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/r/BitcoinUK FAQ

/BitcoinUK FAQ

ArcaneWharf and I have put this post together quickly so that we have a resource which we can point newcomers towards in order to answer their frequently answered questions. This should serve as more of an overview or quick-start guide which is a jumping off point for beginners, rather than a comprehensive or complete guide.
This is a work-in-progress (i.e., definitely not perfect) which, as a community, we could expand and improve upon over time. If you have something to contribute (either to this or something more detailed), do comment in this thread or contact the mods (by sending a message to /BitcoinUK).

How can I learn more about bitcoin?

There are already some links in /BitcoinUK’s sidebar which should help you get started. If that’s not enough, check out:
We'd encourage you to at least understand the basics before making your first bitcoin purchase. There are tons of fantastic resources out there, so there’s no excuse for ignorance.

How do I buy bitcoin?

The answer depends on your priorities, as there tends to be a trade-off between more convenient, quicker options (which are more expensive) and less convenient, slower options (which are cheaper).

Getting started

Purchasing with a credit or debit card on Coinbase is the best starting point for beginners, as it offers a great user experience. There's a quick guide here, but you probably won't need it as the sign-up and purchase process is quite intuitive. If you're having issues with verification on Coinbase (or it's just taking too long), then you might want to check out the options described in the ‘high fees, but faster’ section below.
For subsequent purchases, check out the options described in the next two sections. Although the ‘no fees, but slower’ purchase route is popular and well recommended on /BitcoinUK, you shouldn’t automatically rule out the options described in the ‘high fees, but faster’ section.

No fees, but slower

The Revolut to GDAX route is frequently recommended in the /BitcoinUK community, as it eliminates fees and allows you to purchase bitcoin at the best possible price. Keep in mind that this route won’t work on weekends, as SEPA transfers only get pushed through during normal working hours (i.e., Monday AM till Friday PM). If you’re looking to purchase on weekends, then you’ll have to use the options described in the following section.
You can finds details about this purchase route in this text guide and this video guide
Summary of this process:
  1. Sign up for Coinbase and Revolut.
  2. Transfer GBP into your Revolut GBP account.
  3. Activate your EUR wallet
  4. Convert GBP to EUR in Revolut (FREE)
  5. Send EUR to Coinbase (FREE)
  6. Transfer EUR from Coinbase to GDAX (FREE)
  7. Buy bitcoin on the BTC/EUR market.

High fees, but faster

If you’re willing to pay a premium (i.e., pay above market-rate), then you can buy bitcoin quickly and conveniently with GBP UK bank transfers and debit/credit card purchases. The premium charged by these options is usually under 5%, but can extend beyond that during times of high demand and (positive) price volatility. Unlike the Revolut to GDAX route, these options also allow you to complete purchases on weekends.
Popular, frequently recommended options which are quick and convenient include:
Prices offered across these services vary day-to-day. For an overview of your options (and their relative competitiveness), you should check out BittyBot.co. This provides a full list of merchants and marketplaces available, ordered by price (cheapest first). You can also filter the output by payment method by typing it into the 'Search' box.
Some users may prefer to take this faster route if they are convinced the price of bitcoin will increase during the time it would take for a transfer to process from Revolut to GDAX (using the method detailed in the previous section). This can pay off, but be cautious. The volatility of bitcoin makes it a double-edged sword and its price could just as easily go down (drastically) as it could go up.

What's the best way to sell bitcoin?

