Can bitcoin build remittance systems that will lift the unbanked out of poverty in developing countries? Will the blockchain deliver the infrastructure to provide property rights and financial inclusion to the disenfranchised?
These questions draw diverse opinions among cryptocurrency observers and economic development experts worldwide. The answers are not immediate, given the youth of bitcoin and blockchain technology, but the journey to finding them promises to be exciting.
Brett Scott, an independent researcher and consultant on alternative finance and financial reform, has authored an analysis of these topics in a paper released this month for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), an autonomous, Geneva-based U.N. research institute. The paper is titled, “How Can Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology Play a Role in Building Social and Solidarity Finance”?
Scott, a senior fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab in London, summarizes efforts to use bitcoin and the blockchain in improving some of the world’s most pressing economic problems. He also examines the challenges of financial inclusion within the context of techno-libertarian