This is what it costs to send money to Germany with Bitcoin vs Western Union
Okay so let's do the math then. . Let's say I want to send $1000 from the US to Germany and Germans want Euros. Using the Western Union right now. Using the fee calculator for sending $1000 to Germany in euro's online by a bank account the recipient obtains 686 Euros. Then Western Union charges $25 to do so. Now lets do it with Bitcoin. Let's say you go transfer the money to an exchange. Let's look at Coinbase using their buy price of $435 USD you obtain 2.2989 BTC. Coinbase charges a 1% fee so it costs you $1010 USD. Then you go off and sell it at Bitcoin.de, 2.2989 BTC will fetch you 724 Euros and then Bitcoin.de takes a 1% fee also so that's 716 Euros. . In the end . Western Union $1025 = 686 EUR Bitcoin $1010 = 724 EUR a 38 EUR fee For the reference Google says $1000 USD = $723. . So I don't know how well Western Union works out but is it worth an extra $52? As you can imagine if it's more than 1 grand it will make a significant saving with bitcoin. Also take note than you bought at one price and the transfer of Bitcoin to the German Exchange probably takes 3 or 6 confirmations before you can sell. So that's 30-40 min Bitcoin is the vast majority of the time more than stable enough during most periods of time to do this.
Reasons to be cheerful: Western Union removing 'WU vs. Bitcoin' Ad.
Earlier today, after being inspired by Daurgothoth I uploaded a Bitcoin Vs. Western Union Ad mocking WU's questionable use of grammar whilst comparing their prices to bitcoin. It ended up on top of /bitcoin and, multiple @westernunion tweets later, I was quite surprised to find my original upload has been mysteriously 'disappeared'. I can only assume this was due to a complaint from WU that the ad infringes their trademark/copyright. Only problem being - it doesn't. The ad clearly falls under the rulings on Comparative Advertising. So, as I imagine the furious WU PR department scrambling into damage limitation mode, resorting to spurious copyright takedowns as their only means to suppress from the public the embarrassing truth that bitcoin poses to their archaic business model... I can't help but reflect on how far we've come in the last year. It is clear bitcoin is no longer at the 'first they laughed' stage and WU have moved into full on 'fight' mode - a year ago WU wouldn't have even blinked. Yet, there's only so much fighting the truth you can do before you eventually self-destruct; especially when you're fighting an 'enemy' that is a decentralised movement of people with no board of directors, leaders, or obvious targets (beyond the odd redditor) to be bullied. I guess it's bitcoiners that can do the laughing now. EDIT: Some 4 hours or so after contacting imgur and requesting a copy of any applicable DMCA takedown notices, it appears the hard image link has just been reinstated (although the gallery/comment page is still down).
Link A recent report from BTIG highlights the fascinating issues that crop up when upstart cryptocurrency Bitcoin interacts with the rest of the world as it moves to center stage. We agree with the view espoused last Friday by Charles J. Reid, Jr., Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in a column about Bitcoin that appeared in The Huffington Post. Unlike the crash that ended the speculative craze for tulip bulbs in Holland in 1637, the frenzy to which the hubbub about Bitcoin is often compared, “bitcoins will die a slow death, their weaknesses steadily revealed,” Reid wrote. “The inside operators, those with the awareness and sophistication to have staked their bitcoin claims early on, will cash out, leaving more naïve and credulous market participants holding the bag,” he added. “For a while, these small-time investors will buoy one another’s spirits, assuring one another that the bitcoin soufflé will indeed rise again. “And when the soufflé remains as flat as a pancake, these duped “investors” will recite the time-worn verses of recrimination – it’s a conspiracy, it’s all the government’s fault, bitcoins would have worked but for some duplicitous central bank manipulation. And so the beat goes on.” Others are less sanguine about Bitcoin’s prospects. One of Blackstone Group Vice Chairman Byron Wien’s annual predictions for 2014 is a collapse of the digital currency. “Bitcoins lack gold’s position as a store of value over time,” Wien wrote. “During the year Bitcoin’s acceptance collapses as investors realize that it cannot be used as collateral in financial transactions and its principal utility is for illegal dealings where anonymity is important.”
