Where On Wednesday—Anywhere I Can Buy STEEM Instantly


Anywhere I can buy crypto, and then buy STEEM instantly. That would be nice, too.

Okay, maybe I should back up and give this a proper introduction.

How It All Began

When I originally signed up for STEEM, it was suggested by the person who introduced me to it, longtime friend, @bbrewer, that I use Coinbase to buy a cryptocurrency, and then use Blocktrades to buy the STEEM with the crypto I'd purchased wth fiat. He explained that there wasn't a straight USD to STEEM route.

So, I got an account with Coinbase and Blocktrades, and then went about all the identity verification that Coinbase required, with the intent on being able to use a credit card to buy the crypto instantly, and then STEEM, instantly.

The other alternative was to use a bank account, deposit some money into a USD wallet instantly, buy crypto instantly, but then wait a week in order to buy STEEM, because, well, Coinbase needed to protect me from myself, I guess (they call it fraud protection).

It's like, "Whaaaaaa?!?

I've documented most of this history in a couple of earlier posts, so I'm not inclined to get into too much detail. Suffice it to say, however, the hoop jumping then was a big turnoff and I almost didn't do it. But, because of other factors, like my upvote being negligible as a plankton, and then not much bigger as a small minnow, I ended up persevering and making some small investments into STEEM.

The Story Continues

Well, over the past now 21 months, Coinbase has made some changes. First, came the credit card change. Coinbase would no longer take credit cards—or was it the credit cards would no longer take Coinbase—something like that. I don't know who initiated it, I seem to remember some finger pointing, but the fact of the matter is, I could no longer use the credit card. Which was fine. Probably better that way, anyway.

And since at the time, they would allow me to use a debit card, I set that up.

Great. Well, after several months, I ended up closing that account and opening up a new one. I was able to link my actual new account to Coinbase, no problem, but when I went to add the card, I was told it wasn't supported. I ended up talking to someone at Coinbase about it and within a few days, that card was finally allowed.

On I went, until about two months ago when I got a notification from my credit union that there had been some kind of fraudulent activity on my card (though I never had anything unauthorized come out of the account), and that they would issue me a new debit card with a new 16 digit number. Fantastic. Don't need to court disaster with a debit card number that someone else is trying to use, even though there's never very much money in it so they couldn't get very far, anyway.

Hassle saved.

Ah, But Wait...

Until it came time to trying to add the new card. I didn't do it right away because I wasn't urgently looking to invest in more STEEM, given the fact that I had already invested to where I was comfortable, and because I hadn't been employed for six years and was just barely into a new job. In other words, I was at my limit.

Well, STEEM prices have stayed low, cratered some more, I've been at work a little longer now, and so I wanted to add the card. I plugged in the information requested, hit the submit button and this is what I got:

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 8.22.54 PM.png

I thought maybe I put something in wrong, so I tried it again. Same thing.

So, same account, same kind of card, but it wasn't allowing me to do add it. I thought, okay, last time I alerted someone and things got fixed. So, I sent off an inquiry to Coinbase. Within a short while I got an email back, which said, in part:

Thank you for reaching out to Coinbase. According to our records, one of the pending authorization debits that we use to verify your card could not be processed.

This may have been caused by one of the following:

  • The card has insufficient funds
  • The card issuer has blocked the charges
  • The card is a prepaid, reloadable, or "secured" credit or debit card, or is recognized as such by the card issuer

It then invited me to talk to my credit union about the matter.

Well, the account in question didn't have a whole lot in it, but it had enough to handle the little temporary debit amounts Coinbase sends to verify the account. As far as I knew, none of the debits had come through, so one being blocked didn't make any sense, and the card was not prepaid, reloadable, or secured, unless being backed by an actual checking account that can obviously be deposited to or withdrawn from constitutes any of that.

So, not inclined to go after my banking institution, and feeling a little rankled by the run around, I fired back an email to Coinbase. After thanking them for the response, I essentially ticked off the reasons why their reasons for not connecting my card were bogus.

I then inquired why they don't just let bank accounts linked to Coinbase purchase crypto and then immediately allow it to be sent to purchase STEEM:

Why don't you allow deposits straight from the bank account to be available immediately, especially for existing customers? What kind of fraud can you be protecting against if it's basically me authorizing the deposits? Why do I have to provide picture ID and other verifications if that's [not] enough for you to know it's me? It seems to me that all that does is keep me from taking advantage of the market at the moment.

