Cryptocurrency is the new rave of the moment. In the early days, we only had government issued fiat currencies which you can easily transfer using banks. It was extremely difficult to make online trans-border transactions. So what alternatives did citizens in countries like Nigeria who didn’t have access to Paypal and mastercard etc. use? The answer is Perfect Money and Liberty Reserve.
Although Liberty Reserve is since gone because it was seized by the United State Government, I will use this opportunity to to tell you more about Perfect Money, which is still in operation today. So based on an article I found on Web4Africa, below are the few things you need to know about Perfect Money.
Why Perfect Money
Visa and Mastercard did not gain widespread usage in Nigeria until between 2005 and 2010. With a population of about 200 million (as of 2019), Nigeria still does not have financial inclusion for all of its population. This creates a gap for alternative digital currencies where an internet payment system is required. One of such systems is Perfect Money (PM).
PM is popular in Iran, Vietnam, Nigeria, Pakistan and to some extent, Japan.
How did Perfect Money grow?
Perfect Money may have been started as far back as 2007. For the next 6 years, however, it lurked in the background as an alternative to the now-extinct Liberty Reserve. It didn’t have much patronage nor use. When the United States government shut down Liberty Reserve in 2013 for money laundering, the usage of Perfect Money spiked upwards sharply and has remained wildly popular as an alternative digital currency ever since.
Another factor that would be considered a direct consequence of Liberty Reserve’s shut down is that Perfect Money stopped using perfectmoney.com as its primary domain for its website and email. It instead migrated to Iceland’s ccTLD .is with the domain name perfectmoney.is
What is the Ownership Structure of Perfect Money?
There are no public records about the ownership structure of Perfect Money. It may be connected with owners in Russia, the Czech Republic or somewhere else in eastern Europe.
As of 2010, its EV SSL showed it had a company registration in the Central American country of Panama. There is no public evidence that this company is still active.
What currencies does Perfect Money support?
The online wallet supports funds deposits in United States Dollars (USD), European Euro (EUR), Gold (XAU) and Bitcoins (BTC). A user can add, receive, spend or maintain funds in any of the currencies.
Buy Perfect Money in Nigeria
You can buy PM from any reputable PM exchanger in Nigeria. Dozens of them can be found from a Google Search. They would typically accept Naira via bank deposit/transfer to their business account, mobile money transfer, cash payment at their office while a few might accept card payments.
In choosing an exchanger, it is very important to verify the credibility of the company. Considering PM is not licensed to operate in Nigeria, (neither see any of the exchanges), you have no legal recourse should the exchange abscond with your money.
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they have a traceable address?
- Are they registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)?
- How much traffic does their website receive? (Alexa might help with a vague idea here).
- Are they reachable on phone? Do they have a landline?
How do I exchange my funds in Perfect Money to Nigerian Naira?
You can convert your funds from PM back to Naira through any reputable digital currency exchanger in Nigeria. They would usually pay Naira via bank transfer or hand you cash at their office for smaller transactions.
Your choosing criteria should still be very strict as described above, considering PM payments are typically irreversible.
Can I convert my funds to PayPal or Bitcoins?
The short answer is Yes.
PayPal typically frowns at all and every use of its services in relation to any other digital wallet. You would hardly find any reputable exchanger openly offering an exchange from PayPal to PM or vice versa. Your only option might be private exchanges with traceable and trusted individuals.
There is a high chance Pay Pal will freeze your account where they catch a glimpse of any PerfectMoney exchange.
Bitcoin is much more open and not centrally managed. Exchanging BTC for PM or vice-versa is not only easy but can be fast and straight-forward where you use an automated exchange service.
Where can I spend the PM funds online?
Thousands of merchants accept payment via Perfect Money across the world, for a diverse range of products and services.
Perfect Money can serve as a perfect option for transmitting and receiving money where there is no access to more traditional banking and financial services. However, extreme caution must be applied considering it stands a chance of being targeted by US authorities for being unregulated. Also, majority of what you may need Perfect Money for can now be done using cyptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum.