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paypal, bitcoin, dwolla, skrill, payoneer ...  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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I've been using paypal for more than a decade. Over the last several months, I've been using a lot of the "friends and family" stuff which makes it so that paypal doesn't take the 3.5% that they normally take. But when people pay me for stuff, that usually still takes 3.5%.

The 3.5% that paypal does take started off being all about the credit card stuff, but I think now paypal grooves on taking that cut whenever they can.

Gotta say that I REALLY like paypal. Including their rather lovely debit card connected to my paypal account.

But when people are pissy about credit cards and their evil-ness, and, well, why give up 3.5% if I don't have to .... yeah, I'm on board. Down with the evil credit card companies and down with taking my 3.5%!

Also, I recently sent a few thousand dollars to somebody in europe. I did the "friends and family" thing, but paypal said that because it is international, they are gonna take $40. Ouch.

So I am cool with exploring the alternatives.

Oh, and my paypal account is paul at richsoil.com.



bitcoin

I did some fiddly stuff with bitcoin. You can read where awesome people are teaching me here.

So we fiddle faddled about a bit. The money was trasfered fairly quickly. It seems like it took about 20 seconds or so, while paypal seems a bit more instant.

I think I have done about seven bitcoin transactions. It seems to always go as expected, but ... 20 to 30 seconds.

A hilarious thing about bitcoin is that it is an entirely fake thing that was made up to pretty much say "the us dollar is no long backed by gold - it is based entirely on wishful thinking that we trust certain people that maybe we really shouldn't trust. And so here is a new entirely fake and made up currency that is based on the trust of a collection of geeks instead." Only it seems that the geeks have thought it through well enough that other geeks actually put more trust in bitcoin. And on top of that, it has grown to be a currency that is actually trusted by millions. The value of bitcoin to dollars fluctuates wildly, but .... somehow ... doing bidness with bitcoin seems just as reliable as paypal while at the same time feeding some sort of internal humor needs.

Oh, and who knows, maybe somebody will send me $100 for something via bitcoin and then I go to use those funds a month later and, SURPRISE! It's now $300! Spiffy!

Oh, and if you are doing business with some people that hate banks, hate credit cards, hate lots of creepy and inappropriate abuse of privacy stuff - those folks tend to love bitcoin and refuse to use almost anything else. I have heard that in the early days bitcoin was used for a lot of drug stuff for these very reasons. There is a lot of stuff in this space that I don't fully understand - but then again, I hear a lot of nightmare stories about "the dollar" and banks and stuff too - which I also do not fully understand.

My bitcoin thing-a-ma-bob is 177pNU2a9iCpUXQwXX9EbtA2UwZpgeqcMT



dwolla

I have used dwolla about a dozen times now. There are people that either hate paypal or somehow paypal does not yet trust them, so when i try to send them money they need something else.

Dwolla is getting better and better with every passing month. They used to charge $0.25 for any transaction over ten bucks, but I think they don't do that anymore.

I just went and looked at their site and .... it looks very different. It kinda sounds like they have shifted what they do. Not sure.

My dwolla account is set up with my email: paul at richsoil.com.



skrill

I just found out about this today.

It is based on email addresses, just like paypal and dwolla.

It sounds like this might be more popular than paypal outside of the US. And the US just recently got added. It sounds like they take a cut of 1%, but no more than 10 euros. Which sounds better than the "0% to 2%" that paypal takes for converting currencies.

If you have experience with this, please tell me more!



payoneer

Another I just learned about.

Sounds like skrill: works over most of the world. The fees are small, but change from country to country. And, apparently, does NOT work in india - which seems a bit odd.

If you have experience with this, please tell me more!



amazon gift card

This is just me, but if paypal, bitcoin and dwolla don't work for somebody .... I use amazon so much, that an amazon gift card will work for me if these others fail.




 
Devaka Cooray
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paul wheaton wrote:payoneer

Another I just learned about.

Sounds like skrill: works over most of the world. The fees are small, but change from country to country. And, apparently, does NOT work in india - which seems a bit odd.

If you have experience with this, please tell me more!


