Last month, we checked in with our friend Matt Ahlborg, who has been doing some incredible data analysis on Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin exchanges and how people are using them. Well, luckily for us freaks, Matt is here to start the holiday season off correct with some of the highest quality bitcoin usage analysis that your boy has come across in some time. In his most recent piece, Matt takes a look at the P2P exchange Paxful and hovers a magnifying glass over the evolving gift card remittance economy that has developed around the platform.
I HIGHLY recommend you check out the article when you get a chance. If only for the fact that it highlights how adaptable, resourceful, and creative humans can be. This analysis shows that Bitcoin is helping people at the edges. Allowing individuals to leverage a unique avenue through which they can extend their creativity. In the case of this particular analysis, we get a peek into how Nigerians, their relatives abroad, and expats living in Nigeria are leveraging online gift cards and bitcoin via Paxful to facilitate remittances, bootstrap supply chains for eComm sites, and to arbitrage price across geographies. Bitcoin simply serving as one rail in the process, but a very important rail at that.
Being able to exchange bitcoins for gift cards and vice versa enables Paxful users to avoid traditional rails like Western Union when they prefer convenience over costs during times of relative local currency stability and to avoid these rails when they become economically unviable during times of relative currency instability.
As a lifelong American who has never had to engage in the exotic money transfer schemes and purchasing power stability mechanisms that Matt's research highlights, this is a true eye opener into how individuals route around systems when they don't properly serve their needs. Bitcoin is a powerful tool that has emerged on the market that allows individuals to route around system's that aren't serving their needs in one way or another. It's certainly not a panacea or sufficiently adopted at the moment, but the fact that Bitcoin is helping at the edges is extremely promising.
Ease into your Monday with some folk.