May 192014
 

CoinAd Review

This CoinAd review takes a deeper look into this Bitcoin PTC site to determine whether it is good for Bitcoin community and Bitcoin businesses – the Bitcoin community to make some ‘free Bitcoin’ clicking on ads mostly related to Bitcoin businesses and for Bitcoin businesses to try and promote their business or service to the wider Bitcoin community.

CoinAd is a Bitcoin PTC (Paid to Click) site, which means it lets advertisers advertise on their website and whenever a registered user clicks on that ad, the clicker gets a small amount of money (paid in Bitcoin). The site takes the spread between what the business pays it per click and what it pays out the users per click. For this business to sustain, CoinAd needs a steady supply of Bitcoin businesses that want to advertise their service to the wider community and also a steady supply of users, mostly in the Bitcoin space, who want to click on these ads and get a way to earn a few Bitcoins clicking on ads (and getting to know the newer businesses in the Bitcoin niche).

 CoinAd Review for Clickers

There are many ways to earn some Bitcoin online (see my section on Free Bitcoin if you want to learn more) and the reason is simple – Bitcoin is extremely easy to send over geographical boundaries and in small quantities, as opposed to USD or other fiat currencies. Not surprisingly, there have been a good number of Bitcoin PTC sites that pay their users to click on ads. Before going any further, let me be very clear – you won’t be able to pay for your rent in Manhattan clicking on ads. On the other hand, if you’re a struggling student in a third world country, Bitcoin PTC and other forms of PTC can actually provide a substantial level of income that makes a difference in your life. I’ve personally known several such people from around the globe.

CoinAd Ads

With that out of the way, CoinAd is a very long running service in the Bitcoin world, at least by the standards of Bitcoin based businesses. It has seen many ups and downs and during the huge run up in Bitcoin price to $1000 when there was extreme volatility, I remember the ads almost drying up. However, CoinAd has come back up strongly and continues to deliver.

The minimum withdrawal was reduced to 0.15mBTC or 150 uBTC. This helped people get payments much more frequently. Although there are low days sometimes, CoinAd has a very good ad inventory, and you can consistently find 5-10 ads per day at least, and sometimes more. Also, CoinAd has a much higher payout compared to its closest competitor, BTCClicks, on an average. This is good for the clickers. In addition, CoinAd doesn’t force you to be on the page for the timer to progress like BTCClicks does, so that’s another advantage for CoinAd.

Free Bitcoin CoinAd Payment Proof

Overall, if you’re looking into Bitcoin PTC, CoinAd is definitely a great choice to earn some Bitcoin online.

CoinAd Review for Businesses

As a Bitcoin business or service, advertising can always be a tough sell. Sites like CoinAd make it easy to get the eyeballs – the rest of course depends on your product. Some of the best Bitcoin businesses have advertised with CoinAd and for good reason – I think the demographics is much more favorable, in that it attracts a lot of people in the community. In addition, being an old site, there are a lot of Bitcoiners here who have been in the scene for a while, and just visit CoinAd to stay up to date with the latest news and businesses in the Bitcoin world.

CoinAd usually has higher prices than sites like BTClicks but their demographics are more favorable and you’ll probably get a higher conversion here. Don’t take my word for it though – run a split test and see the conversions yourself. These depend mostly on your own site and service that you provide.

I think CoinAd is a great resource for Bitcoin based businesses and should be used as a powerful advertising tool.

Have you used CoinAd, either as a business or as a clicker? If so, please tell me your experience at the site in the comments section.

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon

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Jan 262014
 

Bter Review

In this Bter review, I want to show you the pros and cons of Bter as an altcoin exchange, and also share with you my personal experience with this exchange, to buy and sell, deposit and withdraw altcoins.

Bter is an altcoin exchange that allows you to trade currency pairs in BTC and LTC. It is one of the very few altcoin exchanges that also has a fiat currency component, in CNY. If you’re in China or have access to a Chinese bank account, Bter will allow you to buy your favorite altcoins with Chinese Yuan. Exchanges like Cryptsy don’t allow you to buy altcoins with USD, in comparison. Also, it was positively surprising that Bter was able to retain the CNY component of its exchange even after the Chinese Government gave guidelines to banks not to deal with crypto-currencies and large exchanges like BTC China shut off fiat deposits.

I have personally moved more and more of my trading and investing activity away from Cryptsy and into Bter and I wan to share with you my thoughts and experiences with this exchange.

Before going deeper into Bter review specifically, I want to recount the things that I expect from an exchange –

What Should an Altcoin Exchange Provide?

