Sunday, 25th January 2015. 23:16 HRS
It has been 11 days since I first came to know about Bitcoin. After installing the Bitcoin Core wallet, I had to give it some time to sync before I am able to do anything with it. The syncing completed yesterday night and I was able to see my Bitcoin balance for the first time, BTC 0.00000000. I have also noticed that when I turned the wallet on again today after waking up it synced again, I assume this is so in order for the client to catch up with the blocks made while I was asleep and PC turned off. It doesn,t take a rocket scientist to know that the next obvious step will be to try and figure out a way to fund my wallet.
Not knowing exactly where to start, I found myself back at google searching for places to buy Bitcoin. Since morning I have signed up with at least 3 so called "Bitcoin exchanges" in hope of being able to buy some. Once again I found myself stuck, as I do not have access to the options provided in depositing funds (I also found out about the meaning of "Fiat" currencies) to my exchange account before I can trade my fiat for Bitcoin. Initially I had only known and used Paypal for online payment gateways, but now I see more things like Yandex, OKPay, Perfect Money...etc as being ways in which I can load money into an exchange. So far I can't find a single way to use Paypal to buy bitcoin, later today I discovered that paypal has infact a strict anti-bitcoin policy.
I have also come across another challenge in using Bitcoin exchanges and Fiat gateways, something called "Verification". This is apparently a way to authenticate my identity, contact and residence before I can have full access (in some cases any access at all) to the services offered by the exchanges and payment gateways. It soon transpires that my "third world" origins have once again become an obstacle. They require things like passport or driver's licence, national ID and so for for identification and utility bills/bank statements for proof of residence and so on.
My country of origin has yet to provide standardized national IDs and my passport expired last year. The process of getting a new passport will be tedious and time consuming, however I do have a driver's licence and a water bill for last month. I have scanned and submitted them to one of the exchanges and one of the payment gateways and now I wait for them to review my application, which will take a couple of working days.
This evening, before giving up on my bitcoin exploits for the day I decided to give google one last run on "how to buy bitcoin". I landed myself on a site called "localbitcoins.com" and noticed their catchy "buy bitcoins near you" phrase. After a few glances and clicks on the website I discovered that I can actually buy Bitcoin using paypal on this site. This came as a relief as the Bitcoin doors may not be shutting off on me after all. I sign up immediately with localbitcoins.com and once my account open I soon realize that although there is a verification portal, I will be able to execute small trades and withdrawals (up to $ 1,000/year) with phone and email verification, I got even more excited.
My mounting excitement comes to a plateau when I discover one glitch with localbitcoins, the prices of Bitcoins listed! Bitcoin lists for $ 245 on the other exchanges I saw earlier today, however on localbitcoins the cheapest BTC/USD (paypal) listing is $ 327. I paused and thought for a while, then decided that this wasn't going to prevent me from getting my hands on my first bitcoins.
Tomorrow is Monday, a working day. I shall go to my local bank and deposit funds in my VISA-flagged debit card (which Paypal accepts) and later try and buy some bitcoin from localbitcoins, hopefully I will be successful.
This post is part of a series in which I recall my journey with Bitcoin since first knowing about it in 2015. You may view the previous post in the series through the link below:
All previous post in this series are available on my blog, From My Crypto Diary, the link to the blog is below:
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