How to Use Blocktrades - the Fastest and Easiest Way to Buy and Sell STEEM/SD (and My Review of the Experience)

6 months ago
73 in steem

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Introduction

A couple of weeks ago @charlieshrem made a post about how it might be advantageous to the community if people who were selling their Steem/SD used OTC exchange services like Blocktrades.

I'm not sure how much it matters for buying Steem or Steem Dollars (which is what I am mainly doing) but I thought it would be a useful test to try out the service and also provide a simple guide for new (non-cryptoliterate) users.

I will first present a "how-to" guide for using Blocktrades followed by my personal review of the site.


The Guide Part: How to Use Blocktrades

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1) Here is the URL to use: https://blocktrades.us


2) Login is optional unless you have OCD like me

You don't neeed to create a login but if you want to see your previous transactions or have OCD about such things you can create one like I did - use the menu options at the top of the page.

Screenshot2016-10-2715.40.08bee01.png

Just click on Signup, make a user name/password and click the Sign Up button. You will receive a confirmation email, along with a link to activate your account.
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3) Look at the Main Window

Here is an annotated view of the main exchange window. It really is very simple:

Screenshot2016-10-2714.09.2187347.png


4) Select the currency you wish to convert from

In my case it is was Bitcoin which I wanted to convert to Steem Dollars.

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5) Select the currency you want to convert that into.

For me it is Steem Dollars but you can choose whatever you want as long as they list it e.g. Bitshares.

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6) Check the Exchange Rates and Deposit Limit

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See the screenshot above. If the exchange rate is to your liking and the deposit limit is enough for your transaction go to the next step:


7) Enter your Receiving Address

Here I entered my Steem address to receive Steem Dollars.

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8) Click on "Get a new Deposit Address".

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You will see a little window with an address/QR code appear at the bottom of the page:
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Send your currency to this address using either the alphanumeric address or the QR code. (Note I have partially obscured these so people don't accidentally send me their coins!)


9) Wait a few minutes and a confirmation of the transaction should appear. Like this:

Screenshot2016-10-2714.04.1261a46.png

Note I have whited out the transaction ID for privacy reasons.


10) Check Your Receiving Wallet and the Coins should be there

In my case I sent the Bitcoins and within a few seconds the transaction was complete. Not long after this the Steem Dollars were in my Steem wallet. It seemed to make the transaction the moment my Bitcoins appeared on the blockchain so I didn't have to wait the usual 10 minutes or more for confirmation.


My Review of Blocktrades/How it Compares to Shapeshift and Regular Exchanges

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Some General thoughts:


It is Easier to Use than Shapeshift

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Ease of use is one of the most important factors for a lot of people. Blocktrades seems to have really nailed this aspect of things.
The interface is so simple and is a lot cleaner to my eyes than my other favourite similar site - Shapeshift. It also seems to allow much bigger purchase amounts:-


The Deposit Limits are Better

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One of the factors that stops me from using Shapeshift as much as the regular exchanges is the sometimes tiny amounts of currency and order limits they have available.
This results in having to make multiple purchases over a course of time and that can be frustrating and time consuming, not to mention the fact that you might miss a target price.


The Exchange Rates are Better Overall

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I also made sure to compare prices on Blocktrades vs other exchanges.

Whilst places like Poloniex had a few very low value bot orders with a better exchange rate, these were for tiny amounts which were useless for me. Overall I got significantly more for my bitcoins than I would have done using a regular exchange.


Summary of Blocktrades' Advantages vs Other Exchanges

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Rather than going through the rest of the points paragraph by paragraph I thought I would bring them all together and summarise:

  • Simpler interface with no login necessary.
  • Better exchange rates overall (unless you are making minuscule transactions).
  • Fixed rate for a single transaction (i.e. you don't need to span multiple rates for anything above a small amount), no fighting bots.
  • Less complicated to calculate your costs.
  • Allows direct purchase of Steem Power and Steem Dollars (not available on Shapeshift).
  • Greater purchase/deposit limits compared to Shapeshift (58.9 BTC vs 0.29 BTC today).
  • Much faster - seems to send your purchased currency as soon as the transaction is on the blockchain.

Summary of Disadvantages:

  • Nothing of significance when compared to it's main competitors for Steem/SD exchange.

Going back to Bittrex/Poloniex is a big hassle

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Interestingly the next day I wanted to make another purchase of Steem Dollars and could not use Blocktrades as it was undergoing maintenance.

Going back to my usual process of having to buy against the market on the regular exchanges showed how much longer and more irritating it was by comparison.

I particularly hate having to fight against bots and people who deliberately spread out tiny sell orders at varying values.

Further I had to wait for what seemed like an age to transfer my currency in the first place.


