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harvesting monies in 2022 - paypal, crypto, amazon, what else?

 
steward
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This thread has to do with alternatives to paypal ...

There are two different things I would like to hear more about:

   thing-1:  ways to improve the digital market in an automated way

   thing-2:  ways to improve people sending money for a particular thing


For the digital market, it is currently all paypal.  I think it would be good to add crypto, so people buying stuff could choose between plastic via paypal, or bitcoin or other crypto stuff.  

Are there other options that could be added?  I think paypal is pushy, so if a person wants to pay with plastic, paypal really pushes for them to create a paypal account.  


For direct stuff, people have sent me crypto, but it always arrives as "you received xxxx bitcoin!"  - no note and no clue who it is from.  So I have no idea why I received this money and no idea how to contact somebody to ask.  

Other direct stuff: some people just send amazon gift cards.  We always manage to find a use for those.  We constantly need tools and materials offered on amazon.

I have had people send me funds via zelle.  That seems to work pretty good.  

For people in other countries, I have used wise.com a few times.  

About twice a year I receive a check.  i can use an app on my phone to deposit it, although it does take a few minutes to jump through all the hoops.  Make check payable to "paul wheaton" and mail to

  paul wheaton
  2120 s reserve #351
  missoula, mt 59801


I send funds to people via paypal and I select "friends and family" so there is no fee.  I just need a paypal ID.  People send me funds that way sometimes too.  My paypal id is paul at richsoil.com.  


Any other ideas?

 
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https://stripe.com/

https://www.2checkout.com/

These two seem to be very popular.
 
gardener
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I was going to suggest adding Stripe, but Devaka beat me to it.

I have both Stripe and Paypal on my website.  Most people choose to use Paypal, but probably 30% or so prefer Stripe.
 
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An important distinction to make when discussing this topic is the vast different between DOMESTIC (same currency) money transfers and INTERNATIONAL (different currency) money transfers. The ease and expense of international transactions can change drastically based on the regulatory, anti-money-laundering and reporting requirements of individual countries, and whether it is a family/friend transaction or a business transaction. There doesn't seem to be a one-size-fits all approach, and as with everything in the permaculture: "It depends..."

Paypal, for instance, might be free to transfer money between two Paypal users in the same country (because all they're doing is adding/subtracting from their own internal computer system). If I wanted to send money from Canada to the US, however, Paypal becomes one of the MOST EXPENSIVE options (4% exchange margin + C$2.99 fixed fee + 2.9% if you use a credit/debit card.) [Source: https://transumo.com/paypal-international-fees/ ]  Fees may increase/decrease based on the amount of money being sent and the currency it is being exchanged for.

Wise.com uses a clever trick to keep international transfer costs low. Imagine someone across the country owes you $5, let's call them Eskell. Your housemate Marsha, also happens to owe Eskell $5. Instead of Marsha sending $5 ALL the way across the country to Eskell, and then Eskell sending $5 ALL the way back to you, Marsha walks up to you, slaps a fiver in your hand and everyone is made whole. Much simpler and more efficient.

Initially I was turned off to Wise.com due to the huge number of negative user reviews, but as I dug deeper into more reputable sources they've had nothing but good things to say (Monito.com gives them a 9.5/10 rating; trustpilot.com rates them 4.6/5; reviewopedia.com writes they are "both safe and convenient.") All those short, similar sounding "negative" user reviews start to smell more like an astroturfing campaign by one of their competitors (i.e. the big banks) to scare people away. [this is %100 speculation and wise.com could still be a huge scam, or at least a very unpleasant experience for some people, so proceed at your own risk.]

When I was making my wise.com account, they asked me for my "occupation", which I felt was a little strange and unusual. But it turns out they need to have that information to remain in compliance with Canadian regulations (all explained transparently on their website). If you sign up from a different country you might not have to answer that question, or you might have to answer a set of different questions.

Just thought I'd share my own limited research/experience so far.
 
Kirk Patrick
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Paul, I created a Wise.com account and am happy to try using it to send you the money (would only cost me ~C$15, which is super cheap). It's asking me for an email and "full name of the account holder" in order to do so. They also have a referral program (refer 3  people who transfer ~$300 each and get ~$100), so I could recreate my account with your referral link if that would be helpful.
 
paul wheaton
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Kirk, try sending ten bucks via wise.com to paul at richsoil.com "paul wheaton" and see if that works.  I do already have a wise account - i'm not sure if that helps.
 
