This piece is less about some new factoid regarding Bitcoin, about the fact that Bitcoin is now over $500 or once again how Bitcoin is a great example of capitalism at work.
No, this piece is actually just a brief mention of my experience with Bitcoin services. I was first introduced to Bitcoin by Roger Ver, aka “Bitcoin Jesus”. He is an investor in Blockchain.info and owner of BitcoinStore.com. Let me just say that in the time that I have been dealing with Bitcoin, I have been extremely happy with my Blockchain wallet. I have also been very impressed with what can be found for sale at Bitcoinstore.com.
In fact, my overall journey into Bitcoin was great until about 6 weeks ago when I attempted to “cash out” some Bitcoin through the trading giant Mt. Gox. Big mistake. After setting up my account and selling some Bitcoin, I found the process to withdraw my US dollars was actually lengthier than I had expected. The statement on Mt. Gox’s website states that “some withdraws can take up to 2 weeks.” That was ok, I wasn’t in a huge hurry.
Two weeks went by, then three. I reached out to the support team at Mt. Gox asking them for a status update on my account and the only response I received informed me that withdraws were taking longer than usual. Another two weeks passed and still no deposit into my account and no new response from Mt. Gox. So I reached out again. The automated response was basically the same, that withdraws were taking longer than usual and that I was “expected” to be patient. I responded by wanting to know how long I would be waiting and what the timeline for this deposit looked like.
When I finally heard back, the response was simple, there was no timeline for receiving that withdraw. On the other hand, I was told that for a fee, my withdraw could be “manually” done. What? For the past 5 weeks, my understanding was that this was exactly what was happening. Now, I am going to be “charged” extra for the manual process and furthermore, the manual process would take “up to two weeks”.
So here I was 6 weeks later with no additional money in my bank and no Bitcoins in my Mt. Gox account. My only solution was to have the money returned to my Mt. Gox account where I was able to “buy” new Bitcoins which are now over $500. That means I was able to purchase back only a fraction of the Bitcoins I sold and I am in the process of sending those coins back to my Blockchain wallet.
Again, I am new to the Bitcoin world. There are many of you out there who would likely have told me the “better way” of getting this done. Perhaps I should have asked for the advice in the first place.
The beauty of the free market is the free exchange between parties. In fact, as I have said in the past, in my opinion, Bitcoin is the worlds best example of capitalism, but lets be clear, capitalism isn’t all sunshine and lollypops. In the free market, there are risks, challenges and difficulties. Today, I better understand the risks of dealing with Bitcoin and companies like Mt. Gox. My failure to fully understand who I was dealing with and assuming that the company would operate competently was my mistake. It is a lesson that has cost me both time and money. If you are new to Bitcoin, I hope that through my mistakes, you can avoid a similar situation.
Once again, it is the free market. It is true capitalism. In fact, Mt. Gox and the rise in Bitcoin value, to me, best represent the best and worst of the Bitcoin “free market” at the same time.
In the comments below, please share your Bitcoin story.