Review 36 – Harborly


It appears that Harborly is back and under new management. I first became aware of Harborly in early 2014 and signed up for their private beta. I was sent an email in July of 2015 and told that they had launched in the US. Just a month later I received another email that they were shutting down and had decided to move on to other ventures. I recently received an email that Harborly has returned and are looking to have another go.

harborly_1Harborly touts itself as, “the simplest, quickest and safest way to buy and sell Bitcoin globally using your local currency.” They claim low fees and fast delivery times. They also say “any device” and “any location”. They also claim that, “Harborly takes your local payment methods and connects them to the Bitcoin markets. Let’s take a look at the service and see what Harborly has to offer.

harborly_2A quick sign-up using my email and entering a password brought me a very bare looking webpage. Not surprising, really. Just a note that it’s very clean. I like that.

harborly_3As always, I first took a look at the settings. There are three sections here: Account, Verification, and Wallets.

harborly_4In the Account section it’s very basic. You can put in your real name, email address, verify your phone number for 2FA, and reset your password. I entered my info and verified my phone number.

harborly_5In the Verification section there are several pieces you must verify in order to purchase bitcoin. This is where many of the privacy minded folks will lose their minds. Harborly wants you to verify your email, phone number, Facebook account, government issued ID, and a selfie with said ID.

As I’ve said in other reviews, I don’t hate companies requesting this information. I understand that it’s the KYC/AML laws put in place by the US government. If you don’t want to use the service, then don’t. But don’t hate on them because they’re following the law. Instead, get the law changed.

Verifying my email and phone number was simple enough. But everything else failed.

harborly_6I attempted to verify my Facebook account and got a 502 Bad Gateway error.

harborly_7Then I attempted to upload a picture of my ID and a selfie only to be told the server responded with a 400 error.

harborly_8The wallet section allows you to put in a Bitcoin address at which you will receive any bitcoin you purchase. Because I hate using addresses over again, I recommend you switch this any time you purchase. At least until they support HD wallet addresses, like XPUB.

harborly_9Even though I couldn’t verify, I decided to move on and check out the other features of Harborly. I clicked on Market and was greeted with a setup.

harborly_10Oh, well, that explains it…

Another rough start for Harborly. A waste of time for me. I’m wondering when Bitcoin companies are going to learn this. Instead of partial launches, why don’t Bitcoin companies seek out the licenses they need and launch in the areas in which they are able? Harborly could have avoided this situation by explicitly requesting this information during sign-up. Instead, I signed up, logged in, started setting up, tried to purchase, and then got told the service isn’t available to me. I would have still been disappointed, but I would have respected their position. And I wouldn’t have been upset by the waste of time.

As it stands, I can’t even recommend you get started with Harborly without an explicit statement of areas in which they are licensed to operate. There’s no sense giving them your information only to be told you can’t use their service. Until Harborly provides this and we know they’re going to stick around for longer than a year, simply sail on by.

Posted in Brokers, Reviews, Services

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