One of the great advantages for humanitarian organizations like the ICRC would be the use of Bitcoins for their workers in crisis regions, where it is often hard to send funds to, without great risk and/or fees.
Yeah, and what are they going to do with it? You can't feed or clothe people with bitcoin
Of course, for that to be practical, local exchangers would have to be much more common. Maybe we should work on that with specific contacts in current crisis regions. This would be a great selling argument for Bitcoin as a whole and benefit many other organizations as well.
Once we have some trustworthy local exchangers established, we could approach the ICRC with mentioning that specific unique possibility.
What do you think?
I was initially enthusiastic about this use of bitcoins but I suspect the overhead and excessive fees exist largely because of the difficulty in finding trustworthy partners and the costs of handling large quantities of cash, not the actual transfer costs. Similarly for cash currency conversions in the developed world: although there would be some convenience in not having to collect and exchange several different foreign currencies, in most parts of Europe, for example, cash exchanges already offer low spreads between dollars, euros and local currency.