I have used it. It's not a Paypal alternative. They simply provide a master debit card. I still have the card, which I think is expired now

You can't send/receive payments from anyone as you would do on Paypal. There was a feature where you could add money to your own account though.

If you want to use it as a Paypal alternative, you have to use it with another payment processor like 2checkout or bluesnap. When you do, you have both Payoneer and 2checkout/bluesnap taking money out of your account as "processing charges". And when you send money from your 2checkout to Payoneer, it takes another service charge.

Here in Sri Lanka, ATM withdrawal from their card costs $3 + 3% from the amount transferred. Online/electronic purchase costs $1 + 3% if I remember correctly.


skrill


Heard good things about it. Wanted to try out once. They sent me a letter asking me to confirm something. I don't remember what it was or what I did, but there was something that I wasn't able to confirm to get the account setup.

-----

I have also used some awkward payment methods. I even used to setup Indiegogo campaigns as a way of receiving payments!

Has anyone used stripe? A US-only thing though, but looks like a good one for a paypal-alternative list.
 
Dillon Nichols
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I like bitcoin, but it does have some issues.

IMO it is quite vulnerable to the failure of exchanges and government intervention at the exchange level; in the US it is more decentralized, but in Canada I only know of one surviving exchange through which it is reasonably straightforward to sell bitcoin for CDN$, and then withdraw those CDN$ to a bank account. This exchange announces it was shutting down last year, but was acquired by a another company and later reopened; the loss would have been a very substantial impediment for use of bitcoin in Canada.

Previously, exchanges have gone under or been hacked, with people losing substantial amounts of btc.


It is harder to spend directly in bitcoin here, as there are less vendors accepting it; even buying amazon giftcards with bitcoin was nearly impossible as the services to do this were all only selling amazon.com giftcards... and amazon.com giftcards cannot be used on amazon.ca, or any of the other localized amazon sites.

Aside from that, the fluctuation thing goes both ways; your $100 in btc might become $33 as easily as $300. The value of a bitcoin has gone from pennies to over a thousand dollars and back over the last few years since inception... A bit alarming as a serious wealth store!

The currency has proven to be less untraceable than some would desire, just ask the silkroad guy. I'm also not sure how well the network will survive once the bounty for calculations is exhausted and the miners are compensated only by the (nominally voluntary, and presently very small) transaction fees.



I saw an interesting newscast on Kenya a few weeks back; the presenters spoke glowingly of the impact that the phone-based digital banking/payment/microfinancing service 'M-Pesa' has had on the country. It hasn't caught on very quickly outside Kenya, though, and is not yet available anywhere in the Americas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa
 
Ron Helwig
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Dillon Nichols wrote:
It is harder to spend directly in bitcoin here, as there are less vendors accepting it; even buying amazon giftcards with bitcoin was nearly impossible as the services to do this were all only selling amazon.com giftcards... and amazon.com giftcards cannot be used on amazon.ca, or any of the other localized amazon sites.


Just a quick note on this. The Amazon giftcard thing where you could buy them with bitcoins was OK, but now there's Purse. You make a public wishlist and put the delivery address in it, then post it on their site with your desired discount. People who have amazon credits but want bitcoin will buy your stuff for you. I've used it twice, once for a 17% discount and once for over 20%. There's even a 5% "I want it now, no muss no fuss" option.

Here's the link: https://purse.io/?_r=EASpNo - the stuff after the ? is my referral code where I'll earn 10mBtc if you use it (and I think you will too) but if you want it without that just strip that off.

The first time I used it there were a couple hiccups due to me not knowing how it worked, but the second one went flawlessly. Now I'm trying to buy everything I can this way. I buy my bitcoins using Circle, which sells them at a 1% markup. But then I get at least a 5% discount on Amazon purchases, and I know people who have gotten over 30% discounts.

Not sure if its available in non-US, but worth checking out.

Oh, and the more info you give them (link FB account, email, phone, G+) the higher discount you can ask for.
 
Lucas Harrison-Zdenek
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I remember not too long ago I signed up for updates about a Bitcoin backed project called permacredits. It was a project intended to mirror timebank using hours and Bitcoin money as credits I think. It must have bombed because I haven't had any updates in over a year.

