Bill Gates Engages in Mobile Banking, But Does Not Support Bitcoin

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by Zhanna Lyasota · 3 min read

Bill and Miranda Gates in their annual letter published on Thursday, are outlining ambitions to engage in another messy sector: banking.

The Gates Foundation annual letter has recently been published. It outlines the goals that Bill and Miranda Gates want to achieve.

The main goals include decreasing the number of children who die before the age of five and the number of women who die in childbirth while eradicating diseases, educating farmers and advancing farming techniques to restrict malnutrition and decrease poverty levels, using smartphones and tablets to bring online education to the poor while entrusting women and teachers, bringing mobile banking to developing countries to help people protect themselves and make spending and sharing money easy.

The key point of the letter is of unprecedented progress ahead for the world’s poor:

“Our big bet: The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else’s.”

Their argument is based on advances in agriculture, health and access to education. Besides, it is predicated on the belief that mobile banking will convert the lives of the poor:

“By 2030, two billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payments with their phones. And by then, mobile money providers will be offering the full range of financial services, from interest-bearing savings accounts to credit to insurance.”

Mobile banking is a switch in focus from the traditional micro-lending that the Gates Foundation has higher transaction costs than mobile banking, and can’t scale to reach as many people. Micro-loans can now be offered to more borrowers using the mobile money systems.

However, Gates pointed out his view that Bitcoin wouldn’t be the distributed payment system:

“There’s a lot that bitcoin or Ripple and variants can do to make moving money between countries easier and getting fees down pretty dramatically. But Bitcoin won’t be the dominant system. When you talk about a domestic economy, the idea of attributed transactions, where if you sent it to the wrong person you can actually get the transaction reversed. [The fact that the existing system] doesn’t have this huge fluctuation where the value of your account is going up and down by a factor of two.”

Despite the words said above, while describing such issue as the need for transactions sent in error to be made easily reversible, Gates continued that bitcoin alone “is not good enough,” but that there is a need to “draw on the revolution of Bitcoin.”

Besides the point, Bill Gates has recently unveiled ‘Omniprocessor’, a machine that turns sewer sludge into energy and drinkable water. The development of the machine is led by Seattle-based engineering firm Janicki Bioenergy. The machine extracts water from sewage that is piped in or delivered to the facility.

The dry sewage is then incinerated to generate steam, which powers the entire machine. There is no doubt that this machine could be extraordinary helpful in parts of the world where these resources are limited. Check out the video above of Bill Gates on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, trying the result of such water.

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Zhanna Lyasota

Zhanna has a background working for an American multinational food and beverage company as well as at a number of translation agencies serving similar top multinational corporations. She enjoys discovering new cultures as well as learning new languages. She is also a lover of all things fabric and floral ,especially if they are design-related. Zhanna is a graduate of Belarusian State Economic University with a major in Intercultural Business Communications.