The promoted benefits of how using XLM to send money around the world is that it is instantaneous and nearly free in comparison to traditional banks. That is, it's promoted as a "fast and cheap alternative" to traditional banking.
I was sold on the idea, but for practical purposes, what good is it? XLM can't be used to buy groceries or pay rent, and I don't see this happening anytime in the near future or even the next two decades. Maybe, but you can't do it now or soon which is what I need.
I am not opposed to XLM, quite the opposite. Below is what I am trying to learn and understand, not a criticism of XLM. So please keep this in mind. I am genuinely trying to understand how to use XLM in the real world to solve real-world problems.
Basically here is the scenario.
- I have USD.
- I want to make my USD into Euro to use overseas.
- If I use a traditional bank, there are fees.**
- XLM as an alternative to avoid fees?***
** When using a bank, I do not get the middle-market rate (the "real" exchange rate), I get the hidden fee rate (bank gives you a lower rate than the real exchange rate).
*** I want to use USD or EUR in another country and leverage the power of XLM to do what it promises - fast and virtually free transfer of money that I can use practically - NOT just in theory or if I found some obscure vendor who accepted XLM directly, because we are not there yet and not anytime soon. I mean so that I can use my USD cash in my pocket and pay in EUR for food and shelter, that is, basic human needs. This is the purpose of money after all. And I want to do it while not having middlemen take another "cut" of the fruits of my hard labor (they already stole some of my money in "taxes") just because I want to buy something in a different location.
While I am still learning about what options are available so I can use my money without a middleman (bank, exchange, etc) taking some of it for the privilege of using MY money that I worked hard for, it occurred to me that since XLM is supposed to solve the problems with traditional banks, this should in theory be a way to send your money around the world fast and virtually free ("virtually" free compared to traditional methods. The fee is so small it is not impactful).
The problem when I am faced with a real-world situation is I don't know how to leverage the benefits that XLM offers in the real world without incurring the same or even potentially higher fees than even the best traditional bank would charge. In which case, what would be the point of XLM?
Even if you weren't doing a currency conversion, and instead just wanted to send USD to USD in a different place, the problem still occurs that you need to convert USD > ETH > XLM incurring quite a bit of fees, and then AGAIN convert XLM > ETH > USD.
And even if exchanges accepted an XLM/USD pair, so that the procedure would be USD > XLM > [TRANSFER] > XLM > USD, then again there are TWO points, an entry and exit in which it is exchanged from USD to XLM incurring fees, and then XLM to USD incurring fees so that you or someone can use it at the destination.
So my question becomes, how can we use XLM in the real world, or is it simply a defunct, useless currency for practical purposes until the day comes (if ever) that it is accepted as real currency by vendors, rentals, banks, stores, etc?
Please tell me if there is a way to use XLM for practical purposes, because I'm starting to believe that the entire crypto industry is effectively an elaborate scam to enrich exchanges and middlemen at rates even higher than traditional banks. If this is wrong and there is a way, please explain. I believe in the idea of XLM but if there is no way to actually use it until it is accepted as a nation's official currency and by vendors etc then there is no practical reason to actually use it.
How can you use XLM as a way to use your money with the promises of a "fast and cheap" (virtually free is the promoted thing) way to transfer money? And how can you do it to transfer money from one currency to another for far cheaper (virtually free) than traditional methods, to avoid "exchange" fees?