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Author Topic: Bitcoin in the 3rd world  (Read 3330 times)
Timo Y
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December 29, 2010, 11:12:31 PM
 #21

If you have strongly local government that is accountable to the citizens and represents a small constituency, this also tends to not be a big issue either.  Small governments representing relatively few people can be impacted by the opinions of just a few people and can get things done.

Strongly local government is what we have in Switzerland.  The cantons and towns have a high degree of autonomy. Towns can even set their own income tax. Government in Switzerland seems to do a much better job of providing public services than any other country I have lived in.  There is some degree of competition between town governements wooing wealthy migrants, so this gives them an incentive to keep taxes low and quality of services high. 

Like you say, there are dark sides to this system too. In some more traditional towns you are basically a second class citizen if you weren't born there, but if you don't like that you can move to Zurich which is full of foreigners. Of course, Zurich will tax you twice as much because they know they can get away with it.

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The Bitcoin software, network, and concept is called "Bitcoin" with a capitalized "B". Bitcoin currency units are called "bitcoins" with a lowercase "b" -- this is often abbreviated BTC.
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December 30, 2010, 08:51:56 AM
 #22

Bitcoin could be really useful to immigrants who send money to their families in 3rd world countries. But, before such a thing could happen, there should be more exchanges on different currencies Sad

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December 31, 2010, 02:49:43 AM
 #23

I being a member of third world country, India, feel that the term "3rd world" is in a sense derogatory to the national pride .Being called underdeveloped is acceptable .

May be I am too nationalistic .The two victors of WW2 divided their allies into 2 groups,those who did not participated in WW2 were kept in the 3rd world .

But I am very sure that if WW3 ever took place,then India will participate and the first,second world countries like Australia,Canada,Norway,Sweden, etc wont participate and even after that they wont be called a fourth world countries .

just a man
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January 07, 2011, 09:43:47 PM
 #24

Kenyans using mobile-phone money...
http://www.npr.org/2011/01/05/132679772/mobile-money-revolution-aids-kenyas-poor-economy?sc=tw&cc=share

Very interesting in my opinion.

Bitcoin Weekly FTMFW: http://bitcoinweekly.com

The Bitcoin Sun (a new dawn): http://thebitcoinsun.com/

my attempt to learn about bitcoin was an unmitigated and disaster. who knew magic beans would turn out to be such a big fucking deal. my regret is the cost to others, which has shamed me.
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January 08, 2011, 01:42:49 AM
 #25

Would btc be good for the 3rd world, places like Africa, Asia and South and Central America?
in my opinion bitcoin is not yet ready to circulate outside a very specific community (online, with hardware, education) and not matured yet (in pure numbers not enough users, little circulation, commodity value fluctuation after every media appearance)

i mean when btc gets rid of the fat client to manage wallet
when there will be a variety of client apps to use on different devices
when micro payments will fast, reliable and easy, then hooray. btc may be a useful commodity circulating alongside other currencies.

Yes, it is still a beta system.  That said, it's nearly ready to take over the mobile-to-mobile (SMS, etc) transfer realm and dramaticly undercut the relatively high fees those markets command at present.  All that is really needed for Bitcoin to take over that market is a functional 'lightweight' Android client that can handle transactions with spotty Internet access.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 08, 2011, 12:15:22 PM
 #26

Would btc be good for the 3rd world, places like Africa, Asia and South and Central America?
in my opinion bitcoin is not yet ready to circulate outside a very specific community (online, with hardware, education) and not matured yet (in pure numbers not enough users, little circulation, commodity value fluctuation after every media appearance)

i mean when btc gets rid of the fat client to manage wallet
when there will be a variety of client apps to use on different devices
when micro payments will fast, reliable and easy, then hooray. btc may be a useful commodity circulating alongside other currencies.

I'm thinking over a 10 year framework. Bitcoins are not going to be of much use right now to immigrants from Nicaragua or the Gambia sending money home from the US or Europe now no (or indeed workers in Lagos sending money back home to their rural fishing village on the Niger Delta or what have you), but give it five to ten years and the infrastructure will start to get there. Who'd heard of facebook five years ago? Not me anyway, now people log in from all over the world including Africa and Asia and other parts of the '3rd world'.

