Here is an interview with the manager of one of my favorite e-gold exchange provider – xgold.ca
Today I am interviewing Mr. Sylvain Falardeau a Canadian Independent exchange provider for e-gold and Pecunix.
(Q) How long has xgold.ca been online, when did the operation begin?
We started xgold.ca on March 2005. (Please note that French is Mr. Falardeau’s primary language.)
(Q) Can you please tell us your relationship with xgold.ca and how long you have been a part of the operation?
I am the president of XSOLI inc., an IT company in Canada specialized in the development of solutions with Free Software. Our primary business is IT consulting for various clients (mostly private). I started the company in June 2001 to fulfill my dream to work with Free Software for a living. xgold.ca is one of our internal project showing our expertise in development of specialized Web applications in the banking/money industry.
(Q) Do you work with just precious metal backed currency or would you consider other digital currency not backed by gold such as the current Webmoney model?
We only work with gold currencies for the moment. We have no plan to support non metal backed currencies with xgold.ca.
(Q) Would you consider yourself a ‘gold bug’? How about a libertarian?
I am a gold bug for sure and a libertarian (market anarchist-anarcho-capitalist kind). I started the project partly as a way to “put my money where my mouth is” so to speak. Money is at the heart of any economy and I wanted to put my expertise to allow people to use better money more easily.
(Q) What is the main service which you provide to your Canadian clients?
We offer three services:
Gold to Bank: Transfer from your e-gold or Pecunix to your Canadian bank account. We give the date of deposit to the client before he accepts the transaction (taking weekend and banks holidays into account). It normally takes two business days to receive the money.
Bank to Gold: Transfer from your Canadian bank account to e-gold or Pecunix. We give the date of withdrawal in your bank account and the date of deposit in your gold account so you know exactly when they will happen. It takes two business days for the withdrawal and four business days for the deposit (because of the slow clearing of the transactions in the Canadian banking system). Contrary to most exchangers, we give the exact amount of gold, in grams, that will be deposited in your gold account. We freeze exchange rate of gold when you accept the transaction so you will not have any surprise if the gold price raises before we deposit the gold.
Bill payment: You can pay more than 2300 bills with our system. It is exactly like your bank interface: you search the biller, you enter your bill identification number and you pay. This is one of the unique feature of xgold.ca.
(Q) Just weeks ago, the US government announced some major criminal indictments [allegations] against e-gold Ltd and Gold & Silver Reserve. It is the second round of legal proceeding e-gold has had in as many years. However, I still see you are accepting e-gold buys and sells. Have these allegations caused you to consider dropping e-gold or changing your business model not to include digital gold currency? Why?
We continue to support e-gold but have changed our fee structure. Before, we had only one fee for e-gold and Pecunix, now they are separated. We out exchange with Omnipay and keep our reserve low to mitigate the risks of confiscation by the US government. We may drop e-gold if it becomes too risky or we are unable to out exchange with Omnipay in the future. Right now, we are adjusting the fees of Gold to Bank and the limit of transfers per person so we can manage the fact that Omnipay is currently moving to Africa and do not process out exchanges up to June 18th.
We sincerely hope that e-gold will be able to survive this attack and will be happy to continue to trade with them in the future.
(Q) Who would you consider to be your main competition?
The fiat money and credit cards. It is somewhat difficult to convince people to try gold currencies. The concept of exchanger is alien to many of them and there is always the fear of the unknown. The lack of merchants accepting alternate currencies tend to discourage some of them. This is what we are trying to change.
(Q) Is your company the only exchange agent for digital gold currency in Canada which has the direct online banking connection or are there other agents offering this convenient service?
Our bill payment service is unique but there is at least one other exchanger offering direct deposit in Canadian bank account.
I think we have to lowest fee for small transactions. Our goal is to promote gold as payment so you can purchase a minimum of 10$ of gold for only 0.35$ (not counting Pecunix fees). No bank draft, no envelope or bank wire. You login on xgold.ca, click Bank to Gold, enter the amount, confirm and it is done. You just wait for the withdrawal and the deposit, not other paperwork necessary (after you have authenticated yourself and your bank accounts, a one time operation).
(Q) Using your ‘bill pay’ service, can Canadian customers really pay their bills using digital gold? What are the most common bills which are paid?
Yes, they can really pay their bills. Here is some examples of billers:
Bell Canada (major phone service provider)
Desjardins Visa (Visa card)
Telus Mobility (Cell phone service)
CAA Manitoba Membership
Videotron Ltd (Cable and Internet)
Alberta Health Care Insurance
(Q) Why did you start this convenient service for your customers? Did large customer demand cause you to create it or did you start it and then introduce it to your customers?
Our first idea was to promote this unique feature to clients who do not know about gold currencies. So we can say: yes, you can even pay your phone, Internet and cell phone bills with gold! It is to be convenient to our customers because we know they can do a Gold to Bank and pay their bills with their online banking interface anyway.