Here at Purse, we sell items for Bitcoin, pay employees in Bitcoin, and pay earners in Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the primary currency of our marketplace, and as a result, we have gained deep insight into how it affects the daily life of those around the world. As we previously covered, the usage of Bitcoin in developing countries is prominent, as it is a good exit from any unfavorable societal system. After talking to many of our Shoppers and Earners, we had two fascinating stories pop out.
Story 1: Y.G
We spoke to Y.G, a long-time Purse Earner who has completed 125 orders and received an abundant amount of Bitcoin as a result. He is an avid developer currently at university and contributes to open-source projects. So we were wondering what made him want to earn Bitcoin. Here is his story.
During the Pandemic, Y.G wanted to kill some time and earn some money while doing it. What better way for a developer to do this than join hackathons? He and his teammates wasted no time and had won many Hackathons organized by well-known companies and universities throughout the US, Canada, and the UK, often earning Amazon gift cards as a prize. However, his team was based in India, and the task of sending these gift cards faced many regulatory challenges. The most frustrating thing for Y.G was the 73% customs fee for importing under a personal name. He looked through the web to find ways to liquidate peer-to-peer but was often met with scammers. Upon almost losing hope, he finally stumbled upon Purse.io and earned his first bitcoins safely.
He mentions that he now will “tell those who are initially hesitant to participate in hackathons as they cannot even liquidate their prizes. “I boldly tell them to participate and come out with flying colors, as Purse will happily convert your deserved money with far fewer fees and safety.”
Upon diving deeper into the problems for Indian citizens, Y.G mentioned that the banking and financial system in India is very rigid and makes it undesirable for young people to become banked and begin investing. In addition, many fintech services do not even operate in India. All of these restrictions are in place because of the Indian government’s problem with money laundering, and they are putting all of their efforts into controlling the flow of money in and out of the country.
For example, Paypal was forced to suspend personal payments to and from India and transfers to local banks in India. This came after the RBI asked the company to comply with Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. This meant that only Indian merchants could use the platform. It was simply impossible if you were a casual user just trying to send and receive small amounts.
Another regulatory hurdle for P2P payment companies is that the Indian rupee is not a freely convertible instrument, i.e., no one can buy or sell the Indian rupee or convert it into other currencies without regulations. Moreover, the foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 3(a) and (b) prohibits any payment “to or for the credit of any person resident outside India in any manner.” Therefore, a setting-off arrangement for a foreign currency liability would need to be analyzed to determine if it is permitted. This strict regulation bars many companies from entering India, especially fintech and remittance payment platforms.
Y.G does not even have a bank account as a university student. His primary source of income has come from Amazon gift cards which he liquidates through Purse. This allowed him to buy a high-performance Mac laptop finally, considered a luxury good in India. When asked about the future of Bitcoin within India, Y.G mentioned that higher levels of adoption are inevitable. He says that “banks and legislators must adapt to cryptocurrency innovations. Otherwise, they will be left behind.”
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Story 2: Steven Bentley
Meet Steven, an Earner at Purse. Steven is a very creative and entrepreneurial individual who values freedom at all costs. He has been earning actively on Purse over the last eight years, making six figures off this alone.
His exciting life has seen him move throughout many countries. First, he moved from England to Germany and finally settled in Switzerland (for now). He works within the Alchemist Accelerator in business development for an airspace industry start-up. He is also currently working to create his own token while making an effort to make consistent progress at the gym.
He juggles all of these activities while plebbing away in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Steven will attend Bitcoin Amsterdam and the next Foresight Institute meet-up. So say hello if you see him there!
Here is his Bitcoin story:
In Germany 2020–21, he lived solely off Bitcoin due to becoming unbanked.
Steven previously used a Monzo and Tansferwise account; however, they both became locked because of his cryptocurrency usage. So while Barclays and other major banks in the UK accepted crypto and could’ve moved, he saw this more as an opportunity to challenge himself to live off Bitcoin.
Steven did university research programs at Stanford and used Purse to liquidate tax-free compensation via Amazon gift cards. He said the highest grossing month was USD 60k.
How did a man traveling in Europe live off a currency that is not recognized as legal tender… anywhere? He got creative.
First and foremost, he needed a place to stay. The leading platforms he used were Travala and Airbnb. Luckily, Travala accepts Bitcoin natively. However, Airbnb does not. Interestingly, Airbnb still worked out well for Steven, as he would speak directly to house owners about accepting Bitcoin. Many of the people he would communicate with were open to the idea, as Steven targeted more entrepreneurial and tech-savvy hosts. He had also mentioned that you could negotiate with Airbnb hosts to do their yard work for them in exchange for a smaller price. They can be very flexible. Along with these modes of living, he also stayed at hostels by convincing others to pay in Bitcoin.
This notion of introducing the idea of paying in Bitcoin was commonplace in Steven’s journey on the Bitcoin standard. He often had to do this to buy food, stating, “all I have is Bitcoin. Can I purchase (x)?” Surprisingly, he got by a lot of the time, and when he couldn’t, however, he would go to a Bitcoin ATM to cash out. He mentions that this is a tremendous non-KYC method of cashing out Bitcoin.
Steven was eager to share his bullish outlook when asked about the future of Bitcoin. Interestingly enough, he believes that Bitcoin can bring a lot of women into crypto due to its freedom properties. He believes the coin will eventually be 10x and is looking forward to the day it is widely adopted.
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Written by: Robert Raichici