Entries in Bitcoin (2)
The last few months have seen some growing pains here at BitInstant that you may have, unfortunately, had to deal with. Let’s get this blog rolling by flat out apologizing for that. We’re sorry for delays in transactions and communication. We understand how much it sucks to be sweating your money without great communication. So, keep reading and you’ll learn what’s been going on and how we’re changing to make these problems a thing of the past.
Why the Problems?
With all the popular media attention bitcoin has been getting lately, people have been getting wise to the idea that this is the future. As a result, BitInstant been slammed with new and return users alike. And it’s not just us; our partner exchanges have been feeling the burn too. So why exactly does that cause problems?
How BitInstant Works
To understand this it’s important that you realize exactly how BitInstant works. It takes time to move funds around, even digitally. We created BitInstant to help you get money faster by creating accounts at the different exchanges and putting our own funds into them.
When you make a new BitInstant transaction we aren’t able to magically move YOUR funds faster – we take some of OUR funds out of OUR account and move them into your account on whatever exchange you’ve chosen. When things are running smoothly our funds show up in your account and you go on your happy way. Then we patiently wait for your funds to catch up to our account and repopulate our reserves – a process that can take days.
What are you doing with my money when I don’t see it?
We’ve heard a lot of complaints suggesting that when you don’t get your money immediately it’s because we’re hanging on to it so that we can make more money. So let’s set the record straight, this is definitely not what’s happening. We don’t hold bitcoins and don’t make more money when your orders are delayed; it actually hurts us because orders are processing more slowly. When you send us your funds we immediately initiate your requested transaction and queue the funds to enter your requested exchange. We aren’t trying to game the system and we’re not making more money when your transaction is delayed.
What’s the Problem?
High volume with lots of requests for fund transactions increases the demand on our accounts. Because it can take days for us to receive the funds that previous customers sent, our reserves on the different exchanges can get low. When many people make near simultaneous demands on our system it’s been hard to keep up with the demand.
How are we fixing this?
We are working to be aware of issues sooner so that we can temporarily disable transaction methods when backlogs exist. This will ensure that customers who have placed transactions will have their orders fulfilled before new orders are entered into the system. We have backup liquidity providers that we are working on getting online to help prevent these situations. So when you see an exchange temporarily disabled from our list of transaction methods – this is what’s going on. We’ll also alert you via @bitinstanthelp on Twitter when we make these temporary changes to the transaction methods.
We take these problems very seriously and work every day to improve our customer experience. In the last six weeks we’ve hired four new full-time support staffers to help process tickets and we’ve been training them on our systems. There’s a lot to know to help process your orders but we’re starting to turn the team loose to help out which should make a notable difference on our support ticket turn-around time.
We’ve added a support form to our website to help collect the information that we need to solve your problem quickly (https://www.bitinstant.com/contact). This will reduce the number of interactions that are required to solve problems. You can also access this form from our Facebook page by clicking the “WuFoo” icon at the top of the page.
We’ve also launched a Twitter account to help alert you to potential delays in our system. Please follow @bitinstanthelp – we will be updating this account regularly when our support team is working.
**We will still be working through the tickets that are still outstanding in our system but you are welcome to submit a new request through the form to make sure we have all the necessary information to solve your problem.
We’re sorry that we haven’t been able to keep ahead of the Bitcoin demand, but we’re actively trying to solve these problems. The items listed above are only the beginning of the support improvements we have planned for the coming weeks. We hope that you will bear with us through some of our growing pains and understand that we value our customers and want nothing more than for your transactions to be quick and painless. We will always do our best to try and turn problems into happy customers. If you think we’ve made a mistake let us know and we’ll work with you to refund fees and resolve the situation.
New York, NY (PRWEB) May 30, 2012
From BitInstant LLC - Locations throughout North America, Eastern Europe and Latin America now enable Bitcoin purchase
BitInstant LLC announced today an expansion of its payment options to enable the purchase of Bitcoin—a global digital currency—at hundreds of thousands of retail and convenience locations in US, Russia, and Brazil.
