Having spent most of my career at financial institutions, I have had the unique privilege of an all-access backstage pass to the mysterious and opaque inner workings of banks and the banking industry. It’s not pretty. The vast majority of financial institutions around the world have constructed (and continue to construct) processes, procedures, and policies for their benefit, not for the benefit of consumers or the broader public. They are designed to give banks the upper hand in all transactions. As someone who has fought for the basic human rights of people around the world, this bank-imposed inequality has always frustrated me. And now, at Bitreserve I finally have a chance to do something about it.
Bitreserve was founded with a commitment to uphold and protect three fundamental consumer rights. At Bitreserve, we believe everyone has the right to:
- Easy, instant and free financial services;
- Total visibility into deposits — how value is held and used;
- Access to an equitable, safer financial world.
Bitreserve stands for something much larger than improving financial services. We’re completely reimagining them. At our core, we stand for equality and inclusion for all — two words with which I’m deeply familiar and principles we spend a lot of time working to unlock for communities around the world. We are striving to build a product, service and brand that is focused on providing everyone around the globe with access to an easier, safer and more fair way of holding and moving money.
1 – Everyone Has the Right to Financial Services
My colleague, our founder and CEO, Halsey Minor, laid this out in detail recently — pointing to the role that digital currency is already playing in closing the global financial inclusion gap. The most important metric to us is how many unbanked people we can positively impact. According to the Gates Foundation, 2.5 billion adults around the world do not have an account at a financial institution. In the U.S., nearly 30% of the population —106 million people — are unbanked. According to a survey by the FDIC in 2013, 58% of unbanked people claim they don’t have enough money to meet minimum balance requirements, 31% think the account fees are too high and 34% say they either don’t trust banks or just don’t like to deal with them. And rightly so. In 2012 alone, the underserved paid some $89 billion in bank fees and interest.
This isn’t just unacceptable, it’s wrong. It’s unjust. It’s elitist. These are words that belong to the past. We’re here to make financial transactions easy, fast, fair, and free for everyone. Simple as that. It’s the reason I joined Bitreserve.
2 – Everyone Has the Right to Total Visibility into Their Account
How much money do you have in your bank account? How quickly can you find this out? Is your bank really holding all of your money? How long does it take you to withdraw it or send it to someone down the road or across the pond? We’ve grown too familiar with not knowing the answers to all of these questions. Bitreserve’s answer is a real-time, transparent ledger of account activity that protects consumers by providing proof of solvency at any given time. $4.6 trillion was spent in the credit crisis bailout in 2010, and $200 billion was spent in 2008 bailing out banks. Our technology eliminates the opportunities for fraud and destructive risk-taking that have caused the collapse of banks and other financial institutions throughout history. By operating a full reserve, all Bitreserve deposits are backed one-for-one by real-world currency, keeping your funds safe at all times, 100% of the time. We’re proud to be setting the new standard of accountability for the world of finance.
3 – Everyone Has the Right to An Equitable Financial World
This is something I’m super passionate about. At Bitreserve, we are here to replace the unjust, legacy financial system for businesses and consumers around the world. We don’t accept the status quo, we challenge it. We change it. We’re taking the opacity out of the process, reducing barriers to entry, and injecting true transparency. We’re empowering people to pay, invest, and share their hard earned money regardless of social or economic status. We’re building an accessible and user-friendly financial platform with real social impact at the center of our operations. Bitreserve is leveraging technology to deliver a secure, cloud-based option for the more than 3.5 billion networked devices active around