Thank you for joining us for article #3 in our 4-part series of my experience buying and selling crypto. In article #1 I described setting up my account, and in article #2 I spoke about buying bitcoin. Now we dive into selling my bitcoin and buying Ether.

I’m pro blockchain, FinTech, and crypto, but buying and selling on Coinbase was a very unhappy event.

What a Frigging Disaster Show

I hit the button to sell my bitcoin which had drifted down about 10% from my purchase. If you’re keeping track, that is $10 out the door. Combined with my roughly 4% purchase fee and 3% selling fee, I was down 17%. Certainly not Bitcoin’s fault.

In fact, my market timing is so bad that I thought about writing an investment newsletter called “Do the Opposite”.

However, the fee disclosure was non-existent. Did they prepare a user for basically nothing regarding the process or the fees?
The act of hitting the sell button was easy, as you might imagine. It felt like playing a slot machine. Does anyone remember when they used to be in a casino, a physical casino?

I took my proceeds of about $85 and thought I was buying Ether which is the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. Of course, Coinbase called the cryptocurrency “Ethereum” which is just plain inaccurate.

For some reason, my account which I thought would show about $85 in Ether, now showed about $180 of combined Ether and cash. Huh? If this were my brokerage account, cash out and Ether/crypto in. Not complicated in my head.

However, when I looked at my checking account linked to my Coinbase account, I realized that Coinbase did not take my cash and reinvest in Ether. It took an additional amount of cash equal to my sale proceeds (minus the transaction fee). My checking account was reflecting every single transaction I made and would make.

That makes about as much sense as my sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner to have turkey (I’m a 20-year vegan). They gamed me. They did a bait and switch making me think I was reinvesting proceeds.

In reality, they simply pumped my checking account for more money

I was pissed. Then I calmed down and realized that maybe my advanced age of 56 meant that this is the usual customer experience 20 something year old’s expect. Maybe I’m behind the times?

Bottom Line

Either way, they clearly gamed me. Now you wonder why the SEC is so keen on regulating the space. If you’ve had a better experience, please comment below.


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