Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Currency arbitrage: not just for foreign exchange traders

In my pocket, I found a 20-forint coin from Hungary (worth about $0.10 Canadian).
It looks just like a Canadian loonie. I must have received it from the Tim Hortons at work as change.

The coin-operated washing machines in my apartment complex cost $2.25 Canadian per load. The laundry machines accept 20-forint coins as if they were loonies.

According to Wikipedia, the Hungarian 1-forint coin was the size of a Toronto Transit subway token, and used to work in the turnstiles until they were reprogrammed.

I can buy a roll of 50 20-forint coins on eBay for $14.99 ($0.30 each), or $0.19 if I buy in bulk from a numismatist. Or I could fly to Hungary and get them at the bank for $0.10 each.

If I were unscrupulous, I could turn this into an interesting business. As it is, I'll just consider this experiment as partially making up for all the times the laundry machines stole my money.
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