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Author Topic: We need a better exchange experience for people new to bitcoins  (Read 614 times)
allmarkedup
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June 13, 2011, 07:33:58 PM
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More and more 'normal' people (i.e. not miners, not geeks, not financial traders) are being exposed to bitcoins everyday, and are looking to get a few bitcoins to play with to see what all the fuss is about.

Their first experience with trying to swap some dollars for bitcoins is likely to be mtgox or one of the other larger exchanges. The problem is that these are more than a little intimidating for someone who isn't particularly technical or trade-savvy. Charts with big highs and lows, need to transfer money into a holding account before making a bid at a price of your choosing, not particularly user-friendly sites (sorry, but they're not) etc etc. I can't help feeling that this is going to put a lot of people off getting into the bitcoin economy.

We need these 'normal' people if the economy is ever going to grow and mature into a stable financial environment. We need to have a simpler, better way for them to get started with a few bitcoins, so they can go spend them and get a feel for how the whole system works.

Here's what I imagine:

1. User goes to site. Nice simple page with a single number for the bitcoin exchange rate with each accepted fiat currency.
2. User finds their currency, enters how much of their local currency they want to exchange.
3. User puts in credit card details and a bitcoin address to send the coins to.
4. Clicks 'Buy' and the coins are transferred to their address.

Now, I know that in the background this would need to be a lot more complex. How the bitcoins were sourced etc would still need to be via a more complex exchange-type mechanism and so on. BUT I do think that if we could create a more user friendly, less intimidating interface for first-timers to get a few bitcoins to play with then we would be doing the economy a great service.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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BinaryMage
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June 13, 2011, 07:40:59 PM
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Sounds like a good idea to me. I think people might be unnerved at the vast fluctuations in the exchange rate, though.

The only problem I see is that most credit card companies have transactions that are reversible, unlike Bitcoin, and we might run into problems where the user reversed the transaction after receiving Bitcoins. (this is the reason why Mt. Gox and such don't use Paypal)

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allmarkedup
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June 13, 2011, 07:52:20 PM
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Sounds like a good idea to me. I think people might be unnerved at the vast fluctuations in the exchange rate, though.

Yes indeed, but I can't help feel unless we start getting a larger user base (and especially a larger user base of people who aren't just here to trade on the exchanges) then the fluctuations will only get worse, not better. Chicken and egg a bit here I guess.

The only problem I see is that most credit card companies have transactions that are reversible, unlike Bitcoin, and we might run into problems where the user reversed the transaction after receiving Bitcoins. (this is the reason why Mt. Gox and such don't use Paypal)

The reversible charge may well be a problem. But is this much different from paying for 'real' goods with a credit card? Surely the same thing applies there doesn't it?

And as for Paypal... well personally I'd only ever use a 'proper' payment gateway linked to a merchant bank for something like this. I wouldn't touch Paypal with a barge pole.... But that's just me  Smiley
Maged
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June 13, 2011, 08:14:03 PM
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The reversible charge may well be a problem. But is this much different from paying for 'real' goods with a credit card? Surely the same thing applies there doesn't it?
There's a reason most real goods have at least a 100% markup.

khamark
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June 13, 2011, 08:19:06 PM
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nice idea:)
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