Announcing trading on Unchained

First published: 08/27/2022
| Last updated: 01/22/2024
| -- min read

Today we’re announcing a major expansion to our trading desk, providing one of the most private, secure, and cost-effective ways to buy bitcoin directly to cold storage with keys that you control, including making it generally available to both new and existing clients.

  • Buy bitcoin directly from the Unchained platform, delivered to your vault.
  • Expanded coverage, including 29 states with many more to come this year.
  • A reduction of minimum purchase requirements from $50,000 to $5,000.

How we got here

Clients work with Unchained, first and foremost, to improve the custody and security of their bitcoin; we empower clients to hold their own keys through collaborative custody, with the benefit of a financial institution as a partner and in a way that eliminates all single points of failure. For these individuals and businesses, our goal is to then help simplify their lives and help take care of everything else they might need in the world of bitcoin.

An important part of that equation is the ability to buy bitcoin. While we helped pioneer the collaborative custody model for securing wealth in bitcoin, we also realize that our clients experience pain points and expose themselves to risks, including privacy trade-offs, in working across multiple platforms for different services, particularly legacy “crypto” exchanges to purchase bitcoin and access liquidity. For clients that work with us and set up a vault, now buying bitcoin through Unchained will be easier and more secure than any other platform.

Once a client has a vault and has access to trade, buying bitcoin is simple. Clients execute a purchase, wire funds, and then bitcoin is direct-deposited to their vault, controlled by their keys. For our clients, the benefits are significant:

  • Eliminates the need to open accounts on multiple platforms.
  • Avoids the sharing of sensitive personal identifiable information with multiple firms.
  • Reduces the friction of buying on an exchange, including hold periods, and then later having the burden of withdrawing to cold storage.
  • Removes the need to access bitcoin keys and addresses as well as the cumbersome and often nerve-racking process of sending material amounts of bitcoin on your own.
  • Accelerates the time to effect final settlement, which ultimately reduces exposure to counterparty risk.

Bitcoiners know the horror stories that have led to the aphorism: “not your keys, not your bitcoin.” Whether it’s exchange hacks, slow or non-existent customer service, maximum withdrawal limits, or other compliance and legal hurdles; if you’ve been around long enough, you realize how difficult it can be to take true ownership over your bitcoin as well as the risks involved to newcomers who often leave their bitcoin on exchange for far too long. In the worst-case scenario, these issues can lead to coin loss, but more commonly it means weeks of delay between thinking you own bitcoin, knowing you need to withdraw to cold storage, and actually owning bitcoin.

For over a year, our trading team has provided clients in select states with the ability to purchase bitcoin directly to their Unchained vaults but only on a limited basis. In these transactions, our clients purchased through us directly, with bitcoin direct-deposited into their Unchained vaults but this process was not automated and minimums were higher than practical for most people regularly buying bitcoin. Even though limited, there was no additional exchange step required and no hoops to jump through to make a withdrawal, enabling us to effect final settlement to multisig vaults faster than any other service around.

With this release, our goal is to expand and improve upon this offering such that more clients and future bitcoiners can benefit from the same value proposition.

How to buy—a more seamless experience

First, we’ve built an in-platform purchasing workflow and eliminated the requirement to communicate directly with our trading team. It’s quite simple:

  • Select the Unchained vault where you want your bitcoin to settle.
  • Enter your purchase amount in USD or BTC.
  • Confirm details and execute your transaction.
  • Wire funds as detailed in your trade statement.
  • Bitcoin is direct-deposited to your Unchained vault.

Just like our legacy over-the-counter (OTC) trading product, we face you, the client, directly. There are no other parties involved, and no third parties are aware of your purchases. Similarly, once your wire hits our bank, we settle your bitcoin purchase directly to the vault you selected.

Buy bitcoin panel

Where is trading available—an expanded footprint

We have nearly doubled the number of states where we can offer trading in the United States. We’re pursuing money transmitter licenses in all 50 states, with 29 currently available:

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, US Virgin Islands, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

By acquiring money transmitter licenses, we’re able to face our clients on a direct principal basis, eliminating the need for third-party intermediaries and the need to share sensitive personal information with multiple institutions. Over time, this will also give us greater flexibility in how we deliver, not just this trading service, but other financial services as well.

If your state is not yet supported, be on the lookout for announcements to come over the coming weeks and months as we secure additional licenses to further expand this service to more current and future clients.

Accessible to more people—reduced minimums

Lastly, we understand that $50,000 minimum purchases do not match the buying habits of many of our clients. Going forward, all clients that are onboarded to buy bitcoin with Unchained will have their minimum purchases reduced from $50,000 to $5,000 per transaction.

As we scale our platform, we will continue to work to bring minimums down over time but our goal is also not to target smaller dollar cost averaging (DCA) transactions. We want to be the easiest and most secure way to buy bitcoin for our vault clients, period. For these clients, we want to help simplify their lives, and to that end, we believe making our trading feature accessible to the vast majority of clients is critical.

For further details of our coverage, minimums, maximums, and trading fees, see our trading desk page.

How to get started

If you’re in an eligible state, simply:

  1. Set up an Unchained vault yourself or with the help of our Concierge team.
  2. Fill out your tier 3 profile and add a bank account.
  3. Build generational wealth.

As always, you’re welcome to reach out to us with any questions and we will help you get started with buying bitcoin or any of the other products we offer.

Sign up to get notified for future blog articles.