Say you want to buy some bitcoins.  It turns out that it’s a major pain in the ass, but one route is VirWox.  Here’s what you’re looking at when you go this route:

  1. Deposit money with PayPal.  VirWox takes EUR 0.35 + 3.4%
  2. Convert dollars to SLL.  VirWox takes 3.5%
  3. Convert SLL to BTC (bitcoins).  VirWox takes 3.5%
  4. Withdraw bitcoins.  VirWox takes 0.02 BTC (currently, about 40¢) as a fee, and holds the transfer for 48 hours.

It’s a lot like the old company towns: once you get your money in, they charge you for everything that you do with it. Luckily, this was just an experiment for me, and I didn’t put any real money into this.  If you’re smart, you won’t, either. VirWox is a con.