Liat Clark in Wired:
The most exciting innovations in digital currencies will come from developing countries, where financial infrastructure is not as strong, says MIT Media Lab director of digital currency, Brian Forde.
Speaking at WIRED Money 2015, Forde explained that the mainstream British and American public cannot quite grasp the gravity of the economic revolution we have at our fingertips, because in these countries an ATM is always a few hundred metres away and everyone accepts credit cards. In many places across the globe, though, the status quo is not quite so straightforward.
“Today, in 2015, I still can't use Paypal to send money to friends in Nicaragua,” says Forde, former senior adviser for mobile and data innovation at the White House. “But I can send them Bitcoin instantly.”
In Ukraine, during the three-month protest in Kiev's Independence Square in 2013-2014, activists managed to fund their activities by plastering QR codes on their signs, which led supporters of the cause to a Bitcoin address. 'They instantly had Bitcoin in their wallet they could use,” says Forde. He tells the story of a recent interlude with someone who works in social welfare for government, where he discovered the convoluted process of how they distribute physical cash. “25 percent of the population that receives this cash doesn't live near an ATM. Sometimes they have to put it in a canoe, and the insurance company that delivers the money will only allow a certain amount in each canoe. They spend more money on the delivery of cash than the cash that's delivered.”