This post by Kevin Boyd originally appeared on R Street on October 19th, 2015. Below is an excerpt.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have grown in influence and usage the past few years. People looking for an alternative to government-issued fiat currencies, or who simply don’t trust having their spending tracked by banks, have flocked to them. Bitcoin also has become an interesting method of payment across international borders and a way to avoid transaction fees.
There is another use for bitcoin that might get some use in these tragic times: as a way to provide relief for refugees. Refugees, by definition, are a mobile population. The explosion of cellphone technology means even many of the world’s poorest have them. The proliferation of microfinance and microbanking has lifted many of these poor cellphone users out of poverty.
However, a major problem refugees face is lack of access to traditional banks. The banks in their home countries may be out of service. They also likely do not have the proper documents to set up a bank account in their host country. Bitcoin can provide a way to bypass the traditional banking system and give aid to refugees directly.”]
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