Review of Waterhole Bitcoin Trading App

Recently a new trading app was released on Android and iOS called “Waterhole”.

We installed Waterhole on 3 devices. A Moto X Pure, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. Each were running the latest version of Android available to them and fully updated with no rooting. On the Moto X Pure and Nexus 5 we had in the past used the “developers options”, but the dev options are currently turned on. This is an issue for Waterhole. It put us in a repeating loop asking us to turn the dev options and mock locations off. Since they were already off, we couldn’t get past that.

We contacted support and explained our issue, that the phone was not in dev mode or rooted. They seemed to have ignored the few emails we sent explaining this because they kept telling us the app didn’t work because the phone was in dev mode or rooted. It was not until we sent screenshots to prove that it didn’t work, wasn’t rooted and dev mode was turned off that they believed us. After that they did try to fix it but were unable to.

The Nexus 7 belongs to a child so it had never had developer option enabled. We were able to get Waterhole to open on it.

We thought there was a cash/local component but couldn’t figure out how to use it. Either we were wrong or there is no one on the app selling bitcoin for cash in person anywhere in the US.

Waterhole is mostly aimed at people who want to trade bitcoin using bank deposits. That is a huge fraud risk. Buyers will often steal a seller’s bank info and sell it, make fraudulent withdrawals, pull MIM scams and more. Also typing that kind of info/instructions on a small keyboard and doing any decent KYC on a mobile phone can be hard if not impossible. While there website has images showing it being used on a desktop computer, this is misleading. You can only use it on an Android or iOS mobile phone. The ability to log into a website like Paxful and trade there would be very helpful.

Also the website encourages people to make additional money selling data. It doesn’t explain what data can be sold or how this is done. Who would want that other than big corporations like banks or the government?

Waterhole encourages people to sell user data


Their website still has much of the stock/generic text on it. The testimonials are poorly written and were up before the app was released so they are obviously fake. That kind of deception makes Waterhole seem suspicious.



Our biggest issue is that Waterhole talks about security but doesn’t allow people to control their private seed. Being new, based outside the US and having control of your bitcoin reminds us of the scam that is still going on.


We do NOT recommend this app. With established websites like Paxful for trading online and Localbitcoins for trading locally, there is really no reason to take the risk.

While it looks pretty Waterhole has two big things we take issue with. After we were scammed by we do not recommend anyone put their bitcoin into a wallet/company that is less than a year old unless you (the bitcoin owner) control your bitcoin seed. We also think that Waterhole encouraging users to sell data is a huge red flag for the people who appreciate the anonymity and community side of bitcoin.

The only mobile native bitcoin trading app (as of 6/24/16)
Tech support is responsive
Supports downloading financial files for accounting purposes

Developed in China
Instructions and explanations are sometimes unclear (likely translation issues)

No way to trade on a laptop/website
Doesn’t allow you to control the seed to your bitcoin wallet (VERY IMPORTANT)
Allows and encourages people to sell your data
Testimonials are faked

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