Mt. Gox is Dead. Amateur Hour is Over. Time to Get Professional.

Mt. Gox is dead, and my last comments were overly optimistic and incomplete.

I have changed my mind about Mt. Gox now that there is evidence that Mt. Gox may have mishandled and possibly lost hundreds of millions of dollars of Bitcoin. I should have also mentioned earlier that I only trusted Mt. Gox with a small percentage of my own Bitcoin. While it was still being touted as the largest and most trusted exchange, Mt Gox seemed clunky and was having issues for months before I put a comparatively small amount of money into the exchange.

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Bitcoin enthusiasts meet at The Grand Park Downtown Los Angeles

Coinbase, on the other hand, was implementing all of the best practices of banks and Paypal, only better.  With top advisors of Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase was obviously more professional, easy to use, and had integration with U.S. banks and credit cards.  It was obvious to me that any individual wallet was subject to fraud and attack.  Along with Coinbase, I stuck money in many other wallets.  That proved to make all of the difference.

MtGox has never been worth recommending to U.S. residents as long as I’ve been buying Bitcoin over the past 11 months.  The best places to buy Bitcoin in the U.S. are localbitcoins.com (for a more private purchase of Bitcoin) and coinbase.com (for a more U.S. Government-approved purchase of Bitcoin).  Buyers, sellers, developers and enthusiasts also get together by way of Meetup.com.

Coinbase and Localbitcoins come with their own reliable wallets.  Other so far reliable wallets include: Bitcoin QT (Android phone – back it up, and do not lose your phone), Bitcoin QT (Macbook took me a month to install and update for some reason.  Maybe it is good that it is fully in sync), Blockchain.info My Wallet, Bitminter (for Bitcoin mining), easywallet.org (no login required, but theoretically less secure),  cloudhashing.com (for mining using remote hosting).  Coinbase has a simple tool to move Bitcoin to paper.

The main lesson is to keep your Bitcoin spread out in many wallets. The old adage holds true with Bitcoin: “Don’t keep all of your eggs in one basket.”  Don’t keep all of your Bitcoin in one wallet.

Corey Chambers, The Bitcoin Blogs

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