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Kenyans Will Soon Be Able To Send Bitcoin By Phone

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the 1-800-money dept.

Bitcoin 83

jfruh writes "M-Pesa is a wildly popular mobile payment system in Kenya, which allows citizens of a country with a poor banking infrastructure to easily transfer money to each other using ubiquitous dumbphones. Currently the system only works in the local currency, but there are plans afoot to allow users to transfer Bitcoin — which would help Kenyans working abroad send money back home without paying high international bank transfer fees."

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Great! (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44259425)

Now it won't cost you so much to help them smuggle their vast fortune out of the country.

Re:Great! (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#44259477)

Now it won't cost you so much to help them smuggle their vast fortune out of the country.

Or maybe they could trade with each other without getting abused by middlemen?

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259755)

I am a prince, my name is Obama. I have a vast fortune that You can share in, if you give me your bank account details and sort code.

Re:Great! (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#44260153)

If you haven't intercepted those by now you're not the real thing.

Re:Great! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44263161)

but electronic systems are for just that purpose. now elite scum can get a piece of the action every time a poor farmer buys or sells.

Re:Great! (-1, Flamebait)

paata55 (2981485) | about a year ago | (#44259677)

http://stickwar.us/ [stickwar.us]

Re:Great! (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year ago | (#44262031)

You know that Kenya and Nigeria are not the same, right?

I spent a couple of years working on 419 style scams. The origin was always, without fail, coastal west African nations. I don't recall even once seeing Kenya crop up. Don't paint all of sub-saharan Africa with the same brush.

Re:Great! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44264171)

You know that Kenya and Nigeria are not the same, right?

I spent a couple of years working on 419 style scams. The origin was always, without fail, coastal west African nations. I don't recall even once seeing Kenya crop up. Don't paint all of sub-saharan Africa with the same brush.

Yeah, my bad. If you need an excuse:

I'm an American; I can't be expected to know anything about world geography.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44265681)

You know that Kenya and Nigeria are not the same, right?

I spent a couple of years working on 419 style scams. The origin was always, without fail, coastal west African nations. I don't recall even once seeing Kenya crop up. Don't paint all of sub-saharan Africa with the same brush.

Yeah, my bad. If you need an excuse:

I'm an American; I can't be expected to know anything about world geography.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Oh, great... (2)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about a year ago | (#44259431)

Here comes a whole new spate of 419-style "My client was a prince who died with a huge bunch of bitcoins and I need help smuggling them out of the country, please help..." scam emails.

Re:Oh, great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259483)

If they can send you an email they can move their coins.

Re:Oh, great... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44261463)

If they can send you an email they can move their coins.

Just leave them on my answering machine, please.

Re:Oh, great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260825)

You're confusing them with Nigerians.

(And no, that doesn't mean they are all scammers, just because a fraction of their population is scamming complete dumbasses for their money. Just like it doesn't mean all Americans are professional active mass-murderers, just because a fraction of their population are [wikipedia.org] .)

Re:Oh, great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44263657)

Damn Right. Some of us are retired mass murders, while others were never quite good enough to be pros. While others just do it as a hobby to fill free time.

Re:Oh, great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262287)

Whenever I get 419 emails I just send them a Bitcoin address. For some reason they never reply back, so I assume they've discovered that one can smuggle vast wealth out of a country with a brain wallet, no Americans required any more. :-P

Actually more advanced than what's in the West (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259433)

Having lived in Kenya for 5 years, actually MPESA, and the mobile networks in general, are much better than what's in the West. You can transfer money to anyone, anytime, with any phone. Transfer to and from your bank account. Signal strength is consistently 100% in any town of any significance. Fast Internet even in many places away from towns. PAYG calls 1c or 2c/minute, Internet 1c/Mb or less, tethering included on PAYG. Coming back to the West meant getting used to rather inferior service!

David Anderson

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

cheaphomemadeacid (881971) | about a year ago | (#44259547)

10 $ / GB sounds very expensive, do you also have to pay a monthly fee?

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259733)

That's _mobile_ Internet. Go compare again.

