By @HughJiang • Published April 18, 2021
When BitClout.com first launched, it was met with major controversy for allowing users to deposit Bitcoin without providing a withdrawal method.
At first, this meant that it was impossible for most people to withdraw BitClout back into Bitcoin or USD. Today, however, services have emerged allowing you to sell BitClout on secondary markets through over-the-counter (OTC) transactions, or via a BitClout exchange like BitSwap.
Today, I'm going to be sharing two different step-by-step methods of selling BitClout ($BTCLT), the risks and benefits of each method, and whether or not you should sell bitclout or instead hold out for the long term.
Disclaimer: For full transparency purposes, I'd like to disclose that I work for BitSwap (a BitClout exchange). However, I will try to keep this article as unbiased as possible.
If you don't want to read through the entire post, here's a brief summary of what I discuss:
In an OTC transaction, you find a private buyer for your BitClout and then exchange funds with them. However, the transaction process won't be instant, and you'll have to make sure you find a trusted third-party escrow who accepts funds on behalf of both the buyer and seller (to make sure nobody is scammed).
There are also other places to find OTC transactions, but as far as I know the groups above are the most popular and most trusted by the community (but even so, do your own research and get testimonials for escrow services within the groups before using them).
However, for most people, the best way to withdraw BitClout is by using a specialized third-party BitClout exchange like BitSwap.
Transactions are much faster to complete in exchanges than in pure OTC transactions, and they're also a lot easier and safer too.
No matter which approach you take, make sure you do your own due diligence before selling with any platform. If the prices are too good to be true, then it's probably a scam. And if the fees are super low then be careful as well - as far as I know, most escrow or exchange services charge between 1-4% in transaction fees for their general users (although low fees won't always signify a scam).
With the summary out of the way, let's get into a detailed discussion about each selling method, and the steps to take to withdraw your BitClout for "real" money.
First, it's important to understand that $BTCLT on secondary markets sells for less than its official listed price (because buyers need an incentive to buy from unofficial sources).
In general, BitClout on the secondary market sells for about 60% of its official listed value on BitClout.com.
For example, at the time of writing, BitClout's website shows that 1 $BTCLT is worth US$170. Therefore, on the secondary market, prices will normally be 60% of $170 or $170*0.6 = $102 per $BTCLT.
To get a real time exchange rate you can visit app.bitswap.network, where a weighted average price of recent transactions is displayed. This is essentially the live market price.
BitClout exchanges allow you to quickly buy and sell BitClout with other people on the platform. This can be a quick way to withdraw BitClout back into Ethereum, Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrencies can then be exchanged into US dollars, if you wish.
Right now, BitSwap is the only BitClout exchange with an automated ordering system (other exchanges require you to manually find your own buyers and sellers). So for the rest of this section of selling through an exchange, I will only refer to using BitSwap.
However, as more BitClout exchanges appear, they might be good options too (just make sure to do your own due diligence before trading on any platform).
Here's how to use BitSwap's exchange services to sell your BitClout:
First, sign up for an account by going to app.bitswap.network/register. There, you'll have to input information like your email and BitClout handle. Then create a password for your account.
Now, you'll be able to fund your BitSwap account by depositing BitClout into the BitSwap wallet address that they provide you.
After depositing BitClout, you can post listings to sell your BitClout in exchange for Ethereum, or for ERC20 tokens like USDT/USDC. When you post listings, you can either pick your own exchange rate, or use the real-time secondary market exchange rate for a faster sale.
Here's an example of the confirmation screen you'll see when posting a trade:
Once your order is filled (i.e. your BitClout sells), your preferred form of payment will be sent to your Ethereum wallet. If your BitClout doesn't sell, you can withdraw it from the BitSwap platform back into your own personal wallet at any time, without any fees.
After a sale, BitSwap charges a 2% platform transaction fee, but you're responsible for covering the network/gas fee to send cryptocurrency on the Ethereum and BitClout networks.
Normally, this network fee averages around $5 for the seller (who receives Ethereum). For the buyer (who receives BitClout), this network fee is normally a couple of cents.
An over-the-counter (OTC) transaction is a private sale between two parties without using a formal exchange.
