Nubis Bruno, an Argentinian web developer, has designed a way to help organic farmers in his country sell their goods online using Bitcoin.
Farmers in the Buenos Aires, the capital, struggle to sell their products in the cities markets. The alliance between Nubis Bruno and Santiago Zaz is changing this for the better. Bruno is a Bitcoin entrepreneur and co-founder of a Bitcoin exchange in Buenos Aires.
Zaz, a member of the city’s community of organic farmers, linked up with Nubis and is developing a website that allows online customers to buy directly from the farmers, while the farmers are able to avoid paying exorbitant fees chargeed by third-party intermediaries such as PayPal and credit card companies.
Zaz was Nubis’s landlord and the men became friends as well. Nubis explains:
“We became friends when I rented an apartment from him, and a few months ago Santiago told me that he was ... selling organic vegetables in Buenos Aires area, and ... he was selling also other people’s products.”
The solution for Santiago and his community was to sell online, but traditional methods such as PayPal and credit cards meant a longer wait for payment, and high fees that did not leave the farmers much profit. It was Nubis’s idea to use Bitcoin as a payment method.
The site took a week to set up, and since then they have been selling organic vegetables on a daily basis and accepting bitcoin online. The union of a Bitcoin website with organic farmers in the area is a good combination because, like the cryptocurrency, the community is decentralized. Experiments like this could be successful throughout much of Latin American and extend to other local businesses.
Bitcoin and Argentina seem to be a good match. The country has suffered numerous bouts of inflation in recent years, rising as high as 20,000% in the 1980s and expecting to be as high as 38% this year. Credit card transactions also generate a 35% surcharge. There are now about 130 businesses in the country that already accept Bitcoin, and an exchange called Bitex.la launched in May of 2014. The Argentine Bitcoin Foundation estimates that between 15,000 and 20,000 people hold bitcoins in the country.
Zaz was excited about the idea and agreed to set up a website. He said:
“For me personally, it’s a similar payment mechanism much like a credit card but the added value it has is that it does not require middlemen such as banks, and it’s also very easy to use. Small farmers like us do not have access to Banking credit and that makes our life pretty difficult. So we realize that Bitcoin was a safe, easy and cheap way of avoiding high fees we could have access.”
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