Coinbase, the Valley darling focused on making it easier to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin, has made it far easier to buy and sell BTC – if you give up just a smidge of privacy. The company is now offering instant Bitcoin purchases to verified users who supply private information about themselves using standard methods including answering the same public data questions used by banks and credit card companies.
Unverified users, on the other hand, still have to wait four business days for their transactions to complete. Verified users can buy and sell up to 50 BTC at a time and their transactions fund instantly according to a blog post on the site.
Coinbase is one of the few easy-to-use, bank-linked bitcoin markets. Users can connect bank accounts directly to the service and make purchases without wire transfers. However, to allow this level of trust, you have to give up a bit of privacy.
Coinbase, in short, is connecting your identity with your wallet. While you can easily circumvent this by, say, not using Coinbase, if you want the benefits of a more trust-worthy system it seems like this is the only way to fly barring finding a Satoshi Square in your neighborhood.
The system isn’t perfect. I tried it this morning and much of the public information it pulled from credit reports and the like was difficult to obtain – I had to remember when I owned a car that I believe I scrapped in 2003 or so as well as an address from the 1990s. My initial foray failed and I will have to wait one day to try again.
Bitcoin is full of trade-offs – in many cases security for anonymity and speed for trust – but, given the fluctuations of Bitcoin of late it may pay to offer up just a little of your information to get funded instantly. After all, as prices fall and rise, four days is a long time to wait for your BTC to be land in your wallet.