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The Mobile, Unbanked Future


The Block

July 13 · Issue #55 · View online
Weekly curated #cryptocurrency news and commentary.

This is The Block. I’m in the middle of prepping for a move to a different state and tackling some big work projects, so my free time isn’t what it used to be. I was hoping to get my first altcoin write-up completed, but unfortunately I’m still working on it, and I don’t want to deliver something half-assed.
I hope you’ll forgive the delays, but there’s still lots of great stuff below, which will hopefully tide you over until next week.
In the meantime, here’s some food for thought.
36% of the world’s adults own smartphones. Less than 1% of all adults in the world own cryptocurrency. What does all that add up to?
A huge, untapped market? Massive consumer reserves just waiting for cryptocurrency to break out of its niche cave and into the blinding sunlight of mainstream consumer products. And who would benefit?
At first, likely the world’s unbanked–that is, people who aren’t connected to any bank or have any assets in protected storage. And it turns out there are about as many unbanked people as own smartphones.
And why would these people benefit the most? Just ask Venezuelans or Nigerians. If mobile internet access is available, then currency exchange and storage without a central banking presence is simply a better option than trusting a bank or central government, which may or may not be nationalized or collapse on any given day of the week.
And, as those markets without access to traditional bank infrastructure, cryptocurrency usage will expand as mobile carriers reach out and touch regions that have heretofore been left off the map. Indeed, it’s quite possible that the crypto tipping point–that is, the point at which mass adoption happens–won’t happen here in the West at all. Perhaps the crypto killer app first needs a killer crypto userbase, and that might come from Africa, southeast Asia, or Central America.
That would mean a massive influx of users who live entirely on electronic money transmitted to and from a device that fits in their pocket. Kinda cool, huh?

Augur, the Ethereum-based betting and decentralized prediction platform, just launched.
If you ever have to ask yourself if “now” is the time to get in on Bitcoin… the answer is yes.
Is the Bitcoin Cash tipping point almost here?
DOJ charges 12 Russian nationals with cryptocurrency-funded election interference.
Living On Bitcoin
Here’s what happened when we tried to live on Bitcoin for a day
Links of Note
Bitcoin Graffiti: How the Economic Revolution Has Painted the Streets
Opera Crypto is a new browser-based Ethereum wallet for smartphones
Brazen $40M cryptocurrency heist apparently never happened
Blockchain Betting Platform Augur Not Married to Ether
Iran Could Become First Country Forced to Use Bitcoin
What is so special about Tim Draper’s BTC $250K prediction?
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading!
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