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«The exchange rates offered via PayPal are TERRIBLE»

This is why Bitcoin is not such a bad choice after all. People on HN tend to criticize the Bitcoin option for international payments, saying the combined overhead of the buyer converting his local currency to bitcoins + the overhead of the seller converting the bitcoins to his local currency is too high. But the reality is that this is still less overhead than the next best option (Paypal).

Bitcoin is unequivocally worse for this, as you say, you face two currency conversions, one from buyer currency to BTC and one from BTC to seller currency. Each time you pay 1-2% (or more depending on jurisdiction) and it takes days, which given its huge volatility exposes both sides to massive FOREX risk on top of that. PLUS a BTC transaction fee (currently $0.26). Not to mention the non-trivial chance your exchange will shut down or run away with your money during the process. [Hello, Quadriga]

1-2% + $0.26 + 1-2% + FOREX risk + 1 week + forefeiture risk is strictly worse than even PayPal.

You don't know what you are talking about.

Most Bitcoin exchanges have fees that are a fraction of a percent. Not 1-2%. Paypal has international fees approaching 5%(!)

It doesn't take days to buy some BTC. Buying or selling is instantaneous (once you have an account at an exchange, which is a one-time thing to setup, certainly not a step to go through for every transaction as you seem to imply!)

Volatility has been declining over the last few years. Besides, volatility has an overall net-zero effect on your transactions: half the time you make a bit of extra money, half the time you lose a bit of money, so it averages to zero gains/losses.

Finally, use a trustworthy exchange. These are really not hard to find: Coinbase, Gemini, etc.

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