- Bitcoins, What Are They?
- Bitcoin vs other means of exchange
- How to use Bitcoin
- Buying Bitcoins
- Selling Bitcoins
- Bitcoins ATMs & Debit Cards
- Appx. 1 – A History of Cryptocurrency
- Appx. 2 – Bitcoin Legality & Regulations
Okay, you’ve made the leap, set up your wallet and successfully bought your first Bitcoin. Maybe you’ve even bought a few things, used your mobile wallet at a café, paid to play at an online Bitcoin casino like Planet 7 Casino, purchased airline tickets. But you’ve been noticing the value of the Bitcoin in your wallet is going up and up. Sure, there have been valleys as well as peaks but sometimes, those peaks seem a bit extreme, meaning there’s a valley beyond and your craving a bit more stability. So, it’s time to sell. Buy low sell high, right?
Selling Bitcoin can be slightly more complex than buying Bitcoin, but once you’ve gone through the process future transactions are pretty straight forward. The first thing to consider is whether you want to sell your Bitcoin online or in person?
6.1. Selling Your Bitcoins Online
There are three main ways to sell your Bitcoin online:
- By directly trading with another person using an intermediary to facilitate the transaction.
- Via an online exchange, in which you trade with the exchange instead of with an individual.
- Using a new type of peer-to-peer marketplace that allows someone who wants to buy discounted goods or services online from a vendor that does not accept Bitcoin to work together with someone who wants to buy Bitcoin using a credit or debit card.
6.2. Direct Trade Selling
So, let’s start by looking at direct trade selling. The same online marketplaces that allow you to buy Bitcoin direct also allow you to sell Bitcoin direct. These include: Bitcoin OTC, Coinbase, BitBargain, Bittylicious and Local Bitcoins as well as the currency exchange forum on Bitcointalk.org.
Usually you have to register as a seller, a process that involves verifying your identity (with the exception of LocalBitcoins, which uses a rating system to measure trustworthiness). Registration can be a bit of a burden, with many sites requiring you to upload scans of your valid photo ID as well as two utility bills with your name and address. However, if you’re planning to sell Bitcoin in the future, it’s a good idea to go through the registration process when you first visit the site, so that you’re good to go (sell) when the time is right (remember, Bitcoin is pretty volatile, and its value moves up and down all the time).
Once registered you can post your offer and the site will let you know when a buyer is interested. From that point on, the transaction is completely between you and the buyer.
6.3. Exchange Selling
The second option to sell your Bitcoin is via an exchange. As mentioned above the exchange is no more than a middleman, who holds everyone’s funds, and introduces buyers to sellers for a fee.
Once you’re registered with the exchange (remember they usually have to apply KYC and AML rules), the trading process itself is simple. You place your sell order with the amount you wish to sell and for how much, and the exchange takes care of the rest.
Once the transaction is complete, the funds will be credited to your account.
Okay, it’s super easy, but be warned, there is a potential downside. If you want you receive your funds in real money, say dollars or euro, as opposed to some other cryptocurrency, the amount credited to your account at the exchange has to be transferred to your bank. In the event the exchange is having liquidity problems or other issues with its bank, it could take quite some time for the funds to arrive in your bank account.
6.4. New Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces
Bitcoin is a rapidly evolving means of global exchange, bringing with it new innovation and ideas all the time. Perhaps the most interesting recent innovation are sites like Purse.io, that bring together buyers and sellers with specific but complimentary needs.
One group is people who want to use Bitcoin to buy discounted goods or services from vendors that do not currently accept Bitcoin. Purse is currently focused exclusively on Amazon, which does not accept Bitcoin and, at least as of early 2018, wasn’t planning to anytime soon as far as we know.
The second group are people interested in buying Bitcoin using a debit or credit card. The idea is then to provide goods or services to one group while selling Bitcoin to the other. The intent is to make buying Bitcoin easier (using credit/debit cards) and Bitcoin itself more accessible by allowing anyone who does not live in a country with a functional Bitcoin exchange to buy Bitcoin using Purse. Somewhat similar to an exchange, the marketplace acts as a middleman, providing a platform, wallet and escrow services for the transaction, letting you buy anything on Amazon with Bitcoin or buy Bitcoin with a reasonable degree of anonymity, while taking a 1% commission for the service. Here’s how it works:
Say Larry has Bitcoin in his wallet and wants to buy a microwave from Amazon at a discount. Larry simply deposits Bitcoin into his Purse account and then imports his Amazon wish list into Purse and indicates the level of discount he’d like to get. Then, someone who wants to buy Bitcoin with a debit or credit card, no matter where they are globally, accepts Larry’s request on Purse and uses their card to buy the items, which are shipped to Larry. As soon as the items arrive, Larry notifies Purse and his Bitcoin held in escrow are released to the buyer. In the end, Larry got the goods he wants, and the other party bought Bitcoin.
6.5. Selling Bitcoin in Person
Without a doubt the easiest way to sell Bitcoin is in person. All you need is a mobile Bitcoin wallet and a buyer willing to pay cash. Simply scan your QR code on the buyer’s phone and accept cash in hand in exchange.
Determining the right price in relation to your local currency is essential, as the price of Bitcoin can vary from country to country. Check a local exchange or use apps like Bitcoin Checker, Bitcoin Ticker, CoinDesk or Yahoo Finance, which will all display Bitcoin’s current exchange rate on your smartphone.