Sam Bourgi is a contributing writer to Finder.com, where he specializes in financial markets. He has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, Yahoo, CBOE and Forbes.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific
provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
VirWox shuts down
On 6 January 2020, VirWox permanently shut down. At the time of its closure, it was one of the world’s longest continually-operating cryptocurrency trading venues.
The Austrian-based VirWox was established just before the cryptocurrency revolution to enable users to trade SLL and other online gaming tokens.
Since venturing into bitcoin in 2011, VirWox has become a popular method for buying bitcoin through PayPal. Technically, the platform only supports the exchange of bitcoin for Linden Dollars, which is the virtual currency used in the online virtual world Second Life. You can get around this by first purchasing Linden Dollars and then using them to buy bitcoin.
To buy bitcoin with VirWox, follow this process:
Deposit money into your account via PayPal.
Purchase SLL on the first currency exchange (ie, SLL/USD).
Buy bitcoin with your newly purchased SLL on the BTC/USD exchange.
Withdraw your bitcoin.
Which cryptocurrencies can I exchange?
VirWox has been in the virtual currency game long before cryptocurrencies were a thing. Today, the exchange allows you to buy and sell Linden Dollars, Avination C$ and OMC. These virtual currencies can be exchanged for fiat currencies like the euro, US dollar, British pound and Swiss franc.
VirWox has also expanded into the crypto sphere by offering bitcoin. Currently, bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency available on the platform.
VirWox is available worldwide.
Which payment methods can I use?
PayPal. Because you can deposit money through PayPal, accounts can be funded through a variety of methods that include major credit cards, debit cards and your PayPal balance.
Others. You can also deposit money through Skrill, paysafecard and uKash.
How much will it cost me to use VirWox?
VirWox charges 50 Linden Dollars (about $0.20) plus 2.9% for bitcoin/Linden Dollar (BTC/SLL) market orders. The fee for limit orders depends on volume but generally varies between 0.78% and 3.9%.
VirWox charges 0.001 BTC for bitcoin withdrawals.
Deposits in bitcoin are free.
How quickly will my funds be available?
For security reasons, bitcoin withdrawals are subject to manual review, which usually slows the withdrawal process. This is especially true for new accounts.
VirWox typically delays your first bitcoin withdrawal by 48 hours.
Are there any transfer limits?
For security reasons, VirWox restricts deposits made through PayPal. The limits (in euros) are outlined below. The levels seem to coincide with the number of days since your first successful deposit. This means you’ll work your way up the levels the more you use the platform.
Limits in EUR
After 10 days
After 30 days
After 60 days
Per 24 hours
Per 30 days
There are no limits on withdrawals.
Is VirWox considered secure?
To combat fraud, VirWox takes a very conservative approach to safeguarding its platform. For this reason, many account holders have been banned from using the service.
Unlike other exchanges, VirWox asks for a modest amount of personally identifiable information. This means your personal information is kept private.
The website purposely avoids giving too much detail about its security policy. However, given that accounts are merely password protected, they may be less secure than those of other platforms which utilise two-factor authentication.
VirWox has a lengthy FAQ section that can guide you through account setup and help you troubleshoot any issues that you encounter.
Customer support and even the managing director can be reached through email.
Pros & cons
One of the oldest exchanges dealing with virtual currency and bitcoin
The ability to buy bitcoin through PayPal
Good privacy standards
High fees when compared with other platforms
Negative reviews over high fees and seemingly random account bans
Bland user interface
To get started with VirWox, simply visit the website, register using the “Registration” page and login within 24 hours. You can change your password using the “Change Settings” page.
You are now ready to open an account and fund it with the currency you want to exchange.
Remember, you must first buy Linden Dollars before you can purchase bitcoin. Once you get the hang of it, the process is fairly straightforward.
Frequently asked questions
VirWox users can execute market orders and limit orders. A market order is where the order is executed immediately; a limit order is where you can specify your desired rate and wait until it reaches that level.
Although there is no fee for maintaining your VirWox account, inactive accounts will be charged EUR2 (or equivalent) per month. Your account is considered inactive if it hasn’t been used for 12 months.
To retrieve your password, simply follow the instructions on the “Reset Password” page. You’ll need to input your name and email.
Image source: VirWox
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