You can sell bitcoins back to the majority of sites which you buy them from. As before, there's a trade-off between the quicker and slower options.
If you're looking to get a price which is closest to the market rate (and pay as few fees as possible), then you'll want to sell through an exchange like GDAX, exchanging your bitcoin for euros. GDAX is preferable when you're selling, as the price you'll get per bitcoin is higher. Essentially, just reverse the process detailed earlier in the FAQ (see this text guide or this video guide). Alternatively, check out this quick 3-minute video which walks you through the process.
Summary of this process:
  1. On GDAX, click ‘Withdraw Funds’ while in the EUBTC market
  2. Transfer to your Coinbase Account (FREE)
  3. Go to Coinbase > Accounts > Euro Wallet > Withdraw
  4. On Revolut, go into your Euro wallet > Top Up > Bank Transfer > EUR
  5. Note down the IBAN and BIC from Revolut, and enter them into Coinbase. Also include the amount you wish to withdraw.
  6. Withdraw funds into Revolut (15p charge)
  7. Once funds are in your Revolut EUR account, exchange from EUR to GBP (FREE)
  8. Go to GBP wallet > send funds. Add yourself as a beneficiary.
  9. Send the funds! (free)
If you sell bitcoin on Localbitcoins, Solidi, etc., you can get it sorted same-day (usually in less than an hour) with a transfer directly to your UK bank account in GBP. For that convenience, you'll usually get offered an exchange rate which is below the market-rate (usually up to 5%, but sometimes more). You are able to set your own sell orders on Localbitcoins or BitBargain (so you’ll be able to sell above market rate). However, we would not advise doing this as a newcomer.
Of course, you could always just withdraw directly from an exchange to your UK bank account. Again, you'll lose a percentage of your funds (>1%) in the foreign exchange conversion (from EUR to GBP) which your bank processes. Depending on the exchange rate charged by your bank, you might be better off selling through services which allow you to cash out in GBP instead.

How should I store bitcoin?

To simplify quite a broad topic, you essentially have two options: hot or cold.

Hot Wallet

A hot wallet is any wallet that is connected to the internet. Typically this will be in the form of a desktop program or a mobile app. Hot wallets rank high in convenience, but are not suitable for large holdings. They are extremely vulnerable to malware and backdoors, with hackers having strong financial incentives to target desktop wallets. Nevertheless, they are perfectly reasonable for storing small amounts of cryptocurrency.
Some popular options:

Cold Wallet

A cold wallet is a wallet that does not connect to the internet, and therefore cannot be affected by malware. There are multiple forms of cold storage, but beginners should first consider a hardware wallet.
A hardware wallet is a small, USB device where you can keep your cryptocurrency. They are secure since all of the information is stored on the device, so you could plug it in to a computer riddled with malware, and the malware would have no way of interacting with your wallet. These generally aren’t considered as secure as cold-storage wallets, but are much better than a hot-wallet. Usage just requires plugging the hardware wallet into your computer.
One drawback of a hardware wallet is the cost (£70-100). Although not a mandatory purchase, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a hardware wallet if you've accumulated (or plan to accumulate) coins which are worth more than between £500 - £1000.
Popular, well-recommended options include the:
Both are reputable and will serve you well. At the time of writing this, the Ledger is slightly cheaper and offers support for more cryptocurrencies. Unless you need the greater cryptocurrency support, the choice between them doesn’t really matter.
For an overview of the Ledger Nano S (with security recommendations and a small FAQ) see this post. For a tutorial on setting it up, check out this video.

More information

For a more information on different wallets, check out:
When setting up a wallet, it’s advisable to not record your mnemonic seed (which allows you to restore the wallet) on a digital device. Instead, it’s recommended to record it (clearly) on paper or card.

Why can't I just leave my bitcoin in the exchange?

When you buy bitcoin on an exchange (such as GDAX), the bitcoin is in your account but still belongs to the company who runs the exchange. Until you withdraw to your own wallet (as described above), the bitcoin is not truly yours. The bitcoin does not belong to you unless you own the private key. This is very important. Do not leave large amounts of cryptocurrency in an exchange.
Even if you trust that the company won’t run off with your bitcoin, an exchange is much more prone to getting hacked. Think about it from the perspective of a hacker: would you rather target a million individual users who only own a small amount of bitcoin each? Or would you target one exchange that you know is holding unfathomably large amounts of bitcoin? Don’t believe me?
If you're purchasing through Coinbase, you can withdraw cryptocurrencies through GDAX (same company) to your own wallet for free. Check out this how-to post for details.

Should I buy at £x price?

No one can tell you this. No one really knows what bitcoin will do in the future. Please do your own due diligence and consider dollar cost averaging.

What about Revolut’s in-app cryptocurrency offer?

