As a digital nomad who is constantly moving between countries the world over, access to cash and banking services is an ever-present concern. Modern banking has made leaps and bounds in the past few decades to the point where now traveler’s cheques are a thing of the past, and I seldom have to organize foreign currency before traveling. However, banking fees are a constant pain that adds up over time to become a significant drain on my finances.
Furthermore, the issue of taxes presents an entirely new headache that continues to confuse digital nomads globally. If you bank in a certain country but don’t live there, do you pay tax there? If you don’t live in any country but get paid by businesses in various countries, where do you pay your tax? It’s a difficult question that more people ask daily as the digital nomad community grows. Blockchain-based banking services may be able to provide solutions for several of these issues by offering entirely digital, online services that aren’t tied to a specific country. Furthermore, by partnering with financial institutions in places like the Cayman Islands or the Dominican Republic, these banks can reduce unnecessary taxes for their clients.
Cash withdrawal and card charge services can be made available to clients through the issuance of Visa or Mastercard debit cards which will attract far lower fees than those associated with traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Blockchain-based systems can also easily integrate cryptocurrency services into their systems, providing much-needed services for the growing number of citizens that are now paid in Bitcoin or similar digital assets. EQIBank is one example of such a system. The new digital bank is the world’s first licensed and fully regulated offshore bank of it’s kind, providing both private and corporate banking services as well as a cryptocurrency exchange and loan service. Depending on their level of membership, customers are provided with an insured digital wallet that gives them instant access to a choice of fiat currencies as well as digital assets and the ability to quickly and easily trade between them on an integrated exchange.
Revolut is another good option, but it is not a bank. As their website boldly declares, it offers “A Radically Better Account.” For retail clients, it offers a prepaid card, the ability to purchase five major cryptocurrencies, and the option of setting up recurring payments. in fact, most of the benefits you would expect from a traditional bank account. The problem for me is that, since I get paid primarily in crypto, you can only accept crypto payments from other Revolut clients. Since none of my clients are Revolut users, this is sadly not an option for me. There are plenty of challenger ‘banks’ out there. Starling, Tandem, Monzo, et al., but none of them offer their clients the ability to use cryptocurrencies. There is, of course, Wirex, which is useful in the way it allows me to receive payments in cryptocurrencies, but as of yet, they don’t offer clients the ability to withdraw their funds into a bank account, and my accountant doesn’t like that very much.
For travelers, digital nomads or those paid in cryptocurrency, (of which I am all three), EQIBank is something of a no-brainer. Simplified taxes, reduced fees, and the instant availability of my digital assets will save me both time, money, and the headaches of managing multiple accounts. As the world becomes smaller and more people live and work between countries, banking solutions such as these will undoubtedly grow in popularity.