1. WHERE IS MY BITCOIN?
First and fore most its important to understand that Bitcoin is a completely different currency, unlike any financial system you have ever encountered before. This is because in the history of wo/man there has never before been a non-centralized digital currency available to anyone on the planet, this is a (r)evolutionary technology of which we are in the early beginnings! You cannot make any assumptions or correlations to traditional banking! Bitcoin is a SELF MANAGED CURRENCY of which ONLY YOU have control. If you are having issues with Bitcoin it is most likely due to you not taking the time to obtain a knowledge base BEFORE trying to manage your own currency. Not that Bitcoin is perfect, buy it will be your perfect understanding of Bitcoin that will allow you to control it responsibly. It is a great responsibility to accept control of your own currency, especially now in the infancy of evolving non-centralized digital currencies such as Bitcoin. However, there are many AMAZING aspects of Bitcoin of which have never before existed. If you are not willing or able to accept responsibility for those losses, it is best to leave all aspects of your financial life to those more than willing to do it for you, as in the traditional, highly centralized and controlled banking industry. Bitcoin is a new and evolving entity of which nobody can be certain of the outcome, only time will determine if Bitcoin is a good or bad investment. Some of these variations are wonderful features of Bitcoin but these same features can have devastating consequences to those unfamiliar with Bitcoin. There are aspects of Bitcoin that still need to be worked out before it can be considered "mainstream." Starting out slow, risking only what you can personally afford to risk, and progressing along with your own knowledge base, can be the only recommendation for newcomers to the Bitcoin technology.
2. WHY IS MY LIMIT ALWAYS CHANGING?
BITSREAM LLC is providing a point of liquidity meant for the general user of Bitcoin. BITSTREAM LLC is NOT a medium for high end and large quantity speculation and trading. If you desire a high level trade volume environment then BITSTREAM LLC is most likely not for you. BITSTREAM LLC is trying to promote stability and general use of Bitcoin for new users as well as the everyday user. We do this through control of daily limits as well as pricing to discourage this activity. Attempting to game or trade against our BATM with the market at high volume will most likely result in daily limit restrictions placed on your account. BITSTREAM LLC also cannot make guarantees on transaction clearing times, nor can anyone else for that matter, if they are actually using the Bitcoin protocol confirmation system. If you desire guaranteed large volume transactions or if you are attempting to resell BITSTREAM LLC's services to a third party on a time constraint, you and your customers would be better served by subscribing to a Regulated Exchange site that has regulated cash reserve requirements and links directly to your personal bank account. However, in the USA if you are allowed to transact at higher levels your every transaction and Bitcoin addresses are being recorded and tracked by the existing banking networks.
At this juncture in non-cenralized currencies there is an effort by traditional banks to re-centralize currencies like Bitcoin, right back into their centralized hands and under their control. Until Bitcoin integrates into commerce their is a tremendous bias towards purchasing Bitcoin, this produces a large volume of cash for the business you are obtaining you coin from. Today, a large accumulation of cash like that requires traditional banks in which to deposit the cash and complete the business cycle. In order to make these deposits banks are requiring Bitcoin operators to provide every detail of your personal information, along with your every transaction, as well as your to and from Bitcoin addresses, in real time! Imagine if banks could track and have a permanent instant record of every serial number on every $20 dollar bill, along with name and address of every person that ever touched that bill. Such an electronic tracking system with Bitcoin would amount to the perfect Orwellian storm. It's important to keep Bitcoin non-centralized and once you understand Bitcoin, you will be able to make responsible decisions on how to manage and use your Bitcoin, and use it globally!
The great majority of the BITSTREAM LLC customers using our BATM never actually arrive here because using Bitcoin is easy once you obtain a working knowledge base. However, rest assured we will address any concerns you may have or troubles you are experiencing. We are trying to foster the expansion and general acceptance of Bitcoin and want to do everything in our power to make sure your experiences are fun and enjoyable.
3. HOW DO I USE THE BATM?
If you are attempting to use the BATM for the first time please visit our LEARN page for easy How-To videos on using a Bitcoin ATM.
