Bitlem – Mexico’s Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Trading Exchange?
Bitlem, an exclusively Spanish language site, seems to bill itself as the first resource to exchange Bitcoin centered in Mexico, according to the closest translation.
What Is Bitlem?
There’s no information on the Bitlem site that would indicate who owns or operates this service besides a small copyright symbol on the bottom that reads “2017 Bitlemoon”.
The physical address given for Bitlem is in the heart of Mexico City, the location of a physical brick-and-mortar storefront that seems to be a currency exchange store. The windows, according to an image sourced from Google Maps, are plastered with international flags, and the address itself is linked to the “Lemoon I Goos Exchange Center” according to a list of functioning exchange houses in Mexico City.
There are no coincidences – Bitlem, Bitlemoon, and Lemoon are all obviously related – whoever’s running this exchange center is responsible for the Bitlem website. However, we don’t know who that is, as no other information was available either in Spanish or in English.
Bitlem claims that individuals can physically go to the currency exchange store and purchase Bitcoin directly from them in any currency they like. The site says that customers can purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more” at their branch, that they can buy and sell actual Bitcoin “with cash weights”. This is literally the extent of the information provided by the website.
This service supposedly offers the opportunity to purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat cash to anyone who walks in the door. While this isn’t impossible, it also raises a lot of questions – is Bitlem acting as a broker? Are they charging an exchange fee? Will they arrange transfers to a digital cryptocurrency wallet of the customer’s choice?
Additionally, the site offers the opportunity to trade bitcoin with something called “cash weights.” This seems especially mysterious to us, considering that Bitcoin, as a purely digital asset, doesn’t exist in the real world and therefore doesn’t have any weight.
We can only assume that this “cash weights” refers to buying or selling Bitcoin with large quantities of fiat cash that needs to be counted by weight. Otherwise we’re just confused.
This doesn’t seem shady at all, right? A storefront claiming it will buy and sell cryptocurrencies for you? It sounds totally legit, doesn’t it?
Yeah, not so much. With digital assets requiring a secure wallet to make deposits to and withdrawals from, cryptocurrency trading is much more easily facilitated online. Unless Bitlem is hosting location-based Bitcoin wallets in their store – like a digital safe deposit box – we don’t see how this is legitimate or even feasible.
If Bitlem’s goal is to bring Bitcoin to the masses, that’s laudable. However, we think it’s more likely that someone is attempting to pull the wool over someone else’s eyes. Even if Bitlem is legitimately exchanging and safeguarding cryptocurrency for its customers, we suspect that the exchange rates they charge these customers is likely to be several times the cost of simply making exchanges yourself over the internet. Language barrier or not, we can’t recommend this.