Weeks prior to the significant event known as by some “The Crash of April 12th 2013“. I began to come to grips that an exit strategy would need to be put into place & ready to lock, load and dump. I needed an exchange, there was already a number already on the market both with pro’s and con’s. A big concern was the safety of my funds. Alongside of this,I came to the realization that not only was trust an important aspect of an exchange but the ability to pull out USD into my fiat banks. Not only did I need a drop zone but also a rock solid extraction method. Dump Bitcoin for USD and extract USD into a centralized banking system. Simple right? Well yes, especially when comparing to the options we had back in 2011. But simple is not always economical nor is it the most prosperous. I generally work in low volumes so i needed alot of bang for my buck as they say.
Ill talk about the state of Bitcoin Exchanges back in 2011 another time but fast forwarding to today (a whole another world) we find a large number of exchanges to choose from. Lets talk about a few exchanges that I have dealt with and iterate my experiences with them in a summarized fashion.
BTC-E is a Russian exchange that allows you to not only trade BTC but also a number of other Alternative Cryptocurrencies including Litecoin. The reason BTC-E was not going to be a canadiate for my exit point is short and sweet. Its expensive & difficult to get USD in & out of there and its a Russian based exchange and I did not feel comfortable with my USD sitting there. Russia plays a huge role in the Bitcoin sphere and I have no problem with Russians but I was not at ease.
It took me a while actually to realize that faucets were not worth the time and should not be used to accumulate a significant amount of BTC. I found Coinbase in which aloud you to input your banking information right there on the site to buy BTC. They also faciliate teh selling of your BTC as well and the transfer of USD right into your Bank account. Problem was, BTC bought off Coinbase take 7+ days to receive, is sold over market price and if you wanted to sell BTC you were selling a little under market value. Oh did I mention there is no such thing as an order book? When you bought and sold you did so “At Market Value”. My first Bitcoin were bought at Coinbase but I still was on the hunt for a suitable exchange.
If you Google, “Bitcoin Exchange”, Im willing to put money on Mt. Gox comes up first in the result pages. Mt. Gox is the largest Bitcoin Exchange to date and they handle the most BTC trades on the network (that are accounted for). Recently there is a strong resistance to Mt. Gox for a number of reasons. One reason is that its almost like they facilitate the centralization of a decentralized currency. They have a huge grip on the market. All it takes is for Mt Gox to experience downtime from a server issue or the all too cmon ddos for the price to drop drastically. I had already been actively “day trading” as Mt.Gox has awesome volatility, buying in the lows of the day and selling at the highs but I was not at ease with my holding sitting on Gox with no easy way (for me at the tiem) to exit. One of the problems was , Mt.Gox was not extremely stream lined getting my USD to my Fiat Bank account. After some efforts I realized how expensive it would be to make the transfer, given Mt.Gox is based in Japan and the bank that is serving Mt. Gox is a Japanese bank, lets just say at that time i was not pushing enough volume to make it worth while to pay these International wire fees.
Last but not least we came upon CampBX. A Big fan of CampBx here. Their Dwolla integration is streamlined both in and out. We should mention that Dwolla is cheap. More comments on the exchange include, A bit more volume running through their exchange would be grand. Not as much volatility as others but in my case we were more interested in an exit point and not “Day Trading”. Did I mention that CampBX is a US based company with US based servers? This is a plus granted I am based in North America.I must mention that CampBX does seem to go offline at the most inopportune moments (a story on that another time) Actually its a bit of a plague. I do notice a bit of difference in increase response time when there is a significant price change, assuming that the site is experiencing a high volume of trades. When this happens you are met with the unmistakable Cloudflare page. Unfortunately this is part of the bitcoin game when it comes to high volume exchanges. Take your pick, Mt Gox gets Ddoss CampBx slows down a bit. CampBx does seem to be making improvements as I notice speed improvements weekly. One thing I have learned to appreciate about CampBX is the Advanced order execution options that are available.
Users can choose there orders to be:
- Incrementally Filled
- Fill-or-Kill (FOK)
- All-or-Nothing (AON)
- Dark Pool Orders
- Set Order Expiration Dates
Like any competitive exchange CampBx offers API functionality, lighting fast support, archaic yet effective “Depth Table”. Charts on CampBX can be found here http://bitcoincharts.com/charts/cbxUSD