In the UK, Three offers all-you-can-eat (as opposed to unlimited*) mobile data for 15 pounds for 30 days on PAYG, and they only recently dropped their prices to 1p/MB for mobile data when you're not on the all-you-can-eat plan. None of the other operators in the UK does this, with prices of tens of pence per MB for out-of-plan mobile data.

Do you still think 1c/MB for mobile data is expensive now? You just can't get that in the west.

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#44259947)

T-mobile offers unlimited everything. I know because I have it, for £35 I get unlimited calls, texts and internet.

And when I moved house and had no broadband for 2 months (Due a problem with the copper line), they proved it, as I hit 35GB a month without even a peep from them about it, let alone a change to my monthly bill.

If there is a limit to their internet access, I've not hit it yet.

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260177)

That sounds pretty good - but still not quite as good... you get your deal by agreeing to a long contract at that price; the example I gave was what's available on PAYG. You can also transfer your balance to anyone, anytime + pay your electricity + water bills from the phone. And if you buy your phone from the network (which is a good idea, because most small shops won't honour any kind of warranty, whilst the network will), then it's not locked.

David

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44260585)

Tmobile has unlimited data with no contract.
$30/month for 100 minutes voice, unlimited data and unlimited text messages. After 5GB they do drop you down to 3G instead of 4G speeds though.

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259737)

There are cheaper packages for buying in bulk. 1c/Mb was if you just want 1Mb.

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259839)

$10 (USD) per gigabyte is a typical charge in the US for cellular/wireless based access (e.g. $50 for 5 gigs a month)

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259797)

Kenya is home to one of the world’s harshest HIV and AIDS epidemics. Frankly speaking, spending Nerdcoins is the last thing they need. They need better health education among many other things.

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260299)

The article suggests that using this system has the effect of giving them more time and money. This time & money is available to use for healthcare if they chose to do so.

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#44261401)

Every country needs free trade. Just because they have other problems doesn't mean they don't need to trade for food, motor parts, air conditioners, and everything else.

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262315)

Ah, the inevitable Slashdot central planner. "How dare they solve this problem I find unimportant! Society should focus 100% of its resources towards X and Y!"

Re: Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#44260647)

"Having lived in Kenya for 5 years, actually MPESA, and the mobile networks in general, are much better than what's in the West. You can transfer money to anyone, anytime, with any phone. Transfer to and from your bank account. "

Can I assume from your example that this is not yet possible in the US?
Giving money oders by phone exists at least as long as ATMs where I live.

Re: Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#44261849)

Popmoney does this. No link so I won't be accused of spamming.

Re:This story is linked to a BBC report (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44261617)

The BBC reported, I cant remember what large bank but I think it was in the Euro Zone, saying they would no longer be accepting bitcoins at there bank(s). This hurts Kenyans abilities to send money back home to family, ect.. The bank claims they do not want to get caught up in an money laundering scams, they (I believe) also said they were afraid of being charged with laundering money by the state or officials.

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#44261817)

There's nothing in your post that is inferior or unavailable in the USA, except perhaps 100% signal strength "in any town of any significance."

Re:Actually more advanced than what's in the West (1)

mojo706 (2741469) | about a year ago | (#44280963)

Actually that has changed. If you subscribe to any of the newer ISP's they don't limit your downloads and you pay a flat fee. For example I pay about 30 $ a month for 1Mbs connection speed with a high limit. I think the limit is about 20-40 GB a month depending on ISP.

Great! (2)

mitcheli (894743) | about a year ago | (#44259471)

Now I'll start getting emails notifying me that I've won the Bitcoin lottery and that I'm to send Bitcoin payment to Mr. Abdul Smith courtesy of international trasit number .... and that I only need to help pay the 10BC fee for setting up the transit. By way of official international transit carrier. And certified by Mr. Smith himself. On behalf of the US FBI and director J Edgar Hoover.

Or something like that.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259977)

Mr. Smith has 22M bitcoins that he needs to smuggle out of the country.

Nigeria won't be far behind (3, Informative)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#44259479)

Cue the Bit419 emails.

