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Author Topic: Bitcoin Nordic: 300M can now buy bitcoin in the Middle East and North Africa  (Read 31218 times)
Ocean6
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July 15, 2012, 03:02:54 AM
 #21

Good job guys. Spread it!

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July 15, 2012, 08:54:40 AM
 #22

This is great - there are fewer and fewer white spots on the Bitcoin map of this planet. Best of luck!

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July 15, 2012, 10:02:10 AM
 #23

Great job. It's really good.
I have a tech question how does the other than English language works is it automatic translation by Google, was it verified by some native speaker?
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July 15, 2012, 10:10:22 AM
 #24

Great job. It's really good.
I have a tech question how does the other than English language works is it automatic translation by Google, was it verified by some native speaker?
Yes, it's an automatic translation which we are looking to verify and correct in the future. However, I would guess that if you're living in the ME/NA region, and you can't read English, you are unlikely to know about Bitcoin in the first place. This, of course, needs to change.

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July 15, 2012, 10:30:38 AM
 #25

Great news, well done!
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July 15, 2012, 03:01:43 PM
 #26

Great job. It's really good.
I have a tech question how does the other than English language works is it automatic translation by Google, was it verified by some native speaker?
Yes, it's an automatic translation

Please change your topic. You did NOT reach out to 300M people with this. Get some translator before claiming such bullshit! It's not expensive at all.

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July 15, 2012, 03:12:32 PM
 #27

Great work guys Smiley
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July 15, 2012, 05:06:20 PM
 #28

I have a tech question how does the other than English language works is it automatic translation by Google, was it verified by some native speaker?
Yes, it's an automatic translation which we are looking to verify and correct in the future. However, I would guess that if you're living in the ME/NA region, and you can't read English, you are unlikely to know about Bitcoin in the first place. This, of course, needs to change.

That was quick. Cool. Smiley

I know Bitcointalk has a decent number of French and Hebrew proficient readers...

Do we also have French, Hebrew and Arabic people who could do some quick sanity testing of the automated translations?

Possible next step: Write a post recruiting people to have a quick read, and spot for babel-fishy, nonsensical or inconsistent translation. Translation failures could be posted to the thread, allowing the original English to be re-worded to avoid the problematic translations. Would such an approach be feasible?

The English to Danish translation seems usable, although the grammar is a bit off. The bad grammar makes it read a bit like a spam-email, which would make me a bit skeptical, if I had access only to the translated version. Beyond this, the English to Arabic translation could be a lot more jabberwocky.
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July 15, 2012, 07:09:46 PM
 #29

the Hebrew is...is.... ROFL Smiley

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July 15, 2012, 08:23:48 PM
 #30

Beyond this, the English to Arabic translation could be a lot more jabberwacky.
Are you proficient in Arabic?

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July 15, 2012, 08:28:03 PM
 #31

the Hebrew is...is.... ROFL Smiley
cashU's presence in Israel is pretty small, unfortunately, so Hebrew probably has the lowest priority of these languages.

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July 15, 2012, 08:33:51 PM
 #32

Check with Meni Rosenfeld for Hebrew. He offers a competing service, but perhaps helping you out could further both your and his business.

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July 15, 2012, 08:47:58 PM
 #33

do all those africans know they can buy bitcoins now?

I suggest that we all start emailing african strangers with 'a business offer you can't refuse'. We should probably make sure to email quite a few at once to make sure enough of them see it. If they don't get it first time we'll have to be quite persistent. I think we'd have the best hit rate in Nigeria, they seem very business minded. It would help to have important people back it, but luckily I happen to know the president's family are on email quite a lot and interested in financial things too !

Edit: for these guys i think the automated translations without any review will be just fine


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July 15, 2012, 09:01:47 PM
 #34

Beyond this, the English to Arabic translation could be a lot more jabberwacky.
Are you proficient in Arabic?

Not in the slightest.

I just assume the English-Danish translation is more likely to be sane and legible than the English-Arabic translation.

It's safe to say that machine translation between weakly related languages belonging to wholly different language groups fails in weird ways more often than, say German-English, or French-English translations. Re: farfiman's comment on the Hebrew version.

While the automated translation is unlikely to create a trustworthy and otherwise favorable impression, it's likely good enough to make it possible to understand and hence do business, if one is motivated in advance. So... Yay! Gotta start somewhere. Smiley
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July 16, 2012, 01:08:24 AM
 #35

Good job guys. Apparently Malaysia is on that list as well, although I had never heard of CashU before.
I know someone who might be able to help with both Arabic and Hebrew - PM me.

