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BiblePay (BBP) is a Charity Christian Cryptocurrency that donates 10% of coins to Charity every month, sponsoring orphans
/beermoney is a community for people to discuss **online** money-making opportunities. You shouldn't expect to make a living, but it's possible to make extra cash on the side for your habits/needs.
God, I feel so stupid but it frustrates me to no end. submitted by
I can't for the life of me find a post to simply pay online a transaction with Bitcoin. I'd like to pay something online, and they only accept bitcoin. I know i'm dumb. I asked my father about it because he knows, and even he told me it was a bit complicated and it wasn't worth it.
I know nothing about it. I'd like to simply pay my 40dollars transaction with Bitcoin, not invest it, not save it, and probably never touch it again.
As I understood, I can do a transfer from my credit card on a online wallet that I choose, and then just send them through a link ? Is it possible to stay anonymous ? Even if I have to pay a bit more ? Or am I gonna have to pay thousands of dollars for this ? Is it possible to not go through a bitcoin ATM ? Should i just F* off and keep looking because it's right literally in front of me and i'm just stupid ? Thanks
ps: I am not buying drugs, just something really embarrassing, which is why I don't really wanna ask my father, that ll be a bit weird.
Edit: is it actually possible to pay with bitcoin lol
EDIT : Thanks to everybody for pointing out the few mistakes/improvements that can be made in this new-player level guide.
For the sake of summarizing here :
- Intel documents are NOT worth 250k. I didn't check them on the flea before writing this and for some reason I always remembered them at 250k. Game is in maintenance so I can't check the real price. That being said, it's still profitable to craft USB into Intel,
it's just not x2 profitable.
- Scav case : moonshine / intel docs, some people seem to say they've never been profitable. I personally *did not* measure those, I eyeballed it. I'm working on so much shit that I didn't bother. On average I think that I'm in a net positive, but it's as believable as people saying they're not : without proof we can't really say for sure. That bein said, it's certainly more profitable to run lower-tier scav runs that are *faster* when you're online, and to run a moonshine or intel when you log off.
It's more efficient to get a lot of runs while you can re-start them every time.
- Crafting moonshine : It's not profitable to spam it ; I was under the assumption that the average player who will read this will usually not play for 4-5 hours straight and will end up collecting yesterday's moonshine, craft a new one, and that's it. If that's you're rythm then yes, spam it. If you intend to play more than one craft worth's of time, then you will craft moonshine faster
than you can spend it, and it's not really worth to sell it on the flea except to up your market reputation for a small loss (about 10k). So in short : craft moonshine to be able to start a moonshine run for when you log off, but you don't *need* more than that.
Check this out Here is some actual data on the lavatory
Hey everybody !
I know it can be a struggle to get a stable economy in this game, especially when you die a lot. Today I'm gonna try and give a few guidelines on how to make money safely, efficiently, fast, or in any other way we can think of. If you're struggling to stay above the 15-20 million rouble treshold, this guide is definitely for you.
Very often I'll hear newer players say "Damn I can't seem to make money, I keep loosing. Every time I take gear I die instantly". There is some truth in that. Today I'll help you improve your survival rate, but most importantly I'll unbalance the other side of the equation. When you complain about losing a lot of money, I will help you spend less
by a significant margin, as well as earn more. You'll also get rid of gear fera naturally.
Remember this throughout this very, very long read : It all depends on how you want to play, and how much. Some of these tips will not fit how you want to play the game, and like Nikita always says : this game is supposed to be fun before anything else.
1. Hideout Safety Score : 100% Reward : Moderate but very stable.
Maxing your hideout should
be one of your top priorities, probably before telling your mom how much you love her every now and then. If you're not doing either of those, the big gamer in you knows what to do.
Early wipe, save your fuel for when you're online and playing. If you're playing, your generator should definitely be running
and all your stations should be crafting something.
Once you have Medstation 1, Workbench 1 and Lavatory 2, you really have no reason to turn your generator off when you're playing.
Once you have the bitcoin farm, you should never
turn off the generator. Medstation :
Craft salewas and/or IFAKs permanently. They cost 8k and sell for 15k. That's a net profit of about 25k / hour for salewas, as well as never having to buy any. Lavatory :
Always be crafting Bleach. If you have 2 empty blue fuel, use those empty cans to craft a Magazine case.