Using these new locations, anyone can obtain Bitcoins within minutes of payment, a process that previously took several days. By simplifying this exchange, customers now just visit BitInstant's website, print out a receipt, and deposit physical cash for the virtual currency at their nearest retail or convenience location. Bitcoins are credited to their account within 30 minutes.
This solves one of the convenience problems associated with Bitcoin purchases - they are now far easier to acquire. Credit cards and Paypal have typically not been accepted, because those payments are reversible, whereas Bitcoins are not (enabling the seller of Bitcoins to be defrauded with a chargeback). This dynamic has made obtaining Bitcoins a lengthy and confusing process. BitInstant hopes to change that.
"This is now absolutely the fastest way for people in these three major markets to acquire Bitcoins," explains Charlie Shrem, CEO of BitInstant, "it's become exponentially easier to make purchases and this increased liquidity will further broaden the appeal of the Bitcoin system."
Bitcoin is the world's first private, decentralized digital currency and payment network, with a current market price of around $5 per Bitcoin. The currency is controlled by cryptography rather than by any corporation or central bank. Created as an open-source software project by a mysterious programmer named Satoshi Nakomoto (who has since vanished), Bitcoin enables users to transfer funds instantly to any other Bitcoin account holder in the world. There is no middle-man or controlling entity, positioning this new currency as wildly different and potentially revolutionary technology.
"It's taken a while for people to really internalize what this all means," says Shrem, "The value of Bitcoin lies in its mathematical honesty, flexibility, and privacy. Instead of waiting 3-5 business days for a wire transfer across an ocean, Bitcoin transfers are immediate and have zero fees (for the most part). They also prevent merchants from suffering costly chargebacks, or requiring customers to expose personal information merely to make an online purchase." Shrem suggests that "Bitcoin is to money what email is to the postal service."
This partnership further enables the "underbanked" to take part in the global online economy. This cash deposit network was built for the tens of millions of US residents who don't have a bank account, or don't feel comfortable divulging personal information online (which is over 82% of the US population according to Consumer Reports). By using cash deposits, all these consumers can still obtain and spend credit with online merchants. As Bitcoin is a frictionless online currency that also doesn't require any bank account, bridging the two was a natural fit.
"Almost a quarter of US families don't have debit or credit cards," says BitInstant's Director of Marketing, Erik Voorhees, "but we let them participate in ecommerce anyway. Drop cash at your nearest convenience store, and you can buy whatever you'd like online."
Of particular note are the international deposit locations, which have only recently brought online. While Bitcoin is global, specific nation’s currencies are not. With the new partnership, a Brazilian for example can deposit R$ (Reals) locally, and obtain Bitcoins which are slowly being accepted in an increasing number of locations throughout the internet. "Speaking globally," Voorhees continues, "the World Bank claims that roughly 50% of the world's population does not have access to banking, let alone debit and credit cards, hence our expansion beyond the US and beyond the US dollar. Bitcoin is ideal for this type of arrangement."
BitInstant's announcement arrives on the heels of Seattle-based Bitcoin company, CoinLab, obtaining venture funding from prominent Silicon Valley VC's including Tim Draper, and Apple approving the first Bitcoin wallet app on its App Store for iPhone and iPad.
"Skeptics like to point at Bitcoin and laugh," says Voorhees, "'that's not real money,' they claim. But perhaps, as quipped on the recent Bitcoin-themed episode of The Good Wife, 'real is about to change.'"
New York-based BitInstant (http://www.bitinstant.com) leads the financial integration of the international, open-source Bitcoin payment network. By enabling its customers to fund third-party exchange and payment accounts instantly, BitInstant is the fastest way to obtain Bitcoins or to arbitrage funds between global Bitcoin exchange markets.
CEO - Charlie Shrem, charlie(at)bitinstant(dot)com