Bottlepay account. If not, they’ll be sent a link to make an account and get their money within 7 days; otherwise, the funds go back to your wallet.
Bottlepay is available in the UK and all of Europe.
However, it seems like they have hopes to expand to other countries in the coming years.
The only supported cryptocurrency on Bottlepay is Bitcoin (BTC).
Bottlepay CEO Peter Cheyne mentioned in a July 2021 interview that the company has no plans to support other cryptocurrencies.
He stated that the networks for other coins don’t facilitate global transactions as quickly and efficiently as Bitcoin (BTC) on the Lightning Network. Because of this, he wants the company to focus solely on Bitcoin (BTC).
Bottlepay supports the following payment methods:
- UK Bank Transfer (via FPS)
- Open Banking Connection
- SWIFT Bank Transfer
- SEPA Bank Transfer
- Bitcoin (BTC)
I personally found that depositing GBP with a UK bank transfer (via FPS) into Bottlepay was exceptionally fast. My GBP deposits were available almost instantly, even on my very first deposit.
Meanwhile, with Bitcoin (BTC), you can opt to deposit and withdraw via on-chain deposits or via the Lightning Network.
However, it seems like you can only scan a QR code or copy and paste a wallet address into Bottlepay when making a withdrawal. You cannot currently manually enter a wallet address, which might be a hassle if you’re trying to transfer funds to a desktop wallet.
Bottlepay have told me that they’re “in the final stages of integrating Apple Pay and Google Pay to allow people to purchase bitcoin with a debit card”. However, there’s no confirmed release date yet.
Overall? Bottlepay is generally a low-fee platform.
Trading & Currency Conversion Fees
The company charges a 1% trading fee for all currency conversions (e.g., GBP to BTC or GBP to EUR). The minimum amount that you can buy or sell is £1.
Bottlepay’s Bitcoin (BTC) prices are slightly higher than what you’d find on major cryptocurrency exchanges, like Coinbase Pro. But only by a little. I found that the difference was only about 0.2% to 0.3%.
Deposit & Withdrawal Fees
With Bottlepay, there’s no charge for sending or receiving any fiat or cryptocurrencies.
However, there’s a £10 minimum on all fiat deposits and you’ll have cover the cost of any network fees when sending Bitcoin (BTC).
You can choose between 3 different transaction speed and fee options for your on-chain transactions. This allows you to decide if you’re willing to pay more for quicker transactions or if you’d rather wait and save a little on network fees.
All Bottlepay account holders are subject to transaction limits. These limits are:
- £1,000 per transaction
- £10,000 per day
The daily transaction limit includes all purchases, withdrawals, and transfers.
Lightning payments on Bottlepay also seem to have quite low limits:
You can check your current transaction limits in your account settings.
Security & Insurance
Bottlepay doesn’t offer much information about the security features on its platform.
As of the time of writing, Bottlepay has never had a successful security breach. However, the app has only been live for a short period of time (since August 2021).
But as always, the best place to store larger quantities of crypto is in your own private hardware wallet. Check out this list of the most popular hardware wallets if you don’t have one.
It's better to have complete control over your private keys.
— Trezor (@Trezor) October 18, 2021
The Bottlepay app is innovative and there are relatively few similar options on the market.
But what if you’re looking to quickly and easily buy other cryptocurrencies?
One option is CoinJar.
CoinJar supports 42 cryptocurrencies, processes GBP deposits quickly, and has competitive fees. However, it doesn’t have the social payments functionality that you get with Bottlepay. Find out more in my CoinJar review.
Another alternative is Luno.
You can use Luno online or on a mobile device to buy, sell, and send crypto. It has a great mobile app too, but its fees are slightly higher than Bottlepay and CoinJar. Find out more in my Luno review.
The Bottom Line
No matter how you slice it, Bottlepay is a unique addition to the cryptosphere.
Here’s what stood out to me about the app:
- Fast GBP Deposits: GBP I deposited via a UK bank transfer was credited near-instantaneously to my account. Bottlepay also allows you to setup an Open Banking connection.
- Lightning Support: Bottlepay is one of the few places that allows you to easily pay people using the Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network.
- Competitive Fees: Converting between BTC, GBP, and EUR in a matter of seconds only costs about 1.3% – when all’s said and done.
- Social Integrations: Although there are other platforms out there that let you send BTC over social media, this seems like a cool feature to spread some sats around!
The downside? Many of the app’s features require that your recipient have a Bottlepay account – which limits its utility if your friends and family aren’t using it too.
So, is Bottlepay worth it?
I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen from the app so far. They’ve nailed the user experience, it supports the Lightning Network (a huge plus), and has competitive fees.
Learn more about the app on the Bottlepay website.Bottlepay Website
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