The Best Bitcoin Escrow Services

Using a 3rd party escrow service to handle a Bitcoin payment is a good idea when transacting with an untrusted party. Escrow protects sellers from fraudulent buyers by requiring the Bitcoin be deposited up front. Likewise, buyers are protected if the seller turns out to be a scammer and doesn’t deliver the goods. In the event of such a dispute, the escrow service will act as the arbitrator and determine who should ultimately receive the Bitcoin funds.

Many Bitcoin marketplaces have a built-in escrow service (i.e. LocalBitcoins, CryptoThrift, BitPremier, etc.). Otherwise, check out the escrow services below — each one of them has built a solid reputation and is generally trusted by the Bitcoin community.

For more info on how to use Bitcoin escrow service, take a look at “Using Escrow” on How To Sell Stuff For Bitcoin.

Bitrated“Bitcoin arbitration marketplace”
Description Bitrated was launched in December 2013 as the first multi-signature arbitration marketplace. Technically, it’s not an escrow service because it works like this: participants choose from a list of independent arbitrators registered on the site. Once confirmed, the buyer deposits their bitcoins into a multi-signature address and the “payment is locked in that address until two of the parties (buyer, seller and arbitrator) agree to release them”. Neither Bitrated or the arbitrator ever have full control of the funds, and they can only be released when two of the parties agree to it. Best of all, the code for the bitrated system is open-source.
Uses multi-signature transactions
FeeBitrated charges no fees, but fees will vary depending on the chosen arbitrator
Minimum AmountUnknown
Maximum AmountUnknown
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Cosign Coin“Create Secure Bitcoin Escrow”
Description Launched in April 2014, Cosign Coin is another multi-signature arbitration service, so it’s not technically an escrow service. Once the buyer deposits their bitcoins with Cosign Coin, two of the three parties involved (sender, recipient, and CoSign Coin) must release the funds. Cosign Coin never has full access to the Bitcoin payment.
Uses multi-signature transactions
Fee1% or 3% if a dispute is filed
Minimum AmountNo minimum
Maximum AmountUnknown
Reviews