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Author Topic: Why are UK bitcoin buying options disappearing  (Read 10652 times)
GideonGono
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April 02, 2013, 09:38:18 AM
 #1

I have a family member in the UK who sends me some money occasionally and beginning last year I started asking them to do it using bitcoin. We used to use Intersango, but that was shut down soon after. We moved to using blockchain.info's UK options but even that was shut down in the last week or so. I asked on the bitcoin-otc IRC channel and someone said the UK authorities are cracking down. I haven't seen any news on this and I follow bitcoin realetd news regularly. Does anyone know WTF is going on?? Huh

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ManBearPig
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April 02, 2013, 09:44:16 AM
 #2

I use Blockchain.info but they have been showing the "We have no more Bitcoins" message a few times recently.

They are however damn fast and the fee is 3.2% if you're depositing the max of £500 or thereabouts.

I tweet crypto nonsense: https://twitter.com/DunningKruger_
flibbr
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April 02, 2013, 09:45:19 AM
 #3

Get verified and send your money to MtGox - bank transfer.. lower fee's - Free in GBP . . only £25 and £11 bank fees..

I love bitcoins - everything about them.
Visit the Flibbr website - follow on twitter: @flibbr - or say hello on Facebook
briannguyen
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April 02, 2013, 09:47:31 AM
 #4

Blockchain.info disabled UK bank transfer last week. I tried once but I think they are running low of BTC stock or want to keep due to the rise of BTC price.

Shermo
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April 02, 2013, 09:48:56 AM
 #5

http://www.speedybitcoin.co.uk is good for small-ish amounts of BTC quickly

I have done most of my buying direct with people on this forum or via localbitcoins lately.

MtGox is such a pain in the ass now they have no UK bank account, and even their EU bank account is too as they stopped doing SEPA transfers for some reason to UK so you have to do an international wire and pay charges.
ManBearPig
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April 02, 2013, 09:53:48 AM
 #6

Blockchain.info disabled UK bank transfer last week. I tried once but I think they are running low of BTC stock or want to keep due to the rise of BTC price.

Damn you're right. It comes and goes to be honest. Not reliable at all.

I snapped up my last 20BTC at $70, I might have been lucky.

I tweet crypto nonsense: https://twitter.com/DunningKruger_
btbrae
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April 02, 2013, 10:00:58 AM
 #7

MtGox - It's not depositing the money thats the problem, it's withdrawing it (slow, high fees from Japan).

Bitstamp.net - was a dollar balance only, $15 fee for international wire, tried it, took less than 72 hours. Comments box for reference info/further detail. All good.

Bitcoin-Central.net - Low volume in GBP atm, but withdrawal is 15 euro but MAKE SURE you ask them to raise your withdrawal limit as 15 euro on the basic 500gbp limit is equivalent to a 2.7% fee. Otherwise for higher amounts it's not that bad.

LocalBitcoins.com - Users can do online GBP bank transfer as well as face-to-face, all with comments/reviews. Liquidity and volume will get better. I love this site. 1% fee on online trades that use their escrow but the price seems to factor it in atm.
kiko
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April 02, 2013, 10:18:41 AM
 #8

This is not a new thing, see thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=50056.0. and thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=112673.0

Basically the monopoly that the big four banks have on the UK make it very hard to take your business elsewhere when you get treated like dirt.

After approximately a century of stagnation, the cartel eventually had to offer a banking licence to a new entrant 'Metro bank'. Both Intersango and Mt.GOX switched accounts until even Metro pulled the plug on them too. thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95014.0

The problem is systemic and may be coming from the regulators through back channels, but no bank has said as much.

Hopefully Bitcoin-Central will have more protection from their European bank connection.
GideonGono
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April 02, 2013, 10:26:04 AM
 #9

Thanks but I wasn't really asking for alternatives, I wanted to know what was up with the UK bitcoin scene and why easy, low fee exchange options are disappearing instead of increasing as one would expect during this crazy bull run of the last few months.

The problem most of those alternatives (esp those that involve bank wire) is that the point of my using bitcoin in this situation is as an easy & fast way to transfer funds internationally (That's how I sold it to him) so if he has to wire GBP to MtGox then it beats the point, he can just wire to me directly.

Back to the point though, why are exchanger UK accounts being shut down? Why is it so hard/expensive to get bitcoin in UK when it has a relatively higher adoption rate than some other countries?

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GideonGono
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April 02, 2013, 10:26:40 AM
 #10

This is not a new thing, see thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=50056.0. and thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=112673.0

Basically the monopoly that the big four banks have on the UK make it very hard to take your business elsewhere when you get treated like dirt.

After approximately a century of stagnation, the cartel eventually had to offer a banking licence to a new entrant 'Metro bank'. Both Intersango and Mt.GOX switched accounts until even Metro pulled the plug on them too. thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95014.0

The problem is systemic and may be coming from the regulators through back channels, but no bank has said as much.

