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Author Topic: Which method do YOU use to buy Bitcoin for cash?  (Read 6260 times)
Bruce Wagner
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November 16, 2010, 02:12:09 AM
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There seem to be loads of different possible routes for buying bitcoin for cash. 

My Bank --> Visa Debit Card --> Paypal --> ExchangeZone --> LibertyReserve --> MtGox    ......as one example.

I've run into lots of obstacles though.    For example, ExchangeZone requires you to be "Verified" in order to use PayPal, Moneybookers, etc.   And I can't seem to get ExchangeZone to verify me.   I sent them a color scan of my US passport and my utility bills, as they asked for.    Now they're asking for a color scan of my drivers license.   We live in NYC...  We don't OWN cars here.   I don't drive cars any more.    I let my drivers license expire a couple of years ago.    So, I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

It seems like there are long delays for various reasons....  everything from fraud prevention...  to the simple design of the site that waits for parties to agree on "offers" like an auction that never seems to end....   ( what's up with that!? )

I know there are other ways.   BitcoinExchange wants a bank wire transfer.   That means a $35 fee for my bank + 20 Euro fee for BitcoinExchange.    What is that, $55 or $60 in fees so far.... to buy $100 worth of bitcoins....?

There HAS to be a better way.

I just want to click and buy.   .....similar to the way MtGox works.     I want a "Buy Now" button.    Smiley

But something that's reasonable in price.... and reasonable in delays.

Which method do YOU use to buy bitcoin for cash?    Cheaper.... and faster....  and more convenient....?
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November 16, 2010, 02:59:26 AM
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bitcoin4cash.com

It's humanized, but it has worked fine so far.
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November 16, 2010, 03:07:34 AM
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I'll let you know when my brother comes back to NYC. Cash in his hand, bitcoins from me, just one step.

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November 16, 2010, 03:14:52 AM
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 And I can't seem to get ExchangeZone to verify me.   I sent them a color scan of my US passport and my utility bills, as they asked for.    Now they're asking for a color scan of my drivers license.   We live in NYC...  We don't OWN cars here.   I don't drive cars any more.    I let my drivers license expire a couple of years ago.    So, I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

It seems like there are long delays for various reasons....  everything from fraud prevention...  to the simple design of the site that waits for parties to agree on "offers" like an auction that never seems to end....   ( what's up with that!? )


It takes more time for the fake ID people to steal your identity without a copy of your driver's license.  How could you be so inconsiderate as to expect your identity thief to do extra work!?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 16, 2010, 03:28:02 AM
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bitcoinmarket.com + PayPal.  General registration is closed but he is letting in established forum members.
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November 16, 2010, 03:29:59 AM
 #6

I used e-forexgold to buy liberty reserve using bank transfer. It took 2 days to clear and cost me %5 in fees.
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November 16, 2010, 03:32:02 AM
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Bitcoin-otc trading room.

bitcoin4cash is also excellent.

If all else fails I pester highly rated forum members  Cheesy


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November 16, 2010, 07:27:34 AM
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Todya, when I want to send cash to someone (and they aren't on PayPal) I go to a western union office, fill out a form, hand over some cash and voila, I'm done.

Would it make sense to have a directory where those who are willing to sell their Bitcoins for cash can list their contact info and fee?

Even though I have no interest in becoming a money handler, I'd be happy to let someone stop by my house some evening, and exchange a small amount (e.g., $20 or $50) for them.

And exchanging cash for Bitcoin in-person lessens the risk dramatically -- on both sides.

If there was a version of Bitcoin for mobile, that would allow the buyer to get confirmation of the transfer before leaving even. (or, if a mobile version isn't in the cards yet -- use MyBitcoin.com which can be accessed via web on a mobile.)

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November 16, 2010, 08:02:03 AM
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And exchanging cash for Bitcoin in-person lessens the risk dramatically -- on both sides.

Some risks decrease... others increase Smiley

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November 16, 2010, 10:44:36 AM
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Todya, when I want to send cash to someone (and they aren't on PayPal) I go to a western union office, fill out a form, hand over some cash and voila, I'm done.

Would it make sense to have a directory where those who are willing to sell their Bitcoins for cash can list their contact info and fee?

I feel it is quite risky for BTC buyer to send money via WesternUnion/MoneyGram for bitcoins at this moment. I expect nobody will use WU for few dollars and you have no way to get money back when somebody will not transfer bitcoin to your wallet.

I'm using #bitcoin-otc freenode room and Paypal for buying BTC and trade only with trusted persons. But now bitcoin buyers are quite small group, where 'everybody knows everybody' (in terms of trust on #bitcoin-otc). What if BTC become popular and there will be thousands of people without 'trust' interested to sell/buy btc? It will fail in this case...

BTW there is a global problem with trust. Are you sure that somebody who was trusted in few small amount transfers (<$100) will be honest with transaction >$2000? I think it is enough money for many people to build a new bitcoin identity (and get new trust on few smaller trades to reach $2000 trade again). It is a question of the time when bitcoins become more popular and professional thiefs will do that. I feel we need something better than 'web of trust' we have now...

