Bitcoin has now become a lifeline for a community in the Palestinian territories of West Bank and Gaza Strip. For them Bitcoin is a cheaper, safer, and a quicker way for doing transactions. As they don’t have any local currency and are dependent on foreign currencies, hence, most of the community is heading towards cryptocurrency world.
Since there aren’t any local ways of putting money into work, Ahmed Ismail, a financial analyst in Gaza, has helped 30 clients to purchase stocks abroad. He believes that there are 20 exchange offices which are unofficial and are dealing in cryptocurrency to the locals.
Censorship-Resistance nature of public blockchain networks is on the verge in Palestinians territories. If the exchange is made with peer-to-peer exchange, it can’t be banned by any intermediary.
Because of the conflict with Israel and restricted access to the global economy, it would act to be a problem solver for the population. For sending money to Palestinia, supporters in the west have shut down their bank accounts.
Laith Kassis, CEO of the nonprofit Palestine Techno Park in the West Bank, said that there are no such payment gateway like PayPal for the entrepreneurs to receive payments globally, so, such solution on blockchain is the way.
Israeli shekels, U.S. dollars or Jordanian dinars have nothing to do with local banks, therefore, Palestinians has no way to access online crypto exchanges and are highly dependent on the traders as liquidity gateways.
Palestinian tech worker tried to cash out Bitcoin payment from remote manager but he couldn’t get a fair value because the value of crpytocurrency was rising at that time.
Saifdean Ammous, who is a professor of economics at the Lebanese American University said that people who don’t have balances in Bitcoin and are willing to do transactions, then they are just adding layers of conversion from their home currency to Bitcoin and back to the home currency. He believes that it isn’t a sustainable solution.
As per the reports of World Bank, 21% of Palestinians are below the poverty line (on less than $5.50 a day). In such situation, volatile assets are quite useful for overseas transactions.
Kassis, tech industry optimist, has taken a different approach by engaging PMA. A blockchain camp, in the first week of September, is hosted by Kassis’s Techno Park, in which several developers were working on the application. He said that blockchain and fintech has the potential to change the dynamics of their economy and by maximum decentralization of network can solve many financial constraints.