Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

Playing With Crypto

07 Sep 2022

Cryptocurrency is one of those things that I don’t have a strong opinion about. I feel like they could be good or bad, like pretty much any currency. My ambivalence has led me to not be involved with them much. Recently I dipped a toe in.

This post is strictly about cryptocurrency. I’ve always felt fairly neutral about them. There are other forms of crypto, like NFTs, that I feel are a complete scam. This is all I’m going to say about that.

As I said in my last post, I’m ditching Keybase. Keybase originally did one thing and one thing well, but then they just added more and more stuff to it. One of those things was cryptocurrency.

Originally Keybase made a deal with someone I don’t remember and am not motivated to look up to deal in Lumens. It’s one of the lesser known crytocurrencies, not your Ethereums or Bitcoins. To push the currency, one of the things that Keybase did several times is a currency dump. To get some of the currency in circulation, they just gave it away. A fair amount of it too.

I didn’t much care. I figured it was free crypto, and if it took off I’d retire. If it tanked, no harm no foul. So it sat there pretty much untouched.

Now, I’m going to be closing that account down. No reason to leave free money on the table though, so I went about moving that cryptocurrency to another location. It was not an easy process.

I don’t know how much of this was Keybase and how much of this is typical behavior. I wanted to get that currency out of Keybase, but really the only currency Keybase works with is Lumens. Other services, like PayPal don’t work with Lumens. At some point I’d started a Coinbase account, but the whole service makes me nervous. They could be fine, but then they also lost over a billion dollars in the second quarter this year. I just didn’t want to put too much effort into them. I settled on PayPal as the “final destination” for my crypto.

So, Step 1, get the currency to PayPal.

Well, that’s virtually impossible since PayPal doesn’t deal in Lumens and Keybase only deals in Lumens.

So, Step 1.1, get the currency somewhere that could interface with both Keybase and PayPal. Coinbase could do that. I wasn’t wanting to leave any currency there long term, but I had an account already and it worked with both the Lumens from Keybase and the currencies PayPal did support. My first several attempts to transfer the currency out of Keybase were complete failures.

stellar network timeout

This happened to me several times. For those not aware, the Stellar network is for Lumens. Not sure if that was Keybase or if that Stellar network is just not very stable. After a half dozen attempts, I finally got the currency to transfer. Well, most of it. For some reason Keybase required that I leave eleven cents there. No clue why.

The currency is now in Coinbase, but it’s still Lumens. I needed to convert it to something that PayPal could ingest. I did the barest minimum of research before settling on Ethereum. It’s popular enough to be supported and not quite the overused juggernaut that is Bitcoin. Converting from Lumens to Ethereum inside of Coinbase was the most painless part of this process. Not a blip.

Now, Step 1.2, get the currency from Coinbase to PayPal.

PayPal was a total pain the ass, and that’s the polite version. It wouldn’t let me get my Ethereum address to do the transfer without some pretty intrusive identity verification stuff, including scanning my drivers license and a picture of my face (to compare to the license). This is to receive currency. I’m not sure how many people break into someone else’s PayPal account and sends them a bunch of money, but PayPal must be really worried about it. There were several tries where PayPal said my identity was verified only to change its mind on the next screen and kick me back out. It took hours to get the address. It finally worked, but not before much profanity was loosed on the world.

Step 1.3, enough of this crypto-crap.

Now that I’ve got the currency in PayPal, and I’m tired of dealing with this, I do a quick conversion from crypto to just plain old US dollars.

I don’t know if I’ve managed to convey the frustration this process caused. I’m done now. No more cryptocurrency for me. Moving on with life.

Day 18 of the #100DaysToOffload 2022 Series.

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