River Financial Review 2024: Pros, Cons And How It Compares

Discover River Financial: a user-centric Bitcoin exchange renowned for its intuitive interface, secure custody solutions, and Lightning Network integration.

What Is River Financial?

River Financial is a San Francisco-based Bitcoin-only exchange founded by Alex Leishman and Andrew Benson. It let's you buy and sell Bitcoin through lump sum transactions or Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA), the latter of which incurs no fees.

River caters not only to retail customers that want to invest a $100 minimum for buy orders or a $10 minimum for sell orders but also to sophisticated investors purchasing over $100,000 worth of Bitcoin, as well as companies looking to incorporate Bitcoin into their balance sheets.

In this comprehensive River Financial review, we will explore all the features it offers, enabling you to determine whether it aligns with your needs and preferences.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Click here to join River Financial and earn up to $100 in bonus Bitcoin when you buy.

๐ŸŒ Website river.com
๐Ÿ™๏ธ Location San Francisco, California, USA
๐Ÿ“… Year Founded 2019
๐Ÿ’ฐ Primary Token Bitcoin (BTC)
๐Ÿ“ˆ Listed Crypto Bitcoin Only
๐Ÿ’ฑ Trading Pairs BTC/USD
๐Ÿ’ต Supported FIAT USD
๐ŸŒ Supported Countries USA
๐Ÿ’ฐ Minimum Deposit $100 minimum for buy orders or a $10 minimum for sell orders
๐Ÿ’ธ Deposit Fees No deposit fees
๐Ÿ’ฐ Daily Buying Limit $100,000
๐Ÿ’ฑ Trading Fees 1.20% to Buy BTC (0.00% on Recurring Orders)
๐Ÿ’ธ Withdrawal Fees No withdrawal fees
๐Ÿ“ฑ Mobile App Available for iOS and Android
๐Ÿ’ฌ Customer Support 24/7 customer support available through live chat, email, telephone
Notably, River Financial currently only operates within the United States and does not support residents of New York, Nevada, or Idaho. If you reside outside the USA or in these specified states, you cannot open an account with River Financial.

How River Financial Works

How River Financial Works
How River Financial Works

River works as a simplified solution for accessing Bitcoin, available through a web-based dashboard as well as iOS and Android applications. The service offers secure Bitcoin purchases with 100% full reserve custody, ensuring confidence in transactions. Notably, recurring orders incur zero fees, enabling users to invest in Bitcoin regularly without additional charges.

The platform also let's you send and receive instantly Bitcoin globally through the Lightning Network, ensuring seamless transactions without delays. Moreover, users can set Target Price Orders to automatically capitalize on Bitcoin dips, even while away from their devices.

The River platform works primarily as an exchange where users can deposit cash (USD) to purchase Bitcoin. Once acquired, users have the flexibility to either sell their Bitcoin, store it within the platform, or withdraw it to a personal wallet. Additionally, River introduces the River Link feature, enabling users to send or gift Bitcoin not only on-chain but also via Lightning Network.

Furthermore, users can monitor the performance of their Bitcoin investments by analyzing cumulative and annualized returns.

Previously, River also provided a cloud mining service. However, at present, they have sold out all their hosted miners.

River Financial Features

Even if River tends to show that their dashboard is quite simplified in order to attract beginners, their features offering is quite diverse. Let's have a look at the main features.

Buy & Sell Bitcoin

The primary function of River is buying and selling Bitcoin. It allows users to link their bank account to River, enabling wire transfers to fund their accounts with USD. Subsequently, users can instantly purchase Bitcoin.

Users have the option to either make lump sum Bitcoin purchases or engage in Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). DCA is advantageous due to its zero fees, smoothing out Bitcoin's price volatility while incurring no additional charges. Should users wish to sell their Bitcoin, they can do so seamlessly.

In instances where the Bitcoin price fluctuates and users are away from their devices, they can establish a Target Price Order, triggering a transaction once the price reaches a specified target.

