Use this chart to avoid paying excess fees on Bitcoin purchases.

Avoid spending $15 in fees to buy $8 worth of Chaturbate Tokens!

Buying your Chaturbate tokens, or credits from the other 10 adult cam sites that accept cryptocurrencies, using Bitcoins is great for privacy. But if you do it wrong then it can end up costing you a lot more than you meant to.

How about paying 200% in fees on your purchase?

Sound bad?

Then read on to avoid it

The BitCoin Fee Problem

Unlike credit card purchases, where the site pays the fees to the credit card processor, with Bitcoin it is the buyer who pays the fees.

The fees go up and down a lot. According to YCharts the price was around $3 to $5 for a year, but then spiked up to $24 before falling “down” to under $20.

Those are just averages though, and that diguises a huge range of fees being paid, from cents through to hundreds of dollars.

Higher fees of multiple dollars makes Bitcoins a much less attractive to way to buy tokens at Chaturbate Although you still get the privacy that comes with using cryptocurrency the extra charges make it a lot less attractive.

Looking at the recent purchase of Bitcoin tokens at their crypto payment gateway you can see that the number of purchases going up over time, but only gradually. The people who are happy to use Bitcoin are already doing so, and new cammers who want to use BTC, or established viewers who want to improve their privacy, and only slowly adopting the new way.

If you want to buy your tokens or credits at cam sites using Bitcoin then you want to pick the right moment to do it.

Getting the most bang for your BTC requires timing

Most Bitcoin wallets have some way to set the fee. Whether you are using Electrum on a computer or Mycelium on a phone or something else entirely you will end up paying fees.

The fees are not a set rate but are variable according to the market conditions.

Not by the day, but by the minute.

Getting the most bang for your BTC requires getting the timing of your transaction just right.

Why do Bitcoin fees vary over time?

Under the hood of Bitcoin Fees

It is complex but goes something like this:

When you do a Bitcoin transaction you are in a bidding war with everybody else who wants to send some Bitcoins at that moment. If you bid high enough then your transactions go through right away, but if you don’t offer enough then your transaction will sit there waiting forever.

Most wallets will offer you some options such as “Priority” or “next half hour” to indiciate how much fee you are paying and consequently how long it will take for the transaction to go through.

This is just an easy to understand layer over the top of the underlying fee mechanism.

To avoid overpaying on fees you need to know a little about how it works under the hood.

Fees are priced according to “Satoshi per virtual byte”. This number can vary from single digits to hundreds multiplied by the size of your transaction. Most normal transactions are a few hundred bytes long, while each Satoshi is worth one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin.

You want to pay as few Satoshi as you can. If you have to offer a fee of 50 per byte then you are paying half the fees compared to if the fee is 100.

What the lowest fee is that still gets accepted and isn’t just passed over by Bitcoin miners varies from moment to moment.

When Bitcoin is in the news then lots of people do transactions and the pool of transactions waiting gets saturated and miners can pick just the highest fee transactions. The other transactions wait in the pool and never get chosen. But when things quieten down a bit then the pool gets exhausted and even the lowest fees are acceptable and get processed.

Fees are generally lower during the night time, and during weekends or holidays when less finance people are working.

Presuming your wallet allows you to specify the fee offered explicitly you can try for a value as low as 5 or 6 and that may go through during a weekend. That’s a much better deal than being in a hurry during a spike in fees and having to pay 50, 100 or even 150 to get your transaction processed right away.

A Bitcoin Fee Example

A typical transaction is around 250 bytes, if you do the arithmetic it comes out like this:

  • 250 bytes multiplied by
    • 5 Satoshi per byte = 1,250
  • multiplied by 0.00000001 to turn Satoshi into Bitcoins = 0.0000125
  • multiplied by the Bitcoin to $ exchange rate (at about 60,000 at the time of writing) = $0.75

That’s $0.75 or seventy five cents for the transaction, a perfectly reasonable amount.

What happens when the fees go to 50 Satoshi per vByte though? Well, then the price of the transaction also is 10 times more.

Now we are talking $7.50 and seven-fifty is a bit much if you are doing a minimum purchase, that’s 100 tokens at Chaturbate.

Spending $7.50 in fees to buy $8 worth of tokens!

Today those 100 tokens cost 0.00012429 BTC which comes out at $8.

I don’t know about you buy I’m not keen on spending $7.50 in fees to buy $8 worth of tokens!

And 50 Satoshi isn’t the highest price you’ll see. At times the recommended price for transfers goes up to 100 or even 150. At those rates you’d be paying more for fees than you are for your tokens.

I’ve noticed for a while that Bitcoin transaction fees go up and down all the time. Many services provide “recommended” fee amounts, based on how busy the pool of transactions is, what other people are offering as fees for their transactions and how many people are processing those transactions.

Graphing the fee rates

The site provides a recommendation for “Low”, “Medium” and “High” priority transfers. You can see their current recommendations at their website, or you can load it via their API. which refers to the recommendations as “fastestFee” ,”halfHourFee” and “hourFee”. They also define a “minimumFee” which is a “if you are lower then this you have no hope” kind of amount.

I’ve graphed those predictions for a week and they look like this:

This shows that the fees go up and down frequently with no particular pattern, though they were mostly low during the weekend which is just right of the middle in this graph.

What does this mean for buying Chaturbate tokens with Bitcoin, or other cam site credits with other Cryptocurrencies for that matter?

How to avoid paying excess fees

It says that you have to have some forward planning to minimize your Bitcoin transaction fees when buying tokens. Here is what you should do.

Buy larger packs of tokens

You know you are going to spend them in the end, so as the Bitcoin transaction fees are a set amount per transaction it makes sense to buy more tokens in each transaction. Then the total percentage you pay in feels will be less.

Buy in advance, not when you need them

As the price goes up and down and is high half the time and very high for a quarter of the time it means you have a bad chance of getting a good rate. But if you buy your tokens in advance of needing them then you can wait for a moment when there is a good fee price, or simply set a low fee and wait for the fee price to drop enough that it goes through.

When buying tokens from Chaturbate the transactions are handled by CoinPayments and they give you more than a day for your transaction to go through.

Don’t set an unrealistically low fee though or it may wait forever and you’ll have to do a canceling double-spend transaction to get your Bitcoin back, which just wastes more in fees, or a child-pays-for-parent to add some extra fee onto the transactoin. If your wallet allows it, and most do, set the “Replace By Fee” RBF flag on your transaction so you can add in some extra fee if it looks as though the transaction won’t go through by when you need it.

Buy Chaturbate Tokens using Bitcoins at the Weekend

You probably do this anyway but if not, then the weekend is the time with the lowest fees so the best time to make your Bitcoin purchases.

Do you have any tips on how to avoid fees while buying cam site tokens or credits using cryptocurrency? Let me know in the comments!