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I've been asked a half dozen times in the past week to send (international) payments via Bitcoin. Not because the receivers are enthusiasts, but because it's the simplest way.

There's admittedly a high cost of learning/adoption, but once that is overcome it's not an issue. My guess is that (like most technology) bitcoin will eventually be easy enough to use that we don't have to understand or think about it, the same way I don't really understand how ACH or merchant processing works but I have a credit card.




I remember in 2013 there was a $148M bitcoin transaction. Instantaneous, 0$ in fees, no third-party involved, no currency exchanges. Granted, it was probably just moving money around the same organization's wallets, but that really opened my eyes. [1]

Someone described Bitcoin to me as the Internet of money. I'm guessing nobody at ARPA envisioned Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, or Google, but they created a platform upon which that innovation could occur. Bitcoin (or whatever) could be that platform for money.

Right now, I can see this being very useful for international remittances, like you have observed, commodity money (serving the role that gold does, as a hedge against currency devaluations, capital controls, etc), and in the informal sector esp. in the third world, where you have smartphones, but maybe not the financial institutions to bank with.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6782290




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