Bitcoins and ilk have thriving communities of tin-foil-hat-wearin’ and Ponzi-scheme types. I run a one-person campaign to call them cryptsters but it is not catching on. Or crypsters? Is that any easier?
Despite the weirdness in the communities, cryptocurrencies have practical use. For example, they are sometimes the cheapest way to get money across the border. This has been useful even for me, as a normal non-gun-smugglin’ guy who happens to move country sometimes, and doesn’t like paying a 5% conversion tithe between countries with weak banking ties, such as Australia and … anywhere which is not Australia.
However, my exchange rate when buying cryptocurrency in Australia has been terrible of late; I’m no longer sure these are a great idea. I ended up paying 8% on my last transfer after all the fees were deducted, which is worse than bank rates. My plain credit card came out better.
Anyway, I am not expert in cryptocurrencies. Rather the opposite; It’s complicated and annoying enough that I need a notebook to record all the idiosyncrasies which trip me up.
Cryptocurrencies have a vast number of hour of howto guides; the difficulties is working out which ones are current and the marketing biases in each.
How to convert cryptocurrency to/from cash (or fiat currency as one must learn to call it when talking to a cryptster):
Use an exchange!
Some I have tried include
Other fun ones are bisq is a decentralised network for currency exchange.
Openbazaar is a decentralised network for selling anything including currency.
The classic and still the biggest in terms of hypothetical market cap.
A kind of infrastructural one upon which others are built.
Unlike bitcoin, seems to be oriented toward anonymity, which bitcoin is not especially good at apparently. I’m not sure that is what I need right now. Does it have other useful features?
Ripple? (Distributed?) Ledger designed for cross-currency remittances, apparently. Once again it seems like this should be good for low-fee international transactions but I cannot seem to make that fly without a bank account in each country.
Decred is an open and progressive cryptocurrency with a system of community-based governance integrated into its blockchain.