This article was published on March 8, 2019

Revolut launches auto-exchange for cryptocurrency – and I can’t find a reason to hate it

What's the catch?

Revolut launches auto-exchange for cryptocurrency – and I can’t find a reason to hate it
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Online challenger bank, Revolut, has just introduced a new feature which makes it easier to protect yourself from volatile cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this week, Revolut launched what it is simply calling its “auto-exchange” feature, which will allow users to automatically exchange two currency pairs – fiat and cryptocurrency – when the pair hits a specific exchange rate.

It’s pretty simple to set up too. Just navigate to the “rates” page in the app, select the currency you want to convert to and from, and set the price you want to auto-exchange (sell) at.

I think this could be improved, it would be nice to see the auto-exchange feature added to each currency’s “account” page, rather than burying it in the exchange rates page.

There are some things to be aware of, though. You’re only allowed to action 30 auto-exchanges per day, and you’re only allowed to exchange up to €10,000 per day. Auto-exchanges also need to be approved,

Also, there is a time-delay between an auto-exchange starting and completing. The amount you get back might not totally mirror the expected amount if you’re dealing in very volatile currencies. That said, if the price – for cryptocurrencies – fluctuates more than 5 percent up or down, Revolut will cancel the exchange and try again when your auto-exchange rate is met. The rate is 0.75 percent for fiat pairs.

Indeed, if all goes to plan with the auto-exchanges it sounds like a great deal. It could very useful when holding cryptocurrency assets in your Revolut account, and using an auto-exchange to protect yourself from “bottoming” out.

I would assume a lot of people would do this though, whether Revolut’s systems would be able to handle a huge spike in exchanges if the market started crashing remains to be seen.

If this all sounds familiar, Binance implemented the age-old concept known as stop limit orders, which automatically sell a user’s coins if their values drop below the sell limit.  That said it took the exchange over a year to do so, when it probably should have done so from day one.

It’s also worth noting that you can’t move cryptocurrency into Revolut, or out of it for that matter. You can only exchange it back to fiat to spend normally, it’s a fully a custodial service which means you have minimal control of your cryptocurrency.

But it’s not all good news for Revolut. The challenger bank is facing tough scrutiny as it applies for a banking license due to high staff turnover and a toxic culture, Yahoo reports.

The Financial Conduct Authority is making inquiries in to Revolut after being contacted by a whistle-blower, the BBC reports. The whistle-blower spoke to the BBC about the company’s compliance and the conduct of the firm’s CEO, Nikolay Storonsky.

The whistle-blower believed that select customers were not subject to the proper anti-money laundering checks. “Those systems were utterly inadequate,” the whistle-blower told the BBC.

While it seems that the auto-exchange feature is a great idea. Whether to cover your ass if the market plummets, or capitalize if it explodes; the question really is how much you are OK supporting a company like Revolut given its current tumultuous existence.

But I certainly don’t hate this feature. It’s just got to do what it promises.

Did you know? Hard Fork has its own stage at TNW2019, our tech conference in Amsterdam. Check it out.

Update, 18:50UTC March 9, 2019: An earlier version of this report referred to a Telegraph article that suggested Revolut had switched off part of its anti-money laundering systems. Revolut has since confirmed that the transaction blocking mechanism related only to sanctions checking.

Update, 09:08UTC April 2, 2019: The article has been updated to include further information reported by the BBC relating to complaints against Revolut’s compliance and anti-money laundering checks.

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Also tagged with