Back in 2015, Forbes featured an interview with William Blair partner Brian Singer on how bitcoin will end world poverty. According to Singer, the growing access to the internet through affordable devices could enable particularly those from emerging markets to use a cheaper payment system with a transparent means of recording transactions.
Many scoffed at the idea back then. Indeed, cryptocurrencies and blockchain had yet to reach the same level of popularity they enjoy today. But what a difference a couple of years make.
Despite some recent shakiness, cryptocurrencies have increased ten times in value since. We’re also seeing more organizations and governments recognize the value in blockchain as a transactional platform and new platforms such as Ethereum can now even facilitate smart contracts using the technology.
But how does blockchain shape up in relation to Singer’s thesis today? Can blockchain and cryptocurrencies now become the technology that truly levels the playing field for humanity and help continue the reduction of poverty?
However, as with most efforts with the best intentions, we have to witness widespread adoption and successful case studies before a definitive verdict can be given. The increasing amount of blockchain projects by groups and governments is definitely a positive sign on the way to transform grandiose ideas into reality.
According to the World Bank, in 2013, 10.7 percent of the global population lived on less than $1.90 a day. While these figures have been in decline over the last few years, that percentage still equates to around 750 million people. Financial inclusion is considered a key factor to poverty reduction. It refers to the access of people to a formal financial system....