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November 16, 2010, 10:48:43 AM
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Before sending a copy of my passport to some shady company in the Caribbean I'd rather just buy electronic currencies for cash in the mail.

There is simply no reason to divulge that amount of information about myself just to buy a few hundred XBC.

There is no reason to expose myself to the risk of identity theft. However small that risk may be, the risks of cash-in-the-mail are smaller and more manageable.

And once you have to go though all the trouble of scanning passports and such, the bank wire procedure becomes just as inconvenient as cash-in-the-mail, so I may aswell buy XBC for cash-in-the-mail directly rather than go through 3 or more intermediaries.

That's why I stopped using mtgox the day he stopped accepting paypal.

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November 16, 2010, 11:04:36 AM
 #12

There seem to be loads of different possible routes for buying bitcoin for cash. 

My Bank --> Visa Debit Card --> Paypal --> ExchangeZone --> LibertyReserve --> MtGox    ......as one example.

...

Umm, at the risk of sounding like a dick - where is this cash you are talking about?

Your bank, well that's not cash - it's numbers on a screen unless you go to an ATM, Debit card? not cash - same as above. Paypal is the anti-cash - the opposite of all the good that cash is. exchange zone? - a trade forum that knows what cash is. They don't want PP anti-cash either. LR - well that's final like cash. Bitcoin is also final in that there is no reversing mechanism - refunds are only by mutual agreement.

This is cash;
http://www.nanaimo-gold.com/define_cash.php

Some years ago the infamous JP May published his May scale of money hardness;
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Kn84W9-C1lwJ:interestingsoftware.com/mayscale.html+%22may+scale%22+money+hardness&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

(note link is to google cache and may be temporary)

Now, I don't agree with some of the fine points and it does need some updating but the concept is illustrative.

Money with strings attached is not money at all - it's a promise to settle. Cash is a final settlement.

Unfortunately there is no cash slot on the computer.

Some, hopefully most, anonymous strangers' promises to settle are good, but there are those who's promises are no good.

The more liquid the trade item is, the more attractive to thieves. What is more liquid than e-currency?

People expect exchangers to work on tiny commissions and then complain when they won't risk accepting Paypal.

You want a solution? Take cash to Western Union or MoneyGram. Once the girl at the counter takes it, you have paid - a final settlement. No turning back.

Many exchangers also accept bank wires as they are final within a few days. Cheques clear in less than a week. Money orders or cash sent by mail are often faster.

What is slow is Paypal which can be stopped and reversed up to 45 days from spend. That's not cash. That's a promise only. American Express can be charged back 180 days after the spend!

You can't expect that a trader could keep trading his hard e-currency for strangers' promises. He would get robbed out of business unless he pried into his customer's lives, got to know them and charged them a hefty fee for the effort spent, and to cover the risk of when he was wrong about them. This causes delays and frustrates the people who are refused. This solution has the distasteful side effect of scammers posing as exchangers and doing ID theft.

So, soft money is harmful to privacy and invites fraud. Paypal has it's uses, but not for trading liquid intangible (or tangible) assets. Just for the same reason you can't fund a stock trading account with Paypal or a credit card, you can't buy internet money with Paypal or CC.

Those are the core issues we are trying to address with this Bitcoin project! Privacy and fraud.

I anticipate the next question - Where are the exchangers? The short answer; NOT in the USA.

All the US based exchangers were driven out or underground by the laws against on-line gambling. So ya all xenophobics might have to face that fear. ;-) The obvious place to look is Canada because of the common language and closely integrated banking and postal systems. New Zealand law is kinder to exchangers and there are some asian outfits as well. There are exchangers in England and in some of the former soviet republics.

Also understand that a LR dollar is not a US dollar. It is a separate currency, privately issued. It is value pegged to the USD but is not the same thing. You cannot put a LR dollar into a bank account and you can't put a USD into your LR account. You can trade a USD (or anything traded) for a LR dollar through a trading partner.

https://www.nanaimogold.com/ - World's first bitcoin exchange service
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November 16, 2010, 07:23:16 PM
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I buy LR from one trusted person using Liqpay to send him my money directly from my CC. It takes me 5-15 minutes to gain amounts up to 2500 USD on my LR acc (minus 2% interst he currently take). If you are interested I can directly buy/sell BTC from you for LiqPay transaction. All you need is CC and mobile phone to receive SMS with one-time password from Liqpay. If you do not trust me, you can ask Jed (mtGox admin) about my reputation.
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November 16, 2010, 07:45:50 PM
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I'm using #bitcoin-otc freenode room and Paypal for buying BTC and trade only with trusted persons. But now bitcoin buyers are quite small group, where 'everybody knows everybody' (in terms of trust on #bitcoin-otc). What if BTC become popular and there will be thousands of people without 'trust' interested to sell/buy btc? It will fail in this case...


