The Trade Issue—Makeshift
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The Trade Issue

Cover photo by Jan Chipchase

Corredores swap land in Havana. Boda-bodas run piles of cloth around the Nakivale settlement. From socialist Cuba to Uganda’s refugee camps, creative exchange thrives everywhere. It’s nothing new: hawaladar agents have moved cash across vast swaths of the Middle East and North Africa for centuries. What has changed are methods and currencies. San Francisco and Mogadishu are unlikely partners breeding a digital street trade, with mobile money—the new hawala—fueling vendors and remittances on both sides. Meanwhile, our tender is both unifying and fracturing, with bitcoins accessible anywhere and micro-currencies emerging where bottle caps or peanuts are deemed as valuable as cash. The hope of trade has always been that by opening doors, everyone can find what they want. But it takes more than freedom—accessibility and transparency too—to keep trade fair.

This issue is supported by the ROi Project.