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How does the fact that it's a company instead of an individual change the picture at all? In both cases, escrow serves the same purpose: to safeguard against getting ripped off.

Assuming bitcoinstore hasn't ripped off their previous N customers, I'm fairly confident being purchaser N+1, especially if my transaction isn't "special" in any way.

They would have a lot to lose by ripping off customers, vs. a random seller on silkroad, so I'd feel comfortable up to a few thousand dollars.

I think I've actually bought something from Memorydealers before. I'm not sure of the relationship between bitcoinstore and Memorydealers. If they're the same entity, then I'd be fine up to $100k or so -- it's a real business.

That makes escrow less likely to be useful, but the chance doesn't go to zero, so it hardly has "no point at all".

Escrow has its own risk and cost. The hilarious thing with previous online currencies (E-Gold, OSGold, Pecunix, ...) was that the escrow providers themselves were often the weak link.

Well sure, but it's still useful, just not something you might automatically want.

My credit card issuer effectively acts as an escrow agent, and I love that fact when ordering from companies. It has saved me more than once, too.

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