You can then keep the magazine cases until you've enough for your liking and sell those for a good profit.
The bleach you will use to buy the 6B47 helmets which are better than the SSh-68 helmets. Buying from 2x bleach barter at ragman level 1 means you get the helmet for 18k (instead of 33k on the market). This helmet has better head coverage, less slow/negative effects, less weight, has a slot for a mount, has +11 ergonomics AND is cheaper than the 22k SSh-68. That being said, it has a slight noise reduction
that the Ssh does not have. If you wear headphones I'd say this is negligible but debatable. I prefer to have the extra protection and ergonomics for sure, considering it's slightly cheaper.
You can also barter for that helmet and instantly sell it back for a profit (five times) and level up ragman money requirements.
Bleach can also be traded for the Blackjack backpack at level 4, as well as the TTV rig at level 2. You should definitely do it.
Sell excess bleach on the flea market when the prices are around 10.5k or more. (around midnight Central European Time). Workbench :
You can buy Power Cords and craft Wires forever and always make a profit. Buy in the morning and sell in the evening for better profits (CET timezone). For even more profit, you can craft gunpowders and ammo which tend to also be ridiculously pricy at night.
Buying grenades from Peacekeeper and crafting green (Eagle) gunpowder is a good way to make a lot of money and level up Peacekeeper. Intel Center :
You main objective is to get this one to level 3 for reduced fees and better quest rewards, but also access to the bitcoin farm at level 2.
If you need FiR for quests, craft that. When you're done craft Intel Documents at all times (buy the USB), and use it for scav case or sell for a x2 profit. ( 3x40 for USB = 120, documents sell for 250) Bitcoin Farm :
Once you have it, spend all your money on GPU until its maxxed, then level it up even more. The BTC farm is definitely
worth it. At 50GPU you need to connect every 15 hours to clic. If you can't, keep it level 2 and connect every 24 hours to clic. Even at level 1 its worth. But its much, much faster at higher levels.
From 0 to 50 GPUs it takes about 30 days to pay for itself. GPUs should not be sold until you maxxed it. Water Collector :
Must be running at all times. Buy the components if you don't have them. Booze Generator :
Must be running at all times. Buy the components if you don't have them. Scav Case :
Always have it running on moonshine, and use intel documents once you're done crafting one. Nutrition Unit :
It's not really worth crafting sugar to put in the Booze gen, as the price for chocolate is pretty much = the price of sugar. So buy the sugar instead and craft something else. I tend to craft Hot Rods when the prices are good (morning) and then use them to barter 5.45 BS Ammo with Prapor or sell for a profit.
If you do all that, you should have about 150k an hour fairly easily. Don't forget to check it between every raid.
2. Traders Safety Score : 100% Reward : Quite good.
Once your mom has received all the love she deserves and your hideout is taken care of, you should have max traders (traders are a requirement for most of the hideout anyway).
Traders level 4 will net you much better prices on most mods and open very good barter trades. Buy as much as you can from barter trades.
You can buy almost everything from it, and it's usually at least 25% cheaper to buy the requirements and then do the barter. Ragman4 has the CPC Armored Rig which is level 5 armor, you'll get it for about 200k instead of 250k on the flea. The Slick is also much cheaper. The Blackjack backpack is literally half priced.
You can also NOT use what you barter and just sell it back to a dealer (sometimes the same from which you bartered) for a profit as well as having 2 times the loyalty money increase (from bartering then from selling).
Another good example is buying a Recbat 14k from the market, getting an ADAR for skier, selling it to Mechanic and winning 8k just like that. You can find every single barter that nets a profit yourself and just buy-resell and you'll probably make another 100k every reset, if you really are struggling and have the patience. I personally advise to just use the equipment for yourself unless you're levelling traders, but I wouldn't go as far as buying all profitable items every reset. Every trader at every level has good barters.
You can make a full decent kit at level 1 traders for about 40k roubles on barter, instead of 90 if you buy it all. (Paca for masks, helmet for bleach, ADAR for recbatt, salewa from craft, backpack, etc. all barters)
Bleach is beautiful and is coveted in the real world for its ability to cure diseases.
3. Modding Safety Score : 100% Reward : Very profitable.
Don't mod out of your reach. Don't mod Meta. If money is an issue for you, having +1 ergo won't change your life.
