I have a thing for good maths. :)
In all seriousness, the internet is a cesspool of shit. Blockchain technology doesn’t solve all the problems, but the problems it does solve are large.
One of the biggest problem with the internet is that there are too many gatekeepers. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is mostly impossible for an average Joe to start an online business today and grow it into anything of consequence because the second he produces any kind of success, one or more of the MANY gatekeepers he must rely on to do business will notice and start siphoning off that value for themselves.
Remember when Facebook encouraged businesses to spend ad dollars assembling page followers? The explicit promise was that businesses would spend money to build the list, but could market to that list over time organically. Then when the lists were built and Facebook’s revenue started tapering off, Facebook changed the policy. Posts stopped reaching 100% of page followers. Today like 0% of page posts reach followers. You need to pay if you want anyone to know you exist.
That is just one example. I can pull examples from Google, Twitter, Apple, Uber, and on and on forever. The point here isn’t to abuse these companies. They are a byproduct of a shit culture that materialized long before they were incorporated.
The one company I do want to pick on here, however, is PayPal because they represent the core problem that Litecoin solves for everyone online.
I should disclose that I have a long and stories history with PayPal. Many dollars have changed hands over many years, but at this point we no longer do business together. The why is philosophical; they are a mostly unregulated gatekeeper of internet payments. I have no actual proof that they have exploited their role in facilitating online commerce, but I have enough personal experience to know I do not trust them.
And why should they be trusted? Because Elon Musk and a bunch of his friends figured out how to sign an exclusive contract with Visa and Mastercard? It certainly has nothing to do with their superior product offering. The fees are higher then anywhere in the brick and mortar world. The security is… “well you just send everyone to a page we control and we will keep it secure for you.” Which was fine, until they started marketing to the people they were sent. Last I looked it is no longer possible to send a payment without a PayPal account, and zero percent of the people they were sent in the last year of our relationship bought anything, or even came back to my sites.
For awhile it was possible to verify that the system worked as intended with test payments via prepaid gift cards. Shortly after it was discovered that those payments stopped working properly I dropped PayPal in search of alternatives.
Some time ago I rewrote my entire payments engine to interface with the Stripe API. That worked great for awhile too. However, they recently started marketing to my clients with a “Open a Stripe account with one click” promo on the “secure” payments page, which I cannot seem to remove. Presumably, having invested hundreds of hours into developing custom code to interface with them, I am sufficiently locked into their system for the abuse to start?
In any event, it is all the same dumb shit. Some douche bag and his team sign a deal with the credit card companies, build a platform that promises to do the job as business owners expect, then change the End User License Agreement when they reach sufficient scale. Everyone they service dies, and since they managed to accumulate all the data on those companies products and customers, they have a new asset that can be sold or exploited for internal purposes.
Which brings up another important point. Every time a credit card is used, online or off, there is a record stored at the merchant, at your bank, with the payment network provider (Visa, MC, etc), the merchant services provider (PayPal, Stripe, etc) and a whole ARMY of regulators, marketers, and other service providers can access this information pretty much whenever they please.
In short, every transaction you do is monitored and analyzed. You have absolutely zero choice or say in the matter.
Crypto changes the game because it eliminates ALL the gatekeepers in traditional online payments. Tokens like Bitcoin and Litecoin are direct peer-to-peer value transfer systems. From you, through the encrypted network, to the merchant with zero checks, zero opportunity for fraud, and zero gatekeeper bullshit.
I have serious doubts about the integrity of the online credit card processing system, but I am quite sure I get my Litecoin payments EVERY TIME.
What I think confuses the proletariat about the crypto revolution is that different tokens serve different purposes. It seems that most people are buying tokens because they are new, cheaply priced, and have the potential for large capital gains. This misses the point. Bitcoin will likely experience massive capital gains into the future because of the role it has evolved to play.
The Eth tokens on the Etherium network, for example, are unlikely to replace Bitcoin in its role because Eth is not a currency. Eth is a commodity that is burned to facilitate smart contract transfers on the Etherium network. Furthermore, the value of the commodity is subject to the whim of an authoritative body in the form of Vitalik Buterin and his administrative staff. Not a criticism mind you. It just is, and those who fail to appreciate that fact will likely get burned at some point down the road.
Litecoin is unique in the crypto market for a host of reasons, but one important feature is that it was designed to be a transaction currency. To see what I mean, let us compare transaction costs on a hypothetical $100 USD transfer from an individual to a merchant using a Visa Card through Stripe, Bitcoin, Etherium and Litecoin.
Visa Card Payment Through Stripe
Product Price: $100
Network Fee: $2.90
Stripe Fee: $0.30
Net to Merchant: $96.80
Product Price: $100
Bitcoin Network Fee: $0.67
Net to Merchant: $99.33
Product Price: $100
Eth Network Fee: $30.92
Net to Merchant: $69.08
Product Price: $100
Litecoin Network Fee: $0.0025
Net to Merchant: $99.9975
The above should make clear why we prefer to use Litecoin when transferring value from one party to another.
The problem with Crypto today is that there are still too few merchants accepting tokens. Litecoin has the broadest acceptance of any token save Bitcoin, but it is still rare to find places to spend the stuff. For practical usage in the real world it is currently necessary to convert the crypto tokens to and from one’s native regional currency. Coinbase, for example, charges about 0.5% to convert Litecoin to US dollars. It also changes 0.5% to buy the Litecoin to send. Net net it is still cheaper then the traditional Visa network via Stripe, but it would be better if those conversions were unnecessary. I fervently believe this issue will resolve itself in time, and am more than happy to accumulate as many of these assets as I can reasonably afford in the interim.
We recently added the Litecoin donation option here on the forum and encourage all of you to use this superior transaction solution whenever possible.
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