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Author Topic: Results of Newbie BTC->USD (+Questions About MtGox->BitInstant->Paypal)  (Read 2026 times)
xioustic
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June 30, 2012, 09:39:27 AM
 #1

EDIT: For the sake of saving you time: if you just came to answer my questions about MtGox->BitInstant->PayPal, scroll down to the heading reading "MtGox->BitInstant->PayPal" and read the bullet points.

Hey everyone,

So this is my first time experience going from BTC->USD that isn't a private, in-person trade (eg localbitcoins.com). I'm doing little trial runs of trying to cash out my BTC in as many ways as possible to test out the time it takes and the net amount (compared to other methods I try to do at the same time). I'm trying to do this in equivalent amounts of $20, but of course this is difficult as the price is constantly shifting.

And before you ask why: I divvy up my investments by percent, and I promised myself I'd never invest more than 10% of my investment assets in a speculative commodity. I've dedicated all 10% of that to BitCoin at this point, mostly because I've earned so much (playing Poker @ SealsWithClubs, Mining, and selling In-Game Virtual Items/Currency on different games). However, I've got way too much BitCoin and it's throwing my portfolio's risk balance off. Needless to say, I need to start cashing in on my BTC until I get below a certain amount (in USD) to balance everything out again.

The good news is, I want to publish my results and share them with you. To most of you this will probably all be old news, but to some of you (especially since this is the Newbie forums) it might actually be useful.

If you can make these results any more meaningful by correcting me, please do! For example, I have timestamps on when I sent the BTC and when I opened each order, but I do not know how to find a corresponding BTC<->USD value at that precise time to get an expected value for each trade.

Preface for this first run: I do not have a verified MtGox Acct (yet) nor a verified Dwolla Acct (yet) nor a verified OKPay Acct (yet). When I do get those going I will try out each of those methods too. So I am stuck with "anonymous" methods. This rules out the standard line from BTC Transfer->MtGox->Dwolla->Bank, which is unfortunate because I think that's still the best way to do it? Not sure. Will probably do another trial run when I get verified.

Additionally, it's worth noting that it's the FIRST time I've used any of these services, so that might be a factor in speed in distributing funds (since I'm not a known customer)?


Quote
Methods Tested
I pulled most of these from reddit's bitcoin subreddit and reading a few of the recent (top rated) posts. If you have any other suggestions, let me know and I'll try them out. I have lots of $20s worth of BitCoin to throw around for trustworthy, vouched methods. Anyway, here's the list of what I tested:
  • SpendBitCoins->PayPal
  • FashCash4BitCoins->ACH Transfer to Bank
  • FastCash4BitCoins->PayPal
  • MtGox->BitInstant->PayPal
Trials
SpendBitCoins->PayPal
  • I sent 3.01BTC, rated by the site as $20, at 6/29 9:34 AM MST.
  • I received a PayPal payment at 6/30 12:06 AM MST of $20, but PayPal took their standard fee from the amount, netting me $19.12.
  • The total wait time was 14hrs and 32min with an effective fee of 4.4% from expected value ($20).

FastCash4BitCoins->ACH Transfer to Bank
  • I sent 3.0488BTC, rated by the site as $19.60, at 6/29 10:25 AM MST. I have not yet received a payment for this, but this is somewhat expected: ACH Transfers can take 3-5 business days. I will get back to this one?

FastCash4BitCoins->PayPal
  • I sent 3.0488BTC (approximately $20?) at 6/29 11:25 AM MST.
  • I received a PayPal payment at 6/29 5:53PM for a net $19.54 (no PayPal fees taken).
  • This total wait time was 6hrs and 28min with an effective fee of 2.3% from expected value ($20).

MtGox->BitInstant->PayPal
  • Buckle your seatbelts, I need help with this one!
  • I sent 3.0488BTC (approximately $20?) over a period of time and traded over a period of time from 6/29 10:35 PM MST to 12:25 PM MST. This makes it hard to tag a value. However, my BitInstant order tracking lists amount I paid as $20.09, so we'll use that.
  • I received a PayPal payment at 6/29 1:53PM for a net $17.52 (no PayPal fees taken).
  • This total wait time was 1hr and 28min with an effective fee of wtfomgbbq?
  • This is where things get weird: BitInstant order page displays that fees are 6.0% incl. paypal. However, it lists amount I paid as $20.09 and amount I will receive as $17.900672. Not sure how that math works, but by my math, I should be receiving $18.8846! The effective rate for this method becomes (1-($17.900672/$20.09)) = 10.8965%! Even that aside, I received $17.52 by PayPal, and not $17.90 as quoted in the order sheet. What's going on here?
Results
Fastest: MtGox->BitInstant->PayPal at 1hr,28min. Second place would be FastCash4BitCoins->PayPal taking about an additional 5hrs. Third comes SpendBitCoins->PayPal, taking about another 8hrs on top of second place. Big division here!
Best Value: FastCash4BitCoins->PayPal with an approximate actual effective fee of 2.3%. Second place is SpendBitCoins->PayPal with an approximate actual effective fee of 4.4%. Third place by a HUGE margin is MtGox->BitInstant->PayPal, with a fee I can't figure out but approximated to about an actual effective fee of 10.9%!

