The crypto world is incredibly exciting with possibilities abound, but it’s not as easy to get into and move around as you might think. Take for instance my recent attempt to buy bitcoin from XAPO, a wallet that offers debit cards and secure storage. When opening a US based account with many, if not all vendors that sell bitcoin, you must provide several forms of identification, proof of residency. I did that recently with XAPO and the normal processing turned into 2 1/2 weeks. Ok, but you would think it’s 2017 and this process should be a lot faster. It’s the digital age, lighting networks baby!
After waiting the 2 1/2 weeks to get verified so I could buy some bitcoin and put a little in the vault storage I finally got my chance! Except you can only do wire transfers to buy bitcoin from XAPO. For fuck’s sake now I’m understanding that this isn’t a service for the everyday Joe. If you’ve gotta do a wire transaction, which aren’t cheap, then your probably a big investor or institution, not a drunken bitcoiner. Since I’m doing a lot of this for experience and then write about them I slogged on. It got worse though.
So I put in an order for $100 worth of BTC. XAPO adds $1, plus the bank fee of $5, so the total order costs $106. On top of that I’ve got a $20 wire fee from my bank. Nom nom nom is the sound of 26% of my BTC going everywhere except to me. Remember though, doing this for the XP.
Next, XAPO credits my acct. with 0.06339707BTC. I now have 3 business days to complete the wire transfer. XAPO e-mails me the wiring instructions for their payment provider Synapse Financial Technologies, with detailed instructions. So I go up to my Credit Union to process the transfer. The branch manager helps me out and we’re almost there, except, there is no beneficiary phone # in the wire instructions. Apparently it’s different for each financial institution whether or not they require the beneficiaries phone number. The big banks don’t require this as Synapse would later tell me. The branch manager tells me she can’t proceed without the #. So she and I both try to find it on the web, through my XAPO app, etc. Here’s the shitty part, a lot of companies nowadays only have those stupid help request forms on their sites, no direct line of communication with a living human being. So, the only way to proceed was to call them out on twitter and fill out their “help request” form or e-mail them as instructed on the form. As most people know though, Twitter is the fastest way.
So, after 20mins I finally got a response from Synapse via e-mail asking me why I needed the number and what financial institution I’m with. So I respond back, 10 min no answer. Friday afternoon, traffic is building up in So.Cal on the 405 and I have to get back to the job site so I left. As I’m getting on the freeway the response comes back via e-mail for a help phone number to Synapse, 415-688-2943 incase you ever need to get a hold of them, and even then you’re going straight to VM. So I kindly left a slightly aggressive message about the situation. In the meantime founder of Synapse get’s back to me on twitter and says not their problem, it’s XAPO’s. I don’t fucking care, someone take some responsibility. This is your business, not mine. The next thing that happens is a call back from the Co-founder who explains to me that in his 3 years in this field this has never happened. Now this pisses me off cause he’s being condescending telling me it’s not a requirement. Well my fucking financial institution says it is and if this is your business and you’ve been doing it for a whole 3 years you should know that a simple google search will show you it is a requirement from some financial institutions, maybe not the whale banks, but it’s easy to find others that require it. Here, Eagle Credit Union right up the street from me even does motherfucker!
- Account type (i.e. checking account, savings account)
- Account number to be credited
- Amount of wire
- Name on account
- Receiver’s address
- Receiver’s phone number
5pm, Friday, credit union’s closed, so now I gotta go back on Monday and give my CU the “help line” for Synapse as the phone number. I’ve still got time before XAPO does some something regarding the amount, purchase, fine, something cause it’s not exactly clear what they will do if you miss that 3 day window.
Lesson learned though so you don’t have to. When doing bitcoins & alt coins try if possible to avoid companies that make it a cage match to try and get a hold of customer service, cause when you need it right away 24hrs doesn’t fuckin work bro.
Next time I’ll just buy NAV coin with my debit card and change it to BTC. Ya, let’s try that next time! Until then, it’s beer o’clock and time for a good ole’ Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.