Revolut is a mobile banking app that has recently announced support for cryptocurrencies. Note this section only refers to their service that allows you to buy cryptocurrencies within their application - not the process detailed above.
While more mainstream adoption is good, Revolut’s in-app cryptocurrency exchange - in its current state - does not allow you to withdraw your cryptocurrency from their application. This has all the same issues as leaving in exchange, as you don’t have the cryptocurrency in your own wallet.
Revolut’s in-app cryptocurrency exchange should be rolled out to all customers, if their FAQ is still accurate, by the 21st or 22nd December. Early access is available if you have premium or invite 3 friends who subsequently sign up and use their app. See here for more details.

How do UK taxes work with bitcoin?

Please note: This is not professional tax advice. Conduct your own research to verify this information and/or contact a professional tax advisor.
If you sell bitcoins at a higher price than you bought them for, or exchange them for something else (e.g., another cryptocurrency, and goods or services), you would be liable to pay capital gains tax. However, you have a capital gains allowance of £11,300 per year. If you generate profits from the sale or exchange of bitcoins which fall below this threshold, then no tax would be due. Additionally, no tax is due until you sell or exchange it for something else. You may also be able to reduce your capital gains liability by gifting cryptocurrencies to your partner so that they can take advantage of their capital gains allowance too (more details in this thread).
It appears unclear how you would be taxed in the UK in other circumstances: such as mining, working for cryptocurrency, or proof of stake rewards. As these rules develop, it’s advised to document everything you do with cryptocurrencies. When the taxman comes knocking, you’ll be grateful that you did.
IndeedHowlandReed has kindly putting together a more detailed guide about Bitcoin and UK tax. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here. If you have any questions not answered by their guide, post them in this thread (or upvote existing questions).
Useful Links:

Have a question that’s not here? Search /BitcoinUK first.

If you don’t find the answer to your question here, please search this subreddit before submitting a new post.

Have a contribution or suggestion?

As noted at the start, this is a WIP (i.e., it's definitely not perfect) which, as a community, we could expand and improve upon over time. If you have something to contribute (or even just a suggestion), do comment in this thread or contact the mods.
submitted by Bedroni to BitcoinUK [link] [comments]

Enigmabox - First Impressions / Review

I am not affiliated with Verein Enigmabox. I am just a geek into meshnets.

Background

I'm an IT Security analyst with a interest in cryptography, cipherpunk, darknets, meshnets, and a lot more geeky things that are not worth mentioning. I only have 15000 characters in this text box! :-)
I run a hyperboria node VPS and a couple of raspberry pis that are peered with my small mesh so when I stumbled across the Enigmabox my interest was piqued.
The Enigmabox is a small embedded PC in red aluminum case with a silkscreen logo and writing. It has three Ethernet ports, and two USB ports, an RS-232 port, and a power connector.
It's administered via the web. Eth0 has a static IP of 192.168.100.1 and Eth1 has a static IP of 192.168.101.1. Eth2 is your public/ WAN port.
It can either be used as a CJDNS node or can connect up to a CJDNS-based VPN run by the folks at Enigmabox.
It costs €575.00 which includes one-year of VPN access. As of this writing you have a choice of VPN exit nodes in:
Enigmabox claims 40mbits of throughput, but on my 50/16 Comcast Business Cable connection I am getting 14/10 out the US endpoint.
The box is designed to be set up and used as the gateway for your computer, or for your entire network. I set mine up as the gateway for my entire network.
I had no problems last night watching Netflix or Hulu Plus on my Roku box. This was while several other high-bandwidth activities were also going on from other devices on my network.
This morning however I noticed that the internet connection dropped for the US endpoint so I had to switch to the German one. I'm not sure if that was a problem local to the VPN concentrator or if I actually got flagged and banned for excessive bandwidth usage.
Later on this afternoon I was able to switch back to the US endpoint which is good because my Company geoblocks network activity from pretty much every country's IP-space other than the US and Canada.