Note that oftentimes, an extra third-party escrow is also involved in OTCs to ensure that both the buyer and seller send the correct payment, and so nobody gets scammed (I'll talk more about this later).
So, how exactly does an OTC transaction work?
Let's say I wanted to sell 1 BitClout ($BTCLT) coin for $120. I would send messages or post listings in groups advertising my offer, and then someone who is interested in buying these coins can contact me to arrange the transaction.
Once we agree on the terms (e.g., $120 for one $BTCLT), the buyer will send me their BitClout wallet address, and I will send the buyer my own payment details. Then, I send the buyer 1 $BTCLT, and the buyer sends me $120 in exchange.
You might be wondering, isn't this insecure? After all, either the buyer or seller could just decide to not follow up with their part of the transaction, right?
That's where escrows come in.
An escrow is somebody that holds funds on behalf of both the buyer and seller in the transaction.
When an escrow is used, the buyer and seller send their funds to the escrow first. The person acting as escrow will first ensure the funds are correct, and then finally release the funds to the buyer and seller.
It can be difficult to find BitClout buyers and escrows on your own. Luckily, there are Discord and Telegram groups of BitClout buyers and sellers, with their own trusted escrows to mediate the transactions.
Normally, the people acting as escrow will take a 1-4% transaction fee for ensuring the safety of the transaction.
For example, BitCloutPulse has a Discord channel for OTC transactions, and BitSwap also has one. You can also find other OTC trading groups by searching through BitClout posts or asking other people.
In these discord groups, you can post listings saying things like "WTS 50 at $100", for example, which means you "Want To Sell 50 $BTCLT for $100 each".
When you find a buyer in the group, contact the person acting as escrow to handle the transaction. In this group, @venkat is the designated escrow.
The person acting as escrow will set up a private chat with further instructions for both the buyer and seller.
As the seller of BitClout, you'll send $BTCLT to the escrow, and the buyer will send the payment cryptocurrency (i.e. Ethereum) to the escrow.
Here's an example of an OTC transaction taking place, where @venkat is the escrow handling the transaction.
Then, when the escrow verifies the funds are correct, they send $BTCLT to the buyer, and you receive your agreed-upon payment in whatever cryptocurrency was chosen.
When using any OTC platform, make sure to do your own due diligence so you don't get scammed.
You'll want to find a platform or group with a large community and multiple testimonials of real successful transactions. You'll also want to make sure prices are realistic, and that the people acting as escrow have real identities behind their profiles (don't do transactions with anonymous or sketchy escrows, duh!).
You can also try to find your own buyers by contacting friends or people you trust in your own network. If you're doing a transaction with someone you trust, you can skip the escrow, and skip the fees! (although you still have to pay for network/gas fees)
Whenever any issue of buying/selling comes up, there are always people who say, "hold long-term" and there are always people who say, "sell now."
Personally, I will never pressure you to "sell now!" or "buy now!", nor should you ever give in to that sort of pressure/hype. What you do should instead depend on your own personal situation.
If you've made a lot of money from BitClout and want to cash out some (or even all) of it, then that might be the right decision for you.
On the other hand, if you truly believe in BitClout's long-term mission of bringing decentralization to social media, or if you truly believe in a creator's long-term value, then you should probably hold your investment.
But again, what you do with your BitClout depends on your own personal situation.
Disclosure: Just to be 100% transparent, I have holdings in my own personal creator coin (@HughJiang) and in some other people's creator coins on BitClout, and I probably won't be withdrawing anytime soon. My BitClout holdings did not influence the views brought about in this article.
For most people, it’s a lot easier to just use a BitClout exchange to sell (or buy) BitClout.
Oftentimes, exchanges will have a higher volume of orders and better liquidity, so you can sell faster. Furthermore, after your order listing has a buyer, you won’t have to wait for somebody to manually escrow your transaction, because the exchange will handle it automatically.
However, there may also be some benefits to using an OTC transaction, depending on your personal situation.
Sometimes, you might be able to get a higher price from people who aren’t familiar with secondary market prices. You might also be able to maintain more privacy, since you can use an anonymous account without needing to reveal your email or BitClout handle to anyone.
Ultimately, however, the vast majority of people would benefit more from the simplicity of a BitClout exchange, rather than going through their own OTC transactions.