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2drewlee
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I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:01 pm

I am a payments geek and a FinTech entrepreneur. When I first learned about Bitcoin in 2011, I thought it was interesting so I bought some and promptly forgot about it. My first company was a credit card processor that was acquired by Sage Payments. I joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2012 to cover emerging payments, and our group evaluated many new payments technologies including Apple Pay.

In 2014, Kent and I started Purse out of a coffee shop in SF. We didn’t initially set out to create a company. We shared a common frustration that Bitcoin didn’t offer any incentive for normal people to use it, and we had a hunch that we could use blockchain escrows to liquidate Amazon gift cards and deliver great deals. Our hunch proved to be correct - we transacted over $4.5M and saved users almost a million dollars.

Today, I’m excited to announce the expansion our marketplace with Purse Merchants! Businesses will be able to sell directly on Purse, the world’s largest consumer marketplace for Bitcoin. Trezor, Ledger, KangerTech, among others, will go live on our site this week.
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The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

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rogerver
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Donate BTC of your choice to 1PpmSbUghyhgbzsDevqv1cxxx8cB2kZCdP

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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:10 pm

For those who don't already know, Purse.io is one of my very favorite Bitcoin companies.
Purse.io gives anyone a reason to start using Bitcoin in their daily life.

Here is an example from my very own life:
Image

Who wouldn't be excited about saving $170 on a new iPad?!

Andrew,

1. What is Purse Merchants?
2. Why should people be excited about it?
3. Why are you excited about it?

Thanks so much for building an amazing reason for normal people to start using Bitcoin!
Help spread Bitcoin by linking to everything mentioned here:
topic7039.html

amnsc
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:17 pm

Hi Andrew! Thanks for doing this AMA.

I'm a Purse user and I love it.

1. How is the ecosystem on Purse? What is the proportion between earners and shoppers?
2. What's the average discount rate?
3. How are you avoiding carders / fraudsters?
4. Cool for Purse Merchants, but are u not afraid of Openbazaar?


Thanks!

Adam Cu
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:14 pm

Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:17 pm

How many staff do you have working for the support team?
also how long is the average wait time to get help from the support team?

x1lclem
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:23 pm

Hi Andrew. Big fan of Purse, I use it at least a couple times a month.

1.) How closely do you work with Amazon to avoid fraud?
2.) Are you required to get a Bit-license to operate out of New York? (Since you hold bitcoin for customers)
3.) When is the mobile app coming?

MichaelK
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:16 pm

Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:26 pm

What are the requirements to sell at your marketplace? How established do you have to be? Do you require proof of inventory? How long do you payments take to receive payment after a sale is completed in bitcoin? Do you accept competing products of two sellers or just allow one ?

ReasonSpeaking
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:30 pm

Hi Andrew! Just got an account to ask these! Thanks for doing this!

1. Is there any plan to do a CoinJoin for the coins you have in escrow in the future, to enhance anonymity?

2. Where do the majority of your gift card purchases originate from?

3. Are there any people in countries where the currency is heavily manipulated/destroyed, where people are using gift cards/bitcoins instead that you know of?

Thanks!

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:32 pm

1. What is Purse Merchants?
2. Why should people be excited about it?
3. Why are you excited about it?
Hi Roger,

Thanks for having me on the AMA and everything you do for Bitcoin and Purse!

Merchants will enable anyone to sell goods and services on Purse, the largest consumer marketplace for Bitcoin. Both merchants and consumers will benefit from the efficiency of blockchain escrows. Link for interested businesses here.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog article entitled “Bitcoin commerce is broken,” and this is the second phase in fixing the problem.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

allgoodthings1
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: Purse Merchants

1- Will this new service be available on Purse Instant or Name Your Discount, or both, or neither?
2- Won't this new service put you in direct competition (for listings/sales) with Amazon, and thus strain your relationship with them?

kyletorpey
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:41 pm

Hey Andrew,

Great work on this! Just one question: How helpful do you think your ability to offer discounted Amazon products to users will be for the success of your marketplace? Do you see this as a key tool in fighting against eBay's network effect?

Also, for anyone else, I was able to ask Andrew a few questions about the upcoming platform yesterday. Article was just published here: http://coinjournal.net/purse-to-launch- ... penbazaar/

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:43 pm

What are the requirements to sell at your marketplace? How established do you have to be? Do you require proof of inventory? How long do you payments take to receive payment after a sale is completed in bitcoin? Do you accept competing products of two sellers or just allow one ?
We're rolling out Merchants with beta partners first. In the next month, we'll roll it out publicly so anyone will be able to sell on Purse. Unlike legacy marketplaces like eBay, Alibaba, and Etsy, people won't need bank accounts to sell online. Reputation is a key factor in how we determine the escrow terms. Established businesses will receive payments upon submitting a valid tracking ID, but businesses without reputation will have to wait until delivery confirmation. We think competition is healthy.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

x1lclem
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:45 pm

One more question, is Purse doing anything for Bitcoin Black Friday?

