HuffingtonPost: The Crime of Alleviating Poverty – A Local Community Currency Battles the Central Bank of Kenya

Via the HuffingtonPost:

Complementary currencies can help eradicate poverty.

Proving that may be difficult in complex economies, due to the high number of factors influencing outcomes. But in an African slum with little of the national currency available, supplying residents with an alternative currency has a positive effect that is obvious, immediate and incontrovertible.

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Bangla-Pesa: Kenyan community currency faces legal action

Bangla-PesaBangla-Pesa is a community currency used in the settlement of Bangladesh in Kenya.  The currency is only used among roughly 200 small businesses which are members of a community group. The projects co-founder, Will Ruddick, describes Bangla-Pesa as  “a business to business voucher system and simply helps business record their exchange of excess capacity, … which provides a means of payment that is complementary to official money.”

The currency drew the suspicions of local police late last month after a news report linking the currency to a Kenyan separatist group, Mombasa Republican Council or MRC. Ruddick responded to this claim saying “Ours is a noble cause of helping the locals and not what was reported in the media last week, … We are not MRC and we do not support any cause of going against the government’s wish.”

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Dinero MPS a new mobile payment system for the world's under-banked

After the success of services such as M-Pesa, Kenya’s mobile-phone based money transfer service, it is clear that there is a large under banked population in the non-western world. A population that is quick to adopt low cost mobile based solutions.

Dinero-LogoA new mobile payment system, Dinero MPS, aims to offer a wide variety of mobile payment services starting with the unserved markets in Africa, South America and Asia. Founded by financial cryptographer Ian Grigg and entrepreneur Ken Griffith, Dinero’s Ricardian-Contract based system is set to launch later this year with the release of an Android phone app.

Dinero’s co-founder Ken Griffith shared with DGC insight on the businesses’ plans and motivations.

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Bits and Pieces 5thSep

North Dakota congressional candidate Eric Olson accepts donations to his campaign in Bitcoin http://ericolson2012.com/donate/  And sitting New Hampshire state representative Mark Warden is accepting them for his re-election campaign. http://www.markwarden.com/page/contribute-campaign

Attention digital currency providers, start advertising in Argentina. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2012/09/04/argentina-begins-tracking-all-credit-cards/

BitInstant’s Charlie Shrem wants Bitcoiners to “get together and get a SuperBowl ad” adding that “I want this commercial to be a statement to the banks and governments of the world and say ‘Look, your people don’t like your fiscal policies, you’ve put us in a recession, you’re screwing us up so much. We’re taking control of our own money, the way we’re doing it is Bitcoin.’ I want to scare them.

Also, in the next few weeks BitInstant should be open for business in Canada, 3,700 people have already signed up to get the new Bitcoin debit card, and loads more Bitcoin debit card details here http://codinginmysleep.com/bitcoin-mastercard-followup-interview-with-charlie-shrem/

GATA Chairman Bill Murphy is appearing on Russia Today’s “Capital Account” program at 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday. http://www.gata.org/node/11714

And yet another community currency in Spain http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/04/spain-euro-free-economy?newsfeed=true