Cambodia is proving to be an attractive target for crypto-currencies, with one of the most recently established operators of virtual money declaring their intention to roll out terminals in Phnom Penh this year.
Officials of the foundation that founded Blackcoin, a digital-currency formed in February by a Russian developer named rat4, say they have secured the purchase of two terminals; one to facilitate exchange between US dollars and Blackcoin, and the other to make retail payments, the Phnom Penh based co-founder of the Blackcoin foundation Josh Bouw told the Post.
“We are considering giving the terminals to local currency traders – one in Central Market and the other in Tuol Tompuong,” the 23-year-old from Canada said.
The machines could be operational as early as July, Bouw added.
Cambodia’s central bank won’t recognise bitcoin as a form of payment, making the Kingdom the latest Asian country to reject the digital currency.
National Bank of Cambodia director-general Chea Serey confirmed the regulator’s stance on the issue on Wednesday, citing the absence of any e-commerce law in the Kingdom as one of the main reasons.
“NBC will not recognise a currency that is not issued or backed by a government. Bitcoin’s issuer is not a central bank of any jurisdiction,” Serey said.
Serey said that the lack of pertinent regulations means consumers aren’t legally protected in case of fraud, “which has proven to be a daily occurrence in the virtual world”, she added.
The NBC is the only organisation in Cambodia with authorisation to issue legal tender under the direction of the Ministry of Economy and Finance… Read More
Local entrepreneur Ki Chong Tran believes he has the solution to many of Cambodia’s problems.
Look no further, Tran says, than bitcoin.
Should the 26-year-old mixed martial arts trainer and 3D-printing business owner get his way, the widely used but controversial digital currency will arrive in Cambodia within the coming weeks, and the capital will be home to two bitcoin ATMs.
On March 1, Tran submitted what he described as a “long-held weight off his chest” – a six-page proposal to the New York-based Bitcoin Foundation outlining all the ways the virtual currency could help his country.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” Tran, who has his own stock of bitcoins, said.
The proposal, the first documented effort to introduce bitcoin to the local market, hopes to land one of the foundation’s annual grants, which rewards applicants with funding in the form of bitcoin. He’s asking for $100,000 worth.
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In 2012 Cambodia received $807 million in foreign development aid. In 2013 Cambodia was ranked the 15th most corrupt country in the world. Taxpayer dollars from Japan, the US, Australia, and other developed nations have poured into countries like Cambodia for decades in an attempt to help the people who live there. In order for funds to reach people in places such as Cambodia, governments have to go through some of the longest serving and controversial rulers in the world such as Hun Sen, Cambodia’s current Prime Minister. Political deals along with funding and backing between governments were an unavoidable part of the foreign aid equation. Once the recipient government received the funds, there was also no real accountability or transparency in how those funds were used.
Crypto currencies remove governments from the development equation. It simply allows aid money to go directly from donor to cause. A project only needs a QR code and address in order to start receiving funds. Crypto adds transparency to the development equation by making every single transaction accessible to the public through the blockchain. Recipients are accountable only to donors who can see where their money is spent and judge for themselves whether or not to continue supporting projects. This direct type of funding ensures that only the best and most effective development projects last. No favoritism. No bias. No politics.
What if crypto currency could do something that the old system failed to do? What if it could build up a developing nation? Maybe instead of trying to compete with the traditional financial system, crypto currency advocates can focus on all the unique advantages that crypto currencies offer over fiat:
- Instead of mixing up politics and governments into development. Instead of indirectly supporting certain leaders in order to get to the people, people can help people directly. Crypto can be used to fund whatever projects people feel strongly about. The managers of these projects are held accountable to the funders directly instead of an organization. Kickstarter for development.
The Public Ledger
- Corruption is a huge problem in many less developed countries. Billions of dollars which are supposed to go into helping people end up going to some corrupt asshole. Continue reading
Bitcoins for Development: Cambodia
We propose to introduce and promote the use of Bitcoins in Cambodia as a tool for development. Cambodia is a Least Developed Country ranked 138th in the Human Development Index (HDI) according to the United Nations. It is the 15th most corrupt country in the world and only 3.7% of the population have a formal bank account. Bitcoins allow nearly any one with an internet connection access to e-commerce and low cost money transfers. Bitcoin’s public ledger solves the corruption and bribery problem that plagues Cambodia’s businesses and foreign aid organizations. Spreading the use of Bitcoin in a developing nation further standardizes it as a global currency and its spread to different areas of the world protects the long term legitimacy of that currency. If Bitcoins can effectively help Cambodia’s poor and unbanked, then the project model along with crypto currencies in general will become a legitimate tool in helping the developing world solve many of its most common problems.
Bitcoins will be brought to Cambodia through local awareness, knowledge, and usage. Continue reading