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Author Topic: BitInstant Review  (Read 4422 times)
benjamindees
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January 29, 2013, 10:31:58 AM
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This is my review of the BitInstant cash deposit method of purchasing Bitcoins.

In short, it was probably the most stupidly complex process you can possibly imagine.  But, in the end, it did work.  And it was relatively quick.

First of all, the BitInstant website is retarded.  This should be obvious to even a casual observer.  The drop-down box only lists "cash deposit" methods, yet there is somehow a $500 limit on "transfers".  What is a "transfer?"  We don't know.

There's also no telling what the $1000 limit on "cash bank deposits" is, since this option hasn't existed for months.

And even though there are several different options for cash deposit locations, they all seem to be based on MoneyGram.  This is the first hidden clue to the unseen iceberg of stupidity that awaits.  Once you commit to purchase, you immediately learn the second clue, that, besides MoneyGram, another payment service called "ZipZap" is also involved.

None of these payment services know or seem to care anything about each other.  At least, in theory.

Of course, once you get there you find that the ZipZap website is, also, retarded.  It lists a bunch of MoneyGram payment processors, but none of the major ones.  So, just ignore it.

The instructions you are supposed to print out and take with you come from ZipZap.  This is an important point since, as mentioned, none of the other payment processors know or care anything about ZipZap.

Once you get this far, you learn that the final piece of the puzzle, MoneyGram, is probably the most retarded of all.  If you go to WalMart, the MoneyGram counter is only open stupid hours.  If you go to CVS, they will tell you that MoneyGram is only available during stupid hours, but will probably process your payment after hours anyways.  I recommend CVS.

The key to navigating the MoneyGram process is getting a hold of a magical "red phone".  This is the magic gateway to an Indian customer service professional who, after perhaps two or three tries, can act as the lynchpin in this entire machine of stupidity, making it all work.

But, first, you must convey to them in clear, simple English, the hidden secret of making the process work:  The correct fees.

This closely-guarded secret is, apparently, that there are no "MoneyGram fees," per se.  But there are ZipZap fees, in addition to the BitInstant fees.  And whether MoneyGram considers ZipZap fees to be actual "fees" is a complete toss up.

Like I said, none of these services seem to know or care anything about each other.  BUT, if you tell the Indian customer service representative on the magical red phone that there are no fees, the transfer will probably not work.  If you tell the CVS cashier who you actually hand the money to that there are no fees, the transfer will never work.  If you tell the Indian customer service representative on the magical red phone that there are ZipZap fees, but no MoneyGram fees, there is a small chance the transfer will work.  If you tell the CVS cashier that there are fees, the transfer will probably work.

If you tell anyone, at any time, anything about Bitcoin or BitInstant, they will think you are a crazy person.

Clear as mud?  Hopefully you'll get it, eventually.

The one thing that will definitely, never work, is exactly what BitInstant tells you to do on their website, namely printing out the (ZipZap) instructions and following them to the letter.  Don't ever, ever think it will be anywhere near that easy.

And after all that, even after paying 4% in BitInstant fees, along with an (undisclosed) $4 in ZipZap fees, BitInstant managed to secure a price that was another 1% over the market rate.  Oh well, that probably beats dealing with MtGox.

So, like I said.  It works.  It's even pretty fast.  It's probably one of the better methods of purchasing Bitcoins.  But it is a labyrinth of stupidity.  I recommend you enter only after sufficient research and consideration.  Good luck.

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cbeast
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January 29, 2013, 10:52:56 AM
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I've used BitInstant many times without problems. I did make a mistake with a setting once, they caught it and created a mtgox voucher for me with details in an email. The service is not the cheapest, but it is very convenient and has very accessible hours at places like walmart. You are right about the instructions being difficult. Don't try to help moneygram people. Just fill out the form with the account numbers and the zipzap screen will just show up on their computer along with their surprised faces. Whatever you do, don't try to tell them about investing in Bitcoin if you are wearing blue jeans and birkenstocks.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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January 29, 2013, 02:29:59 PM
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Oh well, that probably beats dealing with MtGox.

I dunno whether to laugh or cry at this point.

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January 29, 2013, 02:37:26 PM
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My first experience with BitInstant was awesome, but it was back when they could do bank deposits.

I took the paper I printed out to a Wells Fargo branch, deposited $X into account Y and I had my bitcoins 20 minutes later.

Now they've been shut out of that option so the only possibility is MoneyGram. It's not BitInstant's fault, but it really does degrade the user experience.
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January 29, 2013, 08:06:57 PM
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My first experience with BitInstant was awesome, but it was back when they could do bank deposits.

I took the paper I printed out to a Wells Fargo branch, deposited $X into account Y and I had my bitcoins 20 minutes later.

Now they've been shut out of that option so the only possibility is MoneyGram. It's not BitInstant's fault, but it really does degrade the user experience.

+1, then Coinbase came into existence.  Love healthy competition.
Third Way
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January 29, 2013, 09:08:21 PM
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I have never had an issue with Bitinstantand cash transfers through moneygram is it really that complicated for you people?


Get a few of those blue moneygrams for sending bill payments, go home, go to the bitinstant webpage and file an order.


Put ZippetyZnaps info on the moneygram paper and hand it to the cashier, I have never had a moneygram cashier at a WALMART of all places to be open on "Stupid hours".


The problems you have experienced ar elocal problems.


I suggest you use a moneygram service at a supermarket, the kind you buy groceries at and you will have 0 problems.

blease resbond -> 1BYJKxpntNn6TZbM5M5CWkEb8vr8vDcBrr
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