I’ve been interested in Bitcoins for quite some time now. Even before the Mt. Gox fiasco and even before the value of a Bitcoin passed the $100 mark. If only I had jumped in back in those days, I’d be rich. But in the end that doesn’t matter. My interest in Bitcoin is not only for the money, but also for the practicality. Ever since I emigrated to Turkey the need for me to jump into Bitcoin got bigger.
Every month I got my salary and every time I use my Dutch debit card to get Turkish money from the ATM I need to pay a 4% transaction fee. In the end that transaction fee is bull shit of course, but there’s nobody actually doing anything with my money, it’s all automatized. Nonetheless, if I need to pay 4% over every amount I get from an ATM, you know we are talking quite some money here.
Every month I’d go to the ATM three times and sometimes more, just to get some cash on my hands. So let’s say for this example, I’d get three times 300 USD. This would mean that with every transaction I would pay 9 USD, times three makes 27 USD per month. On a yearly basis we are talking about 324 USD!
With Bitcoin I would need to pay twice. The first time one dollar to the exchange to switch my EUR into BTC and the second time to switch my BTC into Turkish Lira (TL), which costs approximately 1.7 dollar at BTC Türk. And let’s say I am stupid and I do this three times per month as well, that would make the monthly costs 8.4 USD. That’s 31,1% of the amount that banks charge me for the same transaction.
Sure, you might think a bank is safer, but in the end it’s not. Just like our paper money and coins we have set a value to that piece of paper. One piece of paper is worth $10 and the other $50. In the same way we agree – thanks to the never to be understood exchange market – that 3.00 TL is approximately 1.00 USD. It’s a value we all agree on.
With Bitcoin it’s nothing different, but the value is actually determined but the way the market is using it. The value of Bitcoin rises when demand is high and drops when people are selling a lot to the exchange. However, the more people will be using BTC, the more value it will get. And every transaction is not authorized by the bank or a governing institute, but by your peers. It’s all computerized, automated, and build with the power of the computer.
I’ve bought my Bitcoins at BTC Direct. They have a nice guide to get you started. And at BTC Türk I exchange my BTC for TL. If you want to help me out, writing this blog, you can leave a donation in my BTC Wallet!
I will be writing more about my BTC observations in the coming weeks / months.