For a while as an experiment, I decided to see how easy it would be to break the Argentina ban on foreign exchange or money leaving the country. I simply signed up to a bunch of services like Inpay (Agentine soft bank transfers), Rapipago and DineiroMail and accepted payments in exchange for Bitcoins. I had all these payment gateways just dump into an Okpay account and then traded it on IRC. Worked flawlessly, though high fees. Still were cheaper fees than what it costs on the black market there to move money.
I also have a decoy software store that I sell to a circle of friends there Bitcoin for Argencard. I wouldn't do this for the general public of course that's risking fraud.
Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Italy, any of these countries walk into a bank with corporate docs and open an account in an hour or so. Bitcoins are of course, better suited for this guy's business of reselling software but he barely tried to get around silly bank laws in the UK.
Edit: To get money back to yourself cheaply from the Latvian bank after your payment gateway dumps funds into it (because SWIFT can be expensive with correspondent banks robbing you a percentage in fees), buy Bitcoins with SEPA from Bitstamp or another EU exchange or p2p trade. Then cash the bitcoins out locally.
As for payment gateways, I wanted to stick to well-known gateways like PayPal and Skrill that consumers would already have accounts with.
I'm sure that walking into a bank in Europe probably would have quickly resulted in the opening of an account, but getting to Europe posed a problem for me as I'm based in the US and didn't have the funds to make the trip. Thus, Bitcoin!
I also live around a few Chinese banks that opened in my country. Got an Alipay account through them in a couple of minutes by walking inside and depositing $1000 and showing corporate papers. Alipay is Chinese paypal equivalent but no chargebacks (well.. hard to do chargebacks).
There's also companies like The Currency Cloud. Although I'm not sure if this is against their rules but I used them to receive gateway payments as well.
Also I'm not an American, maybe that's why you had problems. Guess things have changed with the new very strict laws
can you comment on the kind of fees you ended up generating when you were experimenting in Argentina? i expect that fees would be different depending on the direction you went from ARS.
a bank account in an hour? opening a bitcoin business account in the US takes easily 1.5 hours, if not twice that.
If you want a surreal experience open a bank account in Belarus. A bulletproof limo picks you up at the airport and you go directly to the bank and receive your unlimited debit card and privacy statement they will never give your info to anybody no matter what, unless you commit crimes in Belarus. Azerbaijan is the same thing.
I'm surprised there isn't a gigantic European exchange using a Belorussian bank account. Could accept all the US wires you want and they wouldn't respond to angry requests from NY state to seize your funds because you don't have a MSB license. Of course you could end up kidnapped though for extraordinary rendition back to the US like they did all those Russians who ran gambling payment gateways :P
Min deposit was 25,000 Euros but I was told other banks it's a lot smaller, like 5,000 Euros but this is the best bank. Be aware this is Belarus, and it's a dictatorship so you're flying by the seat of your pants finances there's nothing to stop the government just taking your money but then again, US does this all the time too. If you want to open a mega bitcoin exchange there ya go. Getting permanent residency in Belarus is easy too. Plus there's no tax on worldwide income there. I hired a Belorussian lawyer to set this up.
Privatbank in Ukraine will also open for non residents if you visit in person and english is widely spoken. Small minimum deposit $100 http://old.privatbank.ua/info/index3.stm?fileName=5_2_35e.ht... however any transfer over $5,000 is reported to the tax police.
Belarus seems to have no financial police whatsoever if you wanted to withdraw a million in cash they would do it no questions asked. In fact, they didn't even ask me the source of the income when I opened the account. While getting the account you wait in a lounge while somebody pours you free drinks and watch shady Russian businessmen walk out with bags of cash and private security to take back to Moscow.
> This seems completely legit.
I find myself unable to tell whether you (hayksaakian) are being serious or ironic.