Houston Bits is the first and only local shop in Houston to buy and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other crypto-currency. Not only is it a place to buy and sell, but we host local meetings for bitcoin fans.
Our rates are very fair and reasonable. We typically charge about 5% over MtGox and buy 5% under to sell. These numbers can change based on how many people come in to buy vs. sell. If we have even numbers on both sides, it may be as low as 2% either way. See our commission page for current charges.
The idea for Houston Bits came about when some friends got together and were commenting about how hard it was to buy your very first bitcoin. Plus, we like the idea of in person transactions. Everything is confidential. Only cash is used to buy, only cash is used to sell. See our FAQ page for more details.
We’re happy to announce that as of May 1st, Houston Bits has begun to accept payments via mail. How is that done? Easy. Simply mail in a money order or cashiers check to us and we’ll fund your BTC address. Want to sell us coins? Same deal. Transfer coins to our account and we’ll mail you a money order.
What is the rate? We will apply our commission to Mt.Gox value AT THE TIME MONEY/BTC is sent. Meaning if you mail us a money order, you’ll get BTC based on the time stamp on the envelope. So if Bitcoins are $100 USD each at the time you send, and go up to $150 USD by the time we get your money order, you still get the $100 USD price. On the flip side, if Bitcoins are $100 USD at the time you send the money order and they’re $80 when we get it, you’ll still get the $100 USD price.
When selling Bitcoins to us, the money you get for your coins is based on the value at the time they are received in our wallet.
How do you know we won’t run off with your money? We’re a real store with real employees with real customers coming in daily. While we like the idea of in-person transactions better, we’ve decided to offer this service after several e-mails from people out of state asking to trade coins from us.
If you have any questions or would like to buy/sell, please contact us.
Due to a combination of issues, we have put temporary limits on the amount of bitcoins we can sell per person per day. That limit is 20 coins. Also, there will be a 2% increase in costs to buy. This is being offset with a 2% reduction on commissions to sell. See our commission page for up to date fees.
The three main reasons are:
- Far more people coming in to buy vs. sell
- Increased cost on our end of getting cash back into the system
- Increased limits on the amount we’re able to fund the various exchanges per day.
Given an equal number of buyers and sellers, our commissions on both ends could be smaller and smaller as we could sell the same bitcoins we are buying, vs. having to convert cash back into the system. However, as of 5/1/2013, almost 90% (88.9% to be exact) of our transactions were people wanting to buy. That puts us in a position to need to convert the cash received back to BTC — which as you may be aware isn’t the easiest or cost effective process.
We’re hoping to change this policy soon as we have been happy with our reputation of being able to take on as many orders of any size as people wanted to do. Also note this shouldn’t effect many of our customers as only 7% have bought more than 20 coins per transaction.
Want to come in, grab some “physical” bitcoins and go? Now you can. Houston Bits now offers “ready made” bitcoins in .1, .5, and 1 BTC denominations.
On the wallet, you’ll see a pubic key QR code that you can easily check to verify the wallet balance. There is a private key inside, secured by tamper proof tape. You can “open” that in order to transfer the value out to your own wallet. Or just keep the paper wallet and use it for in-person physical transactions! Anyone accepting the wallet for payment can also check the public key via the QR code to verify the balance.
These are also nice as if you want to sell them back, that transaction is much faster as well — and we can buy them back at a higher price since there is less work involved (and no verification of the blockchain needed)
So come visit us and check them out today!
(Thanks to the folks at bitconpaperwallet.com for the design!)
Granted, we’re still a pretty new company, but growth has been strong. Last week ended up being our best week ever, beating our previous record by 28%.
We’re still a bit lopsided when it comes to buy vs. sell. Almost 75% of those coming in came in to buy bitcoins. To try to even things out, we’ve lowered our premiums on buying bitcoins. So if you have any you want to sell, contact us!
Our favorite bitcoin exchange, Bitfloor, has gone offline. Their homepage now has this message:
I am sorry to announce that due to circumstances outside of our control BitFloor must cease all trading operations indefinitely. Unfortunately, our US bank account is scheduled to be closed and we can no longer provide the same level of USD deposits and withdrawals as we have in the past. As such, I have made the decision to halt operations and return all funds.
Over the next days we will be working with all clients to ensure that everyone receives their funds. Please be patient as we process your request.
- Romanfounder – bitfloor.com
We’re sad to seem them go as not only were they a nice and easy to use exchange, but they were by far the easiest way to get money into the system to buy bitcoins. At Houston Bits, the majority of our customers were buying bitcoins. We used bitfloor as our main exchange to reload our account at the end of each day. We hope they (or someone like them) comes back soon!
Our pool will go up and down based on customer demand for their own rigs. We’ve just added our 10th for a combined litecoin mining performance of 23,800 kh/s!
Come by our store to check out the BitBuster 2.5 pool in action!
Fat Property is one of the most active real estate companies in Houston. They own 100′s of units all over the city, but mostly inside the loop. Houston Bits will work with Fat Property to facilitate rental payments using bitcoin for all their tenants. All cash transactions will be converted to bitcoin for payment, and then credited to the tenant ledgers.
We’d like to thank Fat Property for the opportunity and look forward to helping them grow out their bitcoin operations.
While 100 isn’t a lot, it’s still a nice round number to celebrate. The 100th coin was bought by Josh Snits (he gave us permission to use his name) this morning. Thanks Josh and thanks to all our other customers.