Cost breakdown remittance to Mexico: Circle+Volabit vs. Western Union. Bitcoin for the win :)
This test can be easily verified by anyone with both Circle and Volabit access. You might need access to a Mexico cellphone to access Volabit. Enter your Circle account, and click Add Funds, type in 100 USD, copy bitcoin payout amount with all the decimal places. Enter your Volabit account, click "Vender" on the upperhand bar, and paste the bitcoin payout from Circle into "Cuantos Bitcoins Quieres Vender". This will calculate your final payout in pesos after exchange and fees. Now Take that number in pesos and compare to how much 100 USD is currently worth in pesos after converting at the XE.com rate. My results as of a few moments ago: $65.52 pesos total cost for the remittance! That's $4.86 USD. Western Union charges minimum $4.99 USD, and that's before taking the hidden exchange spread into account, which is already included in the above calculation using volabit and circle. The circle+volabit combo gets funds from your US account to a Mexican bank account same day, provided circle and volabit both operate smoothly that day. There is a brief moment of vol exposure + friction as you buy circle funds and send to volabit, but if circle runs smoothly and volabit receives the funds instantly (one time they did for me, one time there was a delay), then this should work fine. Larger sums appear to clear faster on average. TL;DR: It is now doable to execute same day fiat-btc-fiat remittances for less than Western Union to Mexico with the caveat that there is a 5 to 30 minute volatility exposure window as you transfer bitcoins. Edit: Wow, I just completed an operation sending just 10 USD! 25 minutes for bitcoin transfer to clear, then was able to sell for 119.2 pesos. My total cost to transfer 10 bucks, with exchange rate included: $1.16 USD total. I don't believe this was possible before, and for so little. To take this into perspective, if you were going to exchange 10 USD for pesos in Cabo San Lucas or Cancun, you would pay nearly that much at the "Casa de Cambio" or currency exchange shop downtown or at the airport just to exchange. Edit: Here's the breakdown I promised, with a third testing 6 hours later: 100 USD from US bank account -> 0.27430327 BTC purchased on Circle instantly no fees. Volabit conversion of 0.27430327 BTC to MXN: Total: $1276.47 MXN payout to mexican bank account (after discounting $25.43 MXN in service fees) Interbank exchange rate on XE.com: 13.4809 x $100 USD = $1348.09 MXN (this would be the ideal conversion of 100 USD, close to the exchange rate you'd get if you were the bank. I'm using it as a benchmark) Dif betwn interbank exchange & actual exchange w/fees included: $1348.09 MXN - $1276.47 MXN = $71.62 MXN $71.62 mxn / 13.4809 exchange rate from XE.com = $5.31 USD total cost for remittance of $100 USD, exchange fees and service fees all factored in.
Bitcoin vs Western Union: How Low Fees Are Disrupting the Remittance Industry April 10, 2015 - Posted by Clement Chan on Analysis. Tweet. Sending money internationally, or remittance, costs money. According to The World Bank, this costs an average of 7.99% of the amount sent. In 2014, these cross-border transactions are expected to reach $582 billion, and up to $608 billion in 2015. It goes ... Warum es zu einem Dreiklang aus Western Union, Facebook und Bitcoin kommen wird. Im Gegensatz zu Western Union & Co. setzt Facebook mit Libra direkt beim Endkunden an. Hier ist es der Nutzer, der direkt mit der Kryptowährung über das Nachrichten-System Transaktionen tätigen kann. Facebook optimiert also nicht ein bestehendes altes System, sondern liefert ein vollkommen Neues. Der Vorteil ... Der Zahldienstleister Western Union erwägt die Aufnahme von Bitcoin als Zahlungsmittel. Auch prüfe Western Union, welche Rolle der Dienstleister künftig bei digitalen Transaktionen spielen könne. Als der Western Union Geschäftsführer darauf angesprochen wurde, welche Gefahren er im Bitcoin sehe, der eine weitaus günstigere Variante des Geldtrasfers rund um den Globus darstelle, antwortete Ersek damit, dass wenn der Western Union Service zu teuer wäre, Kunden den Dienst nicht nutzen würden. Er wies darauf hin, dass Western Union bereits die Möglichkeit bietet, Transaktionen in 121 ... Blockchain architecture enables Bitcoin to be sent rapidly, and without the byzantine processes required by companies like Western Union. Bitcoin’s decentralized architecture makes it open for anyone to use, and transactions cannot be blocked or reversed. Most importantly, Bitcoin can be sent for a tiny fraction of the cost of legacy methods.
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