4. WHY AM I WAITING TO WITHDRAW MY CASH?
Its important to understand that Bitcoin is a user managed PUSH payment system. This means that you PUSH a payment from your wallet where you are the SOLE owner and SOLE manager of those funds(via ownership of the associated Private Keys) to the next bitcoin address and person who then becomes the SOLE owner and SOLE manager of that Bitcoin. This transfer of ownership occurs through CONFIRMATIONS posted to the Bitcoin Network via Miners operating all around the world that run the Bitcoin clearing software. Nobody can ever PULL, take, or otherwise withdraw funds from your wallet. Ownership of Bitcoin can only change by an owner-created and owner-signed (with the owners Private Keys)transaction that is then posted by the owners wallet to the Bitcoin network and subsequently cleared by the Miners via the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network. Through this PUSH process Bitcoin ownership is transferred and then that completed transaction is permanently recorded in the one single Bitcoin Ledger, viewable all around the world, for the rest of human existence.
4(a) SELLING BITCOIN
If you are selling your Bitcoin to us(WITHDRAW) then YOU are the owner that is PUSHING the Bitcoin to us via a transaction YOU are creating with your wallet. This transaction is created and signed by your wallet and then posted to the Bitcoin network for clearing.
Once we see two confirmations of YOUR transaction on the Bitcoin network we will go ahead and accept the transfer of ownership of the Bitcoin you are sending us, most exchanges and services require six confirmations before they will acknowledge a transfer of ownership. This means BITSTREAM LLC is at least three times faster than most services! However, realize that as the SOLE owner of this Bitcoin ONLY YOU can manage it with your private keys as a basic fundamental of Bitcoin. This means that in the case of a withdraw, YOU will need to do several things to complete the transaction. First you must configure your wallet to attach an adequate Miner Fee paid by the PUSH-er of a transaction for the current network conditions. You must then post your transaction to the Bitcoin network for clearing, and you must do this immediately during your BATM session as requested. Please note: The BATM does not wait forever for your Bitcoin because if you decide not to sell your Bitcoin in your session, the Bitcoin will never arrive. So, if your wallet has not posted the transaction to the Bitcoin Network within one hour of your session, the BATM takes that as your decision to NOT go through with the agreement created in your session, and your transaction will fail. It is your responsibility to ensure your Bitcoin posts immediately during your session and if it does not post then you have within one hour to correct the situation. Once the transaction has been advertised on the Bitcoin network the BATM will wait for it to clear, even if that clearing process takes hours or days to clear.
The reason the BATM must continue to wait for your posted transaction to clear after it has been posted is because you can attach any Miner Fee to your transactions you desire. If you post too low of a fee for the current conditions, your transaction can get stuck in the Memory Pool for many days or even weeks. Sometimes people are not in a hurry and would rather wait and save on the fee, others want it within an hour so they will attach a higher fee to attract the Miners to grab your transaction first. What most often happens is our customers don't understand Bitcoin and don't attach any fee and then they wonder why they cannot withdraw their cash.
Well, the reason you cannot withdraw your cash when your transaction has not yet cleared is because YOU have not PUSHED the Bitcoin to our ownership until it has at least two confirmations on the Bitcoin Network, it is only then that we will release the cash for you to withdraw. Since YOU alone are the owner of this Bitcoin you are sending us, nobody on the planet except you can do anything about any issues relating to this PUSH to us transaction. YOU will have to do some more homework and take some action to get YOUR transaction to clear, after which time the ownership and control will fall under OUR control and OUR private keys.
