Buying and selling bitcoin in person

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Thoughts | No Comments

Every time I buy and sell bitcoin in person it always feels like an awkward first date. The seller always thinks their doing you a favour, and vis versa. Depending on the person too, they might stick around waiting for the transaction to get at least one confirmation, so you find yourself making bitcoin small talk.

If you’re buying, I would recommend you wait for at least 1 confirmation depending on the amount.

Unless you deal with trading a lot, you can always feel pressured in the moment.  Here are my tips for trading in person:

  • Cash only.
  • Try to call the person first on a local number.  Even mobile numbers in Australia require some form of ID.   Google that number before hand too, to make sure there are no dogey reviews on Reddit etc.
  • Agree to a rate on the morning and amount, so you can do your maths in advance.  This means you don’t have to try and compute a rate under pressure.
  • Limit the amount of BTC in your wallet too, so if you do make a math error, or typing error, your risk is mitgated.
  • You could also put the funds in a multisig wallet and then phone a friend to release.
  • I get the client to meet at the local Casino
    • Casinos have security and cameras EVERYWHERE,  and will likely be a deterrent to any scammers.
    • Casinos see large amounts of cash on the gaming floor every day, so a few thousand dollars won’t attract any attention.   If it does, a quick story like “my mate is lending me money to gamble” won’t be out of place.
    • Then get the croupiers to exchange cash for casino chips!  Croupiers are trained to spot counterfeits, and count large sums of cash daily, so rarely make a clerical error.  Large sums get validated by a pit boss.
    • Chips are easier to count by design.  Counting two $500 chips is a lot easier than counting twenty $50 under pressure.
    • Its probably harder to forge chips than currency too, and at least you could make the claim that you got them from a croupier anyway.

These are just my tips, and should be in no way taken as legal advice.  If in doubt, just walk away.  Happy trading!