While River primarily operates as a custodian app, there is also an option to ensure that Bitcoin never directly interacts with the exchange.

DCA (Recurring Buys)

River Zero Fees on Recurring Orders
River Zero Fees on Recurring Orders

Automating Bitcoin purchases is a prudent strategy, particularly in Bitcoin's volatile market. River offers an additional benefit: zero fees on all recurring orders. Users can set up hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly recurring orders, removing emotional investment decisions.

By spreading investments across various price points, users can reduce volatility. Additionally, automatic recurring orders enable long-term investment without constant monitoring and emotional involvement.

River Link
River Link

River Link is a recently introduced feature that sets River apart from other exchanges. It enables users to send Bitcoin to Friends and Family, irrespective of whether they have a River account or reside outside the US.

There's no need to request a Bitcoin address and verify it multiple times. Instead, users can simply text, direct message, or email their River Link. Recipients will receive a link allowing them to claim their Bitcoin using River or other on-chain and Lightning Bitcoin wallets. This feature is not only ideal for gifting Bitcoin but also for settling expenses such as paying friends for dinner in Bitcoin.

Wallet & Self Custody

River Wallet & Self Custody
River Wallet & Self Custody

This is where things become very interesting for Bitcoin accumulators, the "hodlers". Firstly, River operates a Lightning Node, allowing users to send and receive Lightning transactions directly from their Lightning wallet at their convenience.

However, what sets River apart, unlike other exchanges, is its automated self-custody feature. This functionality operates on a designated threshold, such as 0.1 BTC. Once you've accumulated this predetermined amount in your River brokerage account and the threshold is met, River automatically sends the specified sum, like 0.1 BTC or any chosen amount, to your cold wallet storage. This could include hardware wallets such as Coldcard, Jade, Passport, Trezor, among others.

It's advisable to avoid setting a low BTC threshold when sending to cold storage. Effective UTXO Management, such as UTXO Consolidation, enables the creation of a smaller number of larger UTXOs. This strategy prepares you for the future, particularly when on-chain fees in the mempool are expected to rise due to block space scarcity.

Inheritance Plans

River Inheritance Plans
River Inheritance Plans

This feature is now emerging in other exchanges as well, offering you the opportunity to strategize and safeguard your Bitcoin, which often represents your generational wealth. Customize a plan according to your preferences with adaptable beneficiary structures.

You can view, edit, or add to your beneficiary plan whenever necessary. Your Bitcoin remains securely stored in cold storage, bypassing public legal procedures. Rest assured that your loved ones are in capable hands.

River is committed to supporting your beneficiaries as the future generation of Bitcoin investors. River will provide them education on Bitcoin, guide them through the transfer process, and assist with custody best practices, ensuring a seamless transition.

River Financial Quick Review

If you're short on time and can't dig deeper into the full review, have a look at our quick River Financial review that assigns points from 0 to 100 based on the expected features of a Bitcoin exchange. If you find the overview appealing, you'll also discover a convenient link at the end of the quick review to register with River and receive a complimentary bonus.

Category Feature Score
๐Ÿ” Privacy & Security (21/50)
๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ Non-KYC The exchange enforces KYC to every user 1/10
๐Ÿ” Non-Custodial Custodial, but users can automatically choose automated self-custody 6/10
๐Ÿ‘ฅ Peer To Peer The exchange doesn't offer P2P trading 1/5
๐ŸŒ Decentralization The exchange is centralized 1/5
๐Ÿ”’ Encryption The exchange encrypts all confidential data transfers 5/5
๐ŸŒ TOR Connection It's not possible to connect to the exchange with TOR 1/5
๐Ÿ“‚ Open Source Some software used by the exchange is open source 2/5
๐Ÿ“ฑ 2FA The exchange offers two-factor authentication 5/5
๐Ÿš€ Features (40/50)
๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ User-Friendly UX Very easy to use, clean UX 5/5
๐Ÿ’ต Fiat Onramp/Offramp Fiat onramp and offramp methods are the local ones 5/5
๐Ÿ’ธ Taker Fee 1.20% 4/5
๐Ÿ’ธ Maker Fee 1.20% 4/5
๐Ÿ’ธ Withdrawal Fee Free 5/5
โ˜Ž๏ธ Customer Service Available via phone, chat and ticket 5/5
๐Ÿ“š Documentation Plenty of documentation on the official website 5/5
๐Ÿšฎ Altcoins No altcoins supported 1/5
โšก Lightning Network Withdrawal/Deposit The exchange support the possibility to withdraw/deposit Bitcoin using the lightning network 5/5
๐Ÿ’ง Liquid Network Withdrawal/Deposit Not possible to withdraw or deposit Bitcoin with the liquid network 1/5
๐Ÿงฑblockdyor Score (61/100)

