Jaime Rojas keeps his antiquated cellphone on the dashboard of his taxi. He can’t use it to play games or check Facebook, but his “dumb phone” has recently become a powerful tool: He can use it to buy gas, receive fares and send money to family.
Mobile banking has been around for a decade, but this tiny Andean nation recently became the first country in the world to create its own virtual currency. Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple or Peercoin — crypto-currencies with no central bank backing — Ecuador’s dinero electrónico is legal tender, trading alongside the U.S. dollar, which has been the official currency since 2000. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»