For example, Priced at 10k roubles Priced at 45k Roubles
See where I'm going with this?
If you have money, sure, go for the Shift. If you wanna have fun and try, sure, go for it as well. But if you're struggling, buy 4 cobras and mod 4 guns for the price of 1% recoil which will not make you a gamer god anyway.
Also, do NOT buy mods from the flea market when you see you can buy them from traders. Look at the top of the market, if the mod is greyed out, look at the price. It means you don't have access (yet). If the price is too inflated for you, find another mod. There are always other mods. You can make 2 AKMs that have a difference of 2% recoil and 4 Ergonomics and have a 150k price difference. It's up to you. When money is the issue, this was the answer.
Note : Some guns are inherently much more expensive. Guns shooting 5.56 or 5.45 tend to be more expensive than 7.62. AKMs are VERY good budget guns. They're a bit harder to handle, but you can get a fully modded AK for 150-200k, where as you will have an entry level M4 for that price. 7.62 PS ammo is also incredibly cheap while being decent. Play 7.62 if you're struggling with money. It's not meta, but it's far more than enough, trust me. You'll rarely lose fights exclusively
because you had PS ammo in an AKM. Rarely.
4. Statistical loadout balance
This is fairly simple yet overlooked a LOT. To be accurate, you need data. Personally I kept it in an excel spreadsheet, if you're hardcore you should do something similar.
A somewhat relevant spreadsheet I used a wipe ago to measure some of my stats
What you need to know about yourself for this :
- Your survival rate per map
- How much you usually extract with, on average, per map
- How much you usually go in raid with, on average, per map
These will help us measure how much you fuck up or not.
Lets make it simple.
If you have a 500k loadout and you usually extract with 100k, at 10% survival rate, that means you will spend 500k x 10 = 5.000.000 roubles
over 10 raids on average, die 9 times, and earn 100k once. This very obvious example shows the loss.
Basically we're gonna try and balance that equation so that you never lose money on average
. You'll have ups and downs obviously, but over a week or two, it'll smooth things out for you, like math always does in a pleasant conversation with a girl.
So what can you do to improve that equation ?
4.1 Improve survival rate
Seems simple enough, DIE LESS. You do not need
to be good, smart, or special to die less. If you die a lot, do something different. If you die less, try more of that. Explore statistical advantages through different gameplay.
What can you do to die less practically? Here is a list of checkboxes you can tick depending on your money, skill, mood, or any other factor like the map and sheer luck:
- Fight from a bigger distance. People miss more from far (so will you, but killing less is irrelevant when you want to die less)
- Fight with better gear (supressed, better armor, better ammo, etc.). Its expensive, but it technically helps
- Don't fight at all. Avoid fights, run away from gunshots. 99.3% of people who didn't get shot survive a raid.
- Wait more, play slowly. If you go with the flow of players, you'll be with the players. Avoid that "wave" and stay behind it. When you come across players trying to extract to where you spawned, hide.
- Play with friends if you have any. If not, your mom loves you and so do I. I do coaching so do a lot of other decent players, look it up.
- Whenever you die, look at what killed you. Did you take a risk ? Did you lack skill ? Were you out of position ? Were you unlucky ? Try to be as OBJECTIVE as possible even in the frustration. It's pretty much always your fault if you died, avoid toxicity and learn something from that instead. If you took a fight with good gear and ammo and just lost, its probably skill/positioning. It's fine. Learn the game, fight differently, and with time it'll get better. If you were in the open, don't go in the open. If you were sprinting in the middle of interchange and got ambushed, well. Don't do that. Learn.
Do all that, it'll give you a LOT of data to actually improve by just doing something different without really being fastestronger, just smarter
And I repeat : you can do some of it, all of it, it depends on what you like, what you're comfortable with, and the time/investment you're putting in the game. It's okay to play at your own pace.
4.2 Reduce gear cost
The second part of our "profit equation" above is how much gear you take with you. Using previous tips, reduce that cost. Barters, cheaper mods, etc.
4.3 Increase extracted value
This one is not as tricky as it sounds. Basically there are two ways to extract with more money in the backpack :
- Know what/where to loot
- Have a bigger backpack.
