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Author Topic: is Venmo a huge roadblock to Bitcoin?  (Read 8976 times)
Rassah
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March 12, 2012, 04:05:26 PM
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I just found out about Venmo this past weekend. Features:
Pay by phone
Takes money out of credit card or bank
Zero fees

Aside from Bitcoin's other killer features (international,  anonymous, no need for a bank account, not subject to federal regulation or inflation), I this this service takes away the biggest reasons to use it for every day people: transferring money easily and for free. But unlike Bitcoin, it's also extremely easy: just link your credit card number to it and you're good to go.
I'm really worried this alternative may make convincing people to accept Bitcoin much more difficult. Thoughts?

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kangasbros
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March 12, 2012, 04:21:28 PM
 #2

In United States and other western countries I don't see that bitcoin will become mainstream anytime soon. The first "real" applications could be in 3rd world countries and in international trade, such as the remittance business.

How does Venmo make money?

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March 12, 2012, 04:31:02 PM
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still based on a USD system where the 0.01% have total control.  i don't get your point.
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March 12, 2012, 04:35:33 PM
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still based on a USD system where the 0.01% have total control.  i don't get your point.
You could check out election results in the US to see the vast majority of people either have no problem with the status quo, or have no interest in monetary policy.

Anyway, Venmo sounds quite similar to Dwolla, except they somehow work with credit card companies without charging a fee. It seems their business model relies on businesses being willing to pay fees in the future (they state they currently have no partnerships). It's effectively just a money pit right now for whoever decided to invest in it. Can't imagine they'll stay around for more than a few months.

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March 12, 2012, 04:35:44 PM
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In United States and other western countries I don't see that bitcoin will become mainstream anytime soon. The first "real" applications could be in 3rd world countries and in international trade, such as the remittance business.

How does Venmo make money?

Perhaps this: http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/hbr-now/2009/09/is-reverse-innovation-like-dis.html
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March 12, 2012, 04:39:04 PM
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still based on a USD system where the 0.01% have total control.  i don't get your point.
You could check out election results in the US to see the vast majority of people either have no problem with the status quo, or have no interest in monetary policy.

Anyway, Venmo sounds quite similar to Dwolla, except they somehow work with credit card companies without charging a fee. It seems their business model relies on businesses being willing to pay fees. It's effectively just a money pit right now for whoever decided to invest in it. Can't imagine they'll stay around for more than a few months.

Then again Mt Gox could start using them, and with the help of the Bitcoin community Venmo will be as big as Dwolla, whereupon in a few months Venmo would get another, let's say, $5M in funding, then...
Rassah
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March 12, 2012, 04:40:56 PM
 #7

How does Venmo make money?

Two ways. First, they work like a combination of Twitter and Foursquare, collecting information about where people spend money, how much, and what they think of the product. That data is very valuable to businesses (though is very anti-anonymous)
Second, you need to withdraw money into your own bank after you receive it. Chances are, people will keep it there and send it to someone else later, so transactions are within network, and don't cost Venmo anything. In effect, they are creating their own currency chain, and all that idle money can earn them a lot of interest.

Edit: I found mentions of Venmo on this forum going as far back as 2010, so they're apparently not going anywhere. Regarding MtGox, I suspect they are either as risky, and/or as risk averse as PayPal when it comes to Bitcoin. Especially with having credit cards in the mix.

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March 12, 2012, 04:41:54 PM
 #8

still based on a USD system where the 0.01% have total control.  i don't get your point.
You could check out election results in the US to see the vast majority of people either have no problem with the status quo, or have no interest in monetary policy.

Anyway, Venmo sounds quite similar to Dwolla, except they somehow work with credit card companies without charging a fee. It seems their business model relies on businesses being willing to pay fees. It's effectively just a money pit right now for whoever decided to invest in it. Can't imagine they'll stay around for more than a few months.

Then again Mt Gox could start using them, and with the help of the Bitcoin community Venmo will be as big as Dwolla, whereupon in a few months Venmo would get another, let's say, $5M in funding, then...
Gox might even be willing to pay the fees to allow Venmo to sustain itself, too. I imagine chargeback problems would cause another big clusterfuck, though.

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Phinnaeus Gage
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March 12, 2012, 04:54:09 PM
 #9

How does Venmo make money?

Two ways. First, they work like a combination of Twitter and Foursquare, collecting information about where people spend money, how much, and what they think of the product. That data is very valuable to businesses (though is very anti-anonymous)
Second, you need to withdraw money into your own bank after you receive it. Chances are, people will keep it there and send it to someone else later, so transactions are within network, and don't cost Venmo anything. In effect, they are creating their own currency chain, and all that idle money can earn them a lot of interest.

Edit: I found mentions of Venmo on this forum going as far back as 2010, so they're apparently not going anywhere. Regarding MtGox, I suspect they are either as risky, and/or as risk averse as PayPal when it comes to Bitcoin. Especially with having credit cards in the mix.

Note to self: Next time show image of tongue-in-cheek when commenting to Rassah.  Wink
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March 12, 2012, 05:02:05 PM
 #10

still based on a USD system where the 0.01% have total control.  i don't get your point.
You could check out election results in the US to see the vast majority of people either have no problem with the status quo, or have no interest in monetary policy.

Anyway, Venmo sounds quite similar to Dwolla, except they somehow work with credit card companies without charging a fee. It seems their business model relies on businesses being willing to pay fees. It's effectively just a money pit right now for whoever decided to invest in it. Can't imagine they'll stay around for more than a few months.