๐Ÿ‘‰ Click here to join River Financial and earn up to $100 in bonus Bitcoin when you buy.

How To Get Started On River Financial

Before opening an account with River Financial, ensure you meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States with a Social Security Number or Taxpayer ID.
  • You must reside in a state or jurisdiction where River Financial operates, excluding New York, Nevada, and Idaho.
  • Have a valid identification document, such as your passport or driver's license, readily available to expedite the KYC process.

Once you've confirmed your eligibility and gathered the necessary information, click the secure link below to initiate the signup process, which also includes a bonus for you.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Click here to join River Financial and earn up to $100 in bonus Bitcoin when you buy.

River Financial Sign Up
River Financial Sign Up

Upon clicking the link, you'll be prompted to provide several pieces of information, including:

  • Name (1)
  • Surname (2)
  • Email (3)
  • Password (ensure it is robust and consider saving it in a password manager) (4)
  • Consent to the terms and conditions (5)

Once you've completed all fields, click the prominent yellow button labeled "Get Started" (6). In a few seconds, you'll receive an email at the address you provided earlier. Click on the link within the email, which will redirect you to River's platform, where you'll be prompted to enter your phone number. After inputting your phone number, you'll receive an SMS to verify it. This phone number will serve as a form of two-factor authentication (2FA), bolstering the security of your account.

River Financial Dashboard
River Financial Dashboard

Once you've verified your phone number, you'll access the main dashboard of River Financial. It's intuitively designed, offering all key functions within easy reach.

The sidebar (1) provides access to your River wallet, performance tracking, tax management, and other documents. There's also a quick buy/sell button (2), areas with your account balance in both US dollars and BTC (3), (5), (6). A Bitcoin price chart allows you to monitor the asset's performance (4).

On the right side of the sidebar, you'll find steps to set up your account, including verifying your information (KYC) and adding payment methods for funding (7). It's crucial to complete all steps and fill in the required information to fully utilize River.

That's all you need to get started with River Financial. In the next section, we'll explore how to actually buy Bitcoin on the platform.

How To Buy Bitcoin With River Financial

River How To Buy Bitcoin Step 1
River How To Buy Bitcoin Step 1

Buying Bitcoin on River is straightforward, as it is the core function of the entire exchange. Before initiating a purchase, it's important to deposit some dollars into your account. This can be done by selecting "Add Cash" to deposit funds from your bank account to River.

Once the deposit is completed, you can proceed to click on the Buy/Sell button, specify the desired amount of fiat currency to exchange for Bitcoin, and then confirm your selection. Your purchased Bitcoin will be instantly credited to your River account.

Who created River Financial?

River Financial Team
The River Financial Team (Credits: River.com)

River Financial was established in February 2019 by its current CEO, Alexander Leishman, alongside his cousin Andrew Benson. The main headquarters of the company are in San Francisco, California.

Their aim was to provide a platform for individuals to buy, sell, store, and manage Bitcoin. Leishman stated, "The product today resembles a bank account but with our Bitcoin-centric approach. We aspire to offer different account types, such as joint and interest-bearing accounts."

