Easy Bitcoin Access and Use

Bitcoin, as both a technology and as a currency, is an invaluable tool for the rise of freedom and decentralization.  There are those in governments (especially the US government) who understand this and are doing their best to smother it in its crib.  The remainder are ignorant and happen to be blundering their way into attempting the very same sort of abortion.

Fortunately, the government cannot regulate Bitcoin, they can only regulate the points of contact between Bitcoin and the legacy systems that the government controls.  This, of course, has made access through exchanges and more traditional methods of exchanging one form of money for another quite difficult and somewhat risky.  Fortunately, where there is a market demand, the market provides:

Purse.io is a simple solution to a ridiculous problem.  Much like Brawker, a previous endorsement of mine that has since gone out of business, Purse.io allows one to essentially use their credit/debit card to buy Bitcoins.

Basically, someone makes a wishlist entry on a site like Amazon and places an appropriate amount of bitcoin into an escrow wallet to purchase that item.  You then order that item form their wishlist.  When they receive the item, the bitcoin is released from escrow and sent to your account.  Congratulations! You’ve just got yourself some invaluable magic internet money.
The process works in reverse, as well.  If you want to spend your newly-acquired Bitcoin to buy something from Amazon (say the price jumps in value 600% again and your $50 in BTC becomes $300 in BTC overnight), You need only to make an Amazon wishlist entry and to place enough bitcoin to make the purchase worthwhile to another Purse.io user (people frequently get amazon products at a 5-25% discount buying in BTC) and just wait for someone to fulfill that wish.

I’ve only used the service once, but the UI was seamless and easy to use, the instructions were clear and simple, and I managed to get my Bitcoin right away, courtesy of same-day shipping on Amazon.  This is a great starting place for people who are bit-curious but intimidated by all the paperwork and regulatory bullshit associated with using fiat to buy crypto-assets on exchanges.

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6 Responses to Easy Bitcoin Access and Use

  1. Joel says:

    I have yet to use bitcoin, but I read a bunch of negative stuff recently on reddit about coinbase, which is recommended by purse.io.

    The ironic thing about bitcoin is that the more I focus on the security of the transactions, the more I feel insecure about the whole thing. Anyway, with purse.io, it looks like I will have to move bitcoin through yet another wallet?

    • When it comes to Bitcoin, there is definitely a lot of negativity to go around. I think that, given the trustless anarchist roots of the design and philosophy of bitcoin, a lot of it is healthy paranoia. A smoke alarm will go off at every little provocation, and it’s a feature of the product that most people tolerate because they know that if it goes off every time you microwave popcorn, it will certainly go off if you’re asleep and your house is burning down. In the same way, every little indication that Bitcoin is going statist or may become compromised sets off the smoke alarm. I think that focusing on security probably engenders within you that same healthy paranoia.
      I, myself, have issues with coinbase but my issues with it are within my levels of tolerance. I’m not sure how much more I have to say about that. lol
      Yes, purse uses multi-signature escrow to drive their design. You can technically just keep your bitcoins in the purse hotwallet and pay out from there, but my paranoia-level dictates that I keep everything in paper or cold wallets unless I’m going to spend it right away. I usually pay straight from the purse wallet to a paper wallet, the mining fees aren’t really that bad.

  2. Joel says:

    Good points.

    I purchased a Ledger Unplugged to try to get security simplified. Have you looked into that? I hope it was a good decision! I just don’t have the energy to really dig into bitcoin, but I still want to start using it.

    Another irony with this technology is that I’m thinking about securing my “cold storage” in the same way that I do with my PMs. If I get enough bitcoin, I will likely want a bank that performs the warehousing function (to use Rothbard’s terminology) of a bank, only without the fractional reserves that go along with a bank. I get the feeling that Bitcoin users are anti-bank even in the idea of warehousing of money.

    The main benefit with bitcoin seems to be that, unlike PMs, people are actively using it to make transactions. That single point is why I’m pressing ahead. My libertarian friends (in real life) still haven’t even begun the process, presumably because of how complicated it is. It’s hard to imagine mainstream adoption until the effort is much lower, or the effort is dramatically profitable.

    • I’ve heard of Ledger Unplugged. I’m really excited at the prospects of small, reliable hardware wallets, but I don’t think the technology is quite mature enough for me to put money into it. Of course, I’m saying the same things about smartphones, too… so… yeah.
      I, like some libertarians, have issues with banks and imagine that, in a free society, they will largely be phased out for a more decentralized set of tools. In my mind, a brain wallet or cold-storage serves the same function of money warehousing that a bank would. That said, I have heard that https://bitcoincryptobank.com/ is trying to set up a literal bitcoin bank, complete with dividends/interest… I’m incredibly skeptical of it, but that’s mostly because I don’t understand how they plan on doing so and I don’t keep bitcoin in hotwallets, let alone someone else’s hotwallet.
      Bitcoin, like gold and silver, serves as both a common currency and a store of value. Or, at least, it would in the absence of legal tender laws and bullshit government regulations. It’s one of the key features of sound money; the reality that I can take perishable goods, such as my time or products of my labor, and turn them into something that will largely remain constant in value or increase in value over time. I try to stock up on sound monies over time, but I often find myself exchanging silver for physical goods and bitcoin for digital goods, depleting my stores of value.

  3. Joel says:

    “…cold-storage serves the same function of money warehousing that a bank would.” Right, but walking and an airplane serve the same function, too. It just happens that airliners are able to transport people better in some ways. There are trade-offs, certainly. Presumably, a money warehouse could secure your money better than you could, perhaps even more cheaply than attempting to do it yourself. The tradeoff is counter-party risk or that they begin keeping fractional reserves. However, if I have a significant sum of bitcoin that I’m personally securing, a money warehouse will be appealing.

    • That’s a largely rational position to hold. Generally speaking, I avoid travelling long distances and, when I can, I avoid flying for much the same reason. I like being directly responsible for my successes and failures. This is almost entirely a personal aesthetic choice, so it would stand to reason that others would likely behave differently than I.
      In the case of someone else securing my property off-site, not in my cold-wallet (BTC) or in someone else’s vault (silver or whatever), I had better really trust them… I much prefer keeping my paper wallet on my person and rely on the gun in my pocket than to store BTC somewhere where someone else has access. If I ever amass enough precious metals to be concerned that I can’t secure them myself, I will either have to swallow my pride and rely on someone else, or invest some of those funds into better self-defense tools, like a bank vault or private security.

      Again, it’s all aesthetic preferences after a certain degree of security has been met.

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