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Three years ago, smartphones were rare in Mexico. I had to go to a specialty dealer who unlocked AT&T iPhones to get mine.

This year, I've been shopping for phones again in Mexico. Every network and every shop is full of nothing but smartphones. Almost all monthly plans come with data. Accessory shops with cases and covers and headphones and stuff exist in every town.

Mexico's bitcoin infrastructure is ready to take over the money transfer business if the government and the banks make it hard or expensive to go through official channels. All it will take is enough expense to make it worth learning to use bitcoin. The network of small entrepreneurs that would do the actual cash exchange already exists: Mexico is a land of small shops and informal businesses.

Erecting arbitrary barriers is more likely than ever to create a black market.




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