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I thought this was a fairly good explanation of Bitcoins broken down into simple terms so that non-technical people can easily grasp the concepts. The Hawala parallel only helps.

That said, it's not really news and doesn't bring any new information to the Bitcoin discussion on Hacker News.

This is a fairly good article on hawala too, but tacking on the somewhat forced Bitcoin analogy makes it clickbait.

I found the parallels interesting -- many people would like fast cheap payments to anywhere in the world without interacting with a bureaucracy. Though there's almost no demographic overlap right now in who uses the various techniques for this!

I wonder what hawaladars' techniques for information and communications security are like, and what efforts people have made to spy on their communications -- or to defraud them by impersonating another hawaladar and originating fraudulent payments.

By using personal trust relationships, hawaladars don't need to solve the full Byzantine Generals problem, but they do face authentication and confidentiality problems from outsiders.

They probably just call each other up on the phone. If two hawaladars know each other well it would be pretty difficult to impersonate one to the other.

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