Columns

Introducing…Bitcoin, Crypto and Tech

Bitcoin stormed 2021 determined to push past $30,000. As part of the analysis of the cryptoeconomy, the price of bitcoin will be highlighted each month.* Photo by Clifford Photography via Unsplash

By Cleve Mesidor, Bitcoin, Crypto & Tech Columnist

Last week, we bid farewell to 2020. This week, we kick off a new decade. It is the dawning of the fourth industrial revolution and we must contemplate the future of work and reimagine the ways in which we interact and transact in the innovation age.

Automation and the fusion of technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics and others have propelled society — a reboot of sorts. The COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated this paradigm shift. Yet, key segments of the global population are not prepared to keep pace or take advantage of the possibilities ahead. Which makes this column that much timelier and more relevant.

Each month, I invite you to join me for a conversation about bitcoin, crypto, and tech in general. There’s so much to talk about. Universal Basic Income, Central bank digital currencies, the post 2008 global economic crisis revolving door, regulatory policies of the incoming Biden-Harris Administration, trends in fintech, and of course, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the tech sector.

I feel like a kid in a candy store. 

They say if you can imagine a better society, you can create it. It’s startling that more than 75% of innovations imagined in The Jetsons cartoon has actually come to be. It is mindblowing that an artist dreamed, while innovators watched and said, I’m going to build that. Yup, today, robots clean homes, FaceTime video calls are commonplace and Porsche is working with Boeing on the flying car

Redefining money

Our world, nation, state, city and community are changing before our very eyes. Whether or not it’s for the better depends on your vantage point. I work in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, which redefines this thing we call money and how we measure value. This is a challenge for some to grasp and a barrier to mass adoption.

Graph depicting four Industrial Revolutions, in progression from the 18th century to the 21st.
Industrial Revolution. Graph depicting four Industrial Revolutions, in progression from the 18th century to the 21st. Source: Britannica.com. © Vectimus/Shutterstock.com

To indoctrinate newbies, I often start by discussing global case studies for digitizing money. The success of Kenya’s MPesa, one of the world’s most successful mobile payments services that was launched in 2007, is a particularly good example. The Central bank worked with private sector partners and key institutions to eliminate long standing hurdles and risks for consumers in order to facilitate instant P2P transactions.

“In terms of financial inclusion, in 2006, 26 percent of our population were included…last year it was 83 percent…We now have an ecosystem around Mpesa. It has actually evolved into a sort of a big tree. So something started as a small stream and now you have a sort of a mighty Mississippi,” Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, told Georgetown Law Professor Chris Brummer during DC Fintech Week last October.

Shifting to the Caribbean, last year the Bahamas launched the first-ever nationwide central bank digital currency in the world. The sand dollar is intended to foster financial inclusion, minimize service delivery costs, and enhance transactional efficiency. This is a model that other countries in the region, like my birthplace Haiti, can look to replicate.

Toward a vibrant, inclusive economy

The future of money is about economic empowerment – no small feat in the 21st century. There are many obstacles, roadblocks, and minefields to navigate. This column will be a platform to explore and debate the path to a vibrant and inclusive innovation economy.

I invite you to take this journey of discovery with me. Writing is my most favorite mode of communication. Last fall, I published my first book about politics and crypto. I want this column to be interactive. Do talk back, leave comments, or recommend for future topics. I have a feeling many of you are interested in engaging in this dialogue about bitcoin, crypto, and tech.

Until next month!

Cleve


Mesidor leads the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain and is author of “THE CLEVOLUTION: My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto.” Follow her on Twitter @cmesi. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter here.

Cleve Mesidor

Cleve Mesidor

Mesidor leads the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain and is the author of “THE CLEVOLUTION: My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto.” Follow her on Twitter @cmesi. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter here. Mesidor is based in Washington, D.C.
Cleve Mesidor

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Jan. 05, 2021

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