The Ordering Process

I found the ordering process to be a bit cumbersome and arcane to be honest. There were issues with the order form, and my only two payment options were bitcoins or wire transfer.
I would have felt much more comfortable spending €575.00 had I could have paid with either a credit card or hell — even PayPal!
On the plus side, I got to learn just how much more arcane and byzantine wiring money from one's credit union in the United States to a bank in Switzerland and converting the currency from USD to Euros could actually be.
I can't wait for BitCoin to become the de-factor currency for ecommerce, but I don't have hundreds of dollars or euros tied up in any online or offline wallet to have made that practical. And if I'm going to spend several (several) hundred dollars for an item call me crazy but I do like the consumer protections that my credit card affords me.
I placed my order on June 19th. I wired the funds on June 19th. My credit union told me the funds would be made available to the Enigmabox guys on July 2nd.
On July 3rd I inquired with the Enigmabox guys and asked them if they had received the funds wired and received a response that my order had already shipped.
On July 18th I inquired with Enigmabox again to inquire if there was a tracking number available and was told there was none and that I should just wait and be patient.
It was at this point that I really started to get a very bad feeling that I had just pissed-away several hundred euros and that I needed to prepare myself for the fact that I had been scammed.
I let the Enigmabox guys know this and also expressed how surprised I was that no tracking number was created and nor was the box insured. I wasn't only just talking about my protection, but what about the sellers' protection too?
This is like selling and shipping 101. You get a tracking number. You insure it. If the package had gotten lost in-transit, misdelivered, or if I was a scammer I could have simply said I never received it. There would have been no proof.
The package arrived yesterday and was delivered by my postal carrier.

The Contents of the Box

The box arrived with the following contents:
  • Enigmabox
  • USB Stick with X.509 certificates that I assume are my VPN credentials.
  • UK/EU style wall-wart power adapter
  • UK/EU wall-wart 220vAC outlet to US 115vAC outlet adapter
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Single sheet providing quick setup instructions
  • Grandstream VoIP Phone
  • UK/EU style wall-wart power adapter
  • UK/EU wall-wart 220vAC outlet to US 115vAC outlet adapter
  • Ethernet Cable
  • User Manual for VoIP Phone

Initial Setup

The initial setup was straight forward. Plug cablemodem into the Internet port. Plug LAN port into my switch.
DHCP assigned an IP address and local DNS.
Opened a web browser to http://box.enigmabox.net.

Thoughts and Issues

I found the Enigmabox to be very well constructed. The inclusion of adapters for US plugs was a welcome surprise.
The inclusion of a VoIP phone I found to be excessive. It would make much more sense to lower the price a bit and let the end-user supply their own phone.
Surfing the net has been painless and everything just works.
No ports are exposed on the Enigmabox to the Internet and the box itself is running a stripped-down version of Linux. The root shell was ash which was nice surprise. I was expecting busybox to be honest.

Pros

The box and project seem pretty mature and well thought out. The VPN service seems solid for the most part, and it has held up to some bandwidth intensive applications.
I'm not a gamer so I can't describe lag times.
The software comes with an embedded version of Asterisk to facilitate the VoIP communication, a mini- webserver, DokuWiki (which I applaud their choice there!), an Email server, roundcube webmail, and a twitter-like clone.

Cons

The ordering process leaves a LOT to be desired.
Limited payment options could be a deterrent to some customers.
The fact that the device and box was shipped with no insurance and no tracking is ludicrous.
Documentation is non-existent. The online wiki/ FAQ is incomplete.
And there is no support. No forum. No mailing list.
I've got some questions about some of the config options and some things I'm seeing and experiencing and I have no idea who to ask for thoughts or suggestions.

Conclusion

Is it worth €575? No. But it's also worth noting that of that €575, about 1/3 of that is for one year of VPN service.
It's like €132 for the year (or maybe that was $132). Even that is a bit over priced especially when Private Internet Access is $40 for the year.
But I get that there's economies of scale and that hopefully that price will come down. After all, 132 a year is only 11 a month, and that's not that unreasonable when you look at things that way.
My suggestion? Get yourself a RaspberryPi or a BananaPi and build your own.
And sign up for the VPN access to help support the project.
It's a cool project.
Now if only I could figure out how to connect up to some hyperboria sites. :-) I'm peered with a couple of nodes on hyperboria but nothing is loading. Hell, I can't even load any of the hypesites that are part of the Enigmabox network.
Time to fork the code on github and start reading!
Cheers.
Edit: A word here and there.
submitted by gellenburg to darknetplan [link] [comments]

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