But seriously, this is a step in the right direction. The allure of Bitcoin to me isn't even the privacy (which is debatable) it's that, by not having "central" anything, it truly democratizes access to currency. Forget the hoarders, the conversions and the "banks"; this is a means to transfer money that everyone should have access to.

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259609)

There is nothing Democratic about a currency which is primarily owned by a small handful of people. The centralized nature of bitcoin wealth puts the dollar to shame.

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (0)

njnnja (2833511) | about a year ago | (#44260163)

Expanding on AC, the level to which a currency is democratized is the degree to which the people have control over the supply of the currency. And while anyone can mint a bitcoin, no one can change the trajectory of the bitcoin's money supply - that is a feature, not a bug. The reason a currency such as the US dollar is more democratic than a bitcoin is because the Federal Reserve has some (albeit tenous) connection to the people, through the nomination process for members of the FRB by the elected president. Sure it's among the least democratic institutions in the US, but people have more of a say (e.g., the pressure that is being brought to bear by tight money advocates in the Republican party is quite effective at staying the Fed's hand from further, much needed, loose money).

The fact that only the Fed can print a US dollar but anyone (with the proper equipment) can mint a bitcoin is irrelevant. No one has control over bitcoin; which I guess is degenerately democratic in the sense that no one has any more control over the currency than anybody else, but it is not really democratic in the sense that the will of the people cannot be expressed in changes to the currency's money supply. If tomorrow, everyone in the US were to decide that it would be better for the Fed to run a particular monetary policy (and voted that way), it would (eventually) become the new policy for the dollar.

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260959)

Not true, majority of big holders sold out in the 2011 bubble.

Remember everybody has a price.

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#44261411)

There is nothing Democratic about a currency which is primarily owned by a small handful of people. The centralized nature of bitcoin wealth puts the dollar to shame.

No it doesn't. BitCoin doesn't have a central bank with absolute control over the currency, anyone can be a miner.

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259649)

You mean the 110100011 emails.

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (1)

Mikko Ohtamaa (2981473) | about a year ago | (#44259693)

Also at the decentralized bitcoin exchange site LocalBitcoins.com people trade with various alternative payment systems, including Kenyan M-PESA. Because at LocalBitcoins.com trading happens peer-to-peer (no centralized accounts) the site can support almost any payment method the users can throw at it.

Which brings me to the point... Nigeria is not behind, but might be actually a forerunner. There has existed some bitcoin trading in Nigeria for some time now:

https://localbitcoins.com/country/NG [localbitcoins.com]

Other African countries where trading happens are Ghana https://localbitcoins.com/country/GH [localbitcoins.com] and South Africa https://localbitcoins.com/country/ZA [localbitcoins.com]

Supposedly bincoin is good for traditional Nigerian online businesses?

(disclaimer: I am working with the project)

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (2)

Burb (620144) | about a year ago | (#44259709)

" Forget the hoarders, the conversions and the "banks"; this is a means to transfer money that everyone should have access to."

The hoarders, the conversions and the "banks" are exactly what make Bitcoin absolutely worthless. To say nothing of the miners. No one wants to send money home to Mom & Pop if they can't trust the handlers and the value fluctuates wildly.

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262349)

What "handlers"? It's p2p.

Since gold is hoarded the exact same way, does that make gold worthless?

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262389)

  I don't think you've thought this through clearly. Why in the hell would you care about value fluctuation when you're wiring money? Even if bitcoins are worth $10 today, and $80 tomorrow, it makes no difference whether you send your parents $20 as 2 bitcoins today or 1/4 bitcoin tomorrow.
  It's only ever a problem if there is a noticeably large fluctutation in it value in the brief time it takes for your $20 to get exchanged into bitcoin, transmitted to your parents, and exchanged back to cash. And that's probably a few seconds! Bitcoin would have to be far more volatile than it is for that to be a problem.

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#44263687)

I don't think the conversion between bitcoin and local currency is that fast...

Re:Nigeria won't be far behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260897)

Yes, but the key problem still persists:

Some powerful first "miners" will rule the system, just like the fatcats are ruling it now.

