By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch
I was getting eaten alive by fees.
Every time I needed money, I paid around 8% in transfer fees. It was insane. But I was out of options.
A few weeks ago, I lost my wallet while traveling in Istanbul, Turkey.
Unfortunately, it had my debit and credit cards in it. All I had was a little cash to my name.
To make matters worse, I had a flight to Budapest, Hungary the next day. Luckily, I had enough cash to last me a few days. So I flew out of Turkey.
• When I made it to Budapest, my first order of business was to sort out this situation…
At first, I thought about transferring money to myself using Western Union, the world’s largest money transfer service. But a Western Union bank transfer takes four business days.
I couldn’t wait that long… So I had my parents send me money. (Thanks, Dad.)
They paid with a card, and I was able to pick up my money from a nearby Western Union within minutes. It was an absolute lifesaver.
Still, I wish I didn’t have to fall back on Western Union. I say this for a few reasons.
• Number one, Western Union isn’t cheap…
If you use a card like my parents did, you’ll pay a steep fee.
For instance, it costs about $42 to send $500 from the United States to Hungary.
That’s insane. We’re talking about 8% for a simple transfer. It’s not like any cash physically changed locations, either. The money was moved digitally.
Still, this isn’t entirely Western Union’s fault. A typical Visa transaction involves four parties: the merchant, the institution that enables the transaction, the card issuer, and the cardholder.
All of those layers add costs, making transferring money abroad expensive.
• Unfortunately, my Western Union experience wasn’t just expensive…
It was also incredibly inefficient.
And I’m not just saying this based off one experience. I performed several transfers while waiting for my debit card to show up in Europe.
And since I was traveling around so much, I did this in a few different countries.
Each experience was unique. The forms I had to fill out were always different.
Because of this, picking up cash at a Western Union always takes longer than it should. One time, it took more than 15 minutes to complete the transaction.
Of course, I’m not telling you this so you’ll feel sorry for me.
I’m telling you this because this experience opened my eyes to just how expensive and difficult it can be to move money from one place to another.
The good news is that those days should soon come to an end. I say this because we’re in the early stages of a monetary revolution.
• I’m talking about cryptocurrencies…
In short, cryptocurrencies are digital currencies built on blockchain technology.
I know that sounds very technical. So let me explain…
The blockchain is a public ledger that tracks and verifies all transactions. This prevents counterfeiting.
It also eliminates the middlemen. This means you can transfer money without passing through several intermediaries.
This is why many smart people believe the blockchain will make it much cheaper, faster, and safer to transfer money around the world.
This is already true to some extent. I’ve personally sent and received bitcoin at little to no cost.
Of course, most people haven’t transferred money over the blockchain. But that could soon change…
• Western Union is looking to integrate the blockchain into its business…
Specifically, it’s testing Ripple (XRP). XRP is the world’s third most valuable crypto, after bitcoin and ether.
Western Union started these trials back in January. But surprisingly, as of June, it hadn’t found Ripple to be cheaper than its current methods.
But there’s a reason for this.
Western Union hasn’t tested Ripple at scale. As of June, it had only done about 10 transfers.
At greater volumes, it would likely see more savings. Viamericas and Mercury FX, two other transfer services, saw costs reduced by 40–70% when they tested Ripple.
• You should also know that MoneyGram is testing Ripple as well…
MoneyGram is a direct competitor of Western Union.
Then, there’s the PNC Financial Services Group. It recently agreed to use Ripple’s blockchain technology for its international payments.
The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is exploring the use of blockchain technology to speed up its international payments as well. The same is true for Mastercard.
Unfortunately, I don’t know which crypto or cryptos these companies will build on top of. It could be Ripple. Or it could be one of the thousands of other cryptos out there.
But I can say this: The fact that Western Union, MoneyGram, Alibaba, and Mastercard are all looking seriously at blockchain tells us this technology isn’t a fad. It’s here to stay.
• And that’s extremely bullish for cryptos…
Consider speculating on this emerging asset class if you haven’t yet. Just remember that cryptos are extremely volatile.
So only bet money that you can afford to lose. Don’t chase high-flying cryptos or panic-sell on down days. And perhaps most importantly, have a long-term time horizon.
Also, if you plan to speculate, consider starting with bitcoin. It’s the most established and widely used crypto in the world. And it could deliver monster gains in the coming years.
September 27, 2018
P.S. If you want specific plays to profit from this up-and-coming space, look no further than our very own Marco Wutzer, editor of Disruptive Profits. Marco has been involved with digital currencies since the late 1990s—long before the current blockchain breakthrough. He made so much money from his early contrarian investments in digital currencies that he dropped everything and traveled the world… while heading a group of top crypto developers and investors.
And he just released an urgent presentation with details on what could end up being the biggest discovery of his career.
As you’ll see, as early as October 1, a new coin could emerge as a clear favorite in the market—one you most likely haven’t heard of before. And investors who get in TODAY can turn a small stake into as much as $205,000. Click here to get all the details.
P.P.S. And keep your eyes peeled tomorrow morning for a special edition of the Dispatch. It’s an exclusive interview with Doug Casey, Nick Giambruno, and Marco with more on the big opportunity in cryptos today.
And Don’t Forget, You Can Meet Marco Next Month in Bermuda…
You’re invited to attend our Legacy Investment Summit at the beautiful Fairmont Southampton Hotel in Bermuda. This is a world-class destination. And you’ll have the opportunity to meet Marco, Doug, and all of your favorite Casey gurus in what’s sure to be the most action-packed event we’ve ever held.
Keep in mind, spaces are filling up quick, and we’re taking down this offer this Sunday at midnight. We hope you can join us. Click here to learn more.
Today, a reader responds to Doug’s recent interview on the U.S. economy…
I wish Doug would do more of these kinds of updates. I believe your subscribers would appreciate more frequent insights from Doug about the current state of the economy.
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