back to article Grab your Bitcoin while you can because Purse.io is shutting up shop in June and you could lose the lot

Purse.io is advising its customers to withdraw all digital funds from the site "as soon as possible," after announcing it'll shut down completely on June 26. The online souk, which matched bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) users who wanted to buy Amazon gift cards at a discount and sellers that wanted cryptocurrency, said …

  1. veti Silver badge

    Respect

    At least they're giving some warning. That puts them streets ahead of some exchanges I remember.

    My money would be on the "failing business model" explanation. Lots of people think they can do what some established business does only cheaper - but only because they don't actually understand what the business involves. The more they get into it, the more they realise there's a reason why it costs.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Respect

      My guess is, if you combine bitcoins and Amazon gift cards, you get a perfect service for money launderers.

      1. jgarbo
        Devil

        Re: Respect

        Small potatoes. Real money launderers use "respectable" banks, eg HSBC, Wells Fargo, Citi, for big washing, and they use USD not BTC.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Respect

          .. and real estate (there's no mandatory AML checking on funds used to buy property, at least not in the US).

          There's a certain Mr T who is alleged to have rescued his business that way, also here, as he and his family is otherwise only capable of delivering a more 747MAX-alike revenue trajectory.

          Rumour has it he's now discovering you can't run an entire country that way.

          1. brotherelf
            Joke

            Re: Respect

            > There's a certain Mr T

            I pity the fool!

            1. James O'Shea

              Re: Respect

              The rest of us are stuck with the fool.

      2. Irongut Silver badge

        Re: Respect

        Do they do 150k gift cards?

        No one is laundering money using gift cards.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Respect

          "No one is laundering money using gift cards."

          Mostly true, but a few people are. Anyone with hundreds of thousands to launder will need something much more intense, and they can hand over quite a chunk to get that. They wouldn't do anything like this. The people with small amounts, for example people who had one successful ransomware attack or payment-request phish probably don't need to worry about that--they can go to an exchange and retrieve cash, claiming they mined a small chunk if questioned. It's those people in the middle with a reasonable but still small income stream coming in bitcoin who need something more anonymous, as they can't arouse suspicion by so frequently going to a physical exchange or providing details allowing them to be identified. Amazon gift cards may not be perfect, but if it can be done anonymously, it might just be enough.

    2. Cave-Homme
      WTF?

      Re: Respect

      Respect? Are you sure about that?

      These alleged shysters were in business to -

      "matched bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) users who wanted to buy Amazon gift cards at a discount and sellers that wanted cryptocurrency"

      My experience informs me that the only terds that require this kind of service are scammers who rob sadly clueless netizens of their pensions and savings.

      If you know of good and legitimate use cases, please share below and correct my ignorance:

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Respect

        The only possibility is people wishing to use bitcoin like a currency but frustrated about not having many people willing to accept it. True, they could exchange the crypto for cash and use that, but that requires either a physical trip to wherever the exchange is or a bank account (and many people interested in cryptocurrencies don't like banks). So it could theoretically be used for legitimate purposes in the same way that most other tools primarily used by criminals could. I'm doubting most of their business was intense crypto-promoters though.

      2. J27 Bronze badge

        Re: Respect

        Yes, definitely. That's the only thing Bitcoin is for now.

  2. Brian Miller Silver badge

    Ran out of magic?

    Collect garden gnomes -> magic??? happens -> profit

    There is much irrational exuberance (still!) around Bitcoin and ilk. Could also blame multiple business closures on Covid19, too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When it's Spring again

      I'll bring again,

      Bitcoins from Amsterdam.

  3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    VCs

    VC funding is drying up faster than California's aquifers as capital hunkers down for a long recession

    It couldn't have been the credit card fraud, oh no.

  4. David Pearce

    Volatility?

    In the last 12 months a Bitcoins value has been on a roller coaster ride of more than 2:1 in value in USD. This makes it a gambling tool rather than a currency

    The anonymity has also been found to be weak, reducing its (main) use for crime.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Volatility?

      It did take a number of criminals a decent amount of time to work that one out - and I have direct experience of some of the tracing :-)

      1. Def Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Volatility?

        and I have direct experience of some of the tracing

        From which side? :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Volatility?

          Ahh - anon for what reason you mean :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Volatility?

      The anonymity has also been found to be weak

      Well, it started with the tiny problem that ALL exchanges outsourced their graphics generation to the same US outfit. To be honest, if there was anyone with *any* brains in US agencies they would have had their data effectively delivered on a silver plate already there - and they may not have picked people off immediately so as to not to give the game away.

      So yes, using an exchange may be the first leak, and without them you can't exchange coins for more fun stuff..

    3. J27 Bronze badge

      Re: Volatility?

      It's really about money laundering, the small number of Bitcoin boosters are vocal, but not the main users.

  5. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Pulse or Purse?

    The article seems to switch between the two at random, even in the same sentence.

  6. razorfishsl

    Yep.. .like that HK provider who is supposed to be following the law & due diligence....

    But then laundered all my bitcoins thru P2P when i moved them.......

    Which then caused me MASSIVE compliance issues...... and guess what.. there is no one to report them to.....

    since there was not actually a "financial crime"

  7. headrush

    Seems like the same old ignorance here. Purse existed to allow you to buy things directly with crypto. I bought some stuff from amazon using it and got around 15% discount for doing so. There were limits on amounts and also kyc so money laundering wasn't an option. I never came near an amazon gift card. No one with any sense would be keeping crypto or cash on the Purse wallet anyway. As the saying goes, "not your keys, not your coins"

    Besides which, in these times of trillion dollar bailouts for the rich and connected, I would still prefer a deflationary currency. Money printer goes brrrr!

    1. J27 Bronze badge

      I see it quite differently, in my mind this sort of crisis is the sort of thing that will make people lose faith in wild ideas like electric trade goods backed by no economy or hard goods.

  8. J27 Bronze badge

    Leaving balances on any Bitcoin exchange for any longer that a day is just asking for problems. With all the shutdowns/thefts/scams limiting exposure is the only reasonable plan. And if you're not laundering money, consider getting out of Bitcoin entirely, the stock market is having a sale right now.

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    Just wow

    Scammers frequently want victims to buy them Amazon gift cards and other kinds redeemable credit because they are less traceable than sending money. So imagine what we should make of a service that allows random people to sells gift cards for bitcoin. It may as well have money laundering and fraud written all over it. It's surprising it lasted as long as it did really.

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