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creationlayer
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:45 pm

First off thanks, I'm typing this on a laptop I got a good deal on through Purse.io.

I read the piece, Bitcoin commerce is broken, and I saw the mention of smart contracts. Are you able to do such contracts on the Bitcoin Blockchain?
We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.
-Alan Turing

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:00 pm

Hi Andrew! Just got an account to ask these! Thanks for doing this!

1. Is there any plan to do a CoinJoin for the coins you have in escrow in the future, to enhance anonymity?

2. Where do the majority of your gift card purchases originate from?

3. Are there any people in countries where the currency is heavily manipulated/destroyed, where people are using gift cards/bitcoins instead that you know of?

Thanks!
Awesome! Thanks for the questions.

I personally think Coinjoin is cool, but total anonymity isn't our focus. When I see email signatures with "Sent from my iPhone 6" or people tweeting how much they saved on Purse, I don't think total anonymity is necessary for commerce. We're focused on ease-of-use and customer satisfaction.

The overwhelming majority of gift card liquidators are in India, Indonesia, and Philippines where gift cards are issued as payment through Mechanical Turk, Amazon Affiliates, etc.

I don't have particular insight on behavior of people in currency manipulated countries, but I suppose gift cards denominated in USD could be a decent solution. If I were in Venezuela or Argentina, I'd prefer bitcoins over gift cards.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

mabeuf
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:08 pm

Hi Andrew.

Long time fan, built my whole PC via Purse, ~20% off. Purse gave me a reason to actually spend bitcoin when there weren't many options in the UK.

Q1: With the new 'Merchants' service, what fees will Purse take? Are they competitive with Amazon/Ebay etc?

Q2: I'd love the instant discount to come to the UK, but you've previously said that there's not enough of a market for it here apparently. Is that still the case?

extolsmith
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:17 pm

Multisig, are you moving to a 2-of-3 for the marketplace, where both buyer and seller hold a key?

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:18 pm

I'm a Purse user and I love it.

1. How is the ecosystem on Purse? What is the proportion between earners and shoppers?
2. What's the average discount rate?
3. How are you avoiding carders / fraudsters?
4. Cool for Purse Merchants, but are u not afraid of Openbazaar?
Thanks for the kind words and using Purse!

Average discount rate on Name Your Discount is 20%, and there are about 2 shoppers to 1 earner. Amazon does most of the heavy lifting in terms of fraud prevention because they accept the fiat / gift card payments. In addition, we have a reputation system, social/phone verification, limits, and escrowed transactions.

I'm a big fan of the OpenBazaar project, and I believe marketplaces using blockchain technology will be a huge market. I think the same reasons people choose where to shop or list items online will still apply for Bitcoin, including customer satisfaction, ease-of-use, and value. Anonymity while sacrificing on these features will be more valuable depending on what's being transacted.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:25 pm

How many staff do you have working for the support team?
also how long is the average wait time to get help from the support team?
We currently have 2 people full-time on our support team, but all of us participate. We're averaging about 6hr response time excluding weekends. We are ramping up on all fronts including support. If interested, please email careers@purse.io
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

imaginary_username
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:26 pm

I think this has been asked by a previous post, but not answered yet: Are the merchants who sign up for Merchants going to be able to participate in the bitcoin-earners program (aka Name Your Discount)? Being able to skip Amazon's convoluted wishlist system and streamline the whole process will be a huge step forward, even if it starts small with a few merchants.

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:37 pm

Re: Purse Merchants

1- Will this new service be available on Purse Instant or Name Your Discount, or both, or neither?
2- Won't this new service put you in direct competition (for listings/sales) with Amazon, and thus strain your relationship with them?
Thanks for the question allgoodthings1!

1. For shoppers, this new service will be similar to Instant, and new product listings will be incorporated into search results.
2. Merchants adds most value to businesses that can't list their products on Amazon (i.e. KangerTech, e-cigarette device manufacturer) or businesses that prefer bitcoins (i.e. Trezor).
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:50 pm

First off thanks, I'm typing this on a laptop I got a good deal on through Purse.io.

I read the piece, Bitcoin commerce is broken, and I saw the mention of smart contracts. Are you able to do such contracts on the Bitcoin Blockchain?
Great to hear you saved on your laptop! There's a lot of low hanging fruit with just basic multisig escrows. In general, use cases have severely lagged development in Bitcoin 2.0 capabilities. Bitcoin's scripting capabilities are sufficient for even complex scenarios that have yet to be imagined.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:52 pm

One more question, is Purse doing anything for Bitcoin Black Friday?
Of course! Combined with the price surge, this is going to be a huge holiday season for Bitcoin.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

allgoodthings1
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Marketplace for other kinds of credit

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:54 pm

Some time ago, I read of Purse exploring the possibility of earners using the likes of frequently flyer miles and other company cash alternatives - not just Amazon gift card balances. Any progress on that front?

