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Author Topic: My Friend wants to accept Bitcoins for staying in his hostel - how?  (Read 2383 times)
timmo11
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June 06, 2011, 06:57:14 AM
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Hi

A friend of mine runs a backpacker hostel here in Kings Cross. PayPal has refused to allow them to open an account because the hostel is run as a trust not a company (go ask PayPal why not...)

He asked me what to do and I said  "I've got an idea..."

Explained BitCoin to him, he found it complicated but then left me with a simple question which I can't really answer:

"So how do I take the money out into Australian Dollars?"

I've looked at Mt Gox, it seems pretty convoluted to me to get the money out to anywhere much except a bank account in Europe and they dock you 2% for that.

Could someone nice step me through the process of converting Bitcoins accepted in return for goods and services into a bank account - preferably in Australia but a US one at a pinch I guess.


Are we still expecting too much that Bitcoins be freely convertible into and out of cash?


Tim
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The Bitcoin network protocol was designed to be extremely flexible. It can be used to create timed transactions, escrow transactions, multi-signature transactions, etc. The current features of the client only hint at what will be possible in the future.
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June 06, 2011, 09:33:18 AM
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So you sell you coins on Mt. Gox. Then from Mt. Gox you send your cash to Dwolla. From Dwolla you just put it in your bank. So the total cost is $0.25 and this is for converting any amount of funds. (Note this is for US dollars)

 
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June 06, 2011, 09:47:38 AM
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Dwolla won't help you. There are solutions for Aus though. Let me look for a minute.

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June 06, 2011, 09:58:06 AM
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http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12183.0
http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=7312.0

Hopefully that will get you on the right track. Certainly there are people in Aus who want coins, you might even command a premium, but there may be logistics to work out. It doesn't seem as simple as US is right now.

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June 06, 2011, 11:16:05 AM
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wow, i would love to see this!

whats happening with those point-of-sale efforts anyway? would be awesome to make little 'kits' for hostels and things like this, 'bitcoin accepted here' with a QR code for the download or something
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June 06, 2011, 11:49:40 AM
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Your friend has an advantage in that he runs an actual brick and mortar business.

He could probably make a tidy sum by accepting payment in Bitcoin then advertising that he will exchange Bitcoin for AUS.
Local Bitcoin enthusiasts would probably flock to his door to buy Bitcoin face to face.
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June 06, 2011, 01:53:46 PM
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Your friend has an advantage in that he runs an actual brick and mortar business.

He could probably make a tidy sum by accepting payment in Bitcoin then advertising that he will exchange Bitcoin for AUS.
Local Bitcoin enthusiasts would probably flock to his door to buy Bitcoin face to face.


And within a month he will close his hostel and open a brand new BTC to AUS exchange instead. Grin
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June 06, 2011, 02:47:33 PM
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Your friend has an advantage in that he runs an actual brick and mortar business.

He could probably make a tidy sum by accepting payment in Bitcoin then advertising that he will exchange Bitcoin for AUS.
Local Bitcoin enthusiasts would probably flock to his door to buy Bitcoin face to face.

Great idea!
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June 06, 2011, 03:18:39 PM
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HALLELUJAH!!

FINALLY someone wants to offer a hostel that'll take bitcoins.  Been waiting forever for this.  I've stayed in King's Cross before, perhaps that very hostel.  In any event, next time I'm in Oz, I'll check it out.
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June 06, 2011, 08:43:05 PM
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Indeed, there are plenty of people in Sydney who want Bitcoins, so I don't think "cashing" them out will be a problem. It's accepting them that will be the problem.

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June 06, 2011, 08:50:23 PM
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"So how do I take the money out into Australian Dollars?"


With a brick&mortar business, he could accept bitcoin at the current exchange rate, and simply offer to trade those bitcoins for AUS money at the counter at whatever rate that he wanted to.  He could even put up a little website with the going rate, say 1% over the market price.  For those bitcoiners who live within travel distances, many would gladly pay the premium for an in person exchange.  It makes people feel better.

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June 06, 2011, 09:08:09 PM
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Considering the expenses still involved in getting money to exchanges, 1% seems low for cash trades.

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timmo11
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June 07, 2011, 01:38:39 AM
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http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12183.0
http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=7312.0

Hopefully that will get you on the right track. Certainly there are people in Aus who want coins, you might even command a premium, but there may be logistics to work out. It doesn't seem as simple as US is right now.

Thanks so much for that. It looks like the market is becoming more liquid in Australia so that will help me convince him that BTC will be worth him trying.

This is the proposal I will put to him - what do you think?

It will be done a trial basis at first until he is convinced he can "get his money back".
He will accept a maximum of USD $100 worth of bitcoins per day - presently 6 BTC or so per day.
The will be no commissions on accepting bitcoins during this trial period
The rate you will get is the Mt Gox rate * the gx.com AUD/USD midrate
It wont be automated on the website in the trial period - you email him for a quote which will be valid till close of business in Sydney.
You can make a part payment so long as it is over 50% - with the rest to be paid in AUD cash on arrival.
For the time being, bitcoins will not be accepted as payment if you are already at the hostel in person.
He will sell bitcoins for cash at the front counter after 11am - before then it is too busy.
Buyers might like to contact him first to make sure he has some to sell or risk a wasted trip.
There will be a 2.5% commission on bitcoins for cash sales.

If all this goes well it will start to be integrated on the hostel website.

I will see what he thinks of this. If he agrees it will be in place very soon, and you can add another real business to the bitcoins list.

It will be a particularly pertinent addition because it is a wholly legitimate family owned business which was turned down by PayPal because they were not incorporated.
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June 07, 2011, 02:00:02 AM
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How about offering free WiFi near the reception and letting people pay as they arrive?

(I dont always get new reply notifications, pls send a pm when you think it has happened)

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timmo11
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June 07, 2011, 02:11:11 AM
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How about offering free WiFi near the reception and letting people pay as they arrive?

Not for now.

All he is looking for is a way to stop asking for people for their credit card numbers in emails when they want to make a reservation.

The desk mostly runs on cash - I think credit card transactions incur a 1 or 2% fee - will have to check (and yes that's legal and increasingly common in Australia - Reserve Bank changed the law about 2 years ago - no more subsidising peoples reward schemes by those of us who pay cash)

Of course if he gets enthusiastic about the whole bitcoin project anything is possible.
timmo11
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June 07, 2011, 05:52:30 AM
 #16

Indeed, there are plenty of people in Sydney who want Bitcoins, so I don't think "cashing" them out will be a problem. It's accepting them that will be the problem.

What problems do you foresee in accepting them?

I'm a newbie as u can see - and I might be naive about it all - but it seems surprsingly simple from looking at the merchant "how to"


Tim
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June 07, 2011, 05:59:59 AM
 #17

Hi


"So how do I take the money out into Australian Dollars?"


Sell bitcoins on britcoin.co.uk than transfer to AUD account with conversion with xe.com or likes of it. Eventually there will be an AUD exchange or two.

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timmo11
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June 07, 2011, 09:13:47 AM
 #18

Hi


"So how do I take the money out into Australian Dollars?"


Sell bitcoins on britcoin.co.uk than transfer to AUD account with conversion with xe.com or likes of it. Eventually there will be an AUD exchange or two.


wouldn't that mean

1) opening a UK bank account ( and that is possible but a hassle from Australia )
2) paying said bank transfer fees to get the money to Australia ?



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