As discussed previously, some Bitcoin investors simply want to accumulate Bitcoin and watch their profits (hopefully) grow. Others, such as ourselves, are seeking to take some of their profits off the table along the way. So we thought it might be a good time to talk about how to go about keeping your Bitcoin profits.
We’re pretty optimistic about the currency, but things happen. We’ve always said we would be happy to get our initial investment back, then let profits ride. So that’s what we have been doing to date. So far, we’ve taken about 21% of our initial investment back. How, you might ask? After all, being US-based, our options are a bit more limited than if we were elsewhere. Our government just loves to protect us from ourselves!
Firstly, we wanted to take a look at the fees associated with moving back to cash, so we did a little test. We have moved some funds to PayPal from Coinbase, directly to our originating bank account from Coinbase and to our BitPay card from our Airbitz wallet and from Coinbase. Even the blockchain costs something, and there can be additional fees, so if you would like the details, here they are;
- PayPal: Moving $50 from Coinbase to PayPal resulted in a $48 credit to our PayPal account.
- Bank: We were charged a flat fee of $2.99 for a $200 transfer.
- BitPay from Coinbase: Sending $100 cost us $102.98.
- BitPay from AirBitz: Sending $100 cost $102.95.
However: Something went wrong! One of the two $100 transactions resulted in a credit of only $98.04. We believe it was the Coinbase transaction, but we will have to check with BitPay support. A little mystery for today. We’ll be digging a little deeper on this one.
What about speed? Moving to PayPal was the fastest by far, almost instantaneous. Next came the BitPay card, which generally takes from 30 min to an hour. The longest is the bank transaction, but that is because ACH is used for the transaction, and that is simply how long it takes.
How about the ease of use of the funds once received? Banks are banks, so that is pretty straightforward. PayPal is great, if you have an account, and it even allows quite useful free person to person transfers. And of course, you can use it for a plethora of services. Plus, this could be big: you may be able to apply for a PayPal Debit card.
You might wonder how the BitPay card works out. We’ve had mixed but mostly positive results. It is a regular Visa card which should be accepted anywhere, but we have had a few occasions when we could not get it to work properly. (Always have a backup!) We were able to get Euro from an ATM in Ireland and Norwegian Krone in Norway. But for some reason, we weren’t able to purchase Danish Krone. And we’ve had a couple of online transactions that did not go through. But for most general shopping, the BitPay card works just fine.
Finally, we’ve just ordered one of the PayPal debit cards for testing. If those work, it would then be possible to use the Bitcoin proceeds that had been moved to the PayPal account to withdraw cash and make normal debit card transactions. So while we may have thought we were a little hobbled over here when it came to using our Bitcoins, it turns out that we do have some really good options!