How BTC makes my life easier in China and why I think it might really catch on with the other 21M foreigners who come here every year (self.Bitcoin)
2 uur geleden geplaatst* door robertsieg
Hey r/bitcoin, I just thought I’d chime in from China (I live in Ningbo). A little perspective first, this is not a technical article and I am not an economist or academic. I’m just a white dude living and working in China. But I think BTC changes lives on an individual level, so I’d like to just give you my thoughts from my perspective from my life, nothing else. A lot of what I am writing about it anecdotal and non-scientific evidence. I am just assuming many other foreigners share the same problems as me.
That said, here’s how BTC makes my life easier in China and why I think it might really catch on with the other 21M foreigners who come here every year, 1M of whom live here permanently as I do:
Ease of transferring funds to and from native bank accounts to Chinese bank accounts. This is at the top of the list because it is the biggest pain in the ass about living here and also the problem BTC solves most easily. Most foreigners have an alternate income in their native country or at least have people sending funds to their native bank accounts, and we all need to transfer some of that money to China (or back to our home countries) so we can use it. We know all too well the ass raping Western Union gleefully gives us every time we transfer funds from bank to bank. I remember the first time I used my BTC China account to send ?0.02 to my Coinbase account in the US for a couple cents, I nearly shit my pants. Then I sent ?3.0 from my Coinbase account to my BTC China account for the same fee and I literally shit my pants. This is going to change my life. tl;dr Location just became irrelevent for my savings accounts, and remittances are now easy and cheap
Ease of purchasing goods within China (not yet, but hopefully soon). As you know, there was a somewhat friendly attitude towards BTC from giant retailers and services in China such as Baidu, China Mobile, Unicom, and Taobao late last year. Then in December they all stopped for uncertainty about the central bank’s stance on BTC. We saw BTC China stop trading for a little while but it started back up again in January. I think the same pattern may follow with retailers and services (don’t take my word for it, it’s just my opinion) when they realize Beijing’s stance isn’t quite as harsh as we all thought it was. In any case, purchasing with RMB is a little bit of a hassle because many online merchants require Chinese IDs. I think BTC can get around that and give merchants confidence in doing business with foreigners. You don’t have to trust our IDs, you just have to trust the blockchain. tl;dr I’m not sure, but I think it’s possible we will see major Chinese retailers accept BTC for payments again. If so, this makes buying stuff way easier as a foreigner.
Compared to banking in China as a foreigner, BTC is a cake walk. To the naysayers who say BTC is too complicated, I say, try banking in China. To simply set up an account it took me over a week with several of my Chinese coworkers helping every step of the way. Then there’s every day stuff I need to do with my bank like paying rent, paying bills, depositing funds, etc. And most of the interfaces are in Chinese. If you are lucky, you can find English speaking bank tellers, but not always. I speak some Chinese, and it’s still quite difficult to do what I want with my RMB. China is slowly opening up and becoming more English friendly, but not fast enough. BTC is a simple, international currency language that everyone can learn and understand. tl;dr Red tape and language difficulties make banking a bitch here. BTC can simplify 90% of this.
Ease of purchasing goods from other Asian countries and around the world. Most expats here do not strictly spend only RMB in China alone. We shop in foreign markets, we vacation in South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, etc. we have other expat friends in other Asian countries. It is possible to convert RMB into other currencies, but there are fees, hassles, etc. I recently sent my friend in Vietnam some BTC so he could send me some coffee beans up here (Vietnam has the best coffee in the world, take my word for it), and it was the most magical experience ever. No converting to VND, only a two cent fee, instant, across national borders… absolutely insane. My friend instantly became a BTC believer after that. I am also purchasing electronics from TigerDirect.com to ship to my family in the USA. Previously this was extremely difficult. Obviously there’s a lot of Asian countries that aren’t set up for BTC yet and a lot of vendors aren’t ready to accept it, but I think most Asian merchants wise up to tech trends rather quickly. tl;dr people living in Asia don’t just buy stuff from where they live, they buy from all over the region. My disposable income in yuan/China is now disposable income in many other currencies/places. Hello global shopping.