Frozen account on Poloniex

Yesterday I logged in on Poloniex to see what’s going on my few crypto coins. (Very few ethereum, some euro in Pascal and 400 DOGE).

I am told I have to give name, surname, address, phone number, scans of my id card + a selfie.

I am pissed! I have to give an incredibly large amount of personal data just to withdraw some pennies!!!

Eventually, I comply, and I give them all my data. Today, the suprise: my money is frozen unless I send a selfie with “Poloniex” handwritten on a piece of paper!

WTF??? Does this smell like a scam? Unless I send this questionable selfie, I can’t withdraw anything…

Avoid using Cryptsy

After a while I went back on Cryptsy, to see what happened. the vertcoins I mined at the launch, were worth 20 cents, they rose up to 60 euro, but I did not sell them “they will get more value over time”, now are worth 2 euro, what a pity.
Anyways, I mined them in a day, so I did not lose money…
The main problem is that I went to withdraw… there were many bitcoins missing from my account! I was remembering there were around 20 euro, but right now it’s empty! How it’s that possible?!?
I check withdrawals, and I see one made one month ago, to the address b928d5c7a81a40713407d40a8bf1e92ded1a59d1. (invalid address)
Possible??? I did not get any withdrawal confirmation email!!
I contact support and this is their reply:

your coins have been moved to a cold storage wallet for better security

For security???? Without notification?? This is stealing! If, with the “security” excuse they get 20 euro from the thousands of users they have, it’s a lot of money!!!

Now I have to see if I will get back the bitcoins, I asked support hours ago, but no response yet…

The experiment

For a gift, I want to buy an anatomy book on Amazon. It’s the perfect chance to try!
Purse it’s a service that allows you to buy bitcoins with credit card… by buying gifts on Amazon wishlists!
For example: Jack has 1 bitcoin, Brian wants to buy it with his credit card. The system pairs buyers with sellers, Brian buys a gift to Jack, and, when it’s delivered, bitcoins are released.
It’s possible then to insert a discount over the stuff. For now I chose a 30% discount, maybe if tomorrow nobody got it, I’ll change it.
Will it work? We will see in the next days!

Bitcoin crashes again, China buys a lot

Yesterday Mt. Gox announced that withdrawals of cash and bitcoins are temporarily disabled, blaming the bitcoin protocol. (While actually it’s only their fault: they assumed that the transaction id is unique and not editable, allowing scammers to duplicate their withdrawals…)
Obviously such a news made the bitcoin value tank. Watching on, you can see that Chinese people gladly bought the “discounted” bitcoins, buying them in mass (600 bitcoins in 10 minutes!!!)

What happens if you send bitcoins without fees?

When you send bitcoins, the wallet automatically adds transfer fees, to pay the mathematical work needed to confirm the transaction.
Anyways, many wallets still allow to send a payment without fees: what happens if we do that?
Some “miners” will confim the transaction anyways, others instead ignore them: without fees or with very low fees, the time needed for confirmation is much higher, and it might never happen.So, I tried it, and I transfered 0.1 bitcoin on a “paper wallet“.
Those 0.1 bitcoin came from 24 smaller transactions (many small microtransactions that I made on, so the transaction was big: the suggested fee was 0.005 bitcoins, $0.50. Too much, I thought, considering how hard it was to earn them.
I ignored the warning and I transfered them nonetheless.
In the beginning I was serously worried: after two hours the coins were still in a limbo. I went to see transaction details on, and I saw that my queue position was constantly higher. I was on the 600th place, then on the 1800th, and so on. Quite obvious, because “miners” give more priority to who pays more fees.
But, after 461 minutes, the bitcoins arrived safely in my “paper wallet”

The conclusion is: without fees, bitcoins will still arrive, but with a big delay.

Here’s the result of the bitcoin experiment

As I wrote yesterday, for experiment, I rented on eBay a 6 GH/s bitcoin miner for 24 hours, paying it 6 euro. Before renting it, I calculated that, in average, a 6 GH/s rig in 24 hours makes around 4 euro worth of bitcoins (quite obvious, if it was more profitable, the seller would have kept the gain for himself, right?), so I gave instruction to mine alternative cryptocurrencies, that I would have exchanged later for an higher profit.
I got:
  • 2.84346867 Freicoin
  • 33.96338019 Zetacoin
  • 0.72134190 Terracoin
That, if they were exchanged immediately at the moment which I bid on the eBay auction (18 hours before the actual start), they would have been worth a dozen of euro.
But, I got them much later: 18 hours for the auction to expire, 24 hours to mine them, other 18 hours waiting for my “shares” to be completed and finally 5 hours to see them credited on my Cryptsy account. Almost three days have passed, and now those coins are worth around 2 euro…

Well, at least now I can have fun on Cryptsy doing “virtual” forex:

And I can create orders to get rid of those cryptocurrencies that are useless to anyone except speculators.
Conclusion: this approach isn’t profitable, even if teached me a lot on this world. If I’m good in exchanging this coins, seeing the extreme volatility of those currencies, I could recover my losses (now: 4 euro)
Before doing this experiment and renting the 6 GH/s for 6 euro, I evalutated the situation carefully, I saw people on eBay that paid 15-20 euro for renting just 1 GH/s: I thought that they were professionals, that they would have got back the money, instead they were just crazy. Meh.