So I’m in desperate need to send money to my family in Venezuela this week, and sadly they’ve still not adopted (or even heard off, much less understood bitcoin yet) and I’ve been forced to wire some money to an account in Perú to a friend of the family. I cannot send the money directly to Venezuela since my country is now ruled by a communist dictator which has a strong control over currency exchange, pretty much making Venezuela’s Bolivar useless.
So I start my Wire transfer on my bank’s website, and I’m asked to do the following things:
You need to create a “wire recipient” if this is the first time sending money to that person/institution. This means, re-validating who I am via SMS Code, then entering the recipient’s bank address in Perú (something I had to google), the recipient’s address (something I had to massage to fit the bank’s form), a bank routing number (SWIFT or ABA), a description of the recipient, a nickname for the recipient, and ultimately the freaking bank account number.
About 10 minutes later I finally start the Wire Scheduling process, after I’m done with yet another long form and several verification steps, the bank tells me that I’ll have to pay an additional $40 fee…
This number seems to come out right out of Gandalf’s anus, some banks charge $12, some charge $19, but you know bank’s are there to steal from us all.
The next day I get a phone call from someone who claims to be from the bank, I ignore these calls just in case it’s a scammer trying to get my bank account information. Then at night I try to log in to the bank’s website, sometime around 11pm, only to find out that I need to call the bank’s 800 number because my account has been locked due to irregular activity, F my life, here we go! (and I’m paying $40 for this?)
I call the bank, a process I dread as I hate phone calls, people and even much more the call center world with its cheesy waiting music and advertising. I luckily wait just about a minute with some cheesy music in the background as expected (spending the minutes from my wireless phone plan) and then a guy has to ask me about 5 different questions to verify that I’m not a scammer, turns out they even know what cars I’ve bought in the past, information they shouldn’t know in the first place since I’ve never given it to them… (can I sue them for privacy breach?), and then he proceeds to ask me the relationship between me and the person I tried to send the money to…
What the *bleep* do you need to know ?! and If I were doing some nasty things like weapons dealings or some kind of money laundering for drug dealing, or sending money to my mistress, do you think I’d tell really you? Stupid corporate rules and regulations are a self inflicted falacy.
After being analy probed as If I were some kind of criminal by my banking institution, the one charging me USD $40 to do its job through a process that should be immediat, the guy tells me that “the wire transfer HAD BEEN CANCELLED” but he’s going to reprocess it for me, and that it should take TWO DAYS to get there “because it’s an international transfer”
At this point I want to raise hell and have the transfer fee refunded, for forty bucks the money should’ve travelled back in time and gotten there the day before!
Just so you know, all this stupidity for a mere $2,000, lord knows what would’ve happened I had tried to send over $500k over there, maybe the FBI would’ve raided my house or something.
How would this process be with BitCoin?
I’d open my BitCoin wallet.
I’d paste the wallet address of my friend, it would look something like this: “1FXiLXuq7Pr5FgHbwcciyvw7VJ4b3nGZPA”
I’d enter the corresponding amount in Bitcoins
I’d optionally enter a comission fee for the miners (miners are other people who run computers to find bitcoins and process transfers and collect the optional fees) to speed up the transfer, something like BTC 0.0002 (the equivalent of about $0.25) would suffice to make the transfer be processed faster by the peer to peer network, the money transfer would be confirmed in about 20 minutes. (If I didn’t pay a fee, maybe it’d take a couple of days people say, I’ve yet to try fee less transfers)
Simply put, Fuck Banks.
If you have a bit of vision, and if you remember how the internet has disrupted industry after industry it’s a no brainer to see that the banking industry will be firing a hell of a lot of unneeded people in the future. I’m not saying banks will die, but a lot of people won’t be necessary, a trend seen everywhere technological disruption comes to solve problems, and boy does banking have a lot of inconveniences.
As Bitcoin becomes more adopted, it will make absolutely no sense to have most of your money in the bank, you will be able to trade with people worldwide without dealing with exchange rates, or explaining yourself to nosy instituions, your money will be safe without safes (to those in the bank security industry, you better start thinking how to make BitCoin safer for retail and eCommerce), it will be accesible 24/7, you’re able to use it from a computer, smartphone. That’s a lot of people that don’t need to be part of the equation of money storage and money transfer.
and so you know, here’s some people transfering really big and small amounts of money via BitTorrent, no questions asked, fees optional.
it’s not weird to see million dollar transactions every day, in fact, just yesterday the equivalent of about $246.6 million dollars were transacted on the BitCoin network, and about $30 million dollars were traded on the BitCoin markets, and we’re talking here about the early adopter crowd alone.
We geeks tend to live the future about 2 to 5 years in advance, you might want to pay a little more attention to what we’re doing with money.