Unsavory attempts at BTC conversion and acquisition seem to be the never-ending norm. In the last couple of years converting between fiat and BTC has been a losing uphill battle due to:
- Extreme US bitcoin regulation,
- Hardcore FinCEN compliance crackdowns,
- Fiat payment processors, such as PayPal joyfully freezing and seizing accounts at just the mere whisper of someone directly buying or selling any cryptocurrency, just to name a few.
What is VirWoX?
[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]n a nutshell:
- SecondLife is the oldest and largest 3D virtual reality social site on the web. Within its metaverse is a monetary system called Linden dollars (aka L$’s, SecondLife Lindens or SLLs) used for buying stuff for in-world 3D avatars.
- The L$ is a closed-source digital currency solely owned by Linden Labs. Unlike a typical cryptocurrency, SLL’s are pegged to the US dollar, and the market prices typically fluctuate between a range of L$238 – l$245 (per USD$1.00).
- The reason that PayPal is cool with L$’s is because they view SLLs as “game currency” (much like WoW gold, in this regard).
- The way it works is that you’ll be converting fiat currency into SLLs, and SLLs into BTC (or vice versa).
My Personal Experience With VirWoX
1. Deposited 0.2BTC (0.1999 after miner confirmation fee) and received an email from VirWox accordingly.
2. It posted in approximately 1 hour, precisely as expected.
3. I proceeded to purchase the max amount of L$’s at current market rate. 100% fulfilled instantly (minus VirWox commissions of 2.9% + L$50 converting into SLL).
4. I then proceeded to buy the max amount of USD at current market rate, which incurred an additional 2.9% in exchange fees (plus another L$50 to convert into USD). The order was fulfilled instantly. I also received the second email (order confirmation) from VirWox, exactly as expected.
5. I finally withdrew to PayPal. Upon doing so, I shelled out yet another 2% and USD$1.00 to cover PayPal fees (otherwise it would be +1 euro, pound or franc, as the VirWoX handling fee). It posted to PayPal instantly.
Verdict: VirWoX worked flawlessly.
Disclaimer: I have not attempted to buy BTC and send the BTC to a wallet outside of VirWoX, which is where the most number of complaints seems to stem from (with a close 2nd being crappy customer service). Personally, I have only used VirWoX for converting BTC into fiat via PayPal with no problems thus far.
VirWoX End-User Caveats
- Definitely not cheap. Typical fees average around 7-12% (end-to-end, all said and done). The fees tend to be particularly painful when converting BTC into fiat via PayPal.
- Slow First-Time BTC Withdrawal. If purchasing BTC, your very first BTC withdrawal can take up to 48 hours (a safety precaution applied to all new accounts). After that, should be less than ewo hours (six blockchain confirmations).
- Many disgruntled users. For every five complaints of folks trying to buy BTC via VirWoX, I was lucky to find one decent review. However, I found numerous good reviews on Bitcoiners like myself who needed to convert BTC to get money onto their PayPal.
VirWoX End-User Attractions
- No 10 day lockout for new accounts.
- Modest amount of personally identifiable information required.
- No minimum / maximum BTC deposit requirements.
- Four popular fiat currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, CHF.
- Several deposit /withdraw options. VirWoX currently supports credit and debit cards, ACH, PayPal, Skrill, paysafecard and uKash.
The consensus seems to be that buying BTC via VirWoX is to be approached with caution. I could not find one complaint (myself included) in regards to using VirWoX to cash out BTC into fiat. In all cases: Caveat emptor. Do you have any direct experience with VirWoX (either good or bad)? If so, please share your experiences below!
Last modified: May 20, 2014 04:34 UTC