Will cryptocurrencies replace the traditional banking system in developing countries? Guvera’s Michael Wallis-Brown seems to think so
The Chief Commercial Officer of Guvera, Michael Wallis-Brown, stated an interesting opinion at the Inside Bitcoins Conference in Melbourne, Australia. According to Wallis-Brown, as cited by Startup Smart, a number of developing countries which have large amount of people will no longer use the traditional banking system. He said that cryptocurrency might replace it.
Wallis-Brown then continued by saying that Indonesia will be the first country where the stock exchange will be done via mobile banking; put aside its GDP which only reaches $5000 per year (it’s actually $3500 or so per 2013 -Ed). Based on that, he emphasised that people who live in places like Southeast Asia, India, and China will not touch traditional banking system at all. Then how can they do online transactions?
With only 10 million credit cards in use in Indonesia, Wallis-Brown assumes that it will be easier for them to use virtual currencies without having to experience the current banking system.
Wallis-Brown said, “There’s major, major players, not just [Apple], but there’s other big ones that we’re actually working with coming out in China that can bring alternative payments into the world. Banking systems, finance systems, it’s all going to be on mobile and it’s going to accelerate the protocol, in my humble opinion, to the mainstream.”
While Bitcoin may not end up being the currency of choice, the current virtual currency protocol will no doubt be the blueprint of cryptocurrency which will be used to do online transactions. This technology certainly makes it easier for people to do real time transactions without involving any third party, such as the bank or credit card providers, in the process.
Indonesia’s central bank (BI) does not acknowledge the use of cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange. However, BI does not completely restrict the use of Bitcoin and leaves any and all risks related to its use as a payment medium to those who use it .
During 2014, there are several places in Indonesia which have been experimenting in the use of Bitcoin as one of their accepted currencies. The latest place which accepts Bitcoin in Indonesia is Hubud, the co-working space in Bali, as many of its members receive payment in bitcoins. There is also a social movement by Bitcoin Indonesia and Coin of Sale to turn Bali into a “Bitcoin Island”.
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