I then added this:

Yes, I am feeling some frustration in all of this. The hoops I have to go through to get where I want to go with crypto is not at all conducive to on the spot purchasing, and while I'm sure it's regulation and so forth causing this, it doesn't make me want to do business with Coinbase at all.

I can't be the only one feeling like this.

I don't tend to add paragraphs like the last one, because the person on the other end who gets to read it generally isn't the person who can do anything about it, so why waste my time and theirs, or set up the false expectation something might come of it. However, this had been going on long enough and I just felt like I wanted to vent to someone, anyone, and at least direct it towards what I thought to be main source of the problem.

Interestingly enough, not long after, I got this reply:


Thanks for reaching out.

Having investigated the issue, I am working with a specialist to address it properly. We will follow-up with you as soon as we have an update.

Thank you for your patience.

Coinbase Support

Getting Snarky

I was actually amazed I got that response, though the email says "I am working" but then is signed by Coinbase Support. Unless there's only one person running Coinbase Support, and they actually legally changed their name to Coinbase Support...

Yeah, I'm still a little miffed by it, but I do appreciate the attempt. Most companies of any size would just blow it off, or it would get lost in the cracks.

Which could be what's happened since, now that it's been over a week. A few days ago I fired off another email to ask if there'd been any news, but I have not heard anything.

The Plot Twist

So, I decided today, being off work early for once, to call the credit union and ask about why their debit card might be unsupported. The representative I talked to said that the credit union didn't have an issue with me purchasing crypto as long as I told them ahead of time I was going to do it, so they could put a "vacation exception" in place. Why? Coinbase is based in the UK, and so purchasing crypto through them with the card was, I guess, like being there and purchasing something. Without the benefit of actually being in the UK on vacation.

At this point I was thinking, great, another hoop, but then I realized, I wasn't even that far yet. The rep was talking like I had the card linked. I backed it up and stated I didn't even have the card linked. I'd done it in the past with a previous account and card, and then again with the same account, different card.

It was then that he mentioned that in the meantime, the credit union had changed card processors, and that the problem was with them. I asked if calling them and talking about it would do me any good. I was told that the card processor wouldn't even take a call from the customer.

Okay. Perfect.

Now, I had a whole level of bureaucracy that I had no recourse with or power to change. And where I was pointing the blame at Coinbase, who was in turn calling out who I thought was the credit union, turned out to be a shadowy organization that I can't even complain to.

So, there you have it. And now you know why I want to be anywhere I can buy crypto directly, if not straight to STEEM, instantly, without waiting a week, because FRAUD, on this fine, rainy Wednesday night.

This wasn't what I intended to debut with for a whereonwednesday post, but there it is.

If anyone has viable suggestions on how I can use a debit card or even an account and not have my money on hold for a week, either straight from USD or even some cryptocurrency, I'd love to hear it. I'm not open to using VPNs or other things that could come to haunt me later, so if it's not legal to do, I'd just like to avoid that. I do appreciate the thought, though.

Mini Rant

I also can't be the only one feeling this, can I?

I mean, I live in the United States, supposedly the freest place on Earth. I used to think that. I haven't for a long time, now. Not when it comes to a lot of things. The problem is, anywhere you go, you trade some things you like for some things you don't. It's just frustrating. And even though in the second email reply Coinbase sent they thanked me for my patience, I am not at all feeling or being patient.

Widespread adoption of STEEM, for any of its other issues, such as timely account approval or enough RCs to function with from the beginning (both of which we're told is being solved now or within several months from now), is still going to be held back by the hoop jumping required to purchase STEEM, unless the much ballyhooed masses we're hoping to see all have tradable crypto in hand, or they live in those magical places where they can use their own native fiat to purchase STEEM directly.

End Of Mini Rant

Image source—Pixabay, Coinbase

Comments 31

I’ve been fine with the CoinBase/Blocktrades route so far since I keep a balance of Bitcoin anyway. So I always have the bit of cash available to transfer into Steem on a whim and just replenish it with a fiat transfer that has the week lockup.

The only option I can think of is finding your closest bitcoin atm and depositing cash there to then send through Blocktrades. I was going to suggest Netcoins but it looks like they’re out of the US Market right now. They have a direct fiat to Steem line for Canadians though!

03.10.2019 06:14

Hey, @bryan-imhoff.

