Updated: Aug 16
I see lots of posts from providers asking each other what methods they use to receive payments, especially for initial deposits, longer bookings, fly-me-to-you's & when touring.
I want to share my experiences to help fellow companions and to ease any (future) client's stress about staying anonymous and safe when making money transfers for deposits and payments.
I have tried direct bank transfers - they take several days to arrive and unless you give your full legal name to the client the sent amount may not go through. These transactions are fully tracked by the banks and depending upon the amount of the transfer, are automatically flagged for further scrutiny. Most banks are obligated to report anything considered suspicious to the government. Banking fees are also typically high.
PayPal has been around for almost 20 years now and is the most successful international digital money transfer service. In concert with major credit card providers, PayPal has adopted a policy that is very much against SW's. PayPal is infamous for freezing escorts accounts for "suspicious activity". They also have agreements with every country they operate in and provide information on request to the government and law enforcement. PayPal may also limit the amount of money you can send, receive or withdraw from your account making this platform unattractive to use for bigger transactions.
Not too long ago, I was introduced to cryptocurrency as a form of payment. I had heard of Bitcoin and knew that it was some form of electronic money but other than that I knew virtually nothing about it.
I had a client who was experiencing issue with other forms of transfers and he suggested that I give cryptocurrency a try. After he walked me through the basics and recommending a crypto service (C★inbase). I decided to give it a shot. I had the whole system set up and connected to my bank account in short order. When I received my first transfer in mere seconds, I danced around my table!
So, what exactly is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money, the main features being anonymity, decentralization & security. This digital money is based on what is called blockchain technology. In the simplest terms, a blockchain is simply a database, that is distributed across thousands and thousands of computers (these are the infamous "crypto mining" machines that you may have heard about). Any time a transaction is made, a large, but random, number of these ledgers are compared to one another and if they all agree on the transaction details, the transaction is completed (this is what the term "mining" means).
Additionally, all of these operations occur in an encrypted environment to further improve the security and integrity of the transactions. The nature of the blockchain operation makes it extremely difficult to falsify transactions, meaning the likelihood of a counterfeit cryptocurrency is very low. Cryptocurrencies have no physical appearance, existing only in electronic form.
Bitcoin is the first and most popular form of cryptocurrency. Introduced for use in 2009, Bitcoins were initially valued at $0.30. The first use of bitcoin for a commercial purchase was for a couple of pizzas, which cost ₿10,000. If you know anything at all about the current value of Bitcoin, you know that those pizzas are now worth about $100million! Thousands of forward thinkers became real-life millionaires when they invested early on. Which brings me to this point: While wildly popular, bitcoin is a volatile commodity, meaning you might see a large gain in value, but you are just as likely to see a large drop (historically up to 25%, up or down, in one day!). If you are concerned about stability in the transactions, Bitcoin may not be the best choice. Additionally, the transaction time of processing a bitcoin transfer can vary from 30 minutes to 16 hours.
Other forms of cryptocurrency have been designed and widely accepted into use, with Ethereum and LiteCoin being the next most popular. They essentially operate the same as Bitcoin, the difference being in the technical details of how they operate as well as having a lower individual value than Bitcoin. Again, while heavily traded and very popular, they are also vulnerable to big fluctuations in value. They may be attractive as potential investments but if you need to rely on a fixed value, traditional cryptocurrencies may not be the best for you as a form of payment.
Introducing a stable cryptocurrency - the "Stable coin"
Designed specifically to avoid this wild fluctuation found in other cryptocurrencies, the so called "stable coins" are tied to the value of fiat currency (cash, usually the US Dollar but any form of historically stable asset). The assortment of stable coins continues to grow but the currently most popular includes Tether, DAI, Paxos Standard, & TrueUSD.
Personally, I prefer DAI because of the built-in anonymity of their system. I have discovered that it is one of the most anonymous forms of digital money and it works very quickly!
Let me walk you through how to send & receive a cryptocurrency.
- Sign up online for your choice of currency exchange
- Most will also offer an app for Android or iOS.
- Attach your bank account or ATM bank card to your account. You are free to give your full legal name & details. None of this information will be public or visible to another party.
- Create a "Crypto Wallet" (usually just a mouse click or two) that will hold your cryptocoins.
- Purchase DAI cryptocurrency worth 500$.
1 DAI = 1 US Dollar.
The DAI is available instantly as long as the other person is using the same service.
- Once you have 500 DAI available all you need to do is ask your companion to send you her/his DAI address. This is a very long number and can also be turned into a QR code.
- Using that long code as the destination, you are able to transfer the requested payment amount. Once you send the transaction, the payment is complete. It is also irreversable, so make sure you have the correct address!
- Within a matter of seconds, the recipient will receive an email saying a deposit of 500 DAI currency has been received. No name or email address or bank card details are visible for the recipient.
- Once you get the email you can enter your Crypto exchange account & convert DAI currency from your crypto wallet into cash in your bank account. From there its available to withdraw to your bank card ready to buy your flight ticket!
Note about the cost of doing business
These crypto exchanges are also services and they don't exist for free. They make money off of processing transactions and making it easy and convenient for their clients (you and me). In Hungary, I usually have to convert twice - first to Euros and then to Forint since all my bills are in local currency.
Dear Clients: Please make sure you account for exchange rates between your home currency and the providers price list currency (i.e. dollars to euros). Please send a few dollars more to your companion to help cover any transaction and conversion fees.
If you would like to try how easy it is, I am attaching my DAI wallet code where I receive tips in DAI currency. (Please send me an email if you want me to know who it is from!)
I hope this article was helpful! Feel free to share it!