Chief Strategy Officer, Human Rights Foundation: Bitcoin can change the pattern of humanitarian assistance

Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), wrote in CNN that in the traditional humanitarian aid model, funds can only be transferred through intermediaries. Even in the simplest payment schemes, there are donor banks, coordination networks, and aided banks. Usually, there are more middlemen and third parties with complicated capital inflows. Bitcoin is changing this model. With Bitcoin, aid can send money directly to anyone in the world in a matter of minutes, and third parties cannot review or steal it. Receiving bitcoin only requires a smartphone with a wallet application, and Pew's latest data shows that 45% of citizens in emerging economies now own smartphones, and that number will only continue to rise in the next few years. Receiving Bitcoin does not require a passport, ID card or bank account, nor does it require government or company approval. This is a true peer-to-peer transaction, completed through a global neutral payment track. Of course, there is no guarantee that the recipient can convert Bitcoin into local currency. This is a huge challenge, but it is undergoing tremendous changes.