Hopefully Bitcoin-Central will have more protection from their European bank connection.

Hadn't seen that before previous post. Thanks a lot.

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P_Shep
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April 02, 2013, 10:41:06 AM
 #11

It's all a massive pain in the arse.  Angry
franky1
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April 02, 2013, 10:46:57 AM
 #12

bitbargain.co.uk are a great fast service that are UK based using the "faster payment" service bank uses or barclays ping it. means there are no bank fee's..

edit
but the sellers will have a +£x price over Gox estimates which which may vary depending on the price of bitcoin, which you will find with any service.

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April 02, 2013, 01:55:53 PM
 #13

http://www.bitcoinfridge.co.uk/ I'll be back up and running on April 6th, will be looking for lots of buyer and importantly lots of sellers (nudge nudge uk miners) of both btc and LTC  Grin
MiracleRiver
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April 02, 2013, 02:24:47 PM
 #14

As the UK is such a big financial centre, the UK banks are very, very careful about money laundering and fraud. They have all sort of semi-automatic systems that suspend bank accounts at the merest hint of fraud.

Here's what has set the alarm bells off:

Many domestic bank customers are transferring large sums from their bank accounts to the Bitcoin exchange's accounts. Most domestic customers do not really do any account to account transfers, so this is a big red flag.

Fraudsters gain access to peoples bank accounts with scams and trojans etc., they need to transfer the funds somewhere so they can then extract the money. Often they pay people to use their bank accounts to do this - students etc. But some of them are transferring to the Bitcoin exchange's accounts, converting to Bitcoins and then escaping with those. This is perfect for them.

Once the banks have detected that even just ONE of these scams have been attempted, they will shut down the target bank account and won't even discuss it.

The banks also have multiple suspect accounts that they are watching for money laundering etc., and when they all start transferring to the Bitcoin exchange's accounts, the red flag goes up.

writhe
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April 02, 2013, 03:20:07 PM
 #15

Get verified and send your money to MtGox - bank transfer.. lower fee's - Free in GBP . . only £25 and £11 bank fees..
I'm pretty sure you can't transfer GBP directly to MtGox. They had their Barclay's account disabled since September last year.

I'm pretty sure that you have to convert money to EUR or USD before you can transfer to one of MtGox's bank accounts (in Poland or Japan) which adds significant conversion and transfer fees. There is no way to directly send GBP to your MtGox account.
Stephen Gornick
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April 02, 2013, 04:01:56 PM
 #16

Your best bet is to use www.transferwise.com to convert and move GBP to MTGOX SEPA EUR account, and trade in EUR.

I've seen where Mt. Gox only accepts bank transfers if it comes from your own account (and not a commercial account like Transferwise).  Are you able to perform this SEPA transfer method from Transferwise to Mt. Gox and they take it?    With SEPA transfer to BITSTAMP I've not read about anyone claiming the same restriction.

Which exchanges allow me to transfer funds from my TransferWise account?
 - http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/8149

Also, other methods include:

Bitbargain.co.uk has a few methods:
 - https://bitbargain.co.uk

Bitcoin Fridge re-opens on April 6th:
 - http://www.BitcoinFridge.co.uk

Stephen Gornick
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April 02, 2013, 04:06:39 PM
 #17

Back to the point though, why are exchanger UK accounts being shut down? Why is it so hard/expensive to get bitcoin in UK when it has a relatively higher adoption rate than some other countries?

I think it is safe to assume no banks in the UK will work with any Bitcoin exchanges.  Any agreements to do so have a half-life measured in weeks.

whitetoo
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April 02, 2013, 04:19:29 PM
 #18

The big boys running "RipOff Britain" are throwing their toys out the pram - GOOD.
There will always be options. Thank you to all who have posted alternatives above, very helpful.
carborundum
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April 02, 2013, 04:37:08 PM
 #19

I'll be wading in a selling my BTC for GBP soon on localbitcoin - London area!
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April 02, 2013, 04:38:25 PM
 #20

Your best bet is to use www.transferwise.com to convert and move GBP to MTGOX SEPA EUR account, and trade in EUR.

I've seen where Mt. Gox only accepts bank transfers if it comes from your own account (and not a commercial account like Transferwise).  Are you able to perform this SEPA transfer method from Transferwise to Mt. Gox and they take it?    With SEPA transfer to BITSTAMP I've not read about anyone claiming the same restriction.

Which exchanges allow me to transfer funds from my TransferWise account?
 - http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/8149

Also, other methods include:

Bitbargain.co.uk has a few methods:
 - https://bitbargain.co.uk

Bitcoin Fridge re-opens on April 6th:
 - http://www.BitcoinFridge.co.uk


can we still wire USD to gox directly?
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