Why Bitcoin Can’t Help the Poorest – Yet

by Joseph Walent 0

The promise of Bitcoin and the block chain technology that enable it continue to be viewed by its proponents as a near panacea to many of the shortcomings of the world’s current hierarchy, with the caveat of the established order stand in its way of delivering these goods.

Bitcoin will be the solution, but not until the entrenched players open connectors to the entire blockchain network – which, obviously, goes against the big banks special “internal blockchain” efforts. The banks still think that the blockchain is like the Internet – there should exist special private networks that only they can use “for security’s sake.”

This is somewhat of an oversimplification, and that can be excused given the turn the article then takes to outline the issues faced by people in both the U.S. and internationally that have less access to banking outlets. The extension of access to bitcoin and its clones as completely digital crypto-currencies backed up by a widely-dispersed public ledger will help to move the discussion, but will not solely democratize access to financial institutions.

While Mercator Advisory Group believes Bitcoin will play a role in extending the financial reach of those individuals, other strategies, such as a movement of the United States Postal Service into retail banking functionality that would help to create oasis in many banking deserts would have a more immediate and widespread impact, at least in those neighborhoods that still have a U.S. Post Office.

Overview by Joe Walent, Senior Analyst, Emerging Technologies Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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