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July 16, 2012, 01:22:28 AM
 #36

do all those africans know they can buy bitcoins now?

I suggest that we all start emailing african strangers with 'a business offer you can't refuse'.....

please excuse my profanity, but IMHO a premium of 15% just for buying BTC doesn't look like a business offer you can't refuse. Add to that the additional costs incurred on the merchant accepting bitcoin. And what is the merchant supposed to do with his BTC? convert them back to USD? or to Yuan??

This might be a first attempt to spread a small number of coins into those countries, but, honestly I don't get the "big picture" here.
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July 16, 2012, 01:38:26 AM
 #37

Godt gået  Wink
Nice to see good stuff happening in the Danish Bitcoin scene.

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Stephen Gornick
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July 16, 2012, 03:40:21 AM
 #38

And cashU prepaid cards are just one way to top up a cashU account, as cashU cooperates with Ukash and several other payment systems to make it truly globally available.

Yes, for the first time there is a cash deposit method for purchasing bitcoins in Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey, and through UKash this becomes available in Argentina, Uraguay, Bolivia, and Mexico (among dozens of others).

I've added wiki pages for both CashU and UKash:

 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/CashU
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/UKash


please excuse my profanity, but IMHO a premium of 15% just for buying BTC doesn't look like a business offer you can't refuse. Add to that the additional costs incurred on the merchant accepting bitcoin. And what is the merchant supposed to do with his BTC? convert them back to USD? or to Yuan??

This might be a first attempt to spread a small number of coins into those countries, but, honestly I don't get the "big picture" here.

Of course the added expenses in converting from cash through payment intermediaries like CashU will limit bitcoin's usefulness in the instances where that is needed.  But compare the costs to Western Union though and to other methods of sending money from one part of a country to another, or internationally within Africa or overseas, and this doesn't end up being such an uncompetitive rate.

Here's an example of why this matters:


 - http://pymnts.com/commentary/Tips-for-2012-Understanding-Payment-Behavior-of-African-Households-A-Vast-and-Untapped-Market/

That shows that more than half of remittances do not use mobile payments.

Few mobile payment networks support international remittance transactions so that is one reason for that.  
 - http://technology.cgap.org/2012/03/21/what-do-international-remittances-mean-for-mobile-money-cgap-releases-study-on-remittances

But bitcoins won't just be useful as an alternative to Western Union for remittance transfers for the continent.  They'll be useful for a wide variety of transactions -- they can be used to pay for a commercial shipment electronically so that the delivery driver isn't carrying large amounts of cash, for instance.  Bitcoins will be useful for travelers who wish to convert out of the currency in one country and then used to acquire local currency in the next.

So even with a high level of friction when buying bitcoins using CashU, once bitcoins are acquired they can circulate without being converted back to fiat outside the local community.  

This is sure to happen since anyone can function as an exchange.  This exchange function is one that has almost no barrier to entry and could be profitable for those who begin to offer this service.  The techies at the cyber-cafe are likely one example of where these first exchanges will occur  -- especially since that's where tourists are found.   Or those already operating as exchange agents might start participating as adding bitcoin to the mix is just a small additional effort.

Keep this in mind ... with each Western Union transaction sucking a minimum of 10% of the payment, and mobile payments in the 5% range for smaller payments (e.g., under $40 range), bitcoins when purchased through CashU even don't need to change hands twice before they've become a better value as a payment system than had the same amount of funds been transferred through the alternatives.

The key though is that previously there was no way to seed this.  This CashU option actually gives the ability for entrepreneurial individuals on the ground there to get bitcoins into their hands so that they have something to use to start trading.

Next what is needed are some stories of actual bitcoin commerce occurring.  For instance, there are many tech and business incubators on the continent  - a perfect place for bitcoins to begin circulating among a small group of willing participants who generally are among the early adopters and wouldn't entirely resist trying something new like this.

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July 16, 2012, 11:09:11 AM
 #39

Gornick, thanks for the Wiki updates and additional information.


I've put up an ad looking for Arabic translators: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=93579.0

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July 22, 2012, 02:59:26 AM
 #40

So I hired JeromeS from this thread to do the Arabic translation and it has now been implemented on www.bitcoinnordic.com

(We're aware the logo is misplaced in the Arabic layout.)

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