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Author Topic: 2013-05-14 polycimic: How Bitcoin Could Help the World's Poorest People  (Read 4005 times)
n8rwJeTt8TrrLKPa55eU
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May 14, 2013, 07:57:43 PM
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The way in which Bitcoin typically gets portrayed, it often conjures up images of rich techies, American libertarians, and European depositors preparing for the worst. But this focus on Bitcoin as a first-world project ignores the enormous potential it holds as a tool for economic development. The world's poorest have unique challenges when it comes to financial services, and Bitcoin has the potential to meet at least some of these challenges more quickly and at less cost than any other tool currently available.

http://www.policymic.com/index.php/article/show/id/41561
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n8rwJeTt8TrrLKPa55eU
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May 14, 2013, 08:08:28 PM
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I'd add to the article that two of the biggest problems in the 3rd world are lack of property rights and historical propensity towards inflationary episodes.  Bitcoin helps notably with both of those.
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May 14, 2013, 09:47:27 PM
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Bitcoin has the potential to meet at least some of these challenges more quickly and at less cost than any other tool currently available.

The poorer have less of a cushion to weather adverse changes in the purchasing power of bitcoins held.  This doesn't mean Bitcoin still won't work, it just means they'll probably want to use a payment processor who stores value in some unit that is less volatile. 

What I'ld like to see is something like Bridgewalker app in which the funds are not just USD but instead a basket of commodities suited for the type of future buying an individual might encounter.  For instance, if a quarter of my spending is on food, another quarter on gas, and maybe some materials like cotton then I might want a basket that has 25% of the value in agricultural commodities (meats and grains), a 25% in energy (e.g., crude oil), and then some in soft commodities (cotton, lumber, etc.) with the remainder in precious metals, etc.

That way you have low volatility for your store of value but the actual exchange is in bitcoins so you gain the benefit of that being a low cost, low friction payment method. (i.e., the recipient doesn't need to know you were using something like Bridgewalker as you paid in bitcoins.)

Here's the link to Bridgewalker:
 - https://www.bridgewalkerapp.com


n8rwJeTt8TrrLKPa55eU
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May 14, 2013, 10:34:26 PM
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Bitcoin has the potential to meet at least some of these challenges more quickly and at less cost than any other tool currently available.

The poorer have less of a cushion to weather adverse changes in the purchasing power of bitcoins held.  This doesn't mean Bitcoin still won't work, it just means they'll probably want to use a payment processor who stores value in some unit that is less volatile. 

What I'ld like to see is something like Bridgewalker app in which the funds are not just USD but instead a basket of commodities suited for the type of future buying an individual might encounter.  For instance, if a quarter of my spending is on food, another quarter on gas, and maybe some materials like cotton then I might want a basket that has 25% of the value in agricultural commodities (meats and grains), a 25% in energy (e.g., crude oil), and then some in soft commodities (cotton, lumber, etc.) with the remainder in precious metals, etc.

That way you have low volatility for your store of value but the actual exchange is in bitcoins so you gain the benefit of that being a low cost, low friction payment method. (i.e., the recipient doesn't need to know you were using something like Bridgewalker as you paid in bitcoins.)

Here's the link to Bridgewalker:
 - https://www.bridgewalkerapp.com



Interesting app, I wasn't aware of it, thanks for the link.  That app could be a good slow intro to Bitcoin for certain inflationary 3rd world places where USD is the defacto most widely used savings currency.

And of course some of us who are more risk tolerant and BTC bullish would undoubtedly enjoy the reverse app, i.e. a wallet that receives instantly in local currency, automatically converts to BTC, and eventually resends out in local currency as necessary.  Probably achievable at some point if mobile Ripple wallets become widespread.

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May 14, 2013, 10:50:29 PM
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Another worth while read from Jeff Fong.

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