Then again Mt Gox could start using them, and with the help of the Bitcoin community Venmo will be as big as Dwolla, whereupon in a few months Venmo would get another, let's say, $5M in funding, then...
Gox might even be willing to pay the fees to allow Venmo to sustain itself, too. I imagine chargeback problems would cause another big clusterfuck, though.

yeah, Dwolla is what first came to mind for me too. 

maybe gox could exploit this situation by using Venmo to create a bunch of new biz but prevent chargebacks somehow. Grin
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March 12, 2012, 05:02:59 PM
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How does Venmo make money?

Two ways. First, they work like a combination of Twitter and Foursquare, collecting information about where people spend money, how much, and what they think of the product. That data is very valuable to businesses (though is very anti-anonymous)
Second, you need to withdraw money into your own bank after you receive it. Chances are, people will keep it there and send it to someone else later, so transactions are within network, and don't cost Venmo anything. In effect, they are creating their own currency chain, and all that idle money can earn them a lot of interest.

Edit: I found mentions of Venmo on this forum going as far back as 2010, so they're apparently not going anywhere. Regarding MtGox, I suspect they are either as risky, and/or as risk averse as PayPal when it comes to Bitcoin. Especially with having credit cards in the mix.

that really doesn't sound sustainable to me.
Rassah
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March 12, 2012, 05:03:58 PM
 #12

One easy use is to withdraw Bitcoin to Venmo. MtGox is trusted enough for that, and I doubt they would o chargebacks on their customers.

Phinnaeus Gage
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March 12, 2012, 05:08:01 PM
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One easy use is to withdraw Bitcoin to Venmo. MtGox is trusted enough for that, and I doubt they would o chargebacks on their customers.

Hell, a new company could be formed based on the same business model. Call it Algocy (in the spirit of coining new words, e.g. Venmo). (note no tongue-in-cheek image, for I'm serious)

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March 12, 2012, 05:09:46 PM
 #14

I don't see Venmo as a problem. It's just a way to transfer USD. I want a currency that
1) is widely accepted
2) easy to transfer in person
3) easy to transfer online
4) holds its purchasing power over long periods of time

Venmo is just another attempt to help make USD easier to transfer online. It may or may not work. But it's still dealing with USD. While BTC has some hurdles to clear, the one huge trump card that BTC has and the big Achilles' heel of the USD is #4. The USD has lost over 95% of its purchasing power since the Federal Reserve system was created in 1913. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Federal_Reserve#Inflation
BTC is designed to be deflationary over long periods of time. So not only would BTC hold its purchasing power over long periods of time but its purchasing power will likely grow over long periods of time. Bitcoin is revolutionary in many ways. Will BTC have success equal to other fiat currencies? Will BTC be successful but only on a small niche market level? Will BTC fizzle out and be worth nothing or close to nothing? Stay tuned to find out.

The USD has been around for a while. We already know the endgame result, continued loss of purchasing power. Maybe only economics freeks and computer geeks are currently affected by BTC. But just as USD policy affects everyone in the US (and most other countries), BTC has the potential to affect everyone.
Rassah
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March 12, 2012, 05:20:09 PM
 #15

Venmo seems to take care of 1, 2, and 3, relegating Bitcoin to only things outside USA, or for wealth storage. It just sucks that Bitcoin's #1 advantage - free, easy, mobile-to-mobile payments - is now gone and outweighed by it's difficulty to obtain.
Are there services like this in Europe?

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March 12, 2012, 05:31:18 PM
 #16

Its a competitor since you can send money for free.
 
But will you be able to do escrow?
Bitcoin if the Bip 16 ever gets implemented solves an old problem of trading, for free.

Bitcoin is private.
What made internet popular Wink Porn...

What can you now pay for anonymously with Bitcoins?

Can you transfer a small coin or do micro transactions to your relative in Asia?

Overnight transfers. Venmo offers the fastest bank transfers available anywhere. Request a transfer to your bank account, and the money will be there the next morning.

Bitcoin is faster than Venmo...

There is still a huuuuge market for Bitcoin Wink



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Phinnaeus Gage
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March 12, 2012, 06:04:44 PM
 #17

Its a competitor since you can send money for free.
 
But will you be able to do escrow?
Bitcoin if the Bip 16 ever gets implemented solves an old problem of trading, for free.

Bitcoin is private.
What made internet popular Wink Porn...

What can you now pay for anonymously with Bitcoins?

Can you transfer a small coin or do micro transactions to your relative in Asia?

Overnight transfers. Venmo offers the fastest bank transfers available anywhere. Request a transfer to your bank account, and the money will be there the next morning.

Bitcoin is faster than Venmo...

There is still a huuuuge market for Bitcoin Wink


Therefore, I ask, who's working on a near zero fee escrow service, one of which locks (not stores) bitcoin transactions until both parties are satisfied?

~Bruno~
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March 12, 2012, 06:45:51 PM
 #18


BTC is designed to be deflationary over long periods of time.

Bitcoin is not deflationary. It's inflationary on an asymptotic pattern. The system never reduces the money supply, thus it's not deflationary (silly fools who lose their keys notwithstanding).

Long term, it'd be correct to say Bitcoin is neither deflationary nor inflationary... it's simply constant in supply. This concept would make a central banker's head explode.
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March 12, 2012, 10:13:52 PM
 #19

More and more people are travellers. The globality of bitcoin will win people over (eventually).

@electricwings   BM-GtyD5exuDJ2kvEbr41XchkC8x9hPxdFd
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March 13, 2012, 12:50:05 AM
 #20

Venmo still uses fiat junk paper, some of us still call it money... I think that's the only real point that will make bitcoin win in the end.

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