Our VirWox review will elaborate on one of the most peculiar blends on the cryptocurrency market; a niche service dedicated to virtual reality currencies, yet able to utilize PayPal to obtain Bitcoin definitely merits our (and your) attention. What sets VirWox apart is their unique business model. Nobody on the market provides the exact same scope of services as them, giving them a monopoly in an enterprise involving Bitcoin. Not a small feat, given the current state of modern cryptocurrencies.
About The Company
VirWox stands for Virtual World eXchange, which is a centralized Austria-based digital convertible currency exchange, founded in 2007 by Virtual World Services. It specializes primarily in SecondLife Lindens (SSL, Linden Dollars or L$).
As you can already tell, VirWox wasn’t designed to be an exchange per se. However, it is a service where you can purchase digital currencies (Bitcoin, for example) after you’ve deposited a certain amount of fiat. So, their primary purpose isn’t enabling people to trade or convert Bitcoin, but providing users with a way to sell digital currencies for online 3D games (mostly Linden dollars).
This setup created a loophole, enabling people to buy Bitcoins with fiat currency, something PayPal frowned upon for a long time, seizing and freezing accounts at the mere mention of direct “traffic” of cryptocurrency. On the other hand, PayPal views L$ as “game currency” (similarly to gold in WoW), which makes it a digital good eligible for direct buying/selling.
How VirWox Works
VirWox is a very clever business enterprise that managed to exploit its status of the official authorized Linden Dollar reseller to also buy/sell Bitcoins directly. This is something that makes it unique on the market of cryptocurrency exchange.
Contrary to popular belief, the process is flawless and it includes the following steps:
- Initial deposit – After you deposit a certain amount of Bitcoin, you’ll receive an e-mail directly from VirWox. Also, calculate in a small confirmation fee. The operation is instantly fulfilled.
- Posting – The expected posting time is 1 hour.
- Purchase – Buy the max quantum of L$ at the ongoing market price, which incurs extra commissions of 2.9% plus the conversion of L$ into SLL.
- Flat currency – In this step, you’re buying the max USD amount at the ongoing market rate, which, again, leads to 2.9% in exchange fees, plus your L$ conversion to USD. You’ll receive a second order confirmation e-mail from VirWox.
- PayPal withdrawal – Final USD withdrawal to your PayPal account will come with another 2% alongside 1$ for PayPal fees. It posts instantly to PayPal.
As we already said in this VirWox review, you can reverse the process and filter fiat currency through the L$ conversion in order to effectively “buy” Bitcoins directly. People encounter problems, though, when they try to send those Bitcoins to a wallet located outside of VirWox. This is also where most of the complaints stem from.
Buying & Selling Limits
Once your account is set up, your deposit limit will be capped at 90$. The trading limits for PayPal and Skrill deposits (in euros) with VirWox go as follows:
- Level 0 (immediately) – 90; 270
- Level 1 (after 10 days) – 120; 900
- Level 2 (after 45 days) – 200; 2000
- Level 3 (after 90 days) – 400; 4000
- Level 4 (on request) – 1000; 10,000
The first limit is counted toward 24 hours, the second one per 30 days. If you need the limits expressed in USD, CHF, and GBP, just use a simple currency converter. These limits were imposed for security reasons, but surprisingly, there are no current withdrawal limitations in place.
VirWox deposit fees vary depending on the different payment methods:
- My Virtual Community Pay Terminal – Free of charge; funds available immediately.
- Bitcoin – Free of charge; funds available within 1-2 hours.
- Credit/debit cards – EUR 0.96 + 3.5%, USD 0.49 + 3.5%, GBP 0.29 + 3.5%; funds available immediately.
- PayPal Express Checkout – EUR 0.35 + 3.4%; available currencies – EUR, USD, CHF, GBP; funds available immediately.
- Sofortbanking – 2.5% (min EUR 0.25); funds available immediately.
- Paysafecard – 20%; available currencies – EUR, USD, CHF, GBP; funds available immediately.
- Skrill – EUR 0.96 + 3.5%, USD 0.49 + 3.5%, GBP 0.29 + 3.5%; funds available immediately.
- OKPAY – Free of charge; available currencies – EUR, USD, CHF, GBP.
- Bitcoin – 0.002 BTC.
- PayPal – 1 EUR (USD, CHF, GBP) plus 2% per withdrawal.
- Bank transfer, Skrill… – 1 EUR (USD, CHF, GBP) handling fee per withdrawal.
Sending virtual currency to fellow users is free of charge. If you haven’t used your VirWox account for over 12 months, you will be charged a 2$ inactivity fee per month, but only if your account features a positive balance. Calculating the total fees can present quite the challenge, once all the conversions and commissions are taken into account, so you’ll greatly benefit from downloading a customized calculator or just a simple extension for your browser.
Safety & Security
VirWox states that they’ll never share your personal information (name, payment specifics…) with third parties, except in cases when they’re ordered to by public authorities. They also don’t store any information regarding your credit card. The non-disclosure clause doesn’t apply, however, to anonymous data collected for statistical purposes.
As a part of Virtual World Services GmbH, VirWox employs a HTTPS Protocol, meaning your passwords and other information shared through your communication with the site will be safe and well protected. The company also has a pretty strict and relentless red flag policy, which often results in many blocked and suspended accounts. A portion of user outrage also comes from that fact.
No verification is required for utilizing VirWox services.
As we already mentioned in this VirWox review, VirWox employs a pretty subpar customer service. Their staff is causing numerous complaints online and we would definitely like to see a momentum caught on that front in the recent future.
- A unique way of trading flat currency for Bitcoins and vice versa
- No lockout time for new accounts
- No min/max Bitcoin deposit requirements
- 4 popular fiat currencies (EUR, USD, CHF, GBP)
- Numerous options for deposit/withdrawal
- Smooth and simple trading process without much delays
- High fees (roughly around 7-12%)
- Overzealous red flag policy
- Subpar user support
- The first Bitcoin withdrawal takes up to 48 hours
- Not the right tool for serious cryptocurrency traders