The Exchange Review Part V: Personal Support and API

Further to our previous review of ten Bitcoin exchanges’ FAQ and language availability as part of a wider series, we now take a further look at the customer support on offer, as well as the exchanges’ API capabilities.

Running a Bitcoin exchange can be unpredictable, with any problems leading to a high volume of queries through multiple channels which can be a challenge to deal with.

Not so hot…

Despite claiming to answer queries within one hour during business hours or within 12 hours otherwise, BTC-E is known for delayed responses as well as the poor quality of its English language support.

“The BTC-e API allows users to get information about the user's current balance, API key privileges, number of transactions, the number of open orders, and server time. An account is required with service, BTC-e accepts REST calls and returns JSON, and uses SSL for authentication,” ProgrammableWeb.com notes.

Its API also leaves something to be desired, however, not currently supporting Bitcoin withdrawals, something which is offered by every major exchange. There is also currently no market list and markets must be pre-loaded instead. According to a forum post, however, this is in the process of being completed.

Quality of help: 2
Easy to contact: 3
Support methods: 2
Response time: 3
API: 3

ICBIT, while only offering email channel for queries, fares somewhat better, although the service does not give estimates of response times.

“The ICBIT API allows users to issue/cancel trade orders, as well as get real-time market information about Bitcoin and its status among other currencies. The service uses JavaScript and sockets to connect with the API server. Access Tokens, API keys, and SSL are used for authentication,” states ProgrammableWeb.

The tool is generally well-received, but forum users often highlight instability as a recurring problem.

Quality of help: 3
Easy to contact: 3
Support methods: 2
Response time: 2
API: 2