Business 22 October 2018Charles Miller
My second step in Bitcoin BCH: Playing with real money
A friend has recommended Coinbase as an app that I could use to exchange real money (sorry, fiat money, as it’s called in the crypto world) into Bitcoin Cash (BCH)—which is the cryptocurrency that CoinGeek recommends.
I download Coinbase. It looks like this, and at the bottom of the screen, invites me to Sign Up.
Coinbase is a crypto exchange. So what’s the difference between an exchange and a wallet? Well, an exchange is like a bank, where you can buy and sell different currencies, whether crypto or fiat. You can keep money in an exchange, but a wallet is the easiest place from which to use crypto, whether for buying, transferring to someone else, or receiving someone else’s payment to you.
It’s like the difference between a bank and your physical wallet: you can keep money in both but for day to day spending, you use your wallet, not the bank.
Signing up to Coinbase is quite a faff. So much so that I transfer from my phone to the Coinbase website and do it on my laptop. As well as the usual passwords and personal details, you have to upload a couple of documents—passport, utility bill or credit card—and then they take a while to process them.
But a few minutes later Coinbase tells me we are in business:
To convert some money to BCH, just as with any other kind of currency exchange, I have to transfer of funds to Coinbase. Here are the choices of where my money can be sent from:
Although Coinbase recommends that I link up my bank account, I’m still taking baby steps, and so I choose to pay with a credit card. Not all cards will allow you to transfer into a crypto exchange, but I have one that does and so I enter its details, just like for any online purchase. Now I’m ready to buy some BCH. I start by entering $10:
But then I spot that the Coinbase fee is about 10 per cent, so I go crazy and double my investment to $20, where the fee comes down to a still substantial 7.5 per cent. Here’s the deal:
Somehow my dollar investment has been turned into pounds, but never mind: I press Buy now.
But there’s a problem: the price of BCH is so volatile that the exchange rate has changed even while I’m taking the above screenshot—and the deal is off:
I try again, more quickly this time. The deal is marginally better for me than the one Coinbase rejected. I take a look at the changing price of BCH. It’s fallen against the dollar in the past few minutes, which is why I’ve been able to get a very slightly better rate:
So now Coinbase is telling me that I’m the proud owner of some BCH. It cost me $26.30 and a couple of hours later, it’s worth $23.90 (but that includes the $1.50 fee to Coinbase). I can track its changing value on the site:
But, hey, I’m not here to speculate on currency price movements. I’m here to get money into my wallet. I need a strong cup of tea, so that’s for next time.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.
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