The Great (test) bank/crypto Race

in crypto •  5 months ago


Living and working in Europe, I have still kept accounts in Australia open as I still sometimes work there, and of course family is also still there. So it is handy to have an Australia account and credit card for the times that visit the motherland.

Most of the time, I have no need to shuttle money from AUD to EUR or vice versa. It pretty much is a closed system, our life and work is primarily in Europe, and so we use our European accounts pretty much exclusively. Likewise, we only use our Australian accounts when we are in Australia (maybe at best, once a year if we are lucky!), and otherwise they remain dormant.

However, in the near future, I might need to move some money from Australia to Europe, and I was keen to test out the advantages and disadvantages of moving the money via crypto versus moving the money via the international banking system. So, to test this, I moved 100 AUD to see how feasible it was (and to test the crypto side of international transfers) and to see if there were any added advantages to the crypto method of moving money from Australia to Europe.

The Race

Banking system

Well, this was a pretty straight-forward international transfer at the bank market rates for the AUD/EUR pair. There was of course a small fee at the sending end, but happily no receiving end fee. The process took the usual couple of days via the SWIFT system and was completely hassle free (although it was a well known and well trodden path).

From the 100 AUD deposit, I managed an exit of 61.94 EURO. There was a 6 AUD fee at the sending end, and I was subject to the bank's interpretation of the AUD/EUR market rate.

Crypto system

The exchanges that I used were CoinJar (on the sending side in Australia) and BitStamp (on the exiting end in Europe). The crypto that I used for the sending was LTC (LiteCoin), which I chose due to it's relative stability and low transaction fee, although in the future, if I was sending larger amounts I might choose a basket of currencies to hedge against price fluctuations. The LTC was converted immediately at market rate to EUR, to avoid any sudden price fluctuations, however, in the future, if I had time I might consider putting in orders for a more favourable exchange rate.

In the end, the money was received at the EUR bank end at pretty much the same time. This was due completely to the bottlenecks at the two exchanges going from bank-exchange and then out again exchange-bank. The LTC transfer was comparatively instant (~15 minutes)

From the 100 AUD deposit, I exited with 61.81 EUR. There was a tiny conversion fee (AUD-LTC), a negligible transaction fee (LTC) and a 0.90 EUR exiting fee from Bitstamp.


In the end (for the small amount of money, 100 AUD), it was pretty much a dead heat. The banking system is more developed and mature, so there was some comfort to be had in the safety of that. However, it was all in the hand's of the bank at what market rate I would get for the transfer.

Going the crypto route was interesting, but was hobbled by the banking-exchange connection in time. If I was going to keep it in crypto (so, if I was buying things in crypto rather than in fiat), then it would be the superior route hands down, however, we are not yet at that point for the larger economy. There is also some risk in going via a third currency, in that the AUD-crypto-EUR rate is not necessarily linked to the AUD-EUR rate, and this could be either in my favour or against me depending on the day.

The biggest advantage of the banking system at the moment is the relative safety that is built in. You know what you are getting when you start. The crypto system has it's advantages in the potential lower fees and speed (if you stay in crypto), and also a potential for a higher rate if you are prepared with time.

It was an interesting thing to do, and I think for a larger amount it might be worth going the crypto route, especially if I have a few weeks to hold it and wait for a better rate... and I do think that within the month, I will likely test this idea. I will run half via the banking system and half via crypto to see how it performs. I will also keep better track of the fees and all the little details, to get a clearer understanding.

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Thank you for sharing your experience exchanging different currencies via crypto and standard banking system. It was a good, informative, reading for me, being new in the world of cryptocurrency, I'm still learning about the pros and cons of it all.....


You are in the less than one percent of people r that have a crypto stake just by being in the Steemit ecosystem! Stay tuned, I will write more about it, I forget that not everyone on Steemit is a crypto nerd!


I will... Thanks again ! :-)

Well although crypto are much faster there is this lack of trust while transferring these transactions and we need just a little more effort for crypto to be used in mainstream finance.


If you mean lack of trust between the sender and receiving parties, yes there is still some way to go with that. But that is mostly to do with the unfamiliar nature of the system. And the lack of central authority to guarantee security.

I am a newbie here, i have read your post, now following you and hope you will support me too

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We just closed our German account recently as we wont be moving out of Canada ever again (altho never say never right). But doesnt bank cut some rates even when your account is dormant btw?


Did you mean, the bank charges fees even if the account is dormant? Yes, they do, but it is relatively small and for the use that we get out of it it is worth it. Mostly due to the ease of transfer and cash access when we are visiting Australia or between family members...

This was a really cool idea and i like how u explained everything really well.. thanks for sharing ;)


No problem, thanks for reading! I hope the larger transfer will be more informative!

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I'm totally confused by money transfers--crypto, fiat. However, I think learning how to negotiate this monetary universe is an essential survival skill, and will be so increasingly. Those of us who do not understand will become victims of those who do. I admire your ability to bend currency tools to your needs.


Ha ha, you are on Steemit so you are already way ahead of the curve! On the other hand, I have a few years head start... I wish it was more but I got distracted by the birth of our first child!

using crypto makes all these inter state transfers very convienient for me.

That was one interesting experiment to do brother. And, and helpful one to basically all of us. There is always a dilemma to go for a more convenient way or the most profitable way.

I guess it depends on the situation you are in. If you need money transferred in a hurry and can't wait to go with banking way, and if you can wait for better price exchanges do the crypto way.

Either way, thank you for giving us this info. I am sure it will be helpful to many people.

Have a great day, my friend. :)


Thanks, I started the larger experiment today. And I have to say, the advantages still lie with the banking system. The fiat-crypto exchanges are proving to be the biggest bottleneck... And quite annoying!

It hasn't been a problem in the past as I wasn't time constrained, but this time it is frustrating...


Well, let's look at it this way?

Compared to the banking systems which has been in place for a long long time and have been ripping people off for a long long time the crypto is still in BETA. It is a very young new system which still has it disadvantages. But, it literally has the potential to change the world. It already actually is for many countries. :)

We all just need to be little more patient so these little frustrating things work themselves out in the future. :)


Oh I definitely agree, the banking system is much more mature. So it does hold a lot of the cards at the moment.

Plus it has the added advantage that fiat is the widely accepted currency. If my builder could take crypto, then it would be much easier and faster as I wouldn't need any fiat on and off ramps!

I think (hope) that crypto is the future, but it has a way to go. Beta is a great way to describe it, it is certainly much improved from when I first started.

I was just hanging my head about an unexpected 1 week bottleneck at one of the fiat exchanges. And 1week is an eternity in crypto. Oh well, if I'm lucky, I might profit from it...

Investing in crypto is very beneficial because it support us financially especially
when you desperately need to buy something and you don't have physical money
on you. Crypto then becomes the alternative. @bengy


Yes, unfortunately the problem is still the question of whether the receiving party will accept it!


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