Cryptocurrency booms are often fueled by dreams of life-changing riches. In Afghanistan, buyers are instead snapping up digital coins in hopes of preserving what wealth they have -- and keeping it out of the Taliban’s reach.
In a white-walled office beside an open-air foreign exchange market, Habibullah Timori and his four employees are making trades for customers, using their Samsung phones. Chinese-made security cameras surveil. A sign on the wall says: “Kindly refrain from demanding a loan.”