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PayPal Steps Away from Palestine; Is Bitcoin the Answer?

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Bitcoin is getting very popular in Palestine and particularly in the Gaza Strip, the big reason being that PayPal has decided not to offer its services in this corner of the world.

Palestine and BTC Get Close as PayPal Drives Away

The reason PayPal isn’t setting foot in Palestine is because of the alleged dangers that stem from endless conflict with its geographic neighbor Israel. At least 12 congressmen, at the time of writing, have signed a proposal supporting the financial company’s decision, which is now being enforced by its CEO Dan Schulman. The proposal they’ve signed reads as follows:

PayPal has a responsibility to ensure its services and operations are provided in a non-discriminatory manner and in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Without PayPal, the people of Palestine have had to find other ways of getting the items they need to survive… The goods and services necessary for everyday life. As a result, many have turned to bitcoin.

One of those people – Fadi Elsalameen – is a Palestinian activist and adjunct senior fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute. In an interview, Elsalameen commented:

I stopped sending wires to Palestine and now only make payments with bitcoin. Bitcoin solves issues of high banking or transfer fees, or extreme and invasive government overreach and unfair treatment of Palestinians by international monetary organizations as in the case of PayPal.

Eric Sype of 7amleh – a digital rights group in Palestine – shares this ideology. He believes PayPal has become extremely frustrating over the years, and that bitcoin’s popularity is growing thanks to the simplicity and levels of trust that surround it. He commented that while there are several individuals who are still skeptical of using bitcoin as a method of payment, tensions are easing slowly. He said:

The vast majority of online freelance service providers exclusively use PayPal, so that cuts off many freelance opportunities for Palestinians.

This is just another example of bitcoin’s original usage intent coming into play. Initially, when first created, bitcoin was designed as a payment tool. Something that could potentially replace all fiat currencies, checks, and credit cards down the line. However, its volatility has gotten in the way.

Thus, there are several companies out there that refuse to accept BTC as a payment method because they could wind up losing money, and there are still many people who don’t think to use it considering its lack of mainstream appeal.

Making Things Easier

Elsalameen, however, has hope that all this is going to change, and he says the opportunities that arise through bitcoin payment options are endless. He mentioned:

I reach the account of those I need to send bitcoin to without anyone weaponizing my transactions against me. Today, I can even buy art in Palestine with bitcoin.

Nick Marinoff
Nick Marinoffhttps://www.livebitcoinnews.com/
Nick Marinoff is currently a lead news writer and editor for Money & Tech, a San Francisco-based broadcasting station that reports on all things digital currency-related. He has also written for a number of other online and print publications including Black Impact Magazine, EKT Interactive, Seal Beach USA and Benzinga.com, to name a few. He has recently published his first e-book "Take a 'Loan' Off Your Shoulders: 14 Simple Tricks for Graduating Debt Free" now available on Amazon. He is excited about the potential digital currency offers, particularly its ability to finance unbanked populations and bring nations together financially.

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