Before co-founding River Financial, Alexander Leishman held roles on the investment and engineering teams at Polychain Capital and Polychain Labs, focusing on Bitcoin-related ventures. He previously worked as an engineer in Airbnb's security team and as a management consultant at Deloitte.

Leishman's involvement in the Bitcoin industry began as an early engineer at Maicoin, Taiwan's largest digital asset exchange. He holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master's in Computer Science from Stanford University, where he contributed to teaching the first Bitcoin class under Professor Dan Boneh.

Is River Financial Safe?

River Financial prioritizes security to ensure users' peace of mind. With 100% full reserve custody, assets are securely held without lending or usage by the platform. Licensed and regulated in the US, River complies with state and federal regulations.

On-demand live support offers real-time assistance, while regular audits by independent security firms fortify the platform against potential threats. Real-time notifications keep users informed of security-conscious actions, and data minimization practices protect user privacy.

Multisig cold storage safeguards Bitcoin holdings offline, and in-house security infrastructure ensures control and transparency. Geographically dispersed storage of Bitcoin keys enhances security, and account protections include mandatory multi-factor authentication. Continuous 24/7 security monitoring provides prompt threat response, solidifying River Financial as a trusted platform for managing Bitcoin investments.

River Financial Reviews

While there isn't a dedicated Trustpilot or Proven Expert page for River Financial, a search across various platforms such as X and Twitter reveals an overwhelmingly positive sentiment towards River as one of the premier solutions for investing in Bitcoin in the United States.

Users particularly appreciate River's exclusive focus on Bitcoin, eliminating any confusion often encountered with more well-known exchanges like Coinbase. With its singular dedication to Bitcoin and its user base in the USA, River is able to offer an unparalleled user experience, making it a compelling option worth considering for prospective investors.

River Financial Fees

When it comes to buy and sell orders, River Financial charges fees based on a combination of spread and a percentage-based River Fee, which varies depending on the order size. Here's a breakdown of the fee schedule for both buy and sell orders:

Order Size River Fee
Less than $250,000.01 1.20%
Between $250,000.01 and $1,000,000 1.00%
Between $1,000,000.01 and $5,000,000 0.90%
More than $5,000,000 0.80%

Recurring buy orders, however, enjoy zero fees starting seven days after the order is set up. For daily or hourly recurring orders, the fee waiver kicks in from the 8th day onward. Similarly, for weekly recurring orders, the second order and onward incur zero fees. It's important to note that the initial order of a recurring order follows the standard pricing outlined above.

River Financial Limits

River Financial implements various limits for transactions conducted on our platform to ensure a secure and seamless experience for our users. Here's an overview of the limits for each type of transaction:

Buy & Sell Limits

Transaction Type Limit
Deposit Limit (ACH) $150,000 per week
Instant Buy Limit (ACH) $100,000 per business day
Buy Limit Unlimited ($1,000,000 per transaction)
Sell Limit Unlimited ($1,000,000 per transaction)

For ACH deposits, the weekly limit stands at $150,000, with a maximum daily instant buy limit of $100,000. These limits reset on a rolling basis, with the instant buy limit resetting daily and the weekly deposit limit refreshing after one week.

Send & Receive Limits

Once users complete our ID Verification process, they gain approval for sending Bitcoin on our platform, with no predefined limits for either sending or receiving Bitcoin:

Transaction Type Limit
Send Bitcoin Unlimited
Receive Bitcoin Unlimited

River Customer Service

River offers comprehensive customer support to ensure a seamless experience for its users. During business hours, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET, customers can connect with the support team through various channels:

  • Email: Customers can reach out to [email protected] for prompt assistance. River's team is committed to addressing inquiries and concerns in a timely manner.
  • Phone: Customers can directly call (888) 801-2586 to speak with knowledgeable Client Services Representatives who are ready to assist them.
  • Online Chat: During business hours, customers can access online chat support by clicking on the chat icon located at the bottom right corner of the screen when logged in. This enables them to engage with a Client Services Representative in real-time.