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I think I can do zelle, but I'm going to wait for my wife to wake up tomorrow, because she is way smarter about this stuff than I am.
John S
PDX OR
 
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I literally know almost nothing about this subject. I probably should not be talking... but I am going to anyways. lol

I have been starting to dive into the crypto side of the world lately. I first started investing in that world in early 2017 but have been watching it unfold at a distance since around 2012 or so.

What is awesome about Bitcoin (BTC) is that it does not see or know any borders. The fee is the exact same no matter how far it is sent. For instance, about a few years ago I was reading that someone sent $1million USD of BTC from one wallet to another for $0.40 cents!!! That could have been one guy sending it to himself... or one guy in Montana sending it to some little old lady in the middle of the Congo. That transaction did take the 10 to 20 minutes or so to go through. How much would the fee have been if it were USD??? How long would that have taken??? I have a feeling there would have been many middlemen dipping their hands into that $1mil on its way to the little old lady.  

Now BTC has the...

Lightening Network - If one chooses to use that for the transaction... they have instantaneous transactions... but with a higher fee. It may be worth looking into this.

The crypto world has been unfolding at an exponential pace in the last few years. There are Defi tokens (De-Centralized Finance) and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). I have not been able to spend much time on researching these... but they are a new can of worms.

The Defi tokens will likely destroy and replace the banking system at some point. As the people will be able to be their own banks. Loaning out their own currency with interest.

The NFT tokens for now are just tagging things like art and music for the most part. Tying them to the crypto world. Some things even reward you with currency to hang onto that item. Which is nuts in my opinion... so I have steered clear of such things.

Anyways, NFTs do have a very powerful thing going for them though! I expect that at some point they will be tied to things of The Real. lol For instance....

Imagine if someone were to want to start up a Winery but they didn't have the cash. Instead of taking out a business loan from either a bank or using Defi and having to meet those payments every month (for the next eternity), they instead chose to create a NFT for their new business!!! They can set their own rules within the NFT tokens for those who hold it. Say.... each coin is worth 10 vines... and you will get 5% of said wine made off of those fines for so long as you own the coin. They can even throw in a lot of perks and such... both for themselves and the buyer. I bet that they would be able to sell those tokens for a price that would both buy the vines AND pay for the land... and overhead costs. Said buyer would get free Wine that would start rolling in after a few years. OR they would then be able to sell the coin at a premium by that point due to the fact the vines are now producing. Most would likely hold the tokens, drink wine for 10 or 20 years for free (while stocking up their private wine cellar), then sell the coin down the road at a premium. It is a win, win, win for everybody.

NFTs would work the same for CSA farmers, land developers, and any other business known to man really.
 
John Suavecito
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We are trying to do this with zelle.  Apparently, we can find "Paul Wheaton" under business listings, but we need a number.  Can you privately email me that?
THanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
paul wheaton
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John Suavecito wrote:We are trying to do this with zelle.  Apparently, we can find "Paul Wheaton" under business listings, but we need a number.  Can you privately email me that?
THanks,
John S
PDX OR



I thought zelle worked off of an email address.  Try paul at richsoil.com.
 
John Suavecito
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That's what we did and apparently, it seems to have worked.
JohN S
PDX OR
 
John Suavecito
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We are trying to send it to paul @ richsoil.com  through zelle.  Can't be reversed. I hope it works.
John S
PDX OR
 
paul wheaton
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It worked!  Ten bucks!
 
Kirk Patrick
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Just an update: I created a wise.com account, which was simple and straightforward. When I went to send Paul money it asked me to verify my identity by taking a picture of a piece of official government photo ID (drivers license, passport, photo-card, etc.). I had issues with the QR code and couldn't take the picture with my phone. They offer the option of using your webcam instead, or uploading a picture. It turned out my ID was expired and could not be accepted.

It seems the company has everything highly automated through decision "streams", which makes things frustrating if you don't have the EXACT info/requirements they need. I was able to open an account with my current bank by using a birth certificate (proof of identity) and a recent bill statement (proof of address) in lieu of photo-ID. It would be impossible for wise.com to verify those types of documents for the dozens of countries it operates in, so I get why they are so strict with documentation. It also makes me think that a lot of those negative user reviews are legitimate. If your account / transfer gets flagged due to ant-money laundering or anti-terrorism regulations, or you need to provide additional documentation, I could see how people's funds could be frozen for weeks or months at a time, with no easy way to figure out what's going on (it would take me 4-6 weeks to get a new photo-ID).