To summarize, ONLY YOU can PUSH Bitcoin to us and due to the fundamentals of Bitcoin we have no ability to take any action until such time YOUR push transaction has been confirmed on the Bitcoin network. Until we see two transactions on the Bitcoin network we are not the owners of the Bitcoin and our Private Keys are useless to control and own the Bitcoin. For example if you can cancel the transaction, or it eventually is rejected by the Bitcoin network, then that Bitcoin in question never left your wallet. If we release your cash before your PUSH transaction is complete and then your transaction is dropped because of an error or too low of a Miner fee, then we are out the cash and the Bitcoin in the agreement made during your BATM session. Hence your improper PUSH of Bitcoin to us can result in your Bitcoin being stuck in the Memory Pool awaiting it's destiny. If it eventually clears we will release the agreed upon cash, if your PUSH of Bitcoin to us eventually fails we will never get ownership of that Bitcoin and that Bitcoin will default back into your Wallet, hopefully. The important thing to realize here is that YOU can make a multitude of errors mismanaging your Bitcoin and the fact that you were TRYING to send it to us at the time of your error is irrelevant, nobody has control or responsibility for your Bitcoin accept you via your Private Keys. Only at such time you PUSH Bitcoin successfully (via 2 Confirmations on the Bitcoin network) to a Bitcoin address that we have provided you, are we now the owners of that Bitcoin and it then controllable with our Private Keys. Its kind of like selling someone a paddle lock without a key, you can advertise the paddle lock for sale in a contract, but until such time you successfully transfer the key to the next owner, nobody but you has access to use that paddle lock. If you mismanage the lock or the key before it is re-keyed to the next owner, nobody but you can rectify this situation.
4(b) BUYING BITCOIN
Now, if you are BUYING Bitcoin from us, we are now the ones PUSHING the Bitcoin from our wallet to yours via the Bitcoin clearing network. So all of the roles described above are now reversed, and we are PUSHING Bitcoin to you. When you make a Bitcoin purchase from us WE must attach an adequate Miner Fee for current conditions, sign the transaction, and post it to the Bitcoin Network. Acceptance of confirmations is now a function of your wallet and how many confirmations it requires before accepting that we have completely PUSHED and transferred ownership of the Bitcoin in question out to you. Your wallet decides on how many confirmations are required for acceptance, if you are using a wallet on an exchange, this will take at least one hour (6 confirmations) as required by most exchanges. It is best to use your own wallets where you have your own keys, and not that of an exchange or online wallet service. The trade off here is your wait time.
Clearing a transaction on the Internet Bitcoin network requires your transaction to be confirmed into a block on the Blockchain. Blocks are appended about every 10 minutes. So any given Bitcoin transaction could take seconds or up to 10 minutes to be included in the very next block, BITSTREAM requires 2 blocks before dispensing your cash. This means your transaction could take up to 20 minutes to clear, or a few seconds if you catch the current block just before it closes and confirms. Now, if you miss the first confirmation block, you are look at up to 29 minutes for your transaction to obtain 2 confirmation. If things are running slow on the Bitcoin network you see your transaction could easily take an hour to get two confirmations if conditions are less than optimal, nobody has direct control over these parameters or dealys.
Two additional thing to keep in mind when conducting WITHDRAWS. BITSTREAM LLC only requires 2 network confirmations ON YOUR TRANSACTION(this is when YOU are sending us Bitcoin with the intent of getting cash from the BATM) before we will release your cash. This wait time is totally on you and your wallet or service YOU are using to send the Bitcoin to us, we are merely waiting for YOU to send us the Bitcoin so that we can dispense your cash. This requires a knowledge base on your part to make your cash withdraw a success. If you are using a wallet such as one on an exchange, they often have an internal process time that must be completed before they will actually even send your requested transaction to the Bitcoin network. This means that your transaction is being held up within your exchange or wallet and NOT by BITSTREAM LLC. Once we see two confirmations on your transaction that sends the Bitcoin to us, we will release the cash.
Also, part of your knowledge base to make your withdraw successful is in regards to the amount of Mining Fee you are paying on the transaction to send us the Bitcoin. If your wallet is not configured properly to send a sufficient Miner Fee for the current network environment, then your transaction of sending the Bitcoin to BITSTREAM will also be delayed. Many wallets have setting ranging from economy to instant, which can be used to lower the Miner Fee you are paying when sending Bitcoin to us. However, realize here that when reduce the Miner Fee you are lowering your priority in the clearing process and adding delay to your transaction. Changing the Miner fee is an art and by changing this fee you are risking significant delays in BITSTREAM LLC receiving your Bitcoin, and as a result you will not be able to retrieve the associated cash. In fact you can send a Bitcoin transaction with a zero Miner fee! However, setting a zero Miner fee can result in a transaction being delayed for days instead of hours or minutes. If you have sent Bitcoin to BITSTREAM LLC with too low of a fee, or zero fee, it is your responsibility to correct this, or in most cases painfully wait for the transaction to drop out, fail, or complete. BITSTREAM LLC has no ability to manage your transactions or you Private Keys, only you can do this.
