Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Takes Exciting Step Forward with Blockchain
Innovation is the way to the future, and exciting new technology is always accompanied by bright minds with bold aspirations.
One such bright mind is Bill Gates, a name so synonymous with success that it’s hard to find anyone who isn’t aware of his accomplishments in the tech world.
Now, the man who became famous for his success in software development is trying his hand at blockchain, an exciting development in the continuing process of blockchain becoming a mainstream technology.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently released a free mobile payments platform, called Mojaloop, that was built on the foundation of technology created by blockchain technology provider Ripple.
The goal of Mojaloop is to provide a way for payments to be facilitated between individuals that don’t have bank accounts, and the institutions that aim to provide them with financial support.
Kosta Peric, Deputy Director of Financial Services for the Poor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made the following statement:
“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome. With Mojaloop, our technology partners have finally achieved a solution that can apply to any service, and we invite banks and the payments industry to explore and test this tool.”
The Ripple technology that serves as a backbone for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s ‘Mojaloop’ software runs on Ripple’s own Distributed Ledger, a form of technology that serves as a constantly updated ledger for access by multiple parties in real time.
The organization’s work on the project is not the first time it’s utilized Distributed Ledger technology. The foundation has been experimenting with real world applications for blockchain since as early as 2015, when they launched the Level One Project.
Level One Project
Mojaloop serves as a continuation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Level One Project, an initiative that aims to ‘bring the poor into the formal economy,’ and is the foundation’s newest application for Distributed Ledger Technology.
The Level One Project operates with the belief that:
“everyone benefits from an economy that includes everyone.”
Including everyone in the economy, however, is a task with inherent roadblocks – ones that the Gates Foundation believes can be overcome through blockchain.
As the Foundation stated in their press release, a large amount of individuals in need of financial support are unable to access the support they’re entitled to due to not having bank accounts.
Blockchain technology is able to assist in breaking down this economic barrier, as successful implementation of the technology can lower transaction costs through peer-to-peer collaboration and the lack of need for fiscal intermediaries .
Stephan Thomas, CTO at Ripple, stated in the company’s press release that:
“Enabling the poor to make payments to anyone, anywhere, using a mobile wallet has implications beyond increased access to their domestic economies. It has the potential to bring millions into the fold of the global digital economy.”
Individuals and organisations continuing to seek innovative applications for blockchain technology is exciting news for the industry as a whole. Real world solutions that utilize blockchain continue to prove that the technology is more than just an empty promise, and that it has the potential to change lives.
Image credit: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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