The goal is to pay for the gear you will loose when you die
while making a profit on top. That one time you extract if you have a MBSS backpack, you'll need items worth like 50k per slot to break even. If you take a tri-zip, suddenly it's only 30k per slot. If you take a blackjack and blackrock from good old ragman, suddenly it's 10k per slot. So you can break even by looting crickents and DVD players almost.
See where I'm going ? Always take a tri-zip or bigger unless you're doing something special. That way you can afford to loot shitty areas, take less risk, and survive more while having a little less value.
We'll cover that in a minute, but there are ways to loot high value items, moderate value and low value. Those have also different risk/reward.
All of those are also map specific. In woods I'll often go with a 6B3TM armored rig for 40k, no helmet, 20k headphones and a sniper rifle. Rest is pouched so does not count. That's less than 100k investment. All players tend to have low value gear so I never extract with a lot either so it balances out. But on Woods, my survival rate is 20% instead of my overall 40%. So I know it's not a map I can reliably make money on, because I measured that accurately over time. This example is very common and should make sense to you.
Same goes for interchange where I have more about 50% survival but will tend to go in with 600k worth of gear, but will also often extract with over 500k quite regularly. Different ratios, different values, different purposes.
You can measure your own data if you're willing to do so, or you can eyeball it. Eyeballing it is much faster but very inaccurate
because you will tend to include emotions in the mix when you die. You'll remember losses ~2x more than your wins (that's somewhat scientifically proven), and if you're eyeballing your loadout you might think you have 600k but really you might have only 450k. I would advise to go hardcore and measure it all for price, initial loadout, losses and earnings, for each map.
5. Money runs
Now money runs are vast and numerous. All include different levels of risk and reward. It's up to you once again to find what you're willing to do for the time it takes, the fun it will give you and how much it will actually help you. You can always try them all for ~50 raids the sake of trying something different and see how your data is impacted. it doesn't have to be 50 in a row if you don't want to. As long as you keep track of it it can be over a whole wipe. You'd have your data ready for the next wipe :) Faster is better though.
5.1 Hatchling runs Safety Score : 100% Reward : Very Variable. Mentally exhausting.
Those are incredibly money efficient. You're investing a gear of 0 value, so whatever you extract with is 100% win, so you cannot possibly lose money that way. Is it fun? Is it rewarding? I don't care, to each is own. Statistcally speaking
, hatchling runs are an efficient way to make money.
They do however require a little bit of knowledge, but not skill. You'll be much more efficient at doing these kind of runs if you know where to go, what to look for, and how to get there depending on your spawn. That being said, such knoweldge is easily found ; it's nothing complex, it just takes time to learn. Once again, depends on how much you're willing to invest (if not roubles, time).
5.2 Scav runs Safety Score : 100% Reward : Low-ish
Scav runs are also incredibly efficient for the same reason as hatchlings. Except those have a cooldown. Statisticall speaking I have noticed you should always run your scavs as fast as possible on the map where you extract both the fastest and most frequently.
The explanation is simple, lets make it simpler :
The scav is a button that makes you earn free money. When you press it the button becomes unpressable for some time, when you release the button you earn money (sometimes).
That means you want to release the button as often as possible. And for that, you need to release it as fast as possible. It's that simple. So make scavs incredibly fast. I'm talking "Run through" fast.
Unless you're looking for FiR items or doing something specific like annoying a streamer, you should literally
run straight to the extract every single time, and loot what you have that doesn't make you go out of your way too much. Usually I suggest factory, go in, kill a random scav, loot it, get out.
Two weapons is at LEAST 50k, 100 if they have a scope. There you go. That's 100k every 20 minutes (or less with intel center). That's MUCH BETTER
than going up to 150-200k but taking 30 minutes to extract, and taking more risk by spending more time in the map. Every second you're in someone can shoot. Nobody can shoot you in the hideout.
The exception to that rule is Scavs with a pilgrim which you can take on your favourite loot-run map, probably interchange or reserve. There you should just fill everything you can and extract once you're full, no matter what you have. 30 crickents and an extra gun is fine.
5.3 Stash runs Safety Score : Very Reward : Okay
Those are very very safe and can be done with a pistol and a backpack only. Very cheap, quite unchalleneged, for a moderate reward. Just go on a map that you like and run around and loot all stashes until you're full, then get out. You can vary the map/route depending on the traffic of players. Interchange and shoreline are good contenders for that.
It'll net you easy money. Not great money, but definitely safe.