I belong to my local timebank, which is a great idea but doesn't get a lot of traction locally because of the lack of participation. Folks are so busy with their own business and projects that they don't volunteer to help others. I'm included in that group. I need to learn to ask for help more often!!

Anyway, the permacredits idea seemed like a promising one to me. Being able to get lodging and other accommodation when traveling by working or storing up credits with Bitcoin on one big network would be very helpful to a lot of people in this community. Maybe the Permies forum could have its own system for this, considering the size and spread of the site...
 
Ed Colmar
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Hey Paul.

Bitcoin is based on math. It's not based on wishful thinking or trust. In fact trust-less transactions are one of the things bitcoin is known for.

paul wheaton wrote:

And so here is a new entirely fake and made up currency that is based on the trust of a collection of geeks instead."



Stefan has a couple great informational videos on the topic if you want more detailed insight

 
Dillon Nichols
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Ron, thanks, interesting site.

I signed up to see if it would in fact work in Canada, since providing that info up front appears to be considered unfashionable.

In short, yes, with some limitations and a very small user base at the present time. It looks to be available in other counties as well, but ymmv.

*Really* not a fan of their hard-on for information collection and social integration though. Pretty much the opposite of what many folks like about bitcoin. Gross.


 
Scott Turner
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Watched and listened to many interviews, podcasts vid's etc. on bit coin and bar none, Andreas is the most fluent and eloquent spokesman for bitcoin. His interviews on Joe Rogans podcast are good. London Real had a great interview with him a couple of weeks ago but in this speech and Q&A he is on his A game!

 
Ron Helwig
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Dillon Nichols wrote:
*Really* not a fan of their hard-on for information collection and social integration though. Pretty much the opposite of what many folks like about bitcoin. Gross.


I know what you mean. I'm very much "out there" when it comes to my politics and all that so its too late for me

But I think the main useful reason for it all is for reputation. If you don't fulfil your side of the deal then others on the site who might want to deal with you should be able to know that. It also helps against Sybil attacks.

And so far I've gotten 3 referrals. Thanks! Referees also get 0.01BTC after making a $50 or greater purchase, according to the email I get when someone signs up using my code. So I guess that's over $10 I've earned, which is a good start for residual(ish) income.
 
jeremy johnson
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A fairly new payment system that you did not include in your list is called BitGold. (It is unrelated to bitcoin.) It is a savings account denominated in gold that also has convenient and cheap/free ways to make payments to others. The only fees are 1% to get your local currency into gold and 1% to get it back out. You actually own the physical gold. It's stored in a Brinks vault, but there are no storage fees. There is a fee if you want to take possession of the gold. There are many great reasons to save in gold, but in regards to this thread, Bitgold is a really cheap way to make international payments. Because it's outside of the banking system, it removes the friction and cost of moving money internationally. If you are interested, go to BitGold.com/r/jmLsB4, which is my referral link. Using it to create an account will give us both a tiny little bonus.
 
Ron Helwig
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I read this earlier and it does bring up some good points. I do believe, however, that he is just being too impatient. I think these things will get worked out eventually.

In the mean time, it does still represent a potentially huge speculative gain. But like so many people have said before, don't put more into it than you can stand to lose. And there are opportunities to use it to your advantage, like the purse.io discounts.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Found this article today, http://beebom.com/paypal-alternatives/, which made me think Skrill might be useful for you, Paul. That is, if the 200 countries includes those outside the US that you have business with.
 
Richard How
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Bitcache will be a new way for content creators to monetize their work through micro transactions, useful for many as YouTube just de-monetized a whole bunch of channels because advertising didn't think they were friendly, but really YouTube is moving to subscription service.
 
paul wheaton
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I know very little about dotcom, but my impression is that he made billions by pirating stuff.  So I cannot help but think that people will put their content there, dotcom gets billions and the creators just get screwed in a new way.
 
No prison can hold Chairface Chippendale. And on a totally different topic ... my stuff:
Complete Wild Edibles Package by Sergei Boutenko (1 HD video + 10 eBooks)
https://permies.com/t/70674/digital-market/digital-market/Complete-Wild-Edibles-Package-Sergei
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