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:55 pm

Hi Andrew. Big fan of Purse, I use it at least a couple times a month.
Are you required to get a Bit-license to operate out of New York? (Since you hold bitcoin for customers)
When is the mobile app coming?
Thanks for using Purse! We don't operate in New York. We'll release mobile apps early next year.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

VanDeam
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:03 pm

I am a Purse user and i love it!

I have ordered couple things through Purse and everything went fine until i have received the last item (Apple Magsafe W85 power adapter)
and i have released the payment for the buyer.
The item did not work, so i sent an email to Purse support to see how we can resolve it with replacement of the item,
but as it turns out to be a frustrating thing, Purse support has forwarded me to amazon and ask to replace the item,
but amazon has asked me so the REAL buyer will contact them for a replacement.

so i have a few questions:
1. You don\t have any explanation on your website on how to resolve an issue like this, will it be added?
2. what do i do now, as i payed 50 Euro but the item doesn't work?

Thanks for doing this AMA :)

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2drewlee
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Re: Marketplace for other kinds of credit

Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:08 pm

Some time ago, I read of Purse exploring the possibility of earners using the likes of frequently flyer miles and other company cash alternatives - not just Amazon gift card balances. Any progress on that front?
I still believe that app would be awesome, but we're taking more of a platform approach to new markets. Eventually, we'll provide all the escrow tools and payments capabilities so developers can build the frequent flyer miles app on top of our platform. If no one builds it, maybe we'll do it.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:11 pm

I am a Purse user and i love it!

I have ordered couple things through Purse and everything went fine until i have received the last item (Apple Magsafe W85 power adapter)
and i have released the payment for the buyer.
The item did not work, so i sent an email to Purse support to see how we can resolve it with replacement of the item,
but as it turns out to be a frustrating thing, Purse support has forwarded me to amazon and ask to replace the item,
but amazon has asked me so the REAL buyer will contact them for a replacement.

so i have a few questions:
1. You don\t have any explanation on your website on how to resolve an issue like this, will it be added?
2. what do i do now, as i payed 50 Euro but the item doesn't work?

Thanks for doing this AMA :)
Thanks for using Purse!

Most of the time, Amazon will replace NYD orders just like they handle any gift items, but we noticed 3rd party European orders have a different process. Please email support@purse.io, and we'll sort out the replacement.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

jimmajamma
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:14 pm

Andrew, thank you for the excellent service. It was a brilliant idea and I'm glad you followed through on it. I'm interested to hear and see the Merchants feature realized too. Sounds great.

I have had some minor trouble with buyers taking my order, claiming they shipped it and then eventually bailing out for various reasons. They always seem to be users with 0 reputation. I think this may be people gaming the system to give their orders higher priority by taking mine out of the queue temporarily. I was thinking there must be ways to stop this like a 3 strikes rule or perhaps requiring buyers to put up something, like some bitcoin in escrow - though that obviously presents a bootstrapping issue if they are there to buy their first bitcoin.

Also, it would seem like if they don't post a tracking number in some reasonable time, prime items usually ship same or next day, then maybe it should raise a flag, at least warning the buyer that the contract will be cancelled if they don't post evidence that the item has indeed been ordered. Generally when I ask for the buyer to post tracking info if they don't then the order inevitably fails. I don't think I've ever even gotten a response with a justification for the lack of tracking info so it would seem like a pretty good predictor of gaming.

Any ideas how to help avoid this situation? It's the only thing keeping me from using Purse.io more as it can significantly delay the order time.

Perhaps higher level spenders can choose what level buyers they allow to take their order?

Thanks!

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2drewlee
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:23 pm

Hey Andrew,

Great work on this! Just one question: How helpful do you think your ability to offer discounted Amazon products to users will be for the success of your marketplace? Do you see this as a key tool in fighting against eBay's network effect?

Also, for anyone else, I was able to ask Andrew a few questions about the upcoming platform yesterday. Article was just published here: http://coinjournal.net/purse-to-launch- ... penbazaar/
Hi Kyle,

Thanks for writing about Purse and all that you do for Bitcoin!

Offering the best deals on the internet was critical for seeding the consumer network . Businesses are signing up for Merchants to sell to the largest consumer userbase for Bitcoin.
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

User avatar
2drewlee
AMA
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Location: SF
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Re: I'm Andrew Lee, Co-founder & CEO of Purse, AMA!

Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:34 pm

Hi Andrew.

Long time fan, built my whole PC via Purse, ~20% off. Purse gave me a reason to actually spend bitcoin when there weren't many options in the UK.

Q1: With the new 'Merchants' service, what fees will Purse take? Are they competitive with Amazon/Ebay etc?

Q2: I'd love the instant discount to come to the UK, but you've previously said that there's not enough of a market for it here apparently. Is that still the case?
Completely agreed with the lack of reason to spend bitcoins. A Bitcoin button at checkout does not compete well with credit card on file.

Yes, we charge 0-2% depending on reputation. Legacy marketplaces rates: Etsy (3.5%), eBay (4%), and Amazon (10-15%).
Image

The best deals are only available with Bitcoin.

- Shop and save!
- Earn bitcoins!
- Sell on Purse! (new)

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