5.4 Loot Runs Safety Score : Moderate Reward : Quite alright
Once you have better knowledge/skill you can start having a specific route in a specific map, depending on a specific spawn. So it'll take time to learn. Usually very similar than a hatchling run except this time you bring moderate gear and go for moderate loots. For example, instead of going for fast techlight, in-and-out interchange, you can decide "alright I'll loot 100% of Oli and the computers in the back", it'll take time, but it'll make good loot. More money than stashes, definitely will see scavs to kill, and most probably some more pvp. More risk. If you win that PvP you have even more loot as well. But overall good reward.
Loot runs need to be "scheduled" and thought of after several tries, so you know how much you can take per person depending on backpack size. For example you can't say "lets loot oli" if you have a 5-man with blackjacks, you'll all be empty. Adapt.
5.4 PvP Safety Score : Insane Reward : Unreliably moderate
This one is pretty obvious. Very risky, unpredictable rewards. Usually better than loot runs when you survive.
I won't elaborate on this, because if you're reading this far you're probably struggling in PvP. And the rest of this guide already covers a fair bit.
6. Insurance Safety Score : "Meh" Reward : Very profitable.
Now this is very, very important. Always insure your gear. Always.
If you die you will get stuff back, pretty much for free. If you're really struggling people won't loot your "trash", so you WILL get it back.
If you play in a group it's very likely that people will hide your stuff too.
And most importantly : you can insurance fraud. This is the best way
to balance the equation we talked about earlier. If you find a decent-ish gun, replace yours. You drop your initial investment by a significant margin, you will definitely get it back, and if you extract it's a flat profit. Weapons don't take inventory slot, so if you have two weapons that are not yours initially they will usually pay for your whole gear. I have quite often left my super-mega-modded HK just for an average M4 or other weapon that I can fight with, just so I can reduce my investment by 350k and up my reward by like 200k instantly. Replace your headphones all the time too, that's an easy -30+30k, same with helmets. even if it's a bit broken or slightly worse. If you're struggling with money
, try to leave every raid with at least 3-4 pars of your equipment that aren't yours initially.
But value the risk behind this. I won't leave my slick for a Paca at the third minute of a raid just to have that extra 28k. I won't leave my meta-modded HK for a naked mosin. But if it seems decent/doable, do it. It will pay off. Because even if you die, you still get your shit back, and gun is usually the most expensive part of the gear.
7. Final notes
It's all about balance. Find what works *for you* and try shit out
. Really, try. You'll die, you'll learn, you'll adapt with data to back that up
. I find it crazy that people will die and not try to learn from it. That's how you will improve as a player.
First you gotta get smarter, then you'll get better. And with time, skill, mechanics, gamesense, all that will improve on the side. Earning more will snowball in your favour. And if you know you're statistically okay, you will have a much smaller gear fear and enjoy the game more.
Sorry for the wall of text, you guys should be used to it with me by now :D I made these guides in video but not in english, so here I am typing it all for you guys.
Today, PayPal announced that they will be launching a cryptocurrency digital wallet for buying, selling and storing Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
This confirms rumors which circulated earlier this year, and it is seen as a significant milestone by many in the community.
A milestone it may be, but it will impact millions of daily users who have, until now, never considered getting into cryptocurrency. For them, PayPal will be the leading authority in a space that it has long sought to discredit.
Over 221 Billion dollars were transacted in Q2 of 2020 using Paypal. That represents a rise of 10% in volume in just six months. PayPal is growing and dominating online payments as well as other services such as credit and insurance.
It has a long-established reputation of occasionally freezing user funds and censoring payments that conflict with its outlook but the payments giant continues to hold relevance where Bitcoin should have long overtaken it. Perhaps this news marks the beginning of a transition?
Is PayPal’s announcement good news for Bitcoin? Until very recently, PayPal was anti-crypto. Writing in 2018, ex-CEO Bill Harris called Bitcoin “the greatest scam ever”, so what’s changed?
This sudden turnaround is encouraging, especially as private companies like Microstrategy and Square make grandiose announcements about their own crypto diversification.
Should the community embrace them with open arms? After all, this is the start of mass adoption we’ve all been waiting for, right?
When a household brand like PayPal starts selling Bitcoin, it’s probably not because they want to spur healthy adoption. In the press release announcing their new cryptocurrency service, PayPal sends out mixed messages.
