One of the most infamous Bitcoin transactions was Florida native Lazlo Hanyecz’s purchase of two pizzas on May 22, 2010. Lazlo paid 10,000 bitcoins for his pizzas, which at the time was about $40. In today’s market, it is the USD equivalent of $64,400,000.
In fact, at Bitcoin’s height, Lazlo paid nearly $200 million for his dinner and for his leftover cold pizza the next day. The incident was so notable within the cryptocurrency world, that eventually the date became commonly known as Bitcoin Pizza Day.
Unfortunately, Lazlo’s $64 million pizza transaction was not the simple, seamless transition to using digital currency for everyday purchases that bitcoin historians lead us to believe. It was more like a trade. Also, and more importantly, it was definitely not an indicator of the trajectory of the future transactional ease of cryptocurrency purchases.
In fact, for most of its existence, cryptocurrency has been difficult to access to simply purchase for holding or investment, never mind use as a medium of exchange or purchase.
Cryptocurrency exchanges were developed to solve the accessibility issues plaguing Bitcoin and Ethereum in the early years. Exchanges started with Mt. Gox, which at one time provided over 70% of cryptocurrency exchange services prior to succumbing to an unfortunate demise in 2014.
Because Mt. Gox was also the first major exchange victim of crypto hackers back in 2011, and analysts postulate that the hack was the primary reason it never quite recovered, and eventually failed.
Other exchanges began to pop up, offering security, flexibility, and most importantly, an interface with the ability to easily buy and sell cryptocurrency with fiat money through the use of credit and debit cards.
This opened up the world of cryptocurrency investing to a much wider audience. Exchange platforms also provided the opportunity for more active, robust investing from smaller users.
An early cryptocurrency exchange provider was Coinmama. Coinmama was one of the first exchanges to make credit and debit transactions accessible for users globally. In addition to their somewhat original card-buyer services, Coinmama launched with the promise of ease of use, instant transfers, high daily limits and a customer happiness team that holds your hand throughout the process.
As of August 6, 2018, Coinmama took their services one step farther with the announcement that their platform now supports a new payment method, a Single Euro Payments Area, or SEPA. SEPA is a bank transfer system that efficiently provides broad-based cryptocurrency buying services through the use of direct bank transfers.
SEPA, as the name suggests, is available globally to users who have a bank account across any of the 33 countries within the European Union. Purchasers can buy popular and carefully vetted Crypto assets, most notably Bitcoin and Ethereum coins.
SEPA provides bank transfer services for bitcoin purchases to literally millions of customers with EU-denominated bank accounts, and the benefits available to those customers are vast.
Low fees: SEPA bank account transfers are free. This is in contrast to standard credit and debit card transaction fees, for which a 5% transaction fee is standard. Especially for larger transactions or multiple transactions, 5% fees can end up being prohibitively high for many investors, and especially for those new to cryptocurrency investing who are unfamiliar with the terrain.
High daily transaction limits: In addition to SEPA’s low transactional costs, clients can also purchase quite a bit more cryptocurrency using SEPA than they were previously accustomed to with Coinmama’s credit and debit purchase services. SEPA’s $12,000, or €10,500 EUR daily limit is more than double the $5,000 credit and debit limit on Coinmama’s platform.
Separate Daily Limits: Some users will be pleased to discover that the SEPA system is entirely separate from the credit and debit system. Therefore, each has their own daily limit. Using both systems, clients can purchase up to $15,000 of Bitcoin and Ethereum each day. This gives greater purchasing and investment flexibility, particularly to crypto newcomers.
Rapid transaction speed: Most SEPA transfers are completed within 24 hours. SEPA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This level of efficiency and convenience makes SEPA a viable option for most traders. While it doesn’t quite match the near-instant transfer rates of credit and debit card purchases, SEPA is still an excellent choice for most EU user transactions.
Israel-based Coinmama has taken the next step in crypto to fiat exchange convenience.
In the words of Coinmama CEO Asaph Schulman, “the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) bank transfer system is highly efficient, as its millions of daily users can attest. SEPA compares favorably with other traditional payment systems, as it combines speed and low fees with the convenience of sending a transfer from your regular bank account. When transfer costs are the prime consideration, it’s hard to find a better option than SEPA for conducting fiat transfers within the European Union.”
Disclaimer: This is a contributed article and should not be taken as investment advice