Also, there's the problem with a certain file/database getting bigger and bigger and already being too big right now. Whoever thought it up, thought it would never get that far, or was a real stupid idiot, or he would never have designed it like that. Like a log file on your system, just waiting to flood the hard disk and kill the system.

You too can gamble with the instability of BTC! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259567)

BTC is a hilariously unstable currency.

I have witnessed it halve, then double, then more then halve, then slightly double in the span of a single month. Absolutely nothing is guaranteed in BTC, and to make things even worse the exchanges (which you need to turn your BTC into something usable out in the real world- sorry, but ordering pizza and black market goods is hardly considered "useful") are notoriously unreliable as well. There is literally nothing propping up the system and protecting it from evaporating overnight.

Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting experiment, but it's just that- an experiment, and to a certain extent a very clever money making scheme for those who got in early. I spent over a week researching the potential profitability of investing in some serious ASIC mining hardware- and in the end, while it might have been profitable to invest... I just couldn't convince myself that the market or the exchanges were trustworthy. Actually turning BTC into IRL currency (which BTC is not) is a total hit and miss. Basically, BTC can't be trusted for anything more then hobby cash.

So I guess if you're desperate enough, maybe it'll be a useful tool for these folks, but I'm not holding my breath for the inevitable story about how all the poor Kenyans lost their hard worked money and made all their families starve because the market crashed and Mt. Gox decided to evaporate overnight and run away with whatever cash they had.

Re:You too can gamble with the instability of BTC! (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44260407)

BTC is a hilariously unstable currency.

Not really by the standards of things. I assume you're a Westener, used to exceptionally stable curriencies like the Dollar, Euro, Pound, etc etc.

Compared to them, BTC is a bit of a crapshoot. Compared to less good currencies, it's a solid as a rock. Compare it for example to the Zimbabwe dollar.

BTC into something usable out in the real world- sorry, but ordering pizza and black market goods is hardly considered "usefu

Ah the old "can't buy anything useful with it".

Article: Kenyans will soon be able to buy and sell pretty much anything using BTC on their phones.
Coward: Ah, BTC is useless because you can't buy anything useful with it.

uh huh.

So, after this happens will you concede that it is, in fact, useful?

Mt. Gox decided to evaporate overnight and run away with whatever cash they had.

MtGox doesn't have your cash if you own bitcoins. Clearly you know nothing about how they work.

Re:You too can gamble with the instability of BTC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262203)

There is literally nothing propping up the system and protecting it from evaporating overnight.

In other words, it's identical to other currencies, such as dollars and euros.

Guys, let me remind you: bitcoin doesn't need to be a good currency (although that might be nice, if if could be done without too much loss). It's merely trying to become one of the best.

Should be good news if stays stable & accessib (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#44259597)

Migrant workers, indeed the poor generally, typically get ripped off by people like Western Union, since they have little choice.
So, this could be a good thing, as long as some sudden exchange-rate swing does not wipe out the credit.
(Although transfer times should be short, reducing the voltility risk).
The cost of buying the bc credit needs to be reasonable, too.

Of course, once this gets popular, Govs will cry "OMG terrerists!!" and regulate it to death or just shut it down...

Re:Should be good news if stays stable & acces (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44259623)

Of course, once this gets popular, Govs will cry "OMG terrerists!!" and regulate it to death or just shut it down...

Too late. They've already tried in the US.

Re:Should be good news if stays stable & acces (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about a year ago | (#44259911)

As an American, I crapped my pants and hit the fetal position when I saw you used the "T word"

Re:Should be good news if stays stable & acces (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44260105)

You require reeducation. The proper response for americans when they hear the word "terrorists" is to uncontrollably urinate. Defication is completely outside the allowed response reaction protocol.

Can you please show up to the Reeducation center nearest to you as soon as possible. Bring something soft to bite down on and shave the back of your head for easier placement of the electrodes.

Thank you citizen.