  • Ability to buy/sell altcoins I am interested in, i.e, having adequate number of altcoins to trade.
  • Adding new promising altcoins as soon as possible after they are launched, taking the lead.
  • Ability to quickly deposit/withdraw into the exchange, especially during fast moving markets.
  • Trades should be filled soon and not lag, especially in a fast moving market. You’d be surprised how many exchanges fail this simple criterion during market peak times.
  • Reasonable trading fees.
  • Resolving support issues when they arise.

These are my six main criteria while evaluating an exchange. There could be several other minor features that others might require in their altcoin exchange, but I think this is a fair list.

How Well Does Bter Perform?

Time to evaluate this Bter review with respect to how well Bter performs in the above mentioned points –

  • The list of altcoins that Bter provides is good. You have all the main altcoins and plenty of lesser known ones too. I think it is a good mix. However, on this single point alone, Cryptsy definitely beats Bter, in that Cryptsy has more number of altcoins that you can trade. Also remember that since Bter is a Chinese exchange, you have pairs available in CNY. Also, altcoins like ChinaCoin are available on Bter that are not usually available for trade on other exchanges. Bter has better inventory than older exchanges like BTC-e or Vircurex although these older exchanges tend to be more robust 3.5/5
  • I think Bter is very good with adding promising altcoins. I have written about this earlier, but Bter was the first ‘mainstream’ exchange that started a market in Protoshares. This was followed by Cryptsy more than 2 weeks later. More recently, Cryptsy became the first major exchange to add NXT (like it or hate it, it isn’t another copy-paste coin), while Cryptsy has no such plans and Vircurex is following Bter’s lead in adding NXT soon. I really like the fact that Bter is quick to add new idea coins to the list. In comparison, the last coins that Cryptsy added? RonPaulCoin, Mooncoin and BattleCoin. 4.5/5
  • Deposits and withdrawals are definitely quick at Bter. I’ve personally never had any problems or lag in scores of deposits and withdrawals at this site. However, if you browse through the Bitcointalk forums, you’ll see a few people complaining about this. There were also some issues during the peak December time when Bitcoin and altcoin trading was at its highest. To be fair to Bter though, its nearest competitor, Cryptsy was far far worse during this time, and still remains slower than Bter to this day. More recently, the whole experience with using Bter has been very pleasant and deposits and withdrawals have been consistently fast and reliable. 4/5
  • Trade lag is very minimal at Bter. Even during the peak of trading season that happened a couple of months ago in December, Bter was able to handle the load reasonably well, although there were some lag issues in some markets. Contrast this with Cryptsy where I had seen delays of up to 6 hours (yes, that isn’t a typo) to fill an order where the buy price was higher than the sell price. It was atrocious at Cryptsy. You can read on Bitcointalk forum about how a lot of people lost a lot during this time on Cryptsy. 4/5
  • Trading and withdrawal fees on Bter is one of the lowest in the industry. True, it might be pressured on this front with some new entrants who want to attract traders with lower fees, but among the major exchanges, Bter is definitely great. How does it compare to Cryptsy? The altcoin buying fees is the same on Cryptsy and Bter (0.2%) and the altcoin selling fees at Bter is 50% less than on Cryptsy! (0.2% for Bter vs. 0.3% for Cryptsy). 4.5/5
  • Bter can get better with responding to emails/support tickets. Most exchanges in this space suffer from this, but Bter isn’t particularly good either. On the plus side, you can contact them at Bitcointalk forums under the usernames Bter or freeworm. 3/5

So that’s my Bter review in the different categories that I consider important for any altcoin exchange. I like the way Bter is progressing forward, as it seems to get better and better. They also seem to have a pulse of the industry and add promising coins soon, which is a huge plus for this exchange. It is established and well-run. Overall, I am quite happy with my experience so far with Bter.

Do you trade at Bter? Have you used them at all? Happy or unhappy? Let us know in the comments.

Photo Credit: fdecomite

 

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Nov 102013
 

Poker by Proxy Review

This Poker by Proxy review is to look at this new Bitcoin gambling site, where instead of gambling directly, you ‘invest’ in a poker team, who then go out and play and either make or lose money in the process. The reason you would pay the team and not do this yourself is because the team is supposed to be better poker players than you. The site is a complete scam, and flushdraw has a nice update, but the idea behind the site is pretty neat.

The reason an idea like this works so well with Bitcoin is that everything is public ledger, so you know exactly how the players are gambling and where the money is going. This is very important. Of course, since PokerByProxy was a scam, they never revealed their Bitcoin addresses, but someone who actually wants to do this well, could theoretically be open, sharing in the losses and gains.

