Gates Foundation Partnership Aiding the Unbanked

October 26, 2018 / by Angel Reyes

Approximately 30% of the world’s people are still without access to institutional financial services. That’s approximately 2 billion people that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are aiming to service in their partnership with Ripple Labs and Coil, a web monetization startup.

Existing Partnership
A Partnership between the Gates Foundation and Ripple was announced a year ago, but Coil brings a new element to the Foundation’s vision to help “the unbanked” around the world. Introducing Coil to the equation will allow for an efficient means of sending donations to anyone worldwide.

Ripple and the foundation have already launched an open source software called Mojaloop to focus on providing payments to impoverished peoples worldwide. Mojaloop incorporates Interledger Technology to connect payment networks in an accessible and low-cost manner.

The Interledger Protocol
In the same way that the internet is the connector of information between individual networks, Interledger allows money to transfer between different types of ledgers such as mobile wallets, institutional payments and different blockchains. Easily transferable value and liquidity to local currency are of great importance for the target audience.

Miller Abel, the Deputy Director and Principal Technologist at the Gates Foundation claims that Mojaloop does not exclusively use Ripple, but in fact settles payments “in national currency of the given country.” This accessibility approach allows peer to peer exchanges between holders of different assets of value whether fiat currency, cryptocurrency or securities.

The Benefits for Peoples in Developing Economies
Traditionally, for payments to reach peoples in developing economies would take up to 5 days to resolve transactions with fees averaging $42. With a total of $180 trillion international payments made every year, allowing cross-platform transferability for a low cost would save nearly $2 trillion in fees each year.

Safety and convenience of transaction are important among those in the developing world. Since 90% of all people have access to cellular services in some fashion, Moojaloop and Coil’s services are widely accessible. The vision of providing individual sovereignty of payments will be able to empower billions more people to participate in the world economy. Value will be able to be shared instantaneously in the way information already is.