In today’s Exponential Investor

  • Monday emails
  • Good Friday? Or Frustrating Friday?
  • Your beliefs aren’t required here

I jump on to my email Monday morning. First email I see is from CurrencyFair.

CurrencyFair is a fintech that’s involved in currency exchange and remittance. I’ve used it in the past to move money from Australia to the UK and vice versa.

In fairness to CurrencyFair, it’s very good. I’ve always found its exchange rates between fiat currencies to be much better than others and pretty close to the wholesale exchange rate.

However, it is also a by-product of a financial system that is inherently flawed.

The email I got on Monday, the same email I get every year at this time, proves it.

The header was “2021 Easter Opening Hours”.

My reaction, “Oh, here we go again.”

Ridiculous restrictions

I don’t have an immediate need to transfer or exchange any currency this coming Easter weekend. But if I did, I’m screwed.

With CurrencyFair, its exchange market will close at 9.30pm on Thursday.

Friday, closed all day.

Saturday, closed all day.

Sunday, closed until 10.30pm that evening. Then back to normal.

There’s a lot about this that’s absolute garbage. For a start, I don’t blame CurrencyFair. It’s at the mercy of its banking and exchange partners. In other words, it’s at the mercy of the whole traditional financial system.

CurrencyFair is also not alone. There will be no stock market trading on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Over the next seven days the market will be closed more than it’s open.

As you know, the market doesn’t trade on a weekend anyway. But another two days – it’s ridiculous.

I’ll also tell you why it’s ridiculous.

This is a religious holiday. Good Friday is a Christian holiday. If you’re not Christian, like me, then it holds no significance to you at all, except there’s a whole bunch of things you can’t do.

Which means, you’re penalised by the financial markets for not being of a particular religion. If you don’t believe in Jesus, then too bad, we’re going to shut the markets, shut the banks, effectively seize the financial system for something that means nothing to you.

This is the world we live in. It’s also been that way for as long as I can remember – likely since the creation of banks. And I’m not making a judgement call on who or what you believe in. This is an objective judgement about the financial system needing to work for everyone.

Markets, money, finance should be neutral ground for all. It shouldn’t matter what religion you observe, it shouldn’t matter if you aren’t religious at all. In the world as it is today, we should have a fully functioning financial system that never closes.

You should be able to exchange money on a Saturday. You should be able to trade stocks on Good Friday. You should be able to whatever you want on any day you want.

This is not the case, and frankly, it stinks.

It’s also not how the future will look, thank God (lol).

For everyone, by everyone

A couple of times I’ve wanted to move money from Australia to the UK on a Friday. Not large amounts, just small amounts.

Ideally I’d have been able to make the exchange and transfer instantly and have the funds hit my UK, GBP account the same day.

But that’s not how the market works.

Luckily I’m aware of other ways to move money and I think you should be too.

The only way I know to move money around the world where there are no time and “operating hour” restrictions is crypto.

The crypto markets never close.

Bitcoin doesn’t send me an email on a Monday to warn me of processing times and customer service hours.

Coinbase doesn’t stop me on a Saturday from buying and sending crypto. Neither does Gemini or Binance.

That means if I want to take my Aussie money, and get it to my UK accounts, I can do it in a matter of a few minutes. Not days, not hours, minutes.

I can buy something like the DAI stablecoin with my Aussie money, and then sell it back to GBP and withdraw to my UK account.

That process takes a minute or two. And when I’ve checked the conversion rates with CurrencyFair in the past, it’s always been about the same kind of exchange rates.

The only difference is I can do it whenever I bloody like!

Of course, what I now do is not actually convert it back to GBP at all. If I’m moving money from Australia, I’ll often just load it into any number of crypto in my Coinbase account and leave it in crypto.

If I then want to use those funds, I can use my Coinbase payment card to make any purchases, just like money… actually not just like money… just money.

This is the new world, that give us pathways and networks to operate around the “traditional” system.

It means that regardless of who you are, what you believe in, how much your worth or what your views are on the world, you can be active in a global financial system.

It’s a system that is built for everyone, by everyone, and has all the benefits and features the old, antiquated, traditional system lacks.


Sam Volkering
Editor, Exponential Investor

PS Talking about old, antiquated, traditional systems, and new ones coming to take their place…

$95 trillion will go into transforming our fossil-based energy system into one based on green, renewable energy.

And, as always, when big changes come, big opportunities appear.

To find out which rising-star renewable firms look the most promising, click here.