Just when you think...

Author's note: This article is part of an ongoing blog about my adventures in the world of alternate currencies.

There are few things more frustrating than submitting a request for a transfer from my trading account to my bank account and then waiting… and waiting… and waiting…

The last three requests from Camp BX have gone through very quickly without a hitch. Then I actually needed the money, and I've been waiting for six days for the request to even be processed. I submitted the request on Friday. On Monday there was a note telling me the request would be processed on Wednesday due to ACH system upgrades.

Later in the day on Monday my account showed a new deposit of $1000 and I panicked. Had I accidentally submitted an ACH request from my bank to my Camp BX account instead? But when I double checked the ACH withdrawal request on file, it clearly indicates it as a withdrawal to my bank request. When I log into my fiat bank account, there is no $1000 debit on that side (thankfully). It appears that $1000 showed up in my Camp BX account out of nowhere. I did submit a support request asking where that $1000 came from, but have not received an answer.

Nothing happened with my withdrawal request on Wednesday, the day the note indicated it would be processed. I submitted a support ticket asking when that request would be processed. I checked again in the middle of the day today. Still nothing. So I sent another support ticket. I also found Camp BX on Twitter and sent a tweet asking whether or not everything was OK on their end. Camp BX is on Facebook as well. Neither their Facebook nor Twitter profiles have been updated since December 19. However I have made most of my withdrawals since then. Their Facebook profiles has posts from other people complaining of the same problem, being unable to get their transfer requests processed in a timely manner. But there were also posts from other long time customers saying everything should be just fine.

I've decided that for the time being I'm not sending any more Bitcoin over there. I've been around long enough to know that when I start seeing funny stuff on my account, this could signify a really big problem. It could also be normal delays. Perhaps the company found some deeper issues when they tried to upgrade the ACH transfer system.

I am really hoping for the best, because I've really liked Camp BX so far, and it is the only place I know of where I can easily turn Bitcoin into fiat and then get the fiat deposited to my regular bank account. It is also highly cost effective–only two dollars for an ACH deposit or withdrawal. You can't beat that anywhere. But it has to work.

In the mean time, I need an alternative place where I can turn my Bitcoin into cash. Even if everything turns out OK with Camp BX, I do believe I will need to diversify even in this. In the Bitcoin world, it seems you need plenty of replication. It's not enough to have just one Bitcoin/Fiat trading account. I am going to need at least two, and hopefully more, so that if one has issues, then I can turn to another one. I will need to test out a small Bitcoin withdrawal from Camp BX to see if in the worst cast scenario, I can trade my fiat back into Bitcoin and transfer the Bitcoin to an alternative trading platform once I find one.

I've already given up on CoinBase because I can't get my Bitcoin to move out of my account, even to trade for fiat. But it seems other people do just fine with CoinBase and the company recently received a bunch of funding from some venture capitalists. So going back to CoinBase is a possible option. My issues have been with small transfers, in the hundredths of a Bitcoin. The few times that I've needed to move large amounts, like a Bitcoin or more, those transfers have gone through just fine. But there was one time that I tried to send 1.1 BTC and that transaction failed, but when I modified it to 1 BTC it went through. So maybe I go back to CoinBase.

Vircurex is hoping to add a way to deposit and withdraw US Dollars in the next few weeks. But I think I've seen that “coming soon” message for months now, so I have no idea if or when it will actually happen. I've just never been interested until now. I'll keep an eye on it because so far I've had good experiences with Vircurex.

Cryptsy appears to be strictly a crypto exchange with no fiat going in or coming out. Their About page indicates plans to in the near future offer the ability to trade with US Dollars, but as yet with no expected completion date. I will also be watching this and hope for an announcement soon.

I just signed up for a BitStamp account. BitStamp is a UK based trading platform and it looks like it's a fairly straightforward process to make transfers from an account to a fiat bank account outside of the country. It's not cheap–0.09 percent of the total amount transferred with a minimum fee of $15. I also need to verify my account before I can make such a request. BitStamp has a good reputation as a trusted exchange, so I believe it would be well worth going through that process, then testing it with a small transfer. International transfers take up to five business days to process which sounds very reasonable.

Mt. Gox used to be the exchange of choice for Bitcoin/US Dollar trades, but I have known from the beginning that there were issues with being able to withdraw fiat money from your account. At one point I even registered a Mt. Gox account but there is no reason to use it since the platform is known to suffer from the very issues I'm hoping to escape.

So far BitStamp appears to be the best option for an alternative trading platform, but it's going to take some time to get set up, send some Bitcoin there, trade enough to make an international withdrawal worth the $15 fee, verify my account and then test it.

It is certainly possible that Camp BX will process my withdrawal request in the mean time. I hope everything there turns out OK. I have already successfully transferred over $1000 from my Camp BX account to my fiat bank account. The best case scenario is that I will end up with not one, but two excellent trading platforms.

I also realize that for the time being while I do need to be taking out profits in fiat as I'm moving forward, I have to be patient. Sometimes it takes a while for transfers to be made. I have to still act like I don't need the money. And I need to replicate and diversify wherever I can. The cryptoworld can be very profitable, but it's not a place where I can relax and always count on things going smoothly.

Devtome Writers

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