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How Will the Bitcoin Revolution Impact Digital Financial Services?

Washington, DC - May 18th - RSVP Now
The World Bank estimates that immigrants send $441 billion back to their home countries each year, compared to $135 billion in official development assistance. Yet in doing do, immigrants incur $39 billion in fees, many of which are unnecessary. The OECD estimates that African immigrants alone are overcharged $4 billion a year.
Could there be a better way to send money?

One potential solution is Bitcoin, the most famous of several virtual currencies that can be used for international remittances. Bitcoin is an unregulated, uncontrolled digital crypto-currency that is durable, portable, fungible and unique; the best way to understand it is to watch this introduction to Bitcoin.
Shiny and new, Bitcoin, and other virtual currencies immediately look interesting considering the challenges facing payment systems across Africa, including blocked countries, unavailable credit cards, and slow cross-border integration of solutions like M-PESA.

Bitcoin can also be a catalyst for e-commerce, providing a payments system for online retail that's currently lacking in many developing countries. Bidorbuy, Africa’s largest online marketplace, now accepts payments in Bitcoin, and companies like BitPesa and BitSoko are brining Bitcoins to offline retailers too.
Yet before we get caught up in the Bitcoin hype, we should be asked questions like:
  • Is Bitcoin really practical for remittances or e-commerce?
  • Who is using it now? What is their experience?
  • How could it help (or hinder) other digital financial services?
  • What rules or regulation does it need to be useful?
  • Which companies are leading Bitcoin efforts in emerging markets?
  • Are there other virtual currencies we should be considering?
Please RSVP now to join your peers in technology and development for a lively debate on the usefulness of virtual currencies in development with these thought leaders: We’ll have hot coffee and catered breakfast treats for a morning rush, but seating is limited, so please RSVP now. Once we reach our 35-person capacity there will be a waiting list!
Bitcoin for Development
Technology Salon DC
8.30 – 10.30am,
Tuesday, May 18th, 2016
Downtown Washington, DC
RSVP is required for attendance

About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salonâ„¢ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • Technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • Private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 35 people - and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!
Copyright © 2016 Technology Salon, All rights reserved.

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