If you are Lebanese or have visited Lebanon for the past year, you might be aware of the Lira telegram groups.
It is a unique invention of us, proud Lebanese. We are the only nation on earth that uses social media for one-to-one currency exchange!
Telegram is a social media platform that allows anyone to create a group and invite anyone to it. Also, the group admin can define a set of rules, for example:
- Who gets invited?
- Who is allowed to invite people to the group?
- Define spamming rules.
- Ban users.
- Warn users if abuse takes place.
Unfortunately, not all these groups are created with good intentions. The purpose is to find buyers or sellers of Dollars on a peer-to-peer model.
Many advantages and disadvantages surround that kind of social interaction, which we will discuss here.
Advantages of Using Lira Telegram Groups:
Using Telegram groups to buy USD or sell the USD can have many advantages for all of us. The peer-to-peer nature of such groups makes the transaction smooth and reduces commissions applied by black market exchangers, making more money on your trades.
The advantages are:
- Peer-to-peer transactions.
- Private negotiations on price.
- Variety of amounts to Buy / Sell available.
- Quickly find currency buyers and sellers.
- Selling checks of Lollar (Locked Dollars in the banks as per Dan Kazzi)
- If you need liquidity, this is a great tool to use.
- No or minimal commissions.
- Members have to mention the amount, rate, and location.
- You can still find buyers or sellers even after the official and black-market exchanges have closed their physical locations.
Risks of Using Lira Exchange Telegram Groups:
Most likely, you have come across one or more of these groups. You noticed that, on average, each could have from 900 to more than 5000 members posting their USD to LBP currency exchange requests.
We have been monitoring such groups for quite a while and used them to transact for our personal needs.
We came to a mixed conclusion when it comes to the risks involved with using them:
- You have to meet strangers, which is very risky, especially since you will carry money.
- Discrepancies in currency value: You can find a member selling 1 USD for 6900 LBP at one moment while another sells 1 USD for 7200 LBP.
- Most members are not black market exchangers and use the app to quickly find a buyer or a seller and attain leverage when negotiating prices and rates. Unfortunately, after close monitoring, some groups are owned and infiltrated by 4 to 5 black market USD to Lira exchangers sharks. You can spot that if you see a user posting a certain amount of dollars for sale, you contact him, and he asks you to call another person; that second person, in return, will forward you to a third person. Finally, you see a 4th person delivering the cash to you. This is what the black market food chain looks like: sharks, whales, brokers, and runners.
- We realized that those 4 or 5 black market exchangers have a web of cash delivery all over Lebanon. You can have your USD or LL delivered to you in minutes! Why is this a risk? That indicates that the rates are manipulated and that there is what looks to be a well-organized network working all together to appreciate or depreciate the Lira rate.
- Some may have the guts to ask you to go with them, in their car, somewhere to bring the cash. DO NOT ACCEPT THIS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Remember that 50% of the nation is unemployed!
How To Negotiate With Telegram USD/LBP Buyers or Sellers:
On the other hand, Things can get hectic when money is involved in a social media application. Consider a group of 2500 members with 20 percent posting buying and selling requests, that is, 500 individuals, choosing a rate on a God knows what basis.
Accordingly, You can easily find yourself buying 1 USD = 6900 LBP while the actual black market rate is 1 USD = 6500 LBP.
How can you negotiate the rates effectively:
- Try and find the black market USD rates from different sources. LiraExchange.com is the only platform in Lebanon that provides intraday Lira currency updates from 8 other sources with precise averages.
- Download many black market apps, which may be tiring to define an average rate, overload your phone’s space, and make your phone vulnerable to viruses and malware.
- So, Once you have an apparent average for the USD to LBP rate, you can easily detect abusers and market manipulators.
- When you come to the negotiation phase, send the person the current rate from the App or website you have on hand, that way, you can push your counterpart to reduce his price by showing him facts and figures. Thus you can make more money.
- YOU can be thousand times more powerful and have significant leverage if you use LIRAEXCHANGE.COM, as you will have eight different Lebanese Lira rate sources from the black market.
We Can Make A Change!
We became a nation controlled by corruption and abuse on all levels.
Since October 2019, with the start of the revolution, banks closed, and the Lira devaluation crisis due to the lack of fresh Dollars at the banks, black markets and parallel markets emerged.
The pegged Lebanese Lira to the Dollar devaluated and reached 1 USD = 9000 LBP at some point.
Also, with the BIRA (Bank Lira as per Dan Kazzi) emerging due to the BDL circular 151 and 571, black market exchangers are increasingly in control of the circulation of CASH notes for both Lira and Dollar.
We all need Dollars at some point, but you don’t have to be ripped off by artificially inflated rates.
Check out many sources, negotiate accordingly, don’t meet with exchangers alone, and save money!
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