Gates Foundation’s Kosta Peric on Blockchain Tech and the Unbanked

Monday, July 20, 2015

For Kosta Peric, overcoming finance’s last mile means looking for ways to do so from the ground up.

As deputy director of the Financial Services for the Poor initiative for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Peric is the forefront of the organization’s efforts to build what he calls a digital financial system that, if successful, would connect everyone to financial services.

Inclusion isn’t simply a matter of opening the door to products such as microloans or insurance policies geared toward low-income families and individuals, he said in a new interview with CoinDesk. Rather, inclusion means creating channels of financial support during times when people need it the most.

“These include challenging shocks like debts, death in the family or some expense that has to be taken care of,” Peric said. “Having access to an affordable and secure, reliable financial system is very important.”

As part of its efforts, the Gates Foundation is working in a number of African and Asian countries to foster the development of digital money systems, with the overarching goal of building interconnected webs of finance that enable poor households to connect with the wider global financial system.

It’s within this context that Peric and others at the Foundation see the blockchain playing a powerful role.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (link opens in a new window)

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, financial inclusion, financial services, unbanked