You can also do some research on "transactions stuck in the Memory Pool" which will offer you some techniques on how to recover from sending too low of a miner fee and having your transaction stuck in the Memory Pool. One of these techniques is called "child pays for parent" and you can search on how this is done. Ultimately, once your Bitcoin is sent to BITSTREAM LLC we will release your cash upon 2 Bitcoin network confirmations.
** Note: Never give anyone your Private Bitcoin address. Bitstream employees will NEVER ask or need your Private Key to resolve an issue. If fact any issue requiring your Private Key most likely cannot be resolved by BITSTREAM or anyone else on the planet for that matter.
5. SOMETHING WENT WRONG!
Rest assured the specifics of your transaction are not lost. Our BATM specifically logs all transactions in regards to you as a customer, your Bitcoin, and any cash inserted or removed.
Our experience is that 99.9% of the time all transactions and issues are resolved automatically through the Bitcoin transaction network, or by our operations center within with 24 hours. If you are experiencing an issue with the BATM or conducting a transaction, the chances are our operations has already been made aware of this through our automation and tracking system, and they are already trying to find out what has occurred and if we have control of the Bitcoin we will immediately take corrective action. However, if your transaction has not cleared within 24 hours, please visit our web site SUPPORT tab and fill out a Customer Support/Trouble Ticket. Alternatively, you can send us an email at Support@GoBitstream.net but be aware your email is not secure whereas our form on the SUPPORT page is protected by secure sockets layer (https). Please provide us the specifics of your transaction by including the following information.
Date and time of the transaction.
Your full name and cell number on the account.
The amount of Bitcoin and Cash of your transaction.
Someone on the Customer Support Team will receive your email, investigate the issue, and contact you within 24 hours with their findings.
6. HOW DO YOU DETERMINE YOUR FEE?
If you have questions about our pricing or fee rate, please note that Bitstream LLC is providing the service of timely liquidity between $US currency and Bitcoin currency, BASED on the publicly available Bitcoin price (advertised on many public exchanges), FOR OUR ADDED FEE. The exact final price you will pay for any transaction (buy/sell) will always be shown to you in real-time BEFORE you decide to ACCEPT our price (and hence our fee) and continue with any given transaction. When you continue the transaction you are accepting the agreed upon price shown and making a request for our services which are to transfer Bitcoin value to the address you have provided us. In the case you are selling Bitcoin, you are accepting the transaction when you use your ownership control of your own Bitcoin(private key) and transferring the appropriate value (quantity requested) to our Bitcoin address, we provide this address to you during your session in the case of us buying your Bitcoin. Our fee is proportionate and built into the price we are willing to Buy/Sell Bitcoin at for any given moment in time. The Bitstream transaction price used for your transaction (buy/sell) will be BASED on the real time market price as a starting point only, we then adjust this price up/down to build in our FEE, we then show you the price we are willing to pay/receive. If the price is not agreeable to you, you are under no obligation to accept, merely end your session by NOT sending us your Bitcoin, or by NOT inputting any CASH, you are in total control of the session and the decision. The quantity and price BITSTREAM is willing to transact at is largely a function of our liquidity and to a lesser extent based on your transaction limits. This is why your limits and the prices we offer are dynamic throughout any given day or time period. If we are fully stocked with Bitcoin we may not wish to purchase ANY bitcoin at all, or we may merely offer to buy small quantities at a greatly reduced price from market! Most often this is revealed in our lowering the quantity and price at which we are willing to buy your Bitcoin. Likewise, if our portfolio is low on Bitcoin and we are looking to purchase more Bitcoin then our equipment will show relatively an elevated quantity and price at which we are willing to transact.
