What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a new kind of money. It's the first decentralized electronic currency not controlled by a single organization or government. It's an open source project, and it is used by more than 1,000,000 people. All over the world people are trading hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of bitcoin every day with no middle man and no credit card companies. It's a startup currency which has never happened before.
Bitcoin is the first digital currency that is completely distributed. The network is made up of users like yourself so no bank or payment processor is required between you and whoever you're trading with. This decentralization is the basis for Bitcoin's security and freedom.
Email let us send letters for free, anywhere in the world. Skype lets us make phone and video calls for free, anywhere in the world. Now there's bitcoin. Bitcoin lets you send money to anyone online, anywhere in the world for a few cents per transaction! Bitcoin is a community run system not controlled by any bank or government. There's no banker getting rich by standing between you and the people you want to send and receive money from.
Bitcoin is more efficient than all competing currencies. This will drive its adoption in the same way computers were adopted, in that computers made people more efficient in competing in the marketplace. A currency has value by it being widely used. Bitcoin is a startup currency with a deflationary bootstrapping economy. Its use spreads by providing the speculator incentive.
In our opinion, bitcoin is going to be the biggest opportunity for innovation that the world has seen since the industrial revolution. An idea whose time has come.
What determines the bitcoin value in dollars?
The Bitcoin rate is determined by supply and demand on the global exchange market. Fundamentally, bitcoins are generated by consuming computer power, which costs money (electricity, computing system). However today’s price of bitcoin reflects much more the confidence of a large number of people in the bitcoin system. When the system experiences problems, either internal (software bugs) or external (attacks on exchanges), the price goes down. In contrast, as the economy grows and more users and merchants join, the price of bitcoin goes up.
Can I get-rich-fast with bitcoin?
We don’t speculate on the short-term changes in bitcoin price.
Should I invest in bitcoin? What are Bits of Gold’s projections for bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a risky investment with a potentially high payoff. The bitcoin system itself has proved robust against attacks for the past four years. However, before investing you need to consider factors such as the bitcoin/dollar price volatility, the changing regulation around the world and the security of your bitcoin wallet. At Bits of Gold we believe that bitcoin is becoming “the cash of the internet”, and we want to make it easier for you to join this new economy in a reliable and secure way. We do not offer projections for bitcoin prices, but if you do decide to buy or sell bitcoins in Israel, your best choice is through Bits of Gold.
How do I buy bitcoins through Bits of Gold?
You will receive an email notification once your bitcoins have been sent to your wallet.
How do I transfer you the money to buy the Bitcoins?
There are three options to send the money: wire transfer, cash and credit card. To each method its advantages and disadvantages, you can choose the one that works best for you, we'll outline them separately here.
How does the wire transfer method work?
Bank transfer method is the cheapest option at the moment of the three, as it consists of only our fee. Speed and efficiency through this transfer is highly dependent on which bank is your account at: Bits Of Gold's bank is Leumi, so, if your account is also in Leumi, the transfer is immediate and we lock the rate at the upcoming round hour. However, the transfer of funds between banks takes one business day (if you have made the bank transfer before 18:00 and not during the weekend). So unless you have a Leumi account we will receive the transfer next morning, and lock the rate at 10:00 am (first locking time of the day - Friday at 09:00). The way around this, is to make and IBAN transfer (Zahav), this method usually takes about an hour and the bank charges for it 35 Shekels (it will soon be free). An iron rule for transfers between banks is: the bank takes one business day to take care of the transfer, and we can see it a day after that. More details on later questions.
How does the cash purchase method work?
Buying using cash is a popular method because of its simplicity, but also a bit more expensive. There are two ways to buy with cash:
1. Purchase using the first Bitcoin ATM located at the Bitcoin embassy (1st, Achuzat Bait St., Tel Aviv). Just come, deposit cash and get Bitcoins sent directly to your phone's Bitcoin wallet. The fee for the ATM is 5%.
2. The second way is through a cash deposit using one of the branches of GMT. In this method you must first open an order in our site. Then go to one of the 150 GMT branches, and request to deposit money to buy Bitcoins. The clerk, will take identifying information, including your email address, with which you are registered in our site. This is the way we recognize and associate this order to you. After depositing the money, we get a notification, identify your order and lock the Bitcoin rate in the next round hour. This process usually takes a few minutes to an hour, and is relatively efficient. In addition to our commission the change charges 3% (below 1,000 NIS the commission is ₪ 29.90). There is a limit of 10,000 NIS to purchase in cash.
