Purchasing a Bitcoin: My Journey

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A month or so ago a friend of mine told me that he was considering paying his members in Bitcoin.  His site, BigCrumbs.com, pays its members through PayPal.  I had never heard of Bitcoin before and initially I didn't look into it.  Later we had another conversation about it and this time I was a bit more intrigued.  I Goggled it and started to learn what it was all about.  As a geek, I found the idea fascinating and I downloaded the BitcoinQT client.  It took a few days to sync.  During this time, I read a great deal of info on Bitcoin.

After gaining a fair bit of knowledge on the topic, I decided to buy a Bitcoin.  I found a link on YouTube that described the process of obtaining a Bitcoin.  The video spokesperson said that I needed to get a Dwolla account. Then I needed a Mt Gox account.  Initially it wasn't real clear why I needed both, but I proceeded anyway.  Now the next 2 weeks was not fun to say the least.  After creating my Dwolla account, I had to link my bank account and then wait for the micro payment deposits to post to my account in order verify the bank link.  That took about 5 days.  Simultaneously, I was setting up my Mt Gox account.  I had to go through this cumbersome process of getting verified (uploading in personal identifiable information).  Once I uploaded all of the documentation, it still took more than a week for Mt Gox support to finally verify the account. (Opps, I failed to mention that 1 Bitcoin was trading at about $47 USD at the time I started to entire process.)  

Once my Mt Gox account was established, I couldn't figure out how to fund it.  It turns out that you must send funds from Dwolla to Mutum Sigillum LLC, an United States intermediary for Mt Gox.  Somehow I sent the funds to the Mutum Sigillum phone number as opposed to the identifier code.  That took another 3 days to resolve.  Once that was straightened out, I finally placed an order to buy 1 BitCoin at $135 USD.   The entire process was slow and confusing.  But hey, I owned 1 BitCoin when it was all said and done.  I'm happy about that.  

Later I found a much easier way to purchase a Bitcoin.  Goto Coinbase.com to setup an account, fund it, and then make a Bitcoin purchase.  You can benefit from my struggle and save yourself some time and frustration.

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