Let me know what you guys think. I realize this sample size is super small with only one trial run per method, but I will expand on this and hopefully provide updates as I slowly bleed my BTC balance to something more acceptable to my risk tolerance. Smiley

Thanks for reading!

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xioustic
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July 01, 2012, 12:59:31 AM
 #2

MtGox->BitInstant->PayPal
  • Buckle your seatbelts, I need help with this one!
  • I sent 3.0488BTC (approximately $20?) over a period of time and traded over a period of time from 6/29 10:35 PM MST to 12:25 PM MST. This makes it hard to tag a value. However, my BitInstant order tracking lists amount I paid as $20.09, so we'll use that.
  • I received a PayPal payment at 6/29 1:53PM for a net $17.52 (no PayPal fees taken).
  • This total wait time was 1hr and 28min with an effective fee of wtfomgbbq?
  • This is where things get weird: BitInstant order page displays that fees are 6.0% incl. paypal. However, it lists amount I paid as $20.09 and amount I will receive as $17.900672. Not sure how that math works, but by my math, I should be receiving $18.8846! The effective rate for this method becomes (1-($17.900672/$20.09)) = 10.8965%! Even that aside, I received $17.52 by PayPal, and not $17.90 as quoted in the order sheet. What's going on here?
Can anyone chime in and shed some light on this? Everything else was for information, but this I genuinely have concerns Tongue

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July 01, 2012, 04:12:43 AM
 #3

I haven't tried the bitinstant -> paypal route myself, so I can't comment on why the charges seem off. I would like to thank you for the thorough approach to categorizing fees and trade times, I've been keeping similar records. Keep it up!

Could you comment on why the initial BTC amount was .03 BTC more for fastcash4bitcoins vs. spendbitcoins? What kind of time lag was between initiating those transactions?

You should probably contact bitinstant or use their paypal announcement thread to ask this question directly.

-bgc

I'm selling great Minion Games like The Manhattan Project, Kingdom of Solomon and Venture Forth at 4% off retail starting June 2012. PM me or go to my thread in the Marketplace if you're interested.

For Settlers/Dominion/Carcassone etc., I do email gift cards on Amazon for a 5% fee. PM if you're interested.
xioustic
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July 01, 2012, 05:49:07 AM
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Could you comment on why the initial BTC amount was .03 BTC more for fastcash4bitcoins vs. spendbitcoins? What kind of time lag was between initiating those transactions?

SpendBitcoins (if you visit there) has their own exchange rate, so I just punched in an amount that would be equal to $20 according to them. Take a look. That amount happened to be 3.01BTC. I tried to do $20 worth on the other ones, which I roughly figured 3.0488BTC at the time.

To be a little more fair, I actually figured the exchange rates (roughly) using MtGox's weighted close history to the half hour. Here's the updated table (screenshotted):


This puts fastcash4bitcoins in first place for value, spendbitcoins in second place but with a smaller margin on value.

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PaulC2K
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July 01, 2012, 08:11:46 AM
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I've only used spendbitcoins and was happy with the service, largely because they were the first place i found to trade for cashing in without it taking 1/4 of my pathetic gains as a fee.

Looking at SBC and FC4BC right now SBC is offering $6.66 (eek) while FC4 is offering $6.44 (now $6.42), and deepbit tells me mtGox has it at $6.66 (was 6.69 when i started!! SELL SELL SELL! Wink)

Based on a 10BTC transaction:
SBC = $66.60 * 0.956 (-4.4% fee) thats $63.67 in your pocket.
FC4 = $64.40, thats only $0.73 more, although i must admit i dont quite get your 'no fee' and 'effective fee' but any fee is going to end up being less value than SBC, no? unless the 'effective value' is their undervaluing of the BTC to their advantage, your expense?

From what ive heard from Jeremy @ SBC (emailed him a couple of times, seems friendly enough), its currently manually processed, and in the middle of automating it. I've had transactions done in a couple of hours, and others about 12h on, afaik they're aussie based (think he has someone state side too) so it could well be down to time of day its done. Call me fickle and shallow, but SBC just looks more professional, FC4 looks like someone knocked it up in 1hr. Im sure they're both respectable and fine, its just first impressions.

