How to Choose Best Bitcoin OTC Broker
The recognition of bitcoin as a viable financial system by a growing number of institutions has led to the proliferation of over the counter trading platforms. Such rapid development is certainly a positive trend for the cryptocurrency market in general.
However, diversity comes with its downsides, with some OTC services striving for excellence in customer service while others are choosing to cut corners at the expense of clients. In such a turbulent environment, finding the best bitcoin OTC broker may be quite a challenge.
This article covers some of the most important aspects that would keep you on the safe side while having a smooth experience while trading bitcoin in bulk.
Why choose OTC trading?
OTC trading has several advantages over auction-based services like exchanges. The most important one is the absence of transaction limits, which essentially made over the counter bitcoin trading a de-facto standard in the world of institutional investment. OTC brokers also connect buyers and sellers directly without making their order books public. This allows clients to trade large amounts of bitcoin without impacting its market price.
At the same time, the private nature of OTC deals means that clients can keep their business operations discrete, which may be an important point for institutional investors.
Features of OTC Broker to Pay Attention to
OTC desks take different approaches to how they conduct business, which means there is no one-fits-all test that you can use. Nevertheless, they share several aspects that can give you a hint on how suitable they are for your intended goals. Some of them can also offer insights into the legitimacy of their operations if you know what to look for.
OTC brokers are designed with large trades in mind, which is reflected in their transaction limits. However, even within the field, the numbers vary widely. Companies that focus on individual bulk buyers may go as low as $50,000 as a minimal amount, whereas those dealing with institutions and hedge funds would typically be in the $500,000 range.
The range of upper limits is even broader, with larger platforms having no restrictions at all while smaller ones are having to cap their trades to maintain liquidity. In this light, paying attention to these amounts will give you an idea of how trustworthy the OTC desk is and whether it is suitable for partnership.
Over the counter, bitcoin trading relies on traditional financial services, so a certain degree of transaction fees is inevitable whether you like it or not. In large-scale OTC trading, these fees can cost you a fortune when left unchecked, so make sure you compare them across several OTC services to get the feel of what can be considered too expensive.
One thing to keep in mind is that different methods of money transfers have different price ranges, so, for example, fees for bank transfers on one OTC exchange will always be higher than, say, cash fees on another.
In addition to that, each OTC bitcoin broker charges fees for closed deals based on how high they evaluate their performance. As a result, there is always a possibility to end up on a trading platform that charges considerable OTC broker bitcoin fees while delivering subpar deals at best. Don’t hesitate to ask around if you want to end up dealing with the first type more often than with the second one.
On the surface, the sign-up process is something you probably think wouldn’t matter much in over the counter trading – after all, you only do it once and forget about it. However, it can actually tell you a lot about the bitcoin broker behind it.
For starters, pay attention to how conveniently and logically the procedure is. Is it designed with large-scale investors and corporate clients in mind? If so, it has a good grasp of its target audience and actually cares about providing an excellent customer experience.
Next, check which information it expects you to provide. OTC services are required to obtain some sort of identification from their clients to comply with KYC and AML regulation, so in a certain sense, this is a sign that the chosen bitcoin broker has those issues covered.
When it comes to OTC bitcoin trading, the selection of currencies on the platform has two important aspects. First, the absence of specific fiat currencies may be necessary for clients in certain jurisdictions where their use is restricted to national ones. To others, it is a matter of convenience – no matter how smooth the overall experience is, having to go to a currency exchange after each deal is just extra hassle.
Second, supported currencies can give you an idea of an OTC bitcoin broker affiliation and the scope of its operations. The more popularly accepted currencies the company offers, the broader its active clientele. While this is not a 100% faultless aspect for making a final decision, it can serve as a rule of thumb to save you from unexpected complications.
Security and storage
As mentioned above, dealing with a bitcoin OTC broker requires submitting some sensitive data to the platform for compliance with financial regulations in most developed economic regions. Strictly speaking, this means there is always a chance that your personal information may end up in the wrong hands.
This can happen regardless of the trustworthiness of the OTC broker bitcoin was bought from – even well-meaning companies with exceptional security are not 100% immune to data theft.
While you cannot eliminate this risk entirely, you can reduce it to reasonable levels by following two simple steps:
- First, check the terms and conditions of the platform. Does the document mention how your data is used? More importantly, does it say how it is stored and managed?
- Second, check what precautions are made to prevent your funds from being stolen. Is there a two-factor authentication in place? How easy it is for someone else to gain access to your profile?
Be sure to proceed with OTC trading only if you find all the answers convincing.
Reputation and reviews
Reputation is probably the most intuitive and recognizable feature of OTC brokers. It is easily also among the most important ones: the partnership with a bitcoin OTC broker is usually a long-term endeavor built on trust and confidence, so you might want to know as much as possible about your partner as possible. One of the things to look into is compliance with regulations in the regions where they operate.
It would also be wise to pay attention to the credibility of other investors and organizations that choose the OTC exchange and the time it has been on the market. This information would give you an idea of how trustworthy it is and whether it practices its deals ethically. Finally, do your research and read some customer reviews from unbiased sources.
The popularity of OTC trading
In a nutshell, the things that make OTC popular are also the aspects associated with risks. The discretion and anonymity of deals mean that one can never be sure that the broker is involved in any sort of shady deals. Similarly, the focus on large-scale trade creates opportunities for institutions and hedge funds while creating an entry barrier for smaller firms with limited budgets.
By following the recommendations above, it becomes possible for traders to enjoy the benefits of OTC trading without having to deal with its potential downsides.
The Bottom Line
As OTC cryptocurrency trading is becoming commonplace, there are fewer and fewer reasons to spend time on finding out who is the best bitcoin OTC broker. Unfortunately, we are still in the early stage of this journey, so a certain amount of caution is still advised when seeking to buy or sell crypto in bulk.
For those entering the world of OTC bitcoin trading, the highlighted features will keep you on the safe side by pointing to red flags and suspicious activities. What’s more, they may be handy in securing the most lucrative conditions possible without the need to take unnecessary risks and avoiding legal hurdles.