Signing up to a Cryptocurrency Exchange

There are 3 main ways to buy cryptocurrency: in person, from sites like Bittylicious  or from an exchange like Kraken.

In person exchanges require you to meet and trust your trading partner, at some point money and cryptocurrency will exchange hands and either side could turn out to be untrustworthy.

Coin Retailers

Bittylicious is an example of a site where only sales offers are listed. It is not a true exchange site. Because of the lack of bids from buyers and the risk of charge-backs for sellers the price tends to be higher.

For example if i want to buy 1 bitcoin right now:

  • Kraken price: £1.861
  • Bittylicious price: £1,960
  • 5.3% more expensive

If i want to buy 1 Dash:

  • Kraken price: €148.67 = £130.37
  • Bittylicious price: £141
  • 8.1% more expensive


To get close to the market price you need to be part of a market place. That is where exchanges come in. They list offers to buy and sell, called bids and asks. The exchange also acts as a third party to each trade, they hold the funds on both sides of the trade, so you don’t have to trust your trading partner or worry about charge-backs.

What you do have to worry about is trusting the exchange. The biggest thefts in the short history of cryptocurrency have come from exchanges being hacked. So hold your funds, both fiat and crypto, on exchanges for as little time as possible, and always remove your funds to a bank account or wallet you control as soon as you finish your trade.

I use because they have a high volume Euro market for Dash which is the currency I am working for. They also have a history of being a secure and reliable site.

Signing Up

To use almost any exchange you will need to give them a lot of personally identifying information:

  1. name
  2. date of birth
  3. phone number
  4. address
  5. 2 or 3 proofs of address: bank statement & utility bill
  6. a photo of your passport,
  7. a photo of you holding your passport and a sign with the date saying ‘only for trading digital currency on’

This is more than anyone would need to completely steal your identity.

This is a risk, if the files held by the exchange get stolen then your identity will be sold to fraudsters. You have to accept this risk to trade on most exchanges because of Know Your Customer regulations that are aimed at preventing money laundering.

This whole process will take between 1 to 3 weeks depending on the backlog of unprocessed applications and any issues with your documents. If they have to contact you about a problem it will really slow your application down.

My recommendation is that you research which exchange offers the best markets for your currency. Take a look at the volumes traded on Coinmarketcap the bigger the volume the more accurate the price discovery and easier it will be to buy and sell at any given price.

The main things to look for beyond volume are the costs of making deposits and withdrawals with fiat currency. For example i only withdraw Euros from kraken because they charge £60 for GBP withdrawals!

How much does is cost to withdraw Euros?


Buying Cryptocurrency in the UK

So you want to buy some Bitcoins, Dash or other cryptocurrency? Welcome to a wonderful world of workarounds and hurdle jumping. If you have verified yourself on an exchange then now you need to get some funds on there.

UK banks won’t give accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges.

This means most exchanges don’t have Great Britain Pound (GBP) markets. The ones that do have their GBP bank accounts in foreign countries, often Germany or Poland.

Because of this it is costly for anyone in the UK to send GBP to an exchange. I use because it is based in the UK and has Euro and GBP based markets. It has GBP and Euro bank accounts based in Germany.

If I try to send GBP from my account in the UK to the exchange’s GBP account in Germany these are the costs:

  1. Normal Current Account, Swift Transfer (£22 flat fee)
  2. Kraken (£10 receiving fee)

Cost: flat fee of £32

My current workflow is this:

  1. Normal Current Account, Bank Transfer (free)
  2. Transferwise (fee = roughly 0.5% or £5 per 1000)
  3. Euro Current Account, SEPA Transfer (£5 using online banking)
  4. Exchange (zero receiving fee with SEPA)

Cost: £5 + £5 per £1000 (so it is cheaper for amounts below £5400)

The Transferwise link above gives you a free £500 transfer from GBP to another currency, you can use it if you set up a Euro current account. I use Transferwise because UK banks will generally charge about £7 plus 3% on currency conversions = £37 per £1000 converted, instead i get a true mid-market rate and just pay a 0.5% fee.

In the UK Barclays and HSBC offer Euro current accounts, you will need to open a normal current account with them if you don’t already have one. This can be done online, but the Euro account will require you to visit a branch.

Allow 3 weeks to get Euro online banking set up and running if you don’t already bank with them.

I hope that is helpful, if you have any questions then contact me directly.

Dash, What’s That?

If email is a electronic mail then Dash is digital cash. One is a system for sending words over the internet and the other is a system for sending value over the internet.

Dash along with others, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin & Etherium, are forms of currency created and transferred between users using cryptography which is the art of writing and solving codes and lies behind the science of securing data.

These cryptocurrencies allow individuals to become their own bank and complete international transactions as well as pay for things in shops where merchants accept them.

