After creating an account I was quickly prompted to verify my identity before I could make a deposit and get started with my first purchase. Its a familiar request but Brighton Peak had a much less streamlined approach. Unlike similar services which allowed me to upload ID documents through a web page, I had to manually send everything to the email address provided. Not a huge deal but an inconvenience other exchanges have managed to streamline.
So with a quick copy and paste I sent off my info and waited. A day later I had received no communication from Brighton Peak and decided to send off a second email, this time to their support address. The next day I received a prompt apology for the delay and confirmation I was verified and ready to purchase some bitcoin.
Only one deposit option is available, a straight bank transfer to the account details provided. The directness of this approach is great, yet unusual in comparison to the multiple options many other services have made available. The problem with a bank transfer was even more waiting, this time at the mercy of the banks. Two days later and I had some Australian Dollars in my account.
Despite these initial hurdles the actual buy process was then very smooth.I chose to make a small limit buy and had bitcoin in my wallet instantly.
It is clear that an effort has been made to simplify the occasionally over complicated peer-to-peer exchange approach. Brighton Peak seems to be a hybrid between the brokerage exchange model and the order book model, keeping the buy / sell proccess as simple as possible yet offering the options and functionality of a fully fledged trading platform. Users can chose to purchase at either a market or limit price.
Navigation is straightforward, but looking at the site from the perspective of a novice it is certainly lacking the handy additional info tool-tip buttons many other exchanges have in place to avoid confusion regarding terminology. An assumed degree of previous knowledge and experience leaves some of the trader jargon glossed over or possibly taken for granted.
Security is crucial to any exchange which offers a hosted bitcoin wallet and Brighton Peak is no different. 2 Factor Authentication is available, although its use is not as directly encouraged as similar services. On its home page Brighton Peak clarify a partnership with AlphaPoint in the US and a four layered approach to securing your bitcoin which provides a level of confidence and transparency.
In terms of support, when attempting to get my ID verified I did experience some delay but was quickly resolved when I sent a message off to the support email. Something I always like to check is social media activity, it instills confidence that the company are keeping in touch with users and offers a sense of accountability. Brighton Peak unfortunately did not seem very present, at the time of writing their latest Facebook and Twitter posts are each over a month old.
Brighton Peak offer an interesting mix of a simplistic yet detailed bitcoin market experience. The site certainly allowed me to purchase some bitcoin and the fact I am purchasing bitcoin from another trader rather than from the site itself is concealed tidily. I do think that without some prior experience and knowledge users could run into difficulty as various point in the procedure. The buy page in particular offers little info on the options available and more importantly what they mean.
Even without taking into account the delay in my verification it was my slowest purchase experience, the bank transfer option and wait times involved seem better suited to large regular purchase orders rather than a few small buys on the fly.