For years we've been paying exorbitant fees just to transfer our own hard-earned money from one country to another. I'm in Poland at the moment and find I need to transfer funds from my US checking account to a local one (mBank) regularly to pay family bills etc.
Citibank for instance quietly dings me over 2.5% lower exchange rate than the current central bank rates, and about an additional 3% for "foreign transfer fee" against my account. No credit card--That's just using my ATM/debit card at a "local" Citibank S.A. teller. I would prefer a bank-to-bank xfer (not an expensive wire xfer) rather than have to drive to the city anyway, only during that one ATM's operating hours etc. Paypal is not much better.
Can Bitcoin be used as an intermediary?
USD --> BTC --> PLN
I like the idea of going through two exchanges ACH'd to my bank accounts on each side, but do their transaction fees and currency conversion rates make it worth the while?
Also, apparently last year 2011 there was still one online service able transfer PLN to/from your Bitcoin address, now they are shut down. Anyone know others methods to cash out of BTC in PL?