Motherboard posits bitcoin for 5 countries
Motherboard suggest 5 countries that would really benefit from bitcoin
Still, the use of Bitcoin in a political context was a reminder of its insulation from political pressure, the kind that kept Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard for processing payments for WikiLeaks in 2010. There are other interesting use cases for Bitcoin in a country undergoing political unrest and economic turmoil. When ATMs are running out of cash and banks are on the brink of default, an alternative currency begins to look more promising; you can’t prevent someone from moving their Bitcoin wealth out of a country through an online transaction or brain wallet. The flexibility of bitcoins in these kinds of situations lends them a kind of intrinsic value that can in typical situations be much harder to see.
India is currently dealing with relatively high rates of inflation, weakening the rupee, but the main argument for Bitcoin in India is the country’s heavy use of international remittances. More money is sent to families in India, from places like the United States and the United Arab Emirates, where many Indians travel to work, than to any other country in the world. And Indians send a lot of remittances from their home country, too, to places like Bangladesh. Companies in the business of international remittances simply cannot compete with Bitcoin’s extremely low fees, even as they try hard to do so.
Studies have shown that those sending remittances are at least somewhat price-sensitive: the cheaper it is to send money, generally, the more money will be sent. There were $67.6 billion worth of remittances sent to India in the last year on record, and this number has continued to grow on a yearly basis. Meanwhile, Bitcoin meetups are popping up all over the country, and the Bitcoin Alliance of India is trying to guide the government towards practical regulations around the digital currency.
Kenya is a world leader in mobile money. The mobile payment network M-PESA, which is thought to be the most developed of its kind in the world, boasts 18 million users in Kenya alone, thanks in no small part to the rate of mobile adoption: 93 percent of Kenyans have mobile phones. Compare the number of mobile payment users with the 10 million people who have bank accounts in Kenya, and it’s clear that M-PESA is actually more popular than traditional banking options.
That reliance on mobile banking makes Bitcoin a natural fit. And because Kenya is another large hub of international remittances, Bitcoin transactions through mobile phones have an even greater chance for adoption. Kenya’s currency also makes the argument for Bitcoin: the Kenyan shilling is not the most stable currency in the world, and inflation rates have been known to creep above 15 percent from time to time.