Re:Should be good news if stays stable & acces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260007)

Migrant workers need to learn to shop around. Western Union rips off a lot. Moneygram rips off a little bit less. Banks tend to rip you off like you're made of money, but if you shop around you may find that one bank that, for whatever reason, doesn't. I've managed to find a bank in the UK that charges flat 9.95 for International transfers, while every other bank charges one of 17, 25, or 35 per transfer. Sure, transfers take a few days, but do you really need money that fast? If I need fast money across Europe, I go with the bank that charges flat 17, and the money is in the destination account in half an hour (yes! I'm not making it up!). And I get a great exchange rate in the destination country, compared to what I get in the source country.

The main problem is that most migrant workers are not used to use their brains. They saw a larget paycheck and went there to work, not to think. Maybe I'm biased, but workers don't understand the world beyond "I work, I get money, I spend money, I live - repeat" easily. That's why they get kicked in the nuts so often.

Re:Should be good news if stays stable & acces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260341)

I think some of it may be that they are in an alien country where they don't really know the society and don't really speak the language. It is reasonable that they may just take the easy choice and not operate with the skill and sophistication of a native.

Third-party (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259603)

The summary made it sound like the M-Pesa system was going to add support for bitcoin somehow ("there are plans afoot to allow users to transfer Bitcoin"), but from TFA, it's just an unrelated third party offering a service that lets you buy bitcoin and pay via M-Pesa.

Essentially some guy put up a website where you can buy bitcoin.

Re:Third-party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262599)

Hush now, don`t interrupt the pump attempt, the weekend is coming up and some folks need to unload their bitcoins far, far above the market value.

Who's paying for the commercial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44259655)

For a long time I've been wondering who the heck is paying Slashdot to post news about Bitcoin? Common, guys, it isn't such an omnipresent concept to be on our daily feeds....

Re:Who's paying for the commercial? (1)

Iskender (1040286) | about a year ago | (#44260101)

Bitcoins are money, and they are tech.

Both money and tech are absolutely essential for the majority of Slashdotters. I think it would be stranger if Slashdot *didn't* cover Bitcoins.

On top of that, people understandably expected it to crash "soon". Every day it doesn't crash into oblivion makes it more interesting. And if there is a crash in the end, every day brings us closer to it. Because of this, Bitcoin is even more interesting.

Re:Who's paying for the commercial? (1)

TheAmazingChestaro (2942643) | about a year ago | (#44260663)

Bitcoins are money, and they are tech.

Both money and tech are absolutely essential for the majority of Slashdotters. I think it would be stranger if Slashdot *didn't* cover Bitcoins.

On top of that, people understandably expected it to crash "soon". Every day it doesn't crash into oblivion makes it more interesting. And if there is a crash in the end, every day brings us closer to it. Because of this, Bitcoin is even more interesting.

It's the same reason we follow one of those horribly tragic stories about some child who was born with some severe deficiency that will result in low/no quality of life. The child fights against all odds, by generally doing nothing more than relying on outsiders either completely or almost completely. They post about how great baby x is doing until the sad day of loss and everyone mourns. I, for one, would appreciate just the highlight reel. I don't need all the details on the child's suffering.

I like money and tech. Oddly enough, don't care about bitcoins though. Maybe there is just some subset of slashdot that has an interest in bitcoin, specifically it's value. So they post articles like this or support these postings to speculate the value up. That seems a reasonable explanation as well.

Re:Who's paying for the commercial? (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#44261167)

That's like asking who is paying Drudge to post news about train wrecks and Michael Jackson. The bitcoin articles are here to amuse us.

Central bank of Bitcoin (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year ago | (#44259689)

Bitcoins won't be stored on cellphones (I mean the private key), but centrally in the service that provides the ability to trade them. This is a single point of failure, and I really don't like this.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262603)

+1 Interesting

The interesting bit (2)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about a year ago | (#44259763)

without paying high international bank transfer fees

This is VERY interesting. In my country banks work hard to steal every penny from anyone who needs to send or receive money from abroad

Re:The interesting bit (1)

Lord Lemur (993283) | about a year ago | (#44259885)

Don't worry, TheDarkMaster. This will facitiltate all kinds of scamming and abuse. It's just a question of who is going to manipulate the market and wipe the wealth of these folks out. Anyone foolish enough to store their wealth in Bitcoins is going to have a bad day. Banks atleast provide a reliable level of tax.

