Bringing Opportunities to the Emerging Markets with Blockchain and Crypto

Just a few days ago I had an honor to speak at Hatswask — Decentralized alternative Blockchain conference next to Jeremy Garnder, Reese Jones and Miko Matsumura about how emerging markets will be driving the growth of crypto and where blockchain can be the most beneficial.

We are living in the world of emerging markets. Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Qatar, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, all this countries are evolving and disrupting.

Emerging markets or emerging economies, sometimes mentioned as developing countries, are nations that are investing in more productive capacity. They are moving away from traditional economies that have relied on agriculture and the export of raw materials. Leaders of developing countries want to create a better quality of life for their people. They are rapidly industrializing and adopting a free market or mixed economy.
I was born in Russia, raising in Ukraine, lived in India, Thailand, and Georgia. Most of my life I was absorbing emerging markets culture, identity, and spirit. I was building business and fundraising.

From those years I can identify this five criteria that are specific for emerging markets:

1. Low income per capita
2. Rapid Growth 
3. High Volatility 
4. Low trust in the government 
5. Openness to innovation and disruption

Let’s do some space traveling. Imagine coming to a new planet with extraordinarily developed race. With never seen before technology, light speed transportation, AI that reads your mind, etc and trying to sell them a wheel. Silly, right? And now think about traveling to another planet, where civilization just figured out its borders and resources, they don’t have transportation yet at all, but they are nice talented guys, let’s call them Afindiuses. They also know that their neighbors already have light speed trains, but they also know that it took them 2000 years to built it. Now Afindiuses have a playbook how to build it, and they also know that those speed light trains are killing brain cells and consumes crucial resources of their neighbor’s planet. So speed light trains are not that efficient by the end of the day. Our Afindiuses have a chance to either spend 2000 years, maybe fewer thanks to playbook from their neighbors, exceed their planet resources and meet the same health problems or…

The alternative strategy our developing friends can choose is called leapfrogging. Instead of following the traditional path, choosing new alternative technology that can speed up economical or cultural development of the country, organization or industry.

Leapfrogging in Kenya

Kenya was struggling from the inability to send money inside the country. There were simply no ATMs, credit cards or Western Union. Creating a banking system requires time, stability and massive infrastructure.

Photo Credit: Emil Sjöblom @ Flickr

But they had phones and SMS. People of Kenya started sending each other money through the balance of their phone. You would be able to cash out simply by going to a mobile operator booth and telling the pin code. The company that made it happen called M-PESA. Launched in 2007 by Safaricom, the country’s largest mobile network operator, it is now used by over 17m Kenyans, equivalent to more than two-thirds of the adult population; around 25% of the country’s gross national product flows through it. M-PESA lets people transfer cash using their phones, and is by far the most successful scheme of its type on earth.

Now the whole world is using mobile micro-payments. Venmo, WeChat Pay, Google Pay, Facebook Money and many more.

What about blockchain

Blockchain technology is a new way of building infrastructures. Financial, government, data storage, legal and many others can be rethought using decentralization. It will require an extensive shift to change existing ecosystem in the US, but what if we look into places that require this ecosystem? What if voting in Nigeria would be done using decentralized ledger? What if the professional reputation of at least 1% of 1.3B Indians would be stored from on blockchain and be trustworthy? What if identification wouldn’t require government issuing IDs?

In Silicon Valley, talking about market fit, we say find the group of people that are feeling badly the problem you are trying to solve and give them a solution.

Emerging markets have a lot of interesting challenges. They are in need of fast solutions, they are massive and developing fast. They are great playgrounds for blockchain entrepreneurs trying to solve meaningful problems.

Building Aura, I’m on a mission to bring tech jobs through fast and quality education, transparent reputation with assessed skills and fast low-cost crypto payments to developing markets.

What are your thoughts on emerging giants?

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Inspiration and facts sources:

https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2015/03/02/why-does-kenya-lead-the-world-in-mobile-money