No it won't, because if/when bitcoin takes off, there will be many more choices of people to trade/buy bitcoin with, many of them local to you.  Instead of having to send cash in the mail to someone you have never personally met, you could catch a bus to the local coffee house to met that local dealer IRL.  That is, if the coffee house itself doesn't yet trade in bitcoin.  I expect that, within a decade, there will be local businesses that accept bitcoin for goods and services, and you could buy bitcoin for the local fiat currency at those places; in person and immediately.  I suspect that many here expect the same thing, otherwise there wouldn't be nearly the level of speculation into the currency at this (very early) stage, considering that Bitcoin is still inflating at ~65% APR.  The unit won't be down to a rational inflationary rate for another two years or so.

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BTW there is a global problem with trust. Are you sure that somebody who was trusted in few small amount transfers (<$100) will be honest with transaction >$2000? I think it is enough money for many people to build a new bitcoin identity (and get new trust on few smaller trades to reach $2000 trade again). It is a question of the time when bitcoins become more popular and professional thiefs will do that. I feel we need something better than 'web of trust' we have now...


The web of trust issue is identical to that of any other cash or hard money, and that has not stopped their use, despite the worldwide desire of governments.  A web of trust can be built by others, independent of Bitcoin, in similar ways that has been done with gold trading throughout history.  The greatest risks to Bitcoin that I can see is a successful attempt by a major central bank taking the Bitcoin concept and adapting it to their own issued currencies.  I don't know how that could be done, but if it could, they have the implicit force of government to support it via legal tender laws.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 17, 2010, 10:49:34 AM
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Sberbank ⇒ btcex.com ⇒ bitcoin. Or: cash ⇒ WebMoney ⇒ btcex.com ⇒ bitcoin. Quite simple and efficient.
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November 17, 2010, 04:58:12 PM
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When bitcoin takes off, there will be many more choices of people to trade/buy bitcoin with, many of them local to you.  Instead of having to send cash in the mail to someone you have never personally met, you could catch a bus to the local coffee house to met that local dealer IRL.

There are two extremes; one - almost nobody knows bitcoins (currently) and 'everybody use bitcoins'. You'are talking about extreme when you buy a coffee for bitcoin. But until then, many people will be interested in buying bitcoins, but will not known anybody personally. It is my situation - I think I'm in first 20 people who know bitcoins in my country. So for now (and long time in future) I will be forced to trade with absolutely unknown and maybe untrusted people.

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The web of trust issue is identical to that of any other cash or hard money, and that has not stopped their use, despite the worldwide desire of governments. 

No. In real world, when I have to trade with untrusted people, I trade 'from hand to hand'. I never send money in advance to unknown people from Internet and wait, if somebody will deliver a good/service. But using Paypal or Western Union or Liberty Reserved now, I have to do that (nobody will send me BTC before I will pay for them).

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November 17, 2010, 06:12:59 PM
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I don't know how that could be done, but if it could, they have the implicit force of government to support it via legal tender laws.
How would they do that, given that bitcoin is an international currency? No local government can claim it the thing as 'theirs'.

Although a bank or government would have enough money to steer the bitcoin pretty much anywhere they want.

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November 17, 2010, 07:00:03 PM
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When bitcoin takes off, there will be many more choices of people to trade/buy bitcoin with, many of them local to you.  Instead of having to send cash in the mail to someone you have never personally met, you could catch a bus to the local coffee house to met that local dealer IRL.

There are two extremes; one - almost nobody knows bitcoins (currently) and 'everybody use bitcoins'. You'are talking about extreme when you buy a coffee for bitcoin. But until then, many people will be interested in buying bitcoins, but will not known anybody personally. It is my situation - I think I'm in first 20 people who know bitcoins in my country. So for now (and long time in future) I will be forced to trade with absolutely unknown and maybe untrusted people.


 I trade 'from hand to hand'. I never send money in advance to unknown people from Internet and wait, if somebody will deliver a good/service. But using Paypal or Western Union or Liberty Reserved now, I have to do that (nobody will send me BTC before I will pay for them).

We'll get there within a decade, or fail.  In the meantime, part of the risks of Bitcoin speculation at this early stage are the personal costs to aquire Bitcoins.  By the time that you can buy Bitcoin down at the coffee shop, Bitcoin will be mainstream and likely very stable.  the potential profits from currency appreciation will have been realized already.  It may seem to some of the newer people here that you have missed out on the early gains, but the reality is that you are an early adopter.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 17, 2010, 07:01:33 PM
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I don't know how that could be done, but if it could, they have the implicit force of government to support it via legal tender laws.
How would they do that, given that bitcoin is an international currency? No local government can claim it the thing as 'theirs'.


Did you notice the part of the sentence where I said, "I don't know how that could be done"?

Quote
Although a bank or government would have enough money to steer the bitcoin pretty much anywhere they want.

I doubt that.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 17, 2010, 07:53:10 PM
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We'll get there within a decade, or fail.  In the meantime, part of the risks of Bitcoin speculation at this early stage are the personal costs to aquire Bitcoins.  By the time that you can buy Bitcoin down at the coffee shop, Bitcoin will be mainstream and likely very stable.  the potential profits from currency appreciation will have been realized already.  It may seem to some of the newer people here that you have missed out on the early gains, but the reality is that you are an early adopter.

Agreed.

Sometimes I really wish I had been here to buy Laszlo that 10,000BTC pizza though.

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