On one hand, the service will be entirely custodial, meaning users will not have the key to their own coins, while on the other they intend to “provide account holders with educational content to help them understand the cryptocurrency ecosystem”. The idea that anyone informed about bitcoin would agree to not holding their private keys might indicate that this educational content will overlook the fundamental rule of “Not your keys; not your coins”.
If millions of newcomers are onboarded to Bitcoin by PayPal, there could be a very serious information gap that jeopardizes their experience and undermines key principles of cryptocurrency.
This statement from their FAQ is, in practical terms, false: “You own the Cryptocurrency you buy on PayPal but will not be provided with a private key.” No-one should consider money held entirely by a third party as owned by them.
Time after time, exchanges have lost user funds, often leaving them with no recourse. A benefit for some will be a promise of greater regulation, where funds can be insured and new users may feel more comfortable than dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges directly, but they will be restricted from actually utilizing their coins. The only reasons to own Bitcoin which cannot be used, would be to invest for the long term, which is incredibly reckless to do when your funds are held by a third party, or speculate on its price, which again, would be introducing the masses to financial mechanisms they do not understand.
Is PayPal positioned to be a cryptocurrency leader? As it steps into the forefront, PayPal will be closely watched by companies, institutions, and consumers. While they can boast of “digital payments expertise”, they have historically taken an aggressive stance against users who bought cryptocurrency on exchanges, citing their acceptable use policy, forbidding transactions which “involve currency exchanges or check cashing businesses”.
The fact that this clause remains in their policy suggests that they intend to limit users to use only their platform for cryptocurrency, stifling competition and preventing users from ever withdrawing their cryptocurrency to the safety of a wallet they control the keys to. That said, there is something to be said for PayPal’s statement that they will “enable cryptocurrency as a funding source for digital commerce at its 26 million merchants”. Currently, the options for cryptocurrency funding are in their infancy, and Bitcoin loans could see future growth. There is only one thing about PayPal’s announcement that long-term hodlers will be celebrating today: the pump in price. Long-term, if PayPal proceeds without consulting the community and letting their users control their own keys, it offers no value to the space.
The greatest risk is that the clout they carry in traditional electronic payments will be interpreted as expertise in crypto. This would threaten the expert advice so carefully crafted by our community, which could be drowned out by the misinformed masses that PayPal brings to the space. For now, no-one can tell how it will turn out, but there are big concerns to address before informed users will turn to PayPal.
Welcome PayPal’s initiative with open arms, but by no means look to them for leadership. At best, this announcement indicates that they may fear sinking into irrelevance.
*Do not use PayPal for Bitcoin; there are many other places to buy crypto which will let you keep ownership of your coins. *
PayPal is conceding to Bitcoin, and the many other aspirational, educational projects within the community should be highlighted to prevent newcomers from falling into a trap of trusting one of Bitcoin’s greatest long-term adversaries.
Source : https://blog.trezor.io/why-you-should-not-use-paypal-for-bitcoin-f6e2d436ca96
Is this the last decade of cash?
The corona pandemic is not helping. Belgian media is picking up the Australian news about the coronavirus found active 28 days on banknotes, without understanding that the 28 days is on the Australian polymer and paper banknotes, while Euro banknotes are made of cotton fibers on which the coronavirus gets inactive rather quick. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04-euro-banknotes-safe-coronavirus-ecb.html
You are touching so much in shops, including the pay terminals everyone is touching, that cash won't add much risk.
Until this year, I used to not care, and pay everything electronically.
But in March I became the victim of an identity theft. My bank account was frozen, my bank cards and payment app blocked. Opening new bank accounts or credit cards was impossible due to being on a blacklist.
My employer could not pay my salary in cash. For most professions this is forbidden by law since 2016.
Friends lent me cash. But I discovered cash was refused at supermarkets, shops, public transport, parkings, fuel stations, hospital, physiotherapist, online webshops, Uber, Deliveroo, etc. Sometimes because of corona anxiety, but often already from before 2020.
