Don’t Buy Bitcoin From SBB Ticket Machines

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One of the easiest and quickest ways to buy Bitcoin in Switzerland is at the SBB ticket machines. This service is offered in collaboration with SweePay, a Swiss “financial intermediary” company based in Zug.

You can only make purchases between 20 and 500 CHF. Also you need to have a bitcoin wallet installed and have a Swiss mobile phone number.

So far so good.

My main issue lies with the fees you pay and the offer being rather intransparent as it’s not possible to find out how SweePay determines the price of a Bitcoin. And on top of that you will only be shown the fees after making your purchase when you get your receit.

Here is a picture of a receit my husband got when buying some Bitcoin after the service first became available:

As you can see he bought Bitcoin worth 18.79 CHF at an exchange rate of 0.00131133. Therefore he got 18.79 CHF * 0.00131133 = 0.02463989 BTC. (At the time he made the purchase the Bitcoin price by SweePay was therefore roughly 1 BTC = 762 CHF). But the most interesting part is the transaction fee of 1.21, a shocking 6.05% (exchanges normally have fees somewhere around 0.25%).

From my perspective it would be perfectly alright to have slightly higher fees than the exchanges, but 6.05% just seems unreasonably high and unless you only want to buy a very small amount of Bitcoin without having to go through the hassle of transferring money to an exchange I would stay away from this option.

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