Outside of business hours, customers can still receive assistance by emailing River, with the assurance of a follow-up within 24 hours.

River Financial Alternatives

For this River comparative, I will put in the mix Bitcoin only exchanges available in USA, but also another one available in europe.

River Swan Relai
๐Ÿงฑ blockdyor Total Score 61/100 66/100 72/100
๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ Non-KYC No No Yes
๐Ÿ” Non-Custodial Yes Yes Yes
๐Ÿ‘ฅ P2P No No No
๐Ÿ’ต Fiat Onramp/Offramp Yes Only Onramp Yes
๐Ÿ’ธ Taker/Maker Fees From 1.20%/1.20% From 0.99%/0.99% From 2.5%/2.5%

Swan: Positioned as another US-exclusive, Bitcoin-only platform focused on Bitcoin accumulation, Swan stands as a compelling alternative to River. With its lower fees and non-custodial custody model, Swan is particularly suited for Bitcoin hodlers. On the other hand, River may be a preferable choice for those intending to engage in buying and selling activities.

Relai: For individuals residing in Europe or Switzerland, Relai emerges as a top alternative for purchasing Bitcoin with the Euro or the Swiss Franc. Relai is Bitcoin-only, soft-KYC, non-custodial, and imposes comparable fees and spreads. Additionally, users can sell Bitcoin for fiat currencies such as EUR and CHF, making it a comprehensive solution for Bitcoin transactions.

River Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
โœ… User-friendly interface โŒ Limited availability outside the USA
โœ… 100% full reserve custody โŒ Does not support certain US states like New York, Nevada, and Idaho
โœ… Wide range of payment methods โŒ Fees (and spread) may be higher compared to some other platforms
โœ… Offers recurring buy orders with zero fees โŒ Limited cryptocurrency options, only supports Bitcoin
โœ… Quick and responsive customer support โŒ Limited functionality for advanced traders
โœ… Strong emphasis on security and compliance
โœ… Seamless integration with Lightning Network for instant transactions

Bottom Line

River Financial stands as a reliable and user-friendly platform for individuals seeking to invest in Bitcoin securely. With its emphasis on security, full reserve custody, and seamless integration with the Lightning Network, River offers a robust solution for both novice and experienced Bitcoin investors alike.

However, its availability is limited to the United States, and doesn't support altcoin or stablecoins. Despite these limitations, River Financial remains a top choice for those looking to enter the world of Bitcoin investment with confidence.

River Evaluation

With a blockdyor Score of 61 out of 100, River establishes itself as a leading centralized exchange focused solely on Bitcoin within the USA, boasting an impressive rating. It distinguishes itself as an optimal platform for purchasing Bitcoin with minimal fees, featuring recurring orders and a suite of exclusive functionalities tailored to it.

Reputation: Despite its relative youth, the company's CEOs possess extensive experience and a profound understanding of Bitcoin and its underlying technology, contributing to River's burgeoning reputation.

Technology: Innovations like River Link propel the exchange to the forefront of the industry, incorporating recent advancements seamlessly.

Customer Service: River excels in customer service, offering comprehensive support via phone, chat, email, and other channels, ensuring an outstanding experience for clients.

Fees: While fees may be slightly higher for lump-sum transactions, recurring orders incur zero fees beyond a nominal spread, enhancing affordability for users.

Ease of Use: The app provides exceptional user-friendliness, complemented by a web-based version, further enhancing accessibility and convenience for traders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is River Financial available worldwide?

No, River Financial is currently available only in the United States.

What is the minimum age requirement to open an account with River Financial?

Users must be at least 18 years of age to open an account with River Financial.

How long does the account verification process take?

The verification process usually takes a few business days, but may vary depending on the volume of applications.

What payment methods does River Financial accept?

River Financial accepts bank transfers (ACH) for deposits and withdrawals.