banking

This man ditched his bank for bitcoin, and so could you

By Oliver Smith 24 May 2016
Summary

Sick and tired of banks Simone Margaritelli decided enough was enough and swapped them for a life of bitcoin.

We’ve all gotten angry at our banks.

For Simone Margaritelli enough was enough and he decided to leave the traditional banking world entirely, and move to bitcoin.

“I don’t know about you, but honestly I’m sick and tired of the Banking system,” the researcher for mobile security group Zimperium wrote on his blog.

“I do not accept someone else having control over my money or credit cards, I earned those money, who the fuck are you to decide how much and when can I withdraw or deposit?”

Margaritelli also pointed to the Government’s right to access his bank accounts, see his balance and freeze his funds.

So he turned instead to the world of bitcoin.

Read more: The Blockchain explained (with cake)

Banking with bitcoin

Today Margaritelli found that the technology to use bitcoin as your primary bank account has become much more user-friendly.

But the process still wasn’t easy.

First he had to figure out how he could be paid in bitcoin.

“I needed a way to receive this money directly as bitcoin to my wallet without asking my employer to switch to bitcoin payments,” wrote Margaritelli.

To do this he signed up to Cashila, which gives you an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) that companies can pay your wage into and have it automatically converted into bitcoin.

Cashila also does the reverse, letting Margaritelli pay his rent and bills in bitcoin which are seamlessly converted into Euro.

 

And to get physical cash from his bitcoin he signed up to Cryptopay, a pre-paid debit card that can be topped up in Dollars, Euros or Pound Sterling with bitcoin.

“You deposit/send some bitcoin to that wallet, charge the debit card and then you can use it either as a normal credit card or on every ATM in the world to withdraw cash from that wallet.”

Safe as houses?

With his income and outgoings sorted, lastly he needed a place to keep his savings in bitcoin safely.

“There are plenty of services where you can create your own bitcoin wallet, but wallets stored on the web are as secure as the web infrastructure they’re relying upon.”

Famously one bitcoin wallet and exchange group MtGox went suspiciously bankrupt, leaving some $450m worth of bitcoin unaccounted for and thousands of people bitcoin-less.

Instead Margaritelli turned to Trezor, which is a $99 physical dongle that acts as an actual bitcoin wallet that you can hold.

 

“Using the aforementioned services and tools, you can now live only on bitcoin, you’re never gonna need a bank account again.”

Better banking

As you’ve probably heard the value of a bitcoin, similar to actual currencies in the real world, fluctuates, sometimes wildly

To give an example, on 1 January this year one bitcoin was worth roughly $450, by 1 February that same bitcoin was worth just $375.

“Which might seems a lot, but if you move your bitcoin at the right time you’re not going to lose anything, on the contrary, compared to the fees you would normally pay for Bank transactions, chances are you’re going to spend way much less anyway,” explains Margaritelli.

For many people this uncertainty, that your savings might tomorrow be worth 20% less than they do today, is enough to put them off the idea.

But for Margaritelli and anyone like him, sick and tired of banks and the banking system, today there is another option.