How to get your shitcoins out of binance.com

The amount of effort and time spent to salvage a few hundred dollars worth of altcoins stuck in binance.com was not worth it. But, it was a learning experience that I hope can help others to recover their trapped crypto.

Snazzy illustration courtesy of Lucid Illustrations

Were you one of the early users of Binance, to discover as a US person you can no longer trade? Maybe I was late to the party and missed some options to withdraw early on. For me, this exchange was a foray as ephemeral as my short interest in altcoins, my investment was inconsequential and forgotten. Nevertheless, a few coins seemed to have done alright, and during a recent procrastination spree recovered my account to find that there was enough money there for a miser like me to not give up on.

If you had a similar experience, your first step may have been to go through the clunky process of creating an account again, this time at binance.us, only to find that many of the coins you bought and can no longer trade with are also not supported on the newer exchange available to you — you won’t be withdrawing to your US-specific account now, either.

A non-trivial amount of time was spent browsing a few other custodial wallets, to find that those, too, don’t support Verge, Airswap, Monero, Ripple, etc. After a couple messages to customer service were not responded to, I gave up for about a month. I don’t appreciate feeling scammed, so last night I determined to get my assets back, whatever the cost.

My hope is that you find this pain-free solution before wasting too much of your life.

Ripping of the band-aid

I’m not interested in day-trading — I don’t have the stomach for it, and I get energized by creative endeavors, not just speculating for profit. My interest in crypto is what it means for dismantling tyrannical cycles, and a dorky interest in the technology itself. So, I’m not trying to amass a fortune, and of the thousands of coins out there I don’t really see any adding more at this time to what Bitcoin and Ethereum has already accomplished.

These considerations in mind, I decided that instead of waiting for dips and spikes to get the most from the alts, it was past due to simply convert these coins to Etheruem and run.

1. You’re gonna need somewhere to send your coins

If you are not self-hosting your own wallet, there are so many custodial options available.

Some to choose from are the consumer-friendly Coinbase, lightweight Blockchain.com, or Ethereum-focused Metamask. All three of these I’ve had success playing with.

2. And a middleman

My “Eureka!” moment last night was realizing that if there’s one main objective of the crypto-world, it’s digital currency transactions. I imagined some sort of intermediary that simply provided an address for any coin, and you would tell it what you wanted it converted to and give it an address to send your new coins. Approximately two seconds on Google uncovered this solution exactly:

Meet ChangeNOW.io.

ChangeNOW purports they do not charge any additional fees beyond those applied by the network and exchange:

In practice, I saw a loss of about 10% from the bishnance USD-value of most of my holdings and was deposited to Coinbase (that’s nearly money-laundering fees?)

To be fair, this is purely anecdotal, I spent no time checking network fees, and Ethereum spiked more than 4% in just the short time between initiating the transfers and receiving my deposits. Interestingly, the only transfer that didn’t seem to lose value at all was Monero, though there were special challenges with this one I’ll address next.

ChangeNOW provided exactly what I needed: a simple way to flee from Binance.

What about Monero?

I made a special note about Monero in the byline, because it required an additional workaround. Not only did the disgraced exchange stop serving US-based persons and seemingly provide no helpful alternative, it seems to have quit updating support for their coins. ChangeNOW asks for a “Monero Refund Address”, which isn’t provided by Binance. My guess is this is a newer feature that binance.com has not implemented. I sent a message to their support, and their reply several hours later proved they weren’t up to date on the coins they hold for folks. (They did increase their CS response rate from 0% to 33%, at least…)

Without my refund address, Change NOW would not facilitate my transfer. So, I poked around their website a bit, and under their “Products” tab I found another option to try.

Telegram to the rescue! I’m not shy about my love for Telegram Messenger, so when I saw there was another nifty bot to add to my toolkit — and a couple transfers proved ChangeNOW was not a scam — I was happy to give their chat bot a try. To my delight, the bot did not ask for a refund address, and the process went smoothly.

There it is, my coins have been rescued away! Well, except for my 27.772 POE valued at $0.015282 (you got me there, Binance…)

If this post helps you recover some crypto, great! Any suggestions or feedback to better accomplish this task, or any other crypto tips, please let me know. I love learning!

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