Yeah. Ever since STEEM got set up on Netcoins, I've been waiting for them to make it around to the US. As far as I know, the closest Bitcoin ATM is somewhere in Washington. Which, if there were one near Portland, I could probably make it to it on occasion, but the one I'm referring to is another few hours or so east of there.

Oregon, where I live, hasn't seemed to be so crypto friendly yet, which surprises me, since there's a fair libertarian-ish bent here.

So, anyway. I'm trying to resign myself to the fact that I'm just going to need to do something similar to what you're doing. Deposit some dollars into the Coinbase wallet, wait a week. Maybe try to do it on a regular basis so I'm not always waiting.

03.10.2019 06:24

I had the same problem with coinbase. I was trying to open an account and they needed verification. My two cards, a debit card and a credit card were supposedly not supported. So I gave up. I am waiting for the day when I can buy/trade direct cryptocurrency without all the hussle.

03.10.2019 06:21

Hunh. I thought you lived in one of the magical spots where you can just buy crypto. :)

I sure wish it was different, but I'm afraid it's going to get harder before it gets better, simply because too many governments and banking systems aren't going to sit back and watch us build up a global digital economy that they don't first control.

03.10.2019 06:27

Interesting. But don't think the problem is with you being based in the US.

I've had similar issues with Coinbase in the UK.

I started writing the details here but it got so long I copied it and will write a post of my own later.

03.10.2019 07:19

Hey, @gillianpearce.

Then, I'll have to head over and read it. :)

I'm not sure who many people use coinbase, or what other exchanges require, so not really saying it's just US based, only that the US is supposed to be the land of the free, but when it comes to buying crypto, I'm not feeling all that free. :)

03.10.2019 14:58

I can relate as my monthly process to acquire Steem is always longer than I would like! However, the issue with the bank and financial institutions in general just show how we truly don’t own our money which is just another reason why to adopt crypto longer term. I can’t wait until I can pay my bills with it!

Posted using Partiko iOS

03.10.2019 09:57

Hey, @newageinv.

I would like to think that day is not so far off. I don't know what it's going to take to get it to happen, though. Centralized banking has been at the core of most countries for at least a hundred years now, and the concept and more limited implementation of it is probably as old as man.

So, it's not something that's just going to take over. Not at the rate things are going. Had businesses jumped to Bitcoin earlier, before governments had a chance to step in and start regulating, maybe. Now, I'm not so sure what's to keep them from simply taking over.

I understand the decentralized nature of the blockchain. I get that witnesses are supposedly not beholden to anyone. What I don't know is, will we be able to keep 20 + 1 witnesses if/when, the respective governments of these individuals decide they want to shut them down. Right now, the pressure is basically economical, thanks to the low STEEM values.

What happens when the pressure is we seize your bank accounts, put you under arrest, etc. Anonymity can get real thin real quick, especially since a lot of folks know each other and Discord isn't going to be impossible to get into, either.

03.10.2019 15:04

Yay bro! You used my #whereonwednesday tag. Nice mate. :)

03.10.2019 11:03

Hey, @galenkp.

I did. Probably not exactly in the way it was intended, but it seemed fairly wide open the way you described it. I was actually going to talk about something completely different, but then rigamarole happened, so I switched gears. I see there's someone else who has used the tag, too. :)

03.10.2019 15:09

Yeah, it's pretty generic. I think it can be twisted to accommodate anything really. That was the intention. There is, someone from Africa I think.

03.10.2019 21:39

Sorry to hear this.
I'm one of the fortunate ones to have found an exchange that allows me to buy Steem directly, from Paypal or with my bank account. European thing only, though...

I agree there are way too many hoops to jump through for most people in order to get their hands on Steem...

03.10.2019 11:06

Hey, @simplymike.

Funny thing about Paypal is, I can take from a wallet on Coinbase and deposit it to Paypal, but I can't take money from Paypal and use it on Coinbase. Period. That option isn't even available.

I'm glad, though. Maybe there's some hope for the rest of us. Buying STEEM directly would be cool. So, no wait, though? Even with the bank account?

03.10.2019 15:11

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03.10.2019 11:07

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03.10.2019 11:07

I always found it strange that Steemit didn't set up a means to buy in with fiat. That would be a game changer.

03.10.2019 22:32

Hey, practicalthought.

