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E-currency Exchanger - How to Chose?

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Author: Daniel da Silva

For many people the thought of using an online e-currency can be a scary thing. We have all heard the horror stories of people being scammed and money being stolen by dishonest companies, but there are some companies out there that have worked hard to build up a good reputation for being honest and do what they can to fight frauds and scams that use e-currencies.

What is an e-currency?

Just putting the word e-currency into a search engine will bring up a huge list of strangely named currencies that you have probably never heard of. There are though a few big online currencies that are accepted by many merchants, companies and shops.

One of the main e-currencies that has been around for over 5 years is E-gold. This is an online payment system backed by real gold. You have an account, much like a bank account, and your gold is stored in that. E-gold themselves do not buy or sell e-gold, you have to do that through an e-currency exchanger. Once you have e-gold in your account you can spend it with any merchant who takes payment that way.

Another good e-currency is Pecunix. This is again an online payment system that is backed by gold. Pecunix essentially works the same as E-gold, so they do not buy and sell their own currency, and it is again stored in the account you have with them.

There are many more online currency systems including C-gold (backed by gold), Liberty Reserve (backed by gold) and Paypal (backed by credit cards).

What is an e-currency exchanger?

An e-currency exchanger converts money to your chosen e-currency and places it in your account for you to spend as you wish. Funds can be sent to an exchanger by many methods, but the most popular are bank transfer, Western Union and Paypal.

Once you have sent your funds by your chosen method the exchanger converts it to whichever e-currency you have decided to use and places it in the account you have given them. Remember that all exchangers charge a commission to do the conversion for you.

How to chose an exchanger?

Many people worry about how to chose a reputable exchanger. They have either had a bad experience or know someone that has. However there are a few things you can do to give yourself a little peace of mind and find out about the company you are going to send money to :-

1) Check the details of their website

We have all seen the fake websites out there that have links that go nowhere and just don't look right, so when making your choice make sure their email address works and that you get a response in a timely manner from them. If they have a telephone number you can call, give them a ring. Check the WHOIS details of the website as a back up. Also check how long they have been in business as this is one of the best signs of a good exchanger. Scammers do not last very long.

2) Ask people

One of the best ways of finding out information is to ask real people. If you have friends who have used an exchanger see what they thought. One of the best places to find out information is on forums. On these you can ask your questions or just read what other people have said about certain exchangers. Be careful though as not all information on forums is true and correct, so make sure you check anything you read on a forum carefully.

3) Are they a member of the GDCA?

The GDCA (Global Digital Currency Association) is a trade association of online currency operators, exchangers, merchants and users. As with any other trade association you can find out information on the exchangers you have in mind. You can see if they have any complaints against them and how they rank. You can also submit complaints to them as well.

4) Do they accept bank transfers?

This may seem a strange one, but it can give you a little more piece of mind. When a company opens a bank account they have to provide ID's, company documents and personal documents that have to be checked. Although this does not mean that the company is 100% legitimate, it does mean there is some form of paper trail. It also means that if anything goes wrong then you can recall your funds through your own bank. Never send funds to a personal bank account unless you know that person.

Although these few tips may help you decide on an exchanger they are not fool proof and if you are really undecided on which one to pick then start out by sending just a small amount to be exchanged and then as you build trust in the exchanger you have picked you can start sending larger amounts to them.

As with any internet business always keep your wits about you and check as much information about them as you can.

Happy exchanging!

About the author: I have worked in the e-currency for over 5 years now and my company, Euro Gold Sales, is a preferred exchanger and a member of the GDCA.

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