Credit card companies have been skimming profits from millions of merchants like me and you for too long. Recently my barber declared that he had had enough. He posted notices all over his shop stating “Starting November 1st credit cards will no longer be accepted.” This was back in September so everybody had ample notice that they would have to bring cash for their next cut. He proceeded to explain to me how he pays over $1,000 per month in credit card fees. He also understood that a lot of folks, particularly the younger crowd, don’t carry cash. But to that problem he had an answer – he was installing an ATM machine.
I’m no fan of ATM machines – particularly ones that aren’t owned by my own bank – Wells Fargo. This past summer I drove through the central plains on the way up to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I had always thought of Wells as one of the big national banks – but there were no ATMs to be found! Eventually I succumbed to the fact that my wallet was getting awfully thin (thanks to all of the tolls around Chicago) and I’d have to pay the dreaded FEES! Not only did the Murphy gas station ATM skim a couple of bucks off of my transaction, when I returned home I learned that Wells Fargo had also charged me $3 for using an “out of network” ATM. Talk about adding insult to injury!
After my cut was complete I left that barber shop determined to find a new way. I knew there was a lot of buzz about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but I didn’t know a lot about it. What I have learned since them – and continue to learn – is that we are about to see a major shift in many sectors of commerce thanks to a new disruptive technology called blockchain.
I’m not going to go into details here about how the blockchain works, but the important thing to understand is that it can enable safe, low-cost peer to peer transactions such as in making payments, renting vacation housing, ridesharing and even purchasing goods – all without expensive middlemen such as Visa/Mastercard, HomeAway/VRBO/AirBnB, Uber and Amazon.
Yes, I said it – even Amazon, the behemoth of retail – will be disrupted as unhappy sellers tired of paying huge fees will move off-platform to new free and open decentralized platforms such as OpenBazaar and Origin Protocol (they’re not quite ready for the big-time).
The common denominator is that the blockchain enables safe peer-to-peer commerce which eliminates the need for the centralized services such as those mentioned above. Not only can the blockchain enable payments, but also “smart contracts” such as agreements required for renting a car or a vacation home or anything else.
However the focus of this website will be to assist and enable you, the merchant, to accept safe, stable digital currencies from your customers, transfer those funds to fiat currency (US Dollars here in the USA) and deposit it in the bank – all at the lowest possible cost. As of this writing almost all of the parts are in place to make that happen. We expect that to happen soon.