Yes it would be. And really, I think it's one of the main reasons we're at where we're at. People just don't want to jump through hoops, especially if they're new to the crypto scene like I was and still feel I am, since I only buy alt coin to get to STEEM. That's it.

So, if Steemit has the magic wand, they need to wave it. I'm afraid, though, that regulation is getting in the way of things, and the fact that STEEM didn't get onto more exchanges prior to their drop, because now, I don't think many would want to touch it, and we probably need to be careful that we're not de-listed.

03.10.2019 22:35

I've been through the same frustrations.

Earlier this year, I was SIM-hacked (someone convinced T-Mobile to deactive my phone and transfer it to another SIM under their control). The second the hacker had control of my phone number, they had access to all SMS 2FA. They got into my email, my Coinbase, and my Binance. They then used my payment methods on file to empty my bank account.

Months later, my Coinbase account is still frozen and under investigation.

I've had to think of other ways to obtain Steem.

Not long ago, I picked some up through KuCoin. Unfortunately, if you don't already have a KuCoin account, that means you've gotta do another KYC. But once your account is active, they let you buy crypto with your credit/debit card through a 3rd party (Simplex). I was able to get some Bitcoin, then send that Bitcoin to Blocktrades to become Steem.

03.10.2019 22:57

Hey, @nateaguila.

Wow. I'm sorry to hear about all of that. Not cool. I guess I should be happy I'm just jumping through hoops and waiting a week. I hope things get resolved, and that you'll be okay moving forward.

Thanks for the KuCoin suggestion. I just went and signed up, and when I tried to buy, it told me my state, Oregon, is not supported. Now it's the entire state, not just my debit card. :)

That's not the first time it's happened, though. I had the same issue with ChainRift.

04.10.2019 01:20

Haha, oh nooooo!

Hmmm. Their fees seem high to me, but have you tried Netcoins?

Posted using Partiko iOS

04.10.2019 02:04

I'd like to, but again, not available, this time in the entire U.S. :/

04.10.2019 04:33

Hmm has Binance released a US supported platform yet? I think I remember hearing that they would be at some stage.

I had some BTC sitting in Binance so used that to buy my Steemit account.

There’s also the option to pay using card in Binance however I haven’t tried that yet.

Bittrex has Steem listed as well. But you still have the problem of buying crypto first.

You could always try one of those vending machines if you have one nearby.

Posted using Partiko iOS

05.10.2019 03:07

Hey, @debtfreein2.

There's no Netcoins in the U.S., and the nearest ATM is about four to five hours away. I tried signing up with both Binance and Bittrex last year but neither were taking new customers at the time, and I didn't pursue it further because Coinbase was working okay at that point.

It looks like Binance does have a US platform now. I'm working through the verification process now. I'm not thrilled with what they make me do, but we'll see if it's worth it.

05.10.2019 05:02

I was blocked from using my debit card on Coinbase but it turned out that it was my bank protecting me from myself. Good luck! It would be so great to have a direct route!

05.10.2019 03:09

Hey, @melinda010100.

Yeah, so that's basically the same thing as what's happened to me, you just put it nicer than I would. :) In my mind, they're protecting themselves by not allowing us to take out our money from their bank. :)

05.10.2019 05:11

In all my life I have never had a bank do such a thing! For them to decide what I can spend my money on made me furious!

05.10.2019 05:51

I'm none to happy about it, myself, although in the case of the card, it's been passed off to the processor, whoever that is. It's like, if I can't get to them, I can't really say I'm in control, now can I?

05.10.2019 14:47

When I called my bank the person on the phone could not remove the Coinbase block, so I was passed over to a manager who had it removed in minutes. How dare they make decisions on how I can spend my money!

05.10.2019 15:34

Howdy sir glen! This is crazy but something everyone can relate to unfortunately. Most of these accounts are so secure that we ourselves are blocked from using them half the time with all the hoops.

I know there are companies out there working on it because the big money knows that they can't have mass adoption, or adaption, without a simplified system.

12.10.2019 01:10

Hey, @janton

I hope so. Someone needs to figure it out. The problem is, government regulation is getting involved, and the banks have a vested interest in protecting their power, so even if there are solutions, it's the regulation and status quo driving everything.

12.10.2019 02:41

Very true. Well all the major banks are investing in their own or other bank's cryptos so they'll get the easy way to buy systems set up for sure.

12.10.2019 17:24