Is your wallet feeling a little lighter these days? Mine is. I realized it only after I went to buy $Maples at my local ATM last week. Without any word or advanced notice to Roddie Macchi (authorized owner of the Great Canadian Grid Maples currency) Podex Exchange decided that Canadians should pay a “US Exchange” rate to buy Canadian Maples with their hard earned Canadian dollars. Yes, you read that right. Podex Exchange, headquartered in England, has decided that, because they have chosen to convert any Canadian money into US currency that it’s customers should foot the bill. I say this as "just decided" because while the currency rate has been fluctuating frequently in 2015 into 2016 our rate to $Maples has only changed twice.
I emailed Podex about the decline in rate and this was the response I received from Jacek of Podex Exchange “As for exchange course I results from the rate to USD. The rate of grid currency is stable comparing to USD, and other currencies are calculated on the base of financial markets. It means that if exchange rate of CAD (or EUR, GBP …) to USD changes, the rate of virtual currency in CAD, EURO or GBP changes too.”
Now this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, since I am a Canadian resident using the Canadian PayPal system to purchase Canadian online currency for a Canadian metaverse grid. I’m sorry that Podex Exchange, a European company, feels compelled to convert all of their revenues into U.S. currency but that shouldn’t really be my problem. As someone who has been in retail for over twenty-five years I can tell you that there is one phrase which applies here and that is “it’s the cost of doing business” in foreign countries.
PayPal is a US based company (owned by EBay, another US based company), fair enough, but when I purchase an item from a Canadian shopping website with my Canadian currency PayPal does not feel compelled to charge me a US Exchange rate – even though they will take my Canadian money and convert it to US eventually as revenues for their corporation. It’s the cost of doing business.
Last year, myself, I purchased MC$65,883 at a cost of $370.13 Canadian. The rate I was given, for most of the year, was $1 Canadian dollar equals 193 $Maples. The year actually started out paying only 190 $Maples but it was announced that Podex was going to start giving us a better rate because we were buying so many $Maples. It would appear now that the reason the rate went up was because the Canadian dollar went down? That doesn't make any sense.
Now, we can apply a bit of math here. If the rate drops to $1 Canadian equals 178 $Maples that’s a loss, to me, of 15 $Maples for each dollar I spend. I know that doesn’t sound like much. But next, apply that to my purchases from March to December 2015. A loss of 15 $Maples per $1 Canadian results in a MC$ 5,121 loss for me over the period of nine months. That’s MC$ 5,121 or $28.77 Canadian going into Podex Exchange’s pocket and NOT our grid – all in the name of “US Exchange”. Funny, last time I checked Roddie and the GCG was in Ottawa, CANADA not Ottawa, USA.
Oh it gets better. Many of you may have noticed that things have changed on the Podex Exchange website, particularly when it comes to Affiliates and the bonuses they earn. Sure, a few of you may have been led to believe that the recent percentage increase you’ll receive as an affiliate is a good thing. I thought so too until I started reading the fine print.
Let’s begin with the new Podex HUD they are BETA testing in the Great Canadian Grid, also with no advanced notice to the grid owner. Sounds like a great idea doesn’t it? Get your $Maples wherever and whenever you want with this handy HUD you carry around. That’s great, unless you are one of the many affiliates, like me and Roddie Macchi, who used the affiliate bonus to re-invest back into the grid. Roddie lost the bonus too because, well, would you bother traveling to an ATM when you can just click on your inventory? "Now I can't do my kickbacks (to members) anymore" Roddie said. That is, if your ATMs even work anymore. Mine don’t. They want members to use their HUD so they don’t have to pay the affiliates anymore. I am finally fed up with Podex and have removed their ATMs from my regions once again and for the last time.
They’ve already removed the option for me to include a link on this website you are reading this article on, the Corran Journal, and the new HUDs will render any ATMs you’ve permitted on your regions obsolete.
And does the idea of a virtual wallet bother anyone else here? I just see it as yet another thing to go wrong. I’m afraid one day I will log in to find all of my money missing because the item was “not found in inventory”. And since it’s Podex there’s nothing that Roddie can be expected to do about it, the Podex HUD won’t be any different than an AO or a toadstool. It’s a “product” which you must then try to get Podex to replace. Good luck with that one.
I asked Roddie for his take on it and this official notice was sent out in Great Canadian Grid group earlier today “Understand that when you pay here at the GCG that anything rather its Podex or tier payments if you are not familiar with how currency conversion works please educate yourself with Canadian and US dollar. If the Canadian dollar goes up then you payment or podex amount will also go up...if the Canadian dollar drops then your payment and podex also drops...I can't control government monetary regulations sorry lol...that's just how it is in the real world :)”
It's not quite that. When the Canadian dollar goes up then you can buy more US dollars with it so the exchange rate is lower. When the Canadian dollar goes down then you can buy less US dollars with it so the exchange rate is higher. Roddie explained it from the "US" perspective where if the Canadian dollar drops in value then Americans can buy more of them and save money. Canadians, it appears, get screwed either way until the Canadian dollar is strong again (come back in 2018 or so).
That being said, it still should have no impact on buying Canadian online currency with Canadian dollars but that’s Podex making you pay for their conversion to US dollars not GCG. The change impacts everyone. As a result Manitou Tourism has cancelled any upcoming contests in the Manitou Market Mall and there will be no summer weekend concerts scheduled at this time. The amount of $Maples I will lose to exchange could have funded at least two contests.
In the end, consumers get screwed as usual and the corporations (Podex) rake in the dough or in this case the $Maples, just another day in the Metaverse.
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Hendrix tribute concert
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Kevin M. Klerks, Editor
(aka Winter Silversmith)