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Hawala: The Working Man’s Bitcoin

A cautious World Bank paper cites a rigorous study that found that hawala payments “account for up to 15 percent of small-scale trade between India and Bangladesh.” A less conservative academic paper cites a 2003 study finding that informal transfer systems like hawala account for $100-$300 billion in annual flows, an Interpol estimate from the same year that almost 40% of India’s GDP moves through the hawala system, and the Pakistani finance minister claiming in 2000 that only one sixth of Pakistani money transfers went through traditional banks.

Papers on hawala from the Centre for Applied South Asian Studies.
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