It took some banging my head against their system before they gave me a link to connect with a human through a chat box. After a 5-15min wait I was able to get my questions answered. (For those interested in a headache free method of connecting to a real person, here's a direct link to their chat option: https://wise.com/help/contact/channels/chat?issue=general-verification&topic=general )

I ended up sending the money to Paul via a bank draft (check) instead. It cost C$7 for the draft itself, C$1.5 for postage, plus the bank's exchange rate margin of ~2-3%. It would take 5-10 days to arrive in the mail, and the receiving bank may hold the funds for an additional 5-10 days once cashed. If I used wise.com to transfer the money it would have cost ~C$95 less and only take ~5 days to transfer.

Bitcoin looks interesting and sounds like the least expensive way to send money from what people are saying here. However, its volatility and energy foot print make me uneasy. What are the money conversion and transfer fees like? Could anyone recommend a reputable crypto-currency company to do business with?
 
paul wheaton
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I use coinbase for crypto.  A lot of people say it is a really bad idea.  Jack Spirko says it is the best.  https://www.coinbase.com/join/wheato_2l
 
Marty Mitchell
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@Kirk Patrick...

I use Coinbase as well. I purchase most of my crypto through them... and have used Abra also. What I don't like about Coinbase is that as soon as the market has either a mega Pump or Dump Day... Coinbase has a tendency to lock up/get overwhelmed. I have No Hesitance to use them at all though. They seem to be a decent company.

I will say to Stay Clear of Robinhood! You cannot transfer your coins to your own personal wallet from them. For all we know... they just take your money and don't actually buy the coins.

I actually store all of my crypto on my personal wallets directly after purchasing. Get it off of the exchange if you have no intent on selling anytime soon. The exchange is not required for transferring crypto to other wallet addresses. Also, while BTC is EXTREMELY secure... exchanges are not. It is the exchanges themselves that get hacked and robbed.

I recently just got the cold-storage wallet called "Arculus". It is amazingly secure... and easy to rebuild if either half of the wallet is lost. I can (allegedly) throw BOTH my phone and my metal keycard (looks like a credit/debit card) into the ocean.... fly to another part of the world and get any device that can hold a blockchain wallet... download the blockchain... and use my 15 word catchphrase to rebuild the wallet.

What I like about the Arculus Wallet is that it is integrated with my smart phone and is Highly Usable. For instance, my BTC address has a QR code generated that can be posted online if I wanted. Out in the open for everyone to see (Only do that with the Public/receiving address!!! not the one they can drain your wallet with!!!). They can use their wallets to scan that code so that they don't have to perfectly type out that lengthy address (if you don't type it correctly the coins will either be lost or sent to someone else). Or I can just pull the QR code up on the screen of my phone and allow others to scan it with their cameras to pay me.

Don't worry about the energy footprint. There are some great articles out there showing how BTC uses less than .01% of the energy of the current USD financial system (Not counting the rest of the world). Elon Musk started that conversation because he tried to take control of the BTC market and it would not let him. Just a few weeks after denouncing BTC... just like the many like him that came before... he announced that he is making his own cryptocurrency. China did the same thing (called it bad then banned it and then said they now have their own a short while later). So have many others.

I am an investor though. So I plan to NEVER sell my BTC. Not even to purchase things!!!

I will use my BTC to purchase things by taking out a loan against it... using it as collateral. I believe coinbase will allow me to take an up to 40% loan at normal interest rates. Meanwhile I get to hold onto the BTC that has been averaging something like 150% growth per year over the last 5 years. Plus I would have to pay taxes on the BTC if I were to sell it at a higher price than I bought it at. I believe the "Gains Tax" is 15% if you have owned it for more than a year and 35% if you have owned it for less than a year.

I know BTC is $47k per coin today... but when it hits the same market cap as gold it will be around $600k per. When it hits the USD market cap (probable) it will be 10x higher than that.


If you were to immediately purchase BTC on Coinbase and then IMMEDIATELY move it over to Paul's wallet... there would be around 1.5% purchase fee... followed by an almost non-existent network fee. AND since you made no "gains" on it... there should not be any "gains tax" either.

~Marty


https://www.getarculus.com/
 
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paul wheaton wrote:I use coinbase for crypto.  A lot of people say it is a really bad idea.  Jack Spirko says it is the best.  https://www.coinbase.com/join/wheato_2l



Great place to buy, fast easy works like PayPal.  NEVER HOLD BITCOIN ON ANY EXCHANGE.

Minimum use a good software wallet like Exodus.io

Optimum, move your long holdings to something like a Trezor.  

All my Bitcoin Tools and Apps in one place are here.  https://thebitcoinbreakout.com/bitcoin-tools/

The entire point of Bitcoin is self custody, not your keys, not your coins.
 
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