I like to browse the Newbie forum over on Bitcointalk because many users who can't yet access the main forum will often make interesting posts. Well, today I stumbled across a doozy:
I work at Kiva (http://www.kiva.org) as a software engineer.
I'm interested in talking more about Bitcoin and Kiva, and considering the rules here, although I am no stranger to Bitcoin, it seems it may be best to give a few posts about what sort of things are going on that can bring the two together.
There are 3 engineers here in addition to me who own Bitcoins and have an interest in spreading their use further. One of the ways we realized we could do that is by first educating the organization about what Bitcoins are. Kiva has a neat concept of self-run "Brown-bags" where anyone can discuss a topic (sort of like a Google tech talk), so we put together a presentation to educate fellow Kivans on Bitcoins, both their benefits and drawbacks.
Later on I realized some of our lenders were interested in Bitcoins as well, though as you can see, they also know that there are both benefits and drawbacks: http://www.kivafriends.org/index.php?topic=5789.0
In my next post, sometime later today, I'll discuss sort of a roadmap of how Kiva could start getting a Bitcoin project going.
Don't be led astray though, I know that any project to implement Bitcoin would take at the very least 6 months, and more likely a year, mostly due to the non-technical hurdles (like legal and auditing). So in a third post, I'll talk about why those things are an issue.
For those of you who have not heard of Kiva, they are a micro-lender providing small loans to people worldwide, with a focus on developing countries, to assist entrepreneurs with their small businesses.
Since 2005, 630,000 people have lent money through Kiva, totaling $249 million.
Bitcoin would be an ideal currency for Kiva to use, as it reduces the number of currency exchanges required by half. Further down the road, if Bitcoin catches on in developing countries as some people theorize, it could eliminate the requirement to exchange currencies altogether, thus ensuring a larger percentage of the loan actually gets to where it's needed most.
This will be an interesting story to follow.
Here's the post.