Cant comment on FC4BC as this is the first ive heard of them, someone else can shed some light on them Smiley
xioustic
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July 01, 2012, 07:17:26 PM
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Quote
although i must admit i dont quite get your 'no fee' and 'effective fee' but any fee is going to end up being less value than SBC, no? unless the 'effective value' is their undervaluing of the BTC to their advantage, your expense?
So in the updated spreadsheet above, the effective fee is calculated using: 1-((amt recvd)/((amt sent)*(xchg))). This means, the net amount I received divided by the amount I expected (the btc sent times the weighted exchange rate at MtGox) turned into a loss percentage is the effective fee. This undermines whatever their pricing happened to be at the time for their particular site, and instead goes to the standard exchange rate dictated by mtGox at the time, which is really what I expect the 100% worth of BTC to be at the time I released it.

FC4 looks like someone knocked it up in 1hr.
I agree with this. This is one of the reasons I'm only doing all my tests in $20 increments. If I'm scammed for that amount by anyone it's not a big loss for me.

Quote
Cant comment on FC4BC as this is the first ive heard of them, someone else can shed some light on them
This guy is the creator. Smiley

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July 01, 2012, 09:47:11 PM
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Nice balanced comparison.  I would like to take the time to clarify a few points.  

We are a direct purchaser of bitcoins not an exchange. The buy price is the price listed on our site is the price that we are willing to purchase coins at.  While it generally rises when MtGox price rises and falls when MtGox price falls there is no guaranteed relationship between the two.  The buy price is simply the price we are buying bitcoins at right now, nothing more and nothing less.  The MtGox last price tends to be higher than other exchanges but one also has to consider the ability to make timely withdraws.  As an example right now http://bitcoincharts.com/markets/ MtGox last is $6.61 however the best bids on campbx, bitfloor, and intersango are $6.37, $6.36, $6.41 (when including fees).   Those three exchanges would arguably be the ones with easiest/fastest methods to withdraw USD.  With Dwolla delays on MtGox exceeding 7-14 days and bank wires taking 14-21 days we simply can't use them as a destination for purchased coins.

Trust has to be earned. We have extensive trading history (here, and here, and here).  Tangible Cryptography LLC is a Limited Liability Company incorporated in the state of Virginia and the names and addresses of officers are on file with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.  The company was founded by bitcointalk member DeathAndTaxes.  We have completed many 4 and 5 figure deals and been doing this for two months now.   As far as I am aware of there is no unresolved negative comment/feedback on a completed trade.  Still it comes down to trust and each seller needs to make their own determination on how well they can trust their counter-party.
xioustic
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July 02, 2012, 12:43:28 AM
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We are a direct purchaser of bitcoins not an exchange.
I'm still using you as a BTC->USD cashout method, and exchanges can be used for the same purpose so I put them in the test together. I realize that you do not serve as an exchange but rather as a private buyer of BitCoin though. Smiley

You guys come out way ahead of MtGox->BitInstant->PayPal for sure though in both speed and value. I see the only possible competition being MtGox->Dwolla->Bank, but as you said, the delays for that will be substantial.

While it generally rises when MtGox price rises and falls when MtGox price falls there is no guaranteed relationship between the two.
I figure comparing the current MtGox weighted against ALL of the tests is still a fair price point as a basis, yes? I mean, I'm trying to figure out the value on average of each cashout method, and they have to have a common exchange rate to base current BTC value against. Smiley

Even if MtGox is high on average, if I use the same dataset of BTC value against all the tests, it should still be fair.

Trust has to be earned. We have extensive trading history (here, and here, and here).  Tangible Cryptography LLC is a Limited Liability Company incorporated in the state of Virginia and the names and addresses of officers are on file with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.  The company was founded by bitcointalk member DeathAndTaxes.  We have completed many 4 and 5 figure deals and been doing this for two months now.   As far as I am aware of there is no unresolved negative comment/feedback on a completed trade.  Still it comes down to trust and each seller needs to make their own determination on how well they can trust their counter-party.
This is great information and what I will be passing on to others. When I show them SpendBitCoins vs FastCash4BitCoin, they usually don't know who FastCash4BitCoin is and I link them to your user profile on this forum.

Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it. Smiley

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TangibleCryptography
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July 02, 2012, 01:09:38 AM
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figure comparing the current MtGox weighted against ALL of the tests is still a fair price point as a basis, yes? I mean, I'm trying to figure out the value on average of each cashout method, and they have to have a common exchange rate to base current BTC value against. Even if MtGox is high on average, if I use the same dataset of BTC value against all the tests, it should still be fair.

Agreed it certainly is fair just providing some context on why our rate is lower.
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October 04, 2012, 06:20:27 PM
 #10

I love fastcash4bitcoins, too bad they cannot team up and get enough people to increase their funding.
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