The protocol of Bitcoin can open doors to economies that hadn’t existed in the past. Imagine companies like Poker by Proxy coming up or even individuals doing this in a fully transparent way, so that everyone benefits. I am glad the company has expanded into using Bitcoin as a source of funding, and hope to see other developments by this company in the crypto-currency space.

 

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Aug 112013
 

BitcoinGet_Review

My BitcoinGet review will look at how you can get some free Bitcoins using BitcoinGet and whether it is worth your time to do so.

In the last 6 months, BitcoinGet has paid out a total of 155 BTC to its members. The way you earn Bitcoins on BitcoinGet is through performing small tasks (micro-tasks). Right now, there are two types of tasks that you can do on BitcoinGet:

  • CrowdFlower Tasks: These are small tasks, similar to what Amazon’s Mechanical Turk does. You will be given small things to do online – look up someone’s LinkedIn profile and other Facebook profile and determine if it’s the same person. Or solve some new forms of captcha. Or look up some keywords in Google and note the ranking of individual pages. Or look up a restaurant location. Or compare search results from different search engines. These are small, simple tasks that humans can easily do but computers cannot. They are not highly specialized tasks, so don’t expect to be paid a lot. However, it is a very good start in the Bitcoin world.
  • Virool Videos: I’ve seen Virool videos being offered on several other free Bitcoin sites but BitcoinGet has the highest payout for every video, at 50uBTC/30 seconds of video. This is an easy way to get free Bitcoins because you just have to watch some Youtube videos (you can just mute them if you don’t want to watch the full video) for 30 seconds at least, enter a captcha and you’re done. This is a fast, simple and easy way in my BitcoinGet review to make some free Bitcoin online without doing much work at all.

Pros of BitcoinGet

Here are some positive things about BitcoinGet review that I like compared to other online Bitcoin based services that also allow you to earn some Bitcoin online.

  • Fast Payment: I’ve never had to wait for more than 24 hours for my payment to be processed. Also, payments are automatic and sent to my wallet directly without me having to ask for a payout each time.
  • Low Minimum Payout: Several sites have a minimum payout now, because miners are asking to reduce the ‘mining-dust’ and several small transactions pollute the blockchain. At BitcoinGet, the minimum is 100uBTC. That’s the equivalent of 2 Virool Videos. I reach the minimum payout almost every day.
  • CrowdFlower Tasks are Coveted: CrowdFlower is one of the most popular micro-task platform and even popular sites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk use it. However, at Mechanical Turk, you need to have a minimum of 500 positive reviews before you can even see the CrowdFlower tasks! At BitcoinGet, you can now work on these tasks from day-1 without having to go through any hoops. The pay is comparative to what Mechanical Turk pays.

Cons of BitcoinGet

  • Not Specialized: This is my biggest complaint not with BitcoinGet per se but with most micro-tasks online. Since they are not specialized, they pay out very little. You can spend an hour on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and still make only $2-$3 an hour and that’s true for BitcoinGet as well. If you’re in the developed world, it might be easier to get a part-time job and convert your earnings into Bitcoin from your fiat currency than work online at BitcoinGet. That being said, a lot of people from the developing world can hugely benefit from sites like BitcoinGet.
  • Not Enough Diversity: BitcoinGet just has Virool Videos and CrowdFlower tasks right now. There are tens of other ways in which Bitcoin services make and allow their users to earn Bitcoins. I would like to see several other ways to get free Bitcoins from Crowdflower in the future.

Check out BitcoinGet today and let me know what your thoughts are on this.

Photo Credit: Victor1558

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Aug 012013
 

Bitcoin-Brokers Review

Here’s my Bitcoin-Brokers review as a seller of Bitcoin. Bitcoin-brokers is a service that allows you to buy Bitcoin anonymously for buyers, and sell Bitcoin at a premium to MtGox price for sellers. See the official BitcoinTalk thread for more details and latest updates.

I haven’t yet used their service for buying Bitcoin (by the way, if you’re interested in buying Bitcoin anonymously, check out Local Bitcoins, which tries to get buyers and sellers together in a given geography).

So how does Bitcoin-Brokers really work? It works differently for buyers and sellers:

For Buyers of Bitcoin: You will be given a bank account with name, account number and routing information. You walk into a bank with cash and deposit this money into this account. You then show a proof of the deposit to Bitcoin-Brokers and your Bitcoins will be sent to your wallet. Buyers pay a 2% fees.

