How to Buy or Sell Bitcoin Securely?
To buy or sell bitcoins, you have to trade it with someone. In this process, you have two options. The first approach is to trust the other party. For example, if you are going to buy bitcoins, you send your money to the seller and wait for her to send you bitcoins. These actions are not going to happen at the same time, because they go through different systems.
This is doable, but you should only do this if you absolutely trust the other party. That’s because no one governs the Bitcoin network, and if you send your money, you are not guaranteed to receive your bitcoins, and you might not be able to take back your money.
The second approach is to use an escrow service provided by some third parties. This approach starts with the seller sending bitcoins to the trusted third party. Then the buyer sends money to the seller and notifies the third party that he has sent the money. Then seller checks to see if the money is received and then releases the escrow. Then the trusted third party sends bitcoins to buyers.
When things go wrong, that trusted the third party arbitrates the transaction and solves it by sending bitcoins to the buyer or back to the seller depending on the conditions and her own judgment.
KeepChange.io is one such trusted third party. Buyers and sellers create an account on the site. They will be given a Bitcoin wallet where sellers can charge it by sending their own bitcoins to it. When buyers want to buy bitcoins, The exact amount in bitcoins is moved from the seller wallet to a separate escrow wallet. When the buyer pays the money, he can mark the trade as paid. When the seller receives the money, she can mark it as completed and bitcoins are released and moved from escrow wallet to buyer’s wallet. Then the buyer can keep the bitcoins or move it to another wallet, or create an advertisement for selling it again.
When things go wrong, the buyer or seller can dispute the trade, and then the support staff will step in. They will check the messages sent through the chat system and ask for different information from the buyer and seller and finally solve the disputed trade.
Escrow is needed just for one side of the trade. Some services escrow the money in a fiat currency like USD or EUR, while others like KeepChange.io escrow bitcoins. Escrowing bitcoins has many benefits for the buyer, seller, and the trusted third party. For example, by doing it this way, we support all other currencies and even all other cryptocurrencies.
If you want to buy or sell bitcoins from someone you trust, you can do it without any third party, but if that someone is not trusted, then you absolutely need someone like KeepChange.io to mediate the transaction.