Refugees, Regulations and the Risks of Financial Exclusion


As regulators begin proposing rules for emerging fintech, it is critical to assess potential impact on those already excluded from the financial system to ensure we are not reinforcing that exclusion in the digital world and perpetuating cycles of poverty that have the potential to be broken.

Given our 40 year history of working on financial inclusion in frontier markets, Mercy Corps submitted formal comments on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (“FinCEN”) proposed rule to implement a new recordkeeping rule for convertible virtual currency (CVC) transactions over $3,000 and apply existing currency transaction report (CTR) requirements to CVC transactions…

Unhosted Wallets, Compliance and the Tragedy of the Unbanked

New digital currencies create the potential for a more inclusive and equitable global financial system. However, the decision to impose overly strict regulatory and compliance standards could instead lead to fragmented systems that would only reinforce the digital divide and tragedy of the unbanked. As policy makers formulate regulatory requirements and processes for these new technologies, they have an opportunity to construct a regulatory bar that does not put compliance requirements and serving the unbanked at odds with each other.

A key area of focus for compliance is “Know Your Customer” (KYC) regulations, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of…

Patents, open source and beyond.

tl;dr: Blockchains are transforming property rights. What’s lies behind any digital ledger, token, asset, or contract is a package of rights — how we assign and interpret these rights is at the heart of blockchain governance. Have more thoughts? Tweet @alpensheth.

Defining blockchain ownership may be as important a problem as “Blockchain Governance” (see Fred Ehrsam). This post describes ideas and pitfalls in making ownership rights, the future of blockchain patents and collective goods, and some important tradeoffs to consider when creating new crypto property on blockchain.

Blockchains are known for how they can make property out of seemingly anything…


Today, insurance doesn’t actually scale and most people don’t have access to the protection they need. Opening up insurance using smart contracts and blockchain is one of the most important solutions out there. This post shows why decentralized insurance can work based on the Etherisc protocol.

Ruined City by moltenraven (cc 3.0)

Insurance jargon matters!

“Mass-market policies are designed for Main Street, not the Manhattan elite” — HUB Private Client Advisors Rep

Most insurance products are supply-driven. Private and public insurers sell mass-market (“standardized”) policies to lower the cost of designing, marketing and administering insurance policies at the expense of limiting people’s choices. …

Alpen Sheth

Senior Technologist @MercyCorps &, previously @Etherisc, @MIT, @PSU, @ecospaceagency, @WorldBank, @RMS, @INURED

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