With all the talk of Bitcoin (and by and large crypto) being easier to buy than ever before, I spent hours making a small purchase over $ 100 on Friday morning when Bitcoin exceeded $ 41,000 per coin.
According to some, the latest rally was initiated by institutional investors looking for some hedge against fiat inflation and the decline in the US dollar in the currency markets, and they don’t seem to have a problem buying – the price is in less than one Up $ 20,000 month.
But if my experience is an example of what other retail investors are dealing with, there is still a lot of frustration in the crypto markets. And think of how much higher the price could be if all of these newbies could get their hands on some of this cute, sweet digital gold.
This insane adventure of buying more Bitcoin for Hodl didn’t start out as a panic I was about to miss; No, I’ve been in space since late 2012 and have seen most of the bull runs and bear markets. I’m in no hurry to shop upstairs.
But I took advantage of this resurgence to make recurring purchases using these popular mobile apps that advertise crypto buying easily as technology matures.
I started with Square’s Cash app, an application I used a lot, and added funds to my account so I could take advantage of the benefits such as: When trying to set up a bi-weekly purchase of Bitcoin, I received the error message “Something went wrong”. But what? What the hell went wrong (Share purchases were also declined.)
OK no problem, I have had a Coinbase account for many years and have used that account to purchase crypto so this should be an easy purchase. Except that it wasn’t. After updating my card details from an old debit card, I placed a purchase order and it was immediately declined.
Next, I tried Blockchain.com, which, besides a paper wallet, was probably my first ever Bitcoin wallet. This transaction was declined due to my residency in New York, where they do not operate (thank you, BitLicense).
Then how about Gemini, where I bought some DeFi tokens a few weeks ago? The purchase was declined on the first attempt because the market was moving and the displayed price had changed. I tried again – reluctantly because the fees for a $ 100 transaction were almost $ 6.50 – and a few seconds later I received an email saying, “Success! Your purchase order is complete. ”
After all! Except, wait, no, 30 minutes later I received another email stating that the transfer failed and the purchase order wasn’t completed.
Buy order + frustration failed. (Bailey Reutzel)
Perhaps all these services are overwhelmed by the demand? Both Coinbase and Kraken had outages during the run this week.
Robinhood was next. I was directed to deposit funds into my account before I could buy, but after entering my routing and account number the app stated that my financial institution is unsupported (Robinhood appears to be using Plaid to link bank accounts).
Binance.US? Didn’t work again because I didn’t do business with clients in New York. Tried entering my parents’ address in the Midwest which gave me an initial level of verification. However, in order to buy Bitcoin you will need to go through the advanced verification and a picture of a bank statement or utility bill. My driver’s license still shows my previous address in the Midwest, but that was not a sufficient form of verification at the time.
Eventually I realized that PayPal was only just allowing crypto purchases, so I logged into my account. While the home page said “Discover Bitcoin” on a button, clicking it brought me to my dashboard where there was no clear way to buy Bitcoin. At that point, I was furious and called a friend to check his ability to buy. He could buy in seconds.
Now I think I’m on a blacklist. Maybe it finally caught up with me as banks suck and crypto companies that gamble by the rules of traditional finance are sold out.
However, after some troubleshooting, I realized that my PayPal account is a business account (pretty arbitrary actually). So I set up a separate individual account that I had to link to a random burner email account. There was a Buy Bitcoin button at the front of this individual account dashboard, so I placed an order and received a message that my transaction was complete.
But for anyone not interested in tweaking all of these different history settings, this type of process is annoying, and I would assume any inexperienced crypto buyer would have given up after the second rejection.
The main issue
That brings me to what seems to be the real problem – my traditional financial institution.
I have a bank with a state credit union in Colorado, and after trying these different avenues to “financial freedom” I called their customer service team. I had to call them beforehand to open payment applications like cell, so I figured I just had to tell them to remove the blocks from my account (I’ve bought crypto with this bank brand debit card in the past).
After the queue, the customer service representative tells me that all crypto transactions are classified as “very high risk” and declines them regardless of whether I assure them that it is a transaction that I want to make or not.
She told me to contact each company directly and see if there was another way to make a purchase – for example, I might be able to pay directly from my checking account – but when I tried to enter my account details before, if it did not do so the credit union does not seem to be supported.
This new risk aversion to anything related to crypto is strange. The Bitcoin industry has matured significantly, and in the eyes of many enthusiasts, a run to $ 50,000 a coin means that incumbents, the status quo and the powers that be have no choice but to take us seriously now.
That doesn’t seem to be the case.
Instead, I update my bank account portal every 15 minutes as this PayPal transaction is still pending.