15-20 years ago only gadget freaks used mobile phones. Now see my link about the use of mobiles in Kenya to send and receive money... 15 years ago who would have associated email with Nigerian con-artists? Email scamming I obviously don't approve of but my point is that it's an example of how these internet technoloigies provide opportunities to people anywhere. Peoplke seek the cheapest and most efficient solutions for things, and the price of entry to bitcoin is not that much higher than other internet services people acces relatively easily via internet cafes etc in 3rd world urban centres.

Today I have an Nokia N8 and consider it the dogs-bollocks (that's British for "rather cool") perhaps I should have got an android phone, but I couldn't say no to the 12 megapixel camera. In 5 years, 10 years... my N8 will be passe, here in the UK anyway, it and this generation of android phones. Which means that in 5 years time these phones will be quite affordable to not particularly affluent people in Africa and Asia.

I went on a camping trip in the Sahara once and was struck by how my Berber guide depended on his old Nokia and the credits he'd buy in town to keep in contact with his community when out in the desert, climbing to the tops of sand dunes or rocky hills to get better reception (I will call my cousin to bring us some more things, some more onions for tagine, you want alcohol? My cousin he can bring, some hashish and cigerettes yes?) Even more I was struck by the use of solar panels on the roofs of their mud-brick homes. Makes absolute sense to have German solar panels on your roof when you're a Berber villager, there's plenty of sun and fuck-all power infratsructure.  My point is that some of the techs we take for granted in Europe and the US have aspects that make them even more useful and important and make even more sense in corners of the world that aren't economicaly developed or don't have decades of infratsructure invested into them.

In the next 10 years the take-up of bitcoin outside the developed world will be alot more vigarous because it will mean alot more to those able to use it. Life's tough out there, a better form of money can more literally be a matter of life or death. Could represent a major infusion of wealth from working diaspora's in the West or developing-world capitals out into fishing villages and farms and so on all over the place.

Only need bitcoin clients on android phones made affordable to working class people in developing world countries by the passage of a few years. Don't underestimate the ability of people in the developing world to utilize technologies that avoid the need for centralized infrastructure, or infrasturcture at all. If M-Pessa over mobile phones can take off in Kenya, then surely bitcoin can take-off anywhere.

Bitcoin Weekly FTMFW: http://bitcoinweekly.com

The Bitcoin Sun (a new dawn): http://thebitcoinsun.com/

my attempt to learn about bitcoin was an unmitigated and disaster. who knew magic beans would turn out to be such a big fucking deal. my regret is the cost to others, which has shamed me.
Anonymous
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January 08, 2011, 08:18:41 PM
 #27

Why dont we start our own charity project or plant the seed for it ? . The idea is that when we get an android client thats workable we contact an organisation that sends used or cheap android phones to the disadvantaged. Perhaps the Grameen Telecommunications which provides low cost mobile communication in rural areas.

 They can then install a  bitcoin client and  people can post a bitcoin address maybe with a backstory similar to how kiva.org does with loans for entrepeneurs. They could then start a local bitcoin market within their community from direct bitcoin donations. The majority of your donation would then go directly to them. This is where bitcoin would really shine.

 
MoonShadow
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January 08, 2011, 09:24:42 PM
 #28

@just a man
this talk is similar to a link you posted
http://www.ted.com/talks/iqbal_quadir_says_mobiles_fight_poverty.html
this guy started a mobile phone network in bangladesh
i do no doubt ability of people to adapt new technology

i just would have second thoughts trying to convince people in developing countries to adapt btc right now. example the drop of value after the slashdot peak 50 us cents per 1 BTC to current 30 us cents per 1 BTC today. imagine someone's hard earned money loosing almost half of it's value in a few days/weeks.

That 50 cent peak was a false high, lasting only a few minutes.  That said, people just need to be aware that Bitcoin floats, and can go up or down quite often.  The spot price on MtGox or anywhere else isn't a particularly useful metric anyway, exactly because it moves so much.  The 24 hour weighted average is a much better number to use, and I don't believe that ever broke 35 cents.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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