Posted by: John Vandivier | April 11, 2013

4 Recommended Ways to Buy and Sell Bitcoin

Today, April 10, the price for a Bitcoin fluctuated big time. Some people are whining about how Bitcoin must suck after all. These people are not smart. The smart people are excited, asking, “How can I load up on this amazing and undervalued asset NOW?” Allow me to present my recommended ways to buy and sell.

There are a multitude of ways to buy and sell Bitcoin. I don’t recommend most of these ways. You can buy and sell in person but that is obviously potentially dangerous. You can go through numerous small firms using direct deposits and such, but many of these small firms offer markets that are not liquid or not trustworthy. Finally there is a time consideration. Would you rather have your money quickly or would you be willing to wait in order to avoid extra fees?

In this article I present my 4 top methods for buying and selling Bitcoin. I looked at fees, ease, speed and trustworthiness.

Methods 1 and 2: Mt Gox (Via bank transfer or Bitinstant)
Mt Gox is the largest Bitcoin marketplace out there. On the negative side, its popularity sometimes causes it to be susceptible to website lagging. Lag was one of the main variables involved in the crash today. Regardless, Mt Gox ranks overall highest in all categories I care about. A little lag doesn’t matter for the serious investor. It matters to the speculators and day traders.

You can wire transfer through Bitinstant to receive coins in minutes for a fee of 4% + $3.95 from any MoneyGram location. I would recommend WalMart or CVS for Bitinstant usage. You can also bank transfer to Mt Gox which takes up to a couple weeks but has no fees. The bank transfer is also a reliable, if slow, way to obtain your money from selling BTC. Because Bitcoin has been appreciating at rediculous rates, I would recommend using the wire transfer method. The gains from early purchase destroy the fees and then some several times over. I may do an article talking about the downside of Mt Gox: It is so popular it hurts Bitcoin’s decentralized nature and intent. For this reason Bitfloor may be a solid choice, but I am still investigating that site.

Here’s a video, a bit dated, showing how to set up and work with a Mt Gox Account:

Method 3: Coinbase (https://coinbase.com/)
Coinbase is a great Bitcoin exchange service. What you are actually doing is buying and selling the Bitcoins that Coinbase holds in stock, whereas on an open exchange (Mt Gox, Bitfloor) you are transacting with numerous individuals. Like Mt Gox, Coinbase will hold a Bitcoin wallet for you inside of your account. I prefer to use both Mt Gox and Coinbase simultaneously. I hold some coins in either wallet and some coins in a bitcoin client on my own computer. This allows less risk then if I held all of my coins at any one location.

Method 4: AurumXChange (https://www.aurumxchange.com/)
AurumXChange is my favorite way to get money out of Bitcoin when I sell my Bitcoins. When I sell a Bitcoin on Mt Gox the dollar value of that sale is credited to my Mt Gox account. To actually receive that balance in physical cash I have to place a withdrawal. One way is to do a bank transfer withdrawal. As previously discussed this method is extremely slow, although with less fees. AurumXChange operates wire transfers like Bitinstant with two differences. The first is that Bitinstant will never send you money, only take your money and send it to Mt Gox, while AurumXChange will send money to you for withdrawal. The second is that AXC’s fees are way higher. AXC is an official partner of Mt Gox which indicates that it is much more trustworthy than the competition.

As previously mentioned, many people also recommend Bitfloor. I am not yet one of them but I will be experimenting with them in the future and will report back to you!

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