According to the ITU “Global Internet connectivity, specifically global broadband connectivity, is a significant enabler to achieve the sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations” . The ITU also advises that “currently, only about 3.2 billion people are online. That’s less than half of the world’s population.”

The United Nations SDG — Sustainable Development Goal global goal to end poverty by 2030 — is commendable. But the question remains? Will and how will access to finance and fintech be a poverty alleviator? And more importantly — how do we connect the unconnected.

Poverty is a global problem — and requires global solutions and glocal actions and Blockchains Digital Ledgers may be a step forward.

But, the real question is — How do we go about digitising continents and enhance connectivity? Broadband enables access and affordable access to to financial services is a development and regenerative tool. This means we need to tie Bitcoin to broadband and blockchain to broadband. Usage requires broadband and impacts broadband — Blockchain will require bandwidth usage as a cloud activity.

Affordability affects access. In looking at broadband and blockchain it is important to look at economic and social implications as well as sustainability. Its aim is to draw on and inquire whether and if so how development for and of digitization affects the GDP (affordability of a people) of a country as well in seeking to understand the transformational effect of broadband on rights and dignity of people to and towards affordable finance technology/ies. Is and does a digital economy pave the way as for creating a more level field and contributing to GDP bringing more importantly to bring affordable fintech to the poor as `These advantages are both economic as well as social. Broadband contributes to national economic competitiveness (ITU, 2003). Blockchain is a BIG Simple piece in a complex puzzle of affordable and available broadband.

Digital currency initiatives like Blockchain serve a multiplicity of purposes

impacting trade and global trade and people and countries well being. On a practical level by looking at technology, innovation, entrepreneurship — as enabled by access to broadband and more specifically blockchain we will see more digital commerce, digital trade and digital logistics and an improved economy.

Definitely a time for more policy and law on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and Blockchain — its digital business model and its legal status as a digital payment innovation and its impact on international relations and the digital economy is necessary. This is because Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and Blockchain have the potential as digital currency and payment innovations to change the entire spectrum of currency and payment innovation globally for the world and impact the poor.

Simply put — Bitcoin is digital currency. I find Neha Narula of MIT Media Lab’s description of Bitcoin as “programable money” brilliant as it unlocked a piece of the puzzle for me and enhanced my understanding of the making of crypto currencies. So, I elaborate — Bitcoin -in programmable form is a secure code — currency. It uses and relies on Blockchain. Blockchain is a public digital ledger which fits transactions together like pieces of a digital puzzle capturing cryptocurrency or bitcoin transactions in real time. That is the log — that is Blockchain. Decentralised users. Transparent and Accountable. But — risks on privacy and hacking should and must always be addressed. The question is — who does this.. in as much as the question of — which, where and how do regulatory frameworks address this.

Access to a finance made simple and accessible though broadband and access to the Internet impacts economic and social development and international economy. And importantly — it may just serve to eradicate poverty…..global tech and glocal asset. So, lets prioritise affordable Broadband to this block. That is 2030 innovation economics that must be designed to enable the digital ledger… to and for the worlds poor.

Ayesha Dawood is a South African and Harvard educated lawyer at ayeshadawood.wordpress.com. She is a Harvard LL.M graduate. She is a Fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs, Harvard where she focussed on digital media innovation. @ConsultAyesha