Visa Says You Can Buy Almost Anything, Except Crypto Currencies

The news this week is that several banks in the USA and the UK have banned the use of credit cards to purchase crypto currencies (CC’s). The stated reasons are impossible to believe – like trying to curtail money laundering, gambling, and protecting the retail investor from excessive risk. Interestingly, the banks will allow debit card purchases, making it clear that the only risks being protected are their own.

With a credit card you can gamble at a casino, buy guns, drugs, alcohol, pornography, everything and anything you desire, but some banks and credit card companies want to prohibit you from using their facilities to purchase crypto currencies? There must be some believable reasons, and they are NOT the reasons stated.

One thing that banks are afraid of is how difficult it would be to confiscate CC holdings when the credit card holder defaults on payment. It would be much more difficult than re-possessing a house or a car. A crypto wallet’s private keys can be put on a memory stick or a piece of paper and easily removed from the country, with little or no trace of its whereabouts. There can be a high value in some crypto wallets, and the credit card debt may never be repaid, leading to a declaration of bankruptcy and a significant loss for the bank. The wallet still contains the crypto currency, and the owner can later access the private keys and use a local CC Exchange in a foreign country to convert and pocket the money. A nefarious scenario indeed.

We are certainly not advocating this kind of unlawful behavior, but the banks are aware of the possibility and some of them want to shut it down. This can’t happen with debit cards as the banks are never out-of-pocket – the money comes out of your account immediately, and only if there is enough of your money there to start with. We struggle to find any honesty in the bank’s story about curtailing gambling and risk taking. It’s interesting that Canadian banks are not jumping on this bandwagon, perhaps realizing that the stated reasons for doing so are bogus. The fallout from these actions is that investors and consumers are now aware that credit card companies and banks really do have the ability to restrict what you can purchase with their credit card. This is not how they advertise their cards, and it is likely a surprise to most users, who are quite used to deciding for themselves what they will purchase, especially from CC Exchanges and all the other merchants who have established Merchant Agreements with these banks. The Exchanges have done nothing wrong – neither have you – but fear and greed in the banking industry is causing strange things to happen. This further illustrates the degree to which the banking industry feels threatened by Crypto Currencies.

At this point there is little cooperation, trust, or understanding between the fiat money world and the CC world. The CC world has no central controlling body where regulations can be implemented across the board, and that leaves each country around the world trying to figure out what to do. China has decided to ban CC’s, Singapore and Japan embrace them, and many other countries are still scratching their heads. What they have in common is that they want to collect taxes on CC investment profits. This is not too unlike the early days of digital music, with the internet facilitating the unfettered proliferation and distribution of unlicensed music. Digital music licensing schemes were eventually developed and accepted, as listeners were OK with paying a little something for their music, rather than endless pirating, and the music industry (artists, producers, record companies) were OK with reasonable licensing fees rather than nothing. Can there be compromise in the future of fiat and digital currencies? As people around the world get more fed up with outrageous bank profits and bank overreach into their lives, there is hope that consumers will be regarded with respect and not be forever saddled with high costs and unwarranted restrictions.

Crypto Currencies and Blockchain technology increase the pressure around the globe to make a reasonable compromise happen – – this is a game changer.

Stay tuned!

Responsible Gaming and Addiction

Gaming is one of those fun activities that most Ugandans find appealing. This is especially true for online gaming and online casinos. The beauty is that gaming online is safe because the regulation bit has been taken care of the National Gaming Board Uganda which is a body corporate that was established to ensure responsible gaming in Uganda.

Despite the regulation that has been put in place, it is still your responsibility as a player to ensure that you play the right way and avoid any gambling issues that may arise. Many games have gotten addicted because they probably were not advised as to how best to play. Many have found themselves borrowing money to facilitate their gaming and losing jobs all because they do not exercise any form of restraint. The truth of the matter is that for you to reap anything out of gaming, you need to be extremely disciplined.

The commonest symptom of gambling is the inability to stop irrespective of how much money has been lost. Addicts are the gamers that you will find playing day or night and who often resort to pleading tactics when told to stop. They keep requesting for more time or one more game. Addiction is mostly intensified or fuelled by the use of substances like alcohol and drugs since these remove any inhibitions that one might have.

How to avoid the addiction – The Four Pointers

  1. Have a pre-set budget: Creating a budget will give you a discipline that you need while gaming. Given that people earn different incomes, it’s essential that you do not base your budget on that of others but rather create one that fits perfectly into your income. Remember that gaming money should not take priority over bills like rent, food and tuition. It should be taken from your supplementary budget after other essential expenses have been removed. Remember to stick to your budget and not divert from it irrespective of whether you are winning or losing. If you need to reinvest, rather invest with your winnings than with money that is not budgeted for.
  2. Do not accumulate unnecessary debts: Borrowing is not a good decision when it comes to gaming. Not only will it create unnecessary anxiety but will also put a lot of strain on your finances. Remember that gaming is not a necessity so if you have no money, you would rather postpone it than enter into debts.
  3. Follow a strict set of rules: Setting your personal rules will help you have a discipline when playing. Set a time frame within which to play so as to leave room for other activities. Also essential is that you do not raise the stakes when you lose. Count all losses as such as opposed to them being a ticket for further playing. It is also essential that you follow the rules that you have set and not deviate from them.
  4. Never rely on your luck: Luck is just odds and this might not guarantee a good gaming experience for you. It is important that you understand that at certain times you will win while other times you will lose. At some point you will hit a jackpot but this does not mean that you should continue playing thinking that it is your night. It is important that you have fun while playing and not take the game too seriously. So play for playing sake and have fun while at it.

The above are just a few pointers of how to avoid gambling. However, in the event that you find yourself an addict, there is still hope for you. You might need some professional help along the way and might even need to close your accounts for a while until you get things under control.