Note: the following article was submitted as part of CoinTelegraph’s Super Writers Contest.
On a recent trip to the stunning Thai island of Koh Tao, I was introduced to the Hundi system. This ancient system of informal money transfer through a network of brokers is ubiquitous in areas where migrant workers have a duty to send money back to families in their homeland.
Remittances to Burma
You may recall that Koh Tao is the stunning Thai island where two British backpackers were murdered last year, allegedly by two Burmese migrants. The fact that the accused are Burmese is no surprise given the large population of migrant Burmese workers on the island, mainly providing cheap labor to the bloated tourism industry.
Unsurprisingly, my Hundi educator was an intelligent young Burmese hotel waiter, whose daily mission was to sell us the standard, around the island long-tail boat trip. Given that we were persistently ambivalent to his poorly veiled sales patter, he tried a different tack and sought to get to know us and vice versa.
Throughout our typically breakfast time conversations (the waiter spoke very good English), I learned several things. He told me that he earned 150 baht