Potential Improvements

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No service is perfect. The only improvements I could think of are the following:

  • A wider selection of currencies would certainly be of benefit to a cryptocurrency investor like myself but I can understand why a site like Blocktrades has to limit itself to a small number of currencies. I would love it if I could directly change say Stratis tokens for Steem Dollars rather than having to go through another exchange to convert them into Bitcoins.
  • Direct conversion to and from FIAT. This wouldn't really help me as I only normally buy up Steem/SD to power up and promote content but it would help simplify the process for new users who are not cryptocurrency literate. This would be the killer feature for any exchange and would give a big advantage to Blocktrades over everyone else. I understand there are probably legal hurdles to this.

Conclusions

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For anyone who wants to buy and sell fast without having to pay a higher average rate there really is no better place to use than Blocktrades.

In future I plan on using them as much as I can to save both time and money.

By using them you are also supporting one of the major investors in the Steemit platform which benefits us all.

Selling on Blocktrades should also have a less significant impact on the Steem price - so if you intend to sell Steem from powering down it makes even more sense, both to protect your future earnings and those of the rest of the community.

I really can't recommend them wholeheartedly enough. Definitely give Blocktrades a try if you haven't so far - you won't regret it.


Thank you for Reading. Here is your reward for getting to the End:

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If you like my work and aren't already, please follow me and check out my blog (I mainly discuss photography but I do other topics too) - @thecryptofiend


Photo Credits: Screenshots are personally taken by me and all other photos are from my own personal Thinkstock Photography account.


(Verification for me here: http://www.aapicture.com/about-me)


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Sort Order:  trending
67
  ·  6 months ago

You make it look so easy, my head still can't get to grips, I know where to come when I am rich enough to cash out :)

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Hopefully that day will come:)

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67
  ·  6 months ago

I can't see it with my €s lately seems everyone is tightening there Steemit purse strings

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73
  ·  6 months ago

It is hard to say. I have seen similarly tough times with other cryptocurrencies. Steem at least has an application so I think it has a better chance than most if we all keep working on making things better.

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67
  ·  6 months ago

I am trying my best, maybe i need a ghost writer lol

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Just keep at it - also try using the chat to share your posts and network with other users too. It really helps.

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67
  ·  5 months ago

I have managed to get to were ready for your trade, send any amount of steem to so and so >>>> how do you do that?

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Go to your wallet and click the little triangle next to Steem or Steem Dollars (depending on what you want to send)

This will bring up a screen like this:

Enter the address AND memo that they have given you as well as the amount.

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67
  ·  5 months ago

Ahhhh that was really easy hahaha omg I can breath. I have managed to change steem into steem dollars, next move try and cashout

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Great. Let me know how you get on. Also you can message me in the chat if that is easier for you.

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67
  ·  5 months ago

Is cashing out the same or harder. I will def be in touch, really sorry for being a pain

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Yes it is similar. Are you changing to Bitcoins or just as Steem Dollars. For Steem Dollars you do exactly the same except you need to enter your Steem address on the website and you don't need a memo.

For bitcoin it is slightly different as you will need to enter your bitcoin address which is an alphanumeric string.

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67
  ·  5 months ago

I have changed steem to steem dollars, my next move will be steem dollars in to GBP

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Can you do it direct? I think you would need to change to bitcoins first then you can sell the bitcoins on https://bittylicious.com - you will need to set up an account with them. I always use them for buying and selling bitcoins. Once you are set up with them they can put the money in your account in minutes.

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67
  ·  5 months ago

Oh buga buga buga arghhhh its to hard lol

72
  ·  6 months ago

This was very helpful. I've been pondering whether to use Blocktrades or stick with poloniex, but I think I'll give this a test run soon. It all seems easy enough to do. Thanks for the guide.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thanks. It's a lot quicker and easier and it has the added advantage that you don't have to struggle with those annoying bots and tiny order quantities. There is one rate and it on average better than you would get fiddling around with small purchases on the other exchanges! You should definitely try it:)

70
  ·  6 months ago

And the good old reward at the end, great tutorial/article!

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thanks. Yes the reward is the best part:)

67
  ·  6 months ago

Excellent post! I will add it to my book marks 8)

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thank you. Glad you found it useful!

65
  ·  6 months ago

That is the cutest fn dog.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Yes and he seems to be in a real hurry too:)

69
  ·  6 months ago


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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thanks:)

65
  ·  6 months ago

Yeah I'm going to use Blocktrades the next time a pull some Steem out. Give it a try. It is interesting that Blocktrades uses their voting power but Bittrex, Poloniex...etc don't use their voting power. They could earn curation rewards.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Yes you should use it. I never thought about that. I assume they have never considered it or they may have a security reason due to the way their wallets work.

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69
  ·  6 months ago

Bittrex and Poloniex don't have much SP, they just use their those accounts as wallets for liquid Steem (which doesn't give curation power).

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65
  ·  6 months ago

That makes sense now that I looked at the wallets a little closer. I just did my first conversion on Blocktrades! I naturally gravitated toward Poloniex and Bittrex before because I had accounts already over on those services.

