Before I head in the direction of Manassas, VA, I have a question about Bitcoin that I hope one of you can help me with.
Just like my 401K and my Sep IRA, I contribute a percentage of my income each payday to a secure, encrypted, hardware BTC wallet. It’s a very modest contribution, but the price of BTC fluctuates so wildly that on a couple of occasions I’ve made +/- $1k in a day’s time – At one point I would have left any such accidental windfalls right were they were, in the most secure of secure wallets, because the price of BTC was rising daily, and it was a good short term investment. It still is, actually, just a shorter term investment…When there’s a big bump in the price of BTC and I make a little money, I sell the profit immediately and deposit the cash into whichever of my retirement accounts is performing best at the time. I keep 0.050000 (worth $413 at this moment according to preev.com – It may be worth only $200 tomorrow depending on what the price of BTC is, or it may be worth $500) BTC in an Airbitz wallet on my iPhone simply because Airbitz provides a list of brick and mortar vendors who accept BTC at the tap of a button, and based purely on the fact that I hate Apple’s guts and liver, if a brick and mortar vendor accepts BTC, I’d rather pay that way than with Apple Pay.
What vexes me (and this is what will lead us to my question) is how expensive the fees are when one buys BTC to deposit into a wallet.
Xcoins is fast and convenient, but they are just an exchange…When you buy BTC with your debit card there, you’re actually taking a peer-to-peer loan from some anonymous person on the Internet: That person sets their own interest rate (profit margin, really, since the transaction is instant and there’s no long term payment – The interest rate is deducted from the amount of BTC you actually receive, along with the fee Xcoins charges for brokering the transaction). An example: I bought $300 worth of BTC last week to send to my oldest daughter’s Airbitz wallet (those shoes she just had to have, or she’d die, “…seriously Daddy, I’ll like totally die), and for a $300 BTC purchase on XCoins, I actually received $230 worth. That’s insane, I’ll use good old Western Union next time and just send her cash.
Coinbase has so many problems I hesitate to even go into them – Most larger banks won’t allow you to purchase BTC with a debit card via Coinbase any longer (too much fraud and crime, I suppose), so you have to purchase it using an ACH or Wire Transfer from your checking or savings account, and the purchase takes 5-8 days to clear. Usually, when folks buy BTC they need access to the cryptocurrency right away, making a purchase today and waiting gods only know how long the BTC will take to show up in your Coinbase wallet is unacceptable (though the exchange rate is locked in as of the minute of purchase, you don’t have to worry about exchange prices rising or falling). They also take a fee when you purchase BTC and when you then then transfer them to one of your other wallets (nobody leaves money in a Coinbase wallet). Finally, they are as slow as molasses in Winter regardless of what transaction you’re performing, and their service is unreliable – I get SMS messages from them once or twice a week that they are fixing this, that, or the other, and the site is unavailable until whatever it is is fixed.
LocalBitcoins is shady – My sense is that most folks who use it (and Paxful too) are only using those sites because they need a way to purchase BTC quickly, without presenting ID, so that they can spend them on who knows what on one of the DN markets. I don’t want anything to do with those exchanges, one of the three-letter agencies is going to come down on them pretty hard one day.
So here’s what I need to know: What’s the best, safest, legal, and fastest way to purchase BTC without paying 30-40 percent brokerage fees? By fastest, let’s call it no more than 24 hours from time of purchase to BTC in my wallet.
Thank you in advance for any advice. I’m off to Northern Virginia.