Dash also has some interesting features including a system that allows instant payments and a democratically controlled budget that is spent each month on projects that benefit the Dash ecosystem.

On behalf of Circus City I applied to this budget system with a proposal to sponsor the 2017 festival.

I see such huge potential for the technology of Dash and straight away I felt there could be a beneficial collaboration between the decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) that is Dash and Circus City.

The circus world needs an independent international payment solution, a way for people to be their own bank and Dash is seeking real world adoption and integration.

Having explained the background a bit in the next post i’ll talk about the process of creating a proposal and engaging in a meaningful way.

Reviewed: We Are Brontë by Publick Transport

One of my highlights in 2015 was directing Publick Transport and now I get to watch them in Bristol. It’s always a pleasure to get a glowing review on your opening night. This one is positively radiant.

‘We Are Brontë provides a glorious mash-up of physical theatre, stand-up, clowning, improvisation – and a self-conscious exploration of both the Brontë sisters’ genre-defining work and the nature of theatre itself’

James Prescott, Bristol24/7

It is a delight to be able to spend the evenings this week in the Wardrobe Theatre running the warm up and take notes as Angus and Sarah play.

Watching the way the performers listen to each other and the audience. Getting to witness all those moment by moment decision. Still being made to laugh by material you have seen hundreds of times because each night it is approached anew. These are some of my joys and I’m incredibly happy with how the show works.

Publick Transport continue their tour at the following venues:

19-23 Jan – New Wardrobe Theatre, Old Market, Bristol
26-28 Jan – Eastbourne College / The Printer’s Playhouse
29 Jan – Notts, Lincs, Leic rural touring (venue TBC)
30 Jan – Notts, Lincs, Leic rural touring (venue TBC)
5 Feb – Bradon Forest Theatre, Swindon
10 Feb – Bay Theatre, Weymouth College
11 Feb – The Lyric, Bridport
12 Feb – Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington, Devon

Beyond The Ridiculous

On Saturday we ran Bristol’s regular fooling night as it continued its tour around Bristol, taking over The Loco Klub, the amazing new alternative performance venue under Temple Meads Station for 2 nights: Friday 27th and Saturday 28th November.

What is this ‘Fooling’ that I speak of, and what would happen to us if we went along to Beyond The Ridiculous?

Well, fooling is a staggeringly versatile form of solo improvisation where the performer walks into the empty space and plays with whatever appears. We all have voices in our heads. People we’ve met, aspects of ourselves, bizarre and banal creatures cobbled from emotions and memories. Instead of wishing they’d keep the noise down in there, the fools of Beyond The Ridiculous invite them out to play!

Expertly facilitated by Fool Shaman Holly Stoppit, Beyond The Ridiculous is a chance to see courageous performers leaping off cliffs into the limitless possibilities of each moment. You may laugh, cry or stare dumbfounded and for once the voices in your head will discover they are not alone.

Need any more convincing? Here’s some satisfied audience comments from Beyond The Ridiculous 13/11/15:

“I have definitely never seen anything like that before.”

“It was so good, I spilled beer on myself.”

“I feel like I can never enter normal civilisation again.”

Artists as Detritivores


The Great Chain of Being was an Elizabethan cosmology, with at the top:

God, then King, Nobility, Gentry, Peasantry, Animals, and finally the Land.

This view held that trouble at the top would by it’s very nature shake everything beneath which was suspended from it as links in a chain. King Lear can be read through this lens and we see eventually even the land is driven to madness during the storm on the heath.

There is something pleasantly  simplistic and attractive about hierarchy. No doubt because it implicitly benefits those at the top who in turn seek to define and sustain them.

In the city we might feel ourselves part of a kind of food chain: perched at the top, like magnificently wealthy eagles, sit the developers, then come tame councillors, below them landlords and at the bottom renters. The renters are the grass feeding all the levels above. In this chain you are most likely just food for someone already better off than you.

But the linear hierarchy is an artificial construct, a trick of discourse which defines out thinking, because we are really part of a cycle. In the traditional food chain we have primary producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and tertiary consumers however there is one more layer which is simultaneously at the top and bottom of this chain, the link which makes it circular: detritivores, being creatures which eat detritus. Without something to eat the fresh corpse, the fallen branch or rotting fruit the world becomes choked with still unmoving death.

The city needs its detritivores too, the ones who will consume and re-use unwanted buildings and neglected spaces. This is the role of artists and squatters, making use of abandoned buildings, saving them from dereliction and re-purposing them. Living from them during that time when they are of no use to the rest of the chain.  Without them the city becomes a still and barren landscape of decay and disuse. With them there is the possibility of a speedy renewal and of course a continuation of  the cycle.


Performer, Director, Cultural Activist, Fool, Clown, Self Proclaimed Genius