So, do people have any ideas? How can we make it easy for people to receive BTC in, say, the Philippines, and then somehow get that into Pesos for their living needs? Or Africa, India, South America?
Hawala is about the same as Western Union, except that it is an informal value transfer system. This means nobody is filing currency transaction reports (CTRs) for transactions greater than $3K USd or $10K or whatever. And nobody is asking questions. It exists today, ... someone in one country hands over some amount of cash to a hawalder and in another country that person's family member visits the hawalder partner there and receives the cash, less a 10% or 20% fee.
A hawalder is a network ... requiring presence in both countries ... the sender's country and the recipient's country.
Bitcoin breaks this down into there being two domestic transactions. The person sending the money goes to 7-eleven, or does a domestic bank transaction or whatever to buy coins. On the recipient's side, that too is simiply another domestic transaction -- the recipient redeems bitcoins in exchange for cash of the local currency.
So simply educating the hawalders about bitcoin, and how they can become independent bitcoin exchange agents to serve the remittance market, is one way to cause bitcoin to become more widely used for remittance payments.
Since there already is a pretty developed method for the person in the western world to obtain bitcoins, the challenge comes in ensuring that the remittance recipient can cash out securely, without losing a ton during the exchange.
Here's the problem that I see, however. The independent local exchangers don't have much capital. The "round trip" between selling bitcoins and using those cash proceeds to restock can take many days, and the fees to do so may be relatively prohibitive.
So what is needed is a mid-level wholesale buyer who has an inventory of coins who can sell to the local exchangers in exchange for their cash. This lets the local exchanger negotiate a trade with the confidence that cash proceeds from the sale can be converted back into bitcoins within a short amount of time (same day even) and thus exposure to exchange rate risk is lower and the capital requirements for operating the exchange business are lower.
The mid-level wholesale buyer would sell the coins purchased to local buyers or would convert the proceeds on an exchange. This mid-level buyer would need to be well capitalized to accommodate the short term demand for cash as well as have banking connections sufficient to ensure that bitcoins sold at the exchange (generally in USDs, or EURs) can be converted back in to the local currency for use in making further purchases.
This is a function that can develop organically (as a better funded local trader with an entrepreneurial mind can rise to become a mid-level trader), however someone purposely filling this role can help cause this service to be available to the small time traders sooner.
So that's what is needed to bump Bitcoin's share of the remittance market up a notch or two.