See link for details of the various change branches: GMT branches.
How do I buy using a credit card?
This method is comfortable and familiar to most customers, and is carried out quicker than a standart wire transfer. Credit card clearing is carried out by a third-party called SimplexCC. The credit card clearing fee at this point is 5% or minimum 10 USD. This is in addition to Bits of Gold's fee which is 3.95% for Credit Card.
In order to buy with credit card you must first go through a full KYC: First Name, Last Name, Phone, ID upload. Note that the ID card must be uploaded to your profile page (even if previously submitted via email). User authorization is done once, takes up about half an hour and is done by us.
After you enter your credit card information, the clearing is done by the third-party, and the initial purchase is expected to take up to two hours (during working hours). The Bitcoin rate is locked automatically immediately after receiving clearing approval by third-party (no need to wait for the next round hour you would in wire transfer or cash!). After clearing approval, you will receive an email announcing the approval of the transaction.
It's important you pay attention to costs: the clearing is carried out in dollars and therefore the charge against the credit card company will be in dollars. The Current amount restrictions, the order has to be: over $40 per order (~200 ₪), up to $1000 a day (~2,200 ₪), up to 2,000$ a month in aggregate (8,000 ₪).
How do you give me my bitcoins? What rate do I receive?
We send the bitcoins to your bitcoin wallet you specified when opening the order. The bitcoin rate is locked every round hour, between the hours 10:00 till 18:00, Fridays between the hours 09:00 to 13:00, no rate locking on Saturday. You will receive the rate at the locking hour following the time when your money is accepted in our system. When selling Bitcoins the rate will be locked as soon as the bitcoins are sent to our wallet (may take up to 6 confirmations on the Blockchain).
How long will it take until I receive my bitcoins?
Once your money has been accepted in Bits of Gold’s system, the rate you will receive will be set at the following locking hour and Bits of Gold will send you your bitcoins that same day. Depending on banks (both yours and ours), this may take between several hours to several days, depending on the time it takes the bank transaction to become final (irreversible). We do not recommend buying bitcoins during weekend and holidays because many of the banks are closed. We are working on solutions to circumvent this problem.
Can I sell bitcoins through Bits of Gold?
Yes, we currently offer both buy and sell services. If any changes come up, we will let you know before your buy or sell.
To sell Bitcoins, you must open a sell order, and send the Bitcoins to the Bitcoin address that appears in the order. Once you have submitted the Bitcoins, you will receive an email updating you on the amount you ought to receive after the sell. Such sell takes place automatically and can take up to 6 confirmations. Note that the sell is at your own responsibility, once you made it you can not undo it, because we sell your Bitcoins to the free world, so please make sure that you understand all terms and conditions before the sell. The Bitcoin wallet you receive to send the Bitcoins is a one-time only wallet and will serve you only once. For a new sell, open a new sell order.
After you have sent the Bitcoins you can receive the money by wire transfer or by Cash. The wire transfer will be performed directly to your account you entered when you opened the sell order. The cash process takes longer than usual, and is limited to 10,000 NIS. You can get the cash through all GMT branches across the country. When you open the sell order, instead of your bank account information, please write: "Cash", your full name as it appears in the ID, your mobile number, social security number (ID number). In order to go to one of the branches you must please wait to receive a code from us. Give the code to the GMT clerk in the branch and they will give you the funds. Please note, this might be new to some clerks, don't hesitate to call us and we will direct him.
Are there fees? What is your rate?
Yes, we charge 4.5% of the money you sent to cover the costs of obtaining bitcoins for you. The rate in Shekel that you see on our website includes all fees and the Israeli VAT tax. Bits of Gold has its Bitcoin rate, which is based on the Google rate for ILS to USD, the rate in Bitcoin Average and is inspired by the XBX index for USD to BTC. You can find the Bitcoin Average rate here, and the XBX index here.
When buying using cash, over 1000 ILS: we charge 4.5% of the money we receive from the change, please note an additional 3% are charged by the change when depositing the cash. Under 1000 ILS: 4.5% (by us) in addition to a fixed fee of 29.90 ILS (by the change).