7. HOW DOES THE CLEARING PROCESS WORK?
Bitcoin transaction clearing is handled by what is commonly known as "Miners." These unknown miners run the software that maintains the Bitcoin ledger and clears transactions. Miners charge a fee for this service that is not controllable by Bitstream, or by anyone else. In the case Bitstream LLC is selling you Bitcoin we pay these Miner fees. Lowering a Miner Fee will result in delayed clearing on the Bitcoin network. If BITSTREAM LLC is purchasing your Bitcoin, realize the time required will also be a function of which wallet you are using. If you are using a wallet off of an exchange, that exchange can require as many as 6 or more CONFIRMED cleared blocks BEFORE sending that coin to BITSTREAM LLC. BITSTREAM LLC only requires on average 2 clearing blocks before allowing you to dispense your cash. However, if your Bitcoin is being delayed by your wallet or service, or by you lowering the Miner Fee below optimal, BITSTREAM LLC has no control over these factors. Once your wallet gives the coin to BITSTREAM LLC we will then release your cash to you for dispensing AFTER we observe 2 confirmed transaction blocks that reference our specific agreement.
If the Bitcoin network has a large backlog of transactions the going rate for a Miner to clear a transaction can surge as high as $200! When this happens Bitstream batch processes transactions so that we can distribute a competitive $200 Miner Fee across several transactions which enables us to make your smaller transactions still possible. Without batching we would be unable to provide our services. Paying a $200 Miner Fee to send a customer $20 worth of Bitcoin does not add up to staying in business very long.
We do our best to keep your transactions flowing. However, there are lots of variables and many of which we do not(and cannot) control. Bitcoin does not have a feature within the protocol that allows cancellations, charge backs, or refunds. Once a transaction has been initiated nobody on the planet can stop the protocol process. Transactions can get stuck in the Memory Pool for days awaiting pick up and process by a Bitcoin Miner somewhere in the world. If the Bitcoin network surges in demand from one hour to the next, an attached Miner Fee can suddenly go from being adequate to being grossly inadequate. Our Terms of Service describe that this is a fundamental risk factor of using Bitcoin that BITSTREAM LLC cannot take responsibility for. Likewise, when you send(sell) your Bitcoin to us your transaction can get stuck in the Memory Pool or within your wallet provider, and there is nothing that can be done accept waiting. Wait times are inversely proportional to the caliber of the transaction. As the Miner Fee attached to a transaction goes up, the wait time goes down. As the Miner Fee goes down, the wait time goes up. If the Miner Fee is set to zero it will be picked up and processed by Miners as a last resort.
8. SHOULD I FUND A PAPER WALLET FROM THE BATM?
Our BATM can generate a Public/Private key pair(Paper Wallet) for you if you desire, known as a Paper Wallet. It will generate the Public/Private key pair and print it on a receipt that you can then fund if you desire, but at your own risk. The BATM is designed in such a way (for security) that these Paper Wallet addresses are NOT stored in any fashion, such as to disk storage for example. These address are generated within the processor itself and dumped to the receipt printer, and then they are entirely gone from the equipment! You do NOT want to fund a Paper Wallet that is not flawlessly printed, if its not clearly printed or smudged just throw it away and start over to generate a new Paper Wallet. It is vital to follow the instructions on the BATM instructing you to verify that both the Public and Private QR codes are clearly visible and are not distorted on your receipt, BEFORE attempting to fund the Paper Wallet. If you lose or damage your Paper Wallet receipt or fund an impaired paper wallet nobody including Bitstream can ever recover the Bitcoin you have lost. In fact this Bitcoin will be lost for all time and not only for you but for the entire Bitcoin network. This is an unfortunate and fundamental reality of the Bitcoin design itself. If you are not certain of how to handle Paper Wallets it is best to stick to using a wide variety of digital wallets that are available for most cell phones or computers. These digital wallets provide recoverable options such as pass phrases to regenerate your wallet in the event of a mishap. No such option exists for the Paper Wallets generated by our BATM, they are provided for convenience but primarily meant for the experienced Bitcoin users.
9. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A RESPONSE?
We will absolutely respond to ALL emails that are sent and we strive to do this within a 24 hour period. Our company and staff are hard at work growing all aspects of our business, especially that of support, so we appreciate your patience.
10. WHERE ELSE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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