Who The Heck Said Cryptocurrency Transactions Were Cheap?

I did it again. I bought more Steem for Ether, because it’s soooo cheap… They gave me 848 Steem for an Ether. Don’t follow me: It’s already 947 Steem/Ether at the time of writing. Bad luck. Maybe I’m a fool to do this before the Hard Fork 21.

High payout, high inflation

I converted the new Steem to Palnet tokens (Palcoin, PAL) because the page seems to be a good test of a 50/50 percent author/curator reward system. And because payouts are pretty high there. Although this means a lot of inflation in the system, at least at the beginning. That can cause nice price falls later.

But I learned some interesting things:

  • Blocktrades applies a fee (margin) of 2.4 percent
  • Steem-Engine applies a fee of one percent.
  • Steem-Engine tokens are very illiquid.

I made a poll before I wrote this post, to know what people think about the fees and transaction costs in general. The result was quite interesting: Most people don’t tolerate any fees. Maybe they are used to the “zero-fee” system on Steemit, I don’t know. But nothing is really free.

See the poll here on dPoll

I have had at least six different bank accounts and at least three brokerage accounts in my life, as far as I can remember. Maybe most people are staying with the same bank all their life. All banks and brokerage companies have to survive, so they are charging fees. Finance services providers also have to eat, of course.

Steem price under pressure

Cryptocurrencies are cheap, some cryptos are without fees – allegedly. I’m not sure. In the Steem-system, you don’t pay transaction fees, but witnesses are receiving a part of the inflation in the system. So, with this inflation we are paying them. They sell some Steem if they have to pay the bills. And Steemit Inc. is also selling some Steem from time to time to cover its expenses.

These sellings are putting Steem price under pressure. We pay with the weak Steem price, actually. Bitcoin also has inflation and “miners” are selling some part of it to cover expenses. Who told me cryptocurrencies are eliminating the expensive banking costs? I can’t remember. But I don’t think so. Cryptocurrency transactions are not always cheap, that’s clear.

Cryptocurrency transactions are not always cheap

So, buying Steem and converting it into Palnet tokens, first took a 2.4 percent margin of my Ether on Blocktrades, than one percent on Steem-Engine.com. (Because “there is a 1% fee on all deposits and withdrawals”.) But that is not all. On this page, the “mini-stock exchange” is not liquid. That means, the volumes are small and the prices are fluctuating a lot because the high margin.

The margin is the distance between the best selling price (cheapest offer, “bid”) and the highest demand (best buying price, “ask”). In theory. Because if I want to buy, for example, 2000 PAL, and the best seller has only 99 to sell, I must go higher with my price. In the last days, the real difference between selling and buying prices, for some hundreds of PAL token, was mostly 5-7 percent.

I lost 6.4 percent

That’s a lot. Assets with high liquidity have mostly only a margin of 0.1, or maybe 0.01 percent. Here, if you want to buy a decent quantity, you have to push the price up. If you want to sell some more than 10, 20 or 50 PAL, you will push the price down.

steem Who The Hell Said Cryptocurrency Transactions ORDER BOOK.jpg Palcoin order book. Difference of the two red-marked prices: 3.2 percent.

By my estimates I loose about 3 percent because of the margin, after 2.4 percent fee of Blocktrades and 1.0 percent of Steem Engine. (And I will lose again when I want to sell my PAL and recover my Steem in the future.) 3+2.4+1=6.4 percent for now. Who the hell said cryptocurrency transactions were cheap? 🙁 🙁 🙁

It’s personal

Anyway, Palnet seems to be a good application and that’s because I invested some money there.

I know I’m a fool, I shouldn’t have bought so much steem. I knew it almost a year before, I wrote about it… (Steem as long time investment? Are you kidding?). But I did it. I bought more. (By approximately 848 Steem/Ether.) I think it’s not a simple investment anymore. “It’s personal, right” – can you hear in movies. Yes, it’s personal. Not a simple investing decision. Yes, Steem Is more than an investment, it is getting an emotional factor if you invest too many times in it.

Remember, cryptocurrency transactions are not always cheap.

(This post was published originally on Steempeak.com and Steemit.com, July 11, 2019.)

(Photo: Own work.)

Author: Dean Cros

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