Our credit card fee is currently 3.95%, please note an additional 5% is charged by the credit card company (or minimum 10$ - the highest between them).
Our fees for selling bitcoins are currently at 4.95%.
What are Bitcoin Average and XBX index?
Bitcoin Average and XBX are Bitcoin price index that collects in live all the rates and data from all the major exchanges (such as Bitstamp, Bitfinex, BTCChina), and gives an average rate. More information about how it's calculated can be found here and here.
What is my "wallet address"?
Think of it as your bank account number, but in the bitcoin system. It is made up of a long string of letters and digits, starting with the digit 1. It looks like this: 1GmygGLkTFVP4unWCWFG4x89PY7ahXRKC.
Most users install a Bitcoin Wallet software, which will create a wallet address for them. You can own as many bitcoin wallets as you wish. If you don’t own a wallet, you can create a free wallet using an online wallet solution from another website, called MyWallet in Blockchain.info (click here to open one). There are several wallet options to choose from, please note wallets installed on your PC might take a few days to download all data - don't use it until it's done.
Is bitcoin secure?
Yes, if you take the necessary steps: secure your computer, encrypt your wallet, save and protect your password. The bitcoin system itself is extremely safe from currency forgery, double-spending, denial-of-service attacks, transport theft, and many other types of risks associated with currency and money transfer systems. However, in bitcoin, the user holds the key to using his coins. If this key is lost, the coins are lost. If the key falls in the wrong hands, for example if your computer is hacked, bitcoins can be accessed and sent to other wallets. For that reason, we recommend that you keep your wallet encrypted, and your PC secured.
I downloaded the Bitcoin-QT software, but it’s out-of-sync. What does that mean?
Bitcoin-QT downloads and verifies the entire history of bitcoin transactions, which may take up to a day. This helps the bitcoin network, but it means that transactions involving your wallet will only be recognized when the software downloads and verifies them. If you use this wallet, make sure you are in-sync before you send bitcoins there.
Who are you guys, and why should I trust Bits of Gold LTD with my money?
Bits of Gold LTD is a registered company, owned by its co-founders. We work as a small and enthusiastic team composed of:
Ask us anything! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
My money left my bank account, but I still don’t see the bitcoins in my wallet, why?
If you send your money through a regular bank transfer it takes one business day until Bits of Gold receives your money and the transfer is accepted into our system. When you order on weekends, holidays, or at night, the counting of “one business day” can be surprising. We are making efforts to circumvent this problem. If more than a business day has passed, please contact us by phone or email, and we will find a solution. We recommend placing an IBAN transfer for speedier transfers.
How do I place an IBAN transfer (העברת זה”ב) to Bits of Gold ?
Depending on your bank, you can either do it online, or you need to go to your bank.
I see you are based in Tel-Aviv. Can I come and buy bitcoins using cash?
Yes, of course. You can use our Bitcoin ATM or use one of the 150 change offices we work with. For more details see below. Furthermore, you can deposit cash to our bank account at any Bank Leumi branch. In both cases come with your ID card (תעודת זהות).
Can I get a receipt for my payment to Bits of Gold?
Yes. We send an electronic invoice for each transaction. The VAT tax is calculated on the transaction fee (עמלה), which is the price of our service.
I own an online business in Israel. Can I accept bitcoins using Bits of Gold?
Yes, of course! Please contact us at email@example.com, or call: 03-613-3034 for details.
Can I place a limit order?
Not at the moment. We suggest transferring your bitcoins to a larger exchange, and use it for day-trading.
What are your working hours?
From 10am to 6pm, Sunday to Thursday. Friday, from 10am to 1pm. Closed on Saturday.
We’re in Israel, why is Bits of Gold’s website in English?
For simplicity. All Israelis can read simple English. If you wish to have the Hebrew version, just click on the Israeli flag above.
How do you deal with anti-money-laundering regulation?
We closely follow all applicable law, and consult with the best specialists in the matter. In particular, we have an obligation to report any suspicious activity, and we can refuse an order if there is any doubt on the validity of the deal.
Where can I pay with cash?
Here is a map of some of the branches where you can pay with cash:
View Bits of Gold - GMT in a larger map
I have other questions, where can I get support?
Our support team is here for you during working hours, by email and phone.