For Sellers of Bitcoin: You will need to share your full name, bank account number and routing number which will be given to a potential buyer. You then transfer as many Bitcoins as you want to sell to a unique address given to you. Someone who wants to buy your Bitcoins is given your bank account information. When a buyer makes a payment into your bank account, you can release the Bitcoin to the buyer (you have until 8pm next day PST to confirm the same). Just in case you’re wondering, the information is “safe” and present on any bank check that you use, so there’s no real scope for misusing this information.

If this process sounds like you need a lot of trust in Bitcoin-Brokers, then you’re right. Remember that Bitcoin-Brokers never sees your money, which means they are not a financial exchange and thus not governed by the same laws that exchanges have to follow. This is another reason I think it’s important to put a Bitcoin-Brokers review out there, so anyone can share their experience.

Personal Experience

Here’s my personal experience with this service.

Firstly, I submitted a request to try the service out. The minimum currently is $400, so I decided to try the service out with 5 BTC.The first step is applying to the site as a seller, which means creating a support ticket. All communication is through this ticket, so it is a very manual process on both ends. You talk to the person in charge, who goes by Daniel Brown (Dan) through the ticket.

I’ve found Dan to be very responsive at least during the morning hours of EST. Once the process was confirmed, he gave me a personal wallet id to which I would send my Bitcoins that I wanted sold. Once again, I had to trust that he wouldn’t run away with my Bitcoins.

I bought 5 BTC on Coinbase. I am a level-2 verified member at Coinbase, so I when I want to buy Bitcoin, I get them instantaneously to my wallet (they don’t need to wait for confirmations). I immediately sent the 5 Bitcoins to the wallet id that Dan provided me with.

The 5 BTC were sold in 2 batches over a period of 3 days. This means there is a good amount of risk that you, as a seller, take on, because prices can fluctuate a lot during this time. Here are the financial details of how this went along:

Bought 5 Bitcoin from Coinbase (including fees): -$463.59
First batch of Bitcoin sold:                                      $375.00
Second batch of Bitcoin sold:                                 $132.90
Total:                                                                      $ 44.31

This was not too shabby. However, several things to note with my experience:

  • As a seller, you’re taking on a lot of risk especially when BTC/USD can fluctuates. In my case, it happened to favor me as the price of BTC was rising after I bought them and at the time of selling, it was higher. However, realize that there’s a good deal of risk in this because of the long time-frames involved.
  • You need to trust the person on the other end. There is no identity checks, business accreditation, etc. You are only hoping this works out for the good.

If you have experience with Bitcoin-Brokers, I’d like to hear from you and your thoughts on this. I was using it more as a Bitcoin arbitrage trade but perhaps there are others who are using this differently.

Photo Credit: Bitstamp Twitter

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Jun 032013
 

Puppy Twist ReviewBefore I could write a PuppyTwist review weighing the pros and cons of the site, it decided to make things easier for me – they just turned into a scam! This is the official PuppyTwist thread on BitcoinTalk forums if you’re interested. Here’s the gist: they don’t pay publishers anymore, but still probably take money from advertisers. I assume even the advertiser clicks are fraudulent.

If you’re a publisher, don’t bother with PuppyTwist. Also, be aware of it’s close 123bitcoins.com – probably a similar scam.

Here are some signs/progress for the site.

  • 3/14 the Bitcointalk announcement is made by member anzy.
  • They make some payouts. The average seems to be about 4-5 mBTC/click which is quite decent in my opinion.
  • 5/30 the site goes down, and the owner stops responding to help queries from members or publishers, both on the forum and on the site.
  • 123bitcoin.com appears on the internet with the exact same everything.

So if you’re looking to make some Bitcoins using Puppy Twist, just stay away. If you’re an advertiser wanting to promote your business through Puppy Twist, stay away too because no good publishers are going to display the ads on their website.

What about advertisers? I know quite a few Bitcoin businesses want to find relatively cheap advertising services, but if you use Puppy Twist, you’ll likely only be paying for fake clicks. Here’s a snapshot of the latest “clicks” to advertisers on Puppy Twist:

Puppy Twist Fake Clicks

Notice anything? The site static.wix.com generated 5 of these clicks. This has been the trend over the last week and possibly longer. That must be a really high-traffic site, right? Well, static.wix.com actually has the word “ok” in it. That’s it! That’s all the website contains. Good luck paying for clicks from there.

Did you end up using Puppy Twist at all? What was your experience? Did you get paid at all?

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