Currencies exchange rate
Wirex allows you to easily convert between bitcoins and euros, dollars and pounds. For instructions, see the How to exchange currencies in Wirex account? article.
We have developed a special process to calculate exchange rates. The rate now depends on the amount being exchanged. The more you exchange, the better the exchange rate. Therefore, loading your card once with $500 will give you better rates than loading your card $100 five times in a row.
Find a brief FAQ with detailed information below.
Q. Why is my exchange rate for $10 around 20%?!
A. This is because of a blockchain fee.
Due to our global reach and rate of growth, our network of liquidity providers around the world usually requires instant settlement for the high volume of transactions that we do. At present, this means that many of our currency exchanges are done on the blockchain (on-chain) and therefore incur a blockchain fee.
Blockchain fees depend on several factors including network congestion, transaction confirmation times (this can be affected by liquidity providers), and blockchain size (as measured in kilobytes which are affected when converting bitcoin from multiple inputs such as earned on faucets or other micro-transactions).
Other exchanges are experiencing a similar challenge with blockchain fees, with some now introducing on-chain fees for all transactions, as most recently reported by Coindesk, March 15, 2017: Coinbase to Charge Fees for On-Blockchain Transactions.
Exchanging small amounts makes any blockchain fee required for the transaction to be a significant percentage of the overall amount.
A typical blockchain fee of 0.0005 BTC at today's prices (early May 2017) is ~$1. This means that an exchange of $10 to bitcoin might incur a $1 blockchain fee, which is 10%. An exchange of $1000 might also incur the same $1 blockchain fee, which is just 0.1%.
This is why we encourage customers to convert larger amounts to get the best possible exchange rate. The more you exchange, the better the rates. For example, exchanging $100 with a $1 blockchain fee is just 1% exchange rate.
Q. What are you going to do about that?
A. Wirex wants to support small exchange amounts for our customers in all countries where $10 transfers are popular.
We are working to increase the number of liquidity providers so that we can process small exchange amounts 'off-chain' (outside of the blockchain network) and therefore not incur any blockchain fee at all for smaller exchange amounts.
This update to move small exchange amounts off-chain will take some time due to 3rd party integration requirements throughout our global liquidity network. We are aiming for the end of May 2017. Users will be notified via app updates and other announcements.
Q. Is it Wirex fee?
A. It is the same fee for other wallet to wallet-on-chain bitcoin transfers and not an additional fee from Wirex.
Q. How to get the best exchange rate?
A. To get a better rate, exchange enough currency so that you are happy with the exchange rate.
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