I hate banks. I abandoned my Chase account in a scheduled bank run at the height of the Occupy Movement and I haven’t set foot in a bank since. So, when I heard people talking about buying Bitcoin by making cash deposits in a bank I lacked enthusiasm. But then I tried it.
In a very real sense our #HoodieTheHomeless campaign is the conceptual heir of Project FEED. Project FEED has been distributing bag lunches in San Francisco once a month for about 5 years. It was interacting with their clientele while volunteering for Project FEED that gave me the idea for #HoodieTheHomeless. So, last Sunday at Project FEED I put out this donation box:
Project FEED volunteers contributed $65. Based on the great deal we’re getting from Mass Appeal Inc., that’s about 5 hoodies we didn’t have before. There’s just one problem. Bitcoin Starter doesn’t take war dollars, and Bitcoin Not Bombs is making the purchase from Mass Appeal Inc. in Bitcoin. Well, CashIntoCoins.com has a solution.
Cash Into Coins allows you to deposit war dollars at any Wells Fargo, or Bank of America and most Credit Unions. As as much I hate banks, this interaction was really minimal. I walked up to the counter and all I said was “I need this cash deposited in this account” handing the clerk the stack of Fed paper and a print out of the account information I got from the website. That was it. I didn’t show any ID. I didn’t sign anything. I didn’t even have an account there. I walked out, receipt in hand, with no record I’d ever been there other than the security footage.
Here’s how it works.
You go to CashIntoCoins.com and click “Get Bitcoins!” It’s the only button. You can’t miss it. This prompts a short form asking you for the important information. Your email address. The bank you want to use. The deposit amount. And the address where you want the bitcoin sent.
An exciting new feature of this form is the question, “Would you like to donate your fee?” And if you answer yes the question, “Where would you like to donate your fee?” will appear. If you choose to donate, a portion of your fee will go to either Bitcoins Not Bombs, or Sean’s Outpost.
Confirm all the information is correct, and agree to the terms (which are only about a paragraph long), and you’re set. The site will give you the account name and number that the bank clerk needs and you’re ready to make your deposit. Once you get your receipt, snap a photo including the transaction ID, account number, store number, deposit amount, and date like so:
Send that to [email protected] and you’re done. Your Bitcoin should hit the blockchain within 30 minutes to 4 hours. In my case it was closer to the upper limit, but it was totally my fault. I entered some information incorrectly, and they were quick to identify the problem and reach out to me to get it sorted out. So, that really speaks to the speed of their customer service.
Finally, the reason I’m most excited about this new service is that it means anyone anywhere can contribute Bitcoin to the #HoodieTheHomeless campaign, even if they’ve never heard of Bitcoin, and have no idea how to use it. Because now you can go to CashIntoCoins.com, put our Bitcoin address as your “send to” address, and deposit war dollars in your local bank or credit union, and we’ll still get Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Not Bombs’ Bitcoin address: 1NXEaoGuw2iar9oxKadsq2vCcGRXbzF1a5