Prepaid cards could be a nice solution. But even while they are debit cards, in Belgium they seem to be refused where credit cards are refused, since they are Visa or Mastercards cards. These are refused in many Belgium places, since merchants don't like the higher costs. Not many prepaid cards allow charging with cash. And their availability is in recent decline: this year at least the following prepaid cards stopped or are announced to stop: Carrefour prepaid Flex card, BNP and Hello. The decline might be due to new very strict EU anti-money laundering laws. The anonymous prepaid cards (and generic gift cards) are now restricted to 100 euro maximum recharge in their lifetime and 50 euro payments.
Cryptocurrencies are also in theory a nice solution. But their acceptance in Belgium is extremely limited. Thanks to Takeaway accepting bitcoin, I could order delivery from many local snack restaurants.
But I discovered that bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies, while having an "anonymous" reputation, are actually only pseudonymous and extremely open and transparent: for every transaction the origin address, destination address, amount and timestamp are recorded for eternity in a public ledger for everyone open to consult. When I buy something, the merchant can see how many coins I have in my wallet address. Buying, spending or selling coins are activities that can get your name connected to your addresses. Developers try to solve this privacy issue, but I'm afraid the war on anonymity (related to the war on cash) will crush that before cryptocurrency payments become popular.
So, my identity theft experience has awakened me: sharing your personal details in so many places caries a lot of danger. Think about it: while the law became more strict, there are still many (online) shops and restaurants taking knowledge of your credit card number, expiry date, CCV and your name. That's still enough information to do fraudulent payments in many places.
The cashless society is a surveillance society, with every payment traced. And it creates a lot of dependencies: electricity, internet, and permission by the banking and payment system. Once you are on a blacklist, even if you did nothing wrong, but somebody pretended to be you and did fraudulent payments, you are screwed for at least months.
So, now that I'm finally off the blacklist, I opened several bank accounts. That will not help for all issues, but still: having only 1 bank is really dangerous.
And from now on I pay everything possible with cash. Not just to keep my personal details safe, but also to keep the cash usage statistics high. Did you notice that the financial sector is regulary reporting the cash withdrawals decline? They report both the total amount withdrawn and the number of withdrawals.
I learned that the bank and payment processors are fighting a war on cash and they are actively lobbying the government for a reduction of the cash payment limit to 50 euro. Yes, an insane fifty euro! The banks are lazy about cash and want to impose negative rent without risking a bankrun. No cash is no bankrun. The payment processors just love the percentage they get from every payment.
Currently the acceptance of euro banknotes and coins for debts is compulsory by European law. But many merchants violated the law and we had at least one Belgian minister ignoring the enforcement. See e.g. this article from 2019: https://www.bruzz.be/samenleving/no-cash-doet-intrede-brusselse-horeca-2019-05-10
The law has exceptions, e.g. for security reasons such as a pandemic. After the pandemic I will try to report all cash refusing merchants.
Merchants that refuse to accept cash payments can be reported at https://meldpunt.belgie.be
. But I guess it is better to wait until after the pandemic.
We need to defend the right to use cash. And a crucial action to avoid the end of cash is to keep using it as much as possible.
Every time you pay with a bank card or app, you contribute to a cashless future where:
- banks, payment processors and government have total control over your finances (see protestors in Hong Kong preferring cash payments).
- every financial transaction is monitored and logged forever.
- your financial data will be used to calculate your social credit (already happening in China, that is eager to export that concept and technology).
- every payment can be blocked (already happening with webcam sex workers).
- personae non gratae can be totally financially blocked.
- tourists have a hard time paying. E.g. in China, most payments, including toilets, need to be done with the WeChat app, but without Chinese bankaccount it's hard to enable WeChat payments.
- you are in trouble when electricity, networks or payment systems go down.
- banks can easily charge negative rent because you can't withdraw your money.
- when banks or governments are in need of money, they easily take a percentage of your money (like they did in Cyprus with the bank deposits above 100000 euro, and as they initially wanted to do under 100000 euro too).
- people spend more, up to the level financial mismanagement, because cashless payments disconnect the pleasure of buying from the pain of paying. Studies show that psychological effect already. See e.g. "consumers are more likely to buy unhealthy food products when they pay by credit card than when they pay in cash." in https://academic.oup.com/jcarticle-abstract/38/1/126/1798815
- homeless people and charities are less able to get donations. Experiments and data are showing the effect already now people are carrying less cash.
- Some economic and socio-political implications, such as "Eliminating cash may decrease the (observed) GDP", are discussed in https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176268019301843
Use cash or lose it!
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