Blockchain for Inclusion? Gates Foundation Strikes Tepid Tone at Money2020
Bitcoin and other blockchain applications may help expand access to financial services for the world’s poor, but the technology is not the cure-all that some of the early rhetoric in the space made it out to be.
That’s the takeaway from a panel discussion Sunday at Money2020 in Las Vegas featuring representatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Omidyar Network, two of the most prominent philanthropic organizations focused on promoting financial inclusion.
While both executives said they see potential from distributed ledger technology to support their mission, their enthusiasm for the prospect was notably subdued.
Kosta Peric, the deputy director for financial services for the poor at the Gates Foundation, went so far as to downplay the blockchain-like aspects of his organization’s recently announced Mojaloop software. The open-source software is designed to make disparate financial networks interoperable, all in the service of helping the world’s underbanked.
Photo courtesy of Ken Teegardin.