64
  ·  6 months ago

Good to know!
I personally use Poloniex and Kraken.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

OK thanks:)

57
  ·  6 months ago

I've only used blocktrades once, and I enjoyed the experience very much. You have saved me the trouble of looking at the other trading platforms. resteemed!

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thank you very much for your support:)

60
  ·  6 months ago

haha every steemit post should end with an adorable animal that was great!

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thanks. I agree:)

64
  ·  6 months ago

Excellent tutorial, very helpful.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thanks I'm pleased you found it useful:)

66
  ·  6 months ago

Heya @thecryptofiend,

You're the master on Steemit when it comes to putting together great tutorials.

Easy to follow and extremely useful for us as a community.

Great job! :)

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thanks for you kind words mate:) I try to make it easy to follow and understand.

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66
  ·  6 months ago

Actually, I meant to ask you, are you going on the Steemfest? Because I am and it would be great to see you there. :)

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73
  ·  6 months ago

I was hoping to go but I have an infection in my eye (the one I had the op on) which is taking some time to heal and I keep having to go back to the ophthalmologist to check the swelling. I'm diabetic too so it tends to slow down my healing and reduce my resistance to infection.

It might be best not to expose it to a new place with new microbes right away so I might have to pass this time. If it was anything else I would still go but with it being my eye I just don't want to take any chances. I've gotten used to using my right eye for reading and working but I still don't feel confident with things that involve anything at a distance.

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64
  ·  6 months ago

Look after that eye mate..hope it wont get infected or worst.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

It is better than it was - will do:)

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66
  ·  6 months ago

Of course I remember your eye op. Was so glad when you told me you were feeling much better. Well, thanks for giving me the lowdown. Let's see if they hold a Steemfest in the UK next time. :)

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73
  ·  6 months ago

That would be brilliant:)

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68
  ·  6 months ago

I agree that you are a big master. When I read I am always impressed. It is always a good language and everything is so clear (even for not native English language speakers). Good job as always.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thank. That is so kind of you to say:)

59
  ·  6 months ago

Blocktrades is all I use.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

I can understand why:)

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58
  ·  6 months ago

Is it possible to buy Steem directly without having to buy bitcoins and then convert to Steem?

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Not as far as I know. You would need to buy Bitcoins first.

60
  ·  6 months ago

Great information, thank you thank you~!

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73
  ·  6 months ago

You're welcome:)

64
  ·  6 months ago

great info

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thanks. Glad you like it:)

67
  ·  6 months ago

Great post @thecryptofiend!!! Also worth mentioning is that the BUY STEEM OR STEEM POWER button in the Steemit wallet is also powered by Blocktrades. I used it last night to transfer 0.05 worth of bitcoin from Poloniex to Steem Power in my Steemit wallet. Very easy and worked like a charm!

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Great point. I think I used that early on to buy some SP:)

68
  ·  6 months ago

I upvoted because of the cute dog.

It was also a good blog, though.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thank you and to be honest the cute animal is always the most important bit:)

69
  ·  6 months ago

I tried Blocktrades the other day and had a problem. I had opened a wallet on BitGo and wanted to trade Steem for Bitcoin. I entered in "Your Bitcoin received address" my wallet address (a long string starting with 3) and then when pressing the button, got an error message. I'm going to retry, but my have you tried also to buy Bitcoin with Steem on it? does it run as smoothly as the other way round?

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73
  ·  6 months ago

I have to admit I haven't tried it the other way around. Please let me know how you get on.

54
  ·  6 months ago

This post has been linked to from another place on Steem.

Learn more about and upvote to support linkback bot v0.5. Flag this comment if you don't want the bot to continue posting linkbacks for your posts.

Built by @ontofractal

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Thank you:)

50
  ·  6 months ago

Thank you very much, cryptofiend! Very helpful and totally understandable even for newbies like us!

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Fantastic. I'm glad you found it useful:)

67
  ·  5 months ago

This covers everything I need to know but still to scared to make that first withdrawal, Its making me really nervous

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73
  ·  5 months ago

That's understandable. Just make sure to triple check everything first:)

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67
  ·  5 months ago

I cant see me ever doing it lol

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Don't stress over it - just take the plunge:)

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67
  ·  5 months ago

Will you take a look in my wallet and see if its worth doing... I still find the wallet difficult to work out :)

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73
  ·  5 months ago

Right now most of your free Steem is in your savings account. I don't think there is a minimum amount for Blocktrades so you could use the 3 liquid Steem that you have right now to test the system out. You would only get about 0.00043949 BTC.

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67
  ·  5 months ago

Yeah i could do that, its nothing to lose lol thanks

67
  ·  5 months ago

I am trying to start the process but I cant get bloktrades to load, is it just me or is there a fault. Do I use a different site for the UK?

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73
  ·  5 months ago

No the website isn't working right now. Give it a few hours and try again.

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67
  ·  5 months ago

Phew thought I had messed up already lol Thanks :)

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73
  ·  5 months ago

No it happens sometimes - usually it is so they can do maintenance. Just try again later.

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67
  ·  5 months ago

Ok will do :)