Re:The interesting bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260337)

So you say now is the time to start short selling bitcoins? :-)

Re:The interesting bit (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about a year ago | (#44260435)

I think you do not understand what I meant. I found the idea interesting in the sense of not having to pay a high rate for a bank, just because you are sending money abroad rather than somewhere within your country. Here, you need to pay more than $ 50 to send, say, $ 100 for a son who is doing study abroad. Roughly, here banks try to prevent you from sending money abroad or receiving, through extortionate rates.

Obs: It is interesting to mention that the "1%" here does not have any complications to send out millions, the difficulties and extorsive taxes are only for ordinary people.

Re:The interesting bit (1)

Shados (741919) | about a year ago | (#44260519)

Obs: It is interesting to mention that the "1%" here does not have any complications to send out millions, the difficulties and extorsive taxes are only for ordinary people.

Flat fees. Its the same $50 to send $50 or to send 10 million, because its the same damn service. Nothing to do with the "1%".

Re:The interesting bit (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about a year ago | (#44261431)

You did not catch the subtlety of the problem. With this flat rate the bank make prohibitive for the average citizen to send money, while making it cheaper for the rich sending money. Who do you think makes banks act so instead of charging a fairer fee and proportional to the amount shipped?

Re:The interesting bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262427)

Ah yes, the flat fee.

The law, in its infinite wisdom, makes it equally a crime for both the rich and the poor to steal food, beg for money, and sleep under bridges. That's fair, too, isn't it?

Re:The interesting bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44262083)

Since neither the miners - to which you need to pay a fee to ensure your transaction is processed - nor the exchanges - to which you need to pay a fee to convert your bitcoins into useful currency - are technically banks this is technically correct. The best kind of correct!

Re:The interesting bit (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about a year ago | (#44264075)

The problem is not the bank fee itself. The problem is that you need to pay a lot in fees to make a transfer (And detail that is now done electronically, so the costs are insignificant to the bank). Think 100% in fees to a small transfer (or even more).

But thinking again, if both sides have Paypal accounts then becomes possible to send money, at least in the desired small amounts. Until banks do not sabotage it too.

BTC Up! (1)

dirtaddshp (1188189) | about a year ago | (#44259887)

And the price of bitcoin goes up!

Oh (1)

h4x0t (1245872) | about a year ago | (#44260687)

Is that why bitcoins are up 20%? Some day I'll jump through all the hoops to pick some up... some day....

In b4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44260719)

ponzi pyramid scheme.

Gooday, Sir, (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year ago | (#44261079)

My name is Prince Abdula, and I am in a situation now that I believe you could help me with. I am moving to the US but need help to transfer 1.5B Bitcoins out of my country. If you could kindly give me your cell phone number, I will transfer the Bitcoins to your account and will give you 1.5M Bitcoins in exchange for your help....

Re:Gooday, Sir, (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#44265299)

That's great, considering there are only about 11 million BTC in existence.

gotta ask (0)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#44261759)

How much are fake birth certificates? ;-)

expensive transfers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44261951)

i think my bank charges $40 U.S. to send money to another country. it is cheaper to send my relatives a check than to wire them money. The cost of using Western Union and Moneygram is a little cheaper compared to the cost of using a bank though.

Hearsay (1)

timkofu (2552496) | about a year ago | (#44268231)

Dubious. I'll wait for the press release.

Kenyans Aren't Responsible for the 419 Scams. (1)

mojo706 (2741469) | about a year ago | (#44280993)

I would just like to clarify that Kenyans aren't responsible for the email scams. So whatever email you get its probably not from a Kenyan. :)

Why did they pick Bitcoin (1)

aktiveradio (851043) | about a year ago | (#44314493)

Why not one of the newer options like Litecoin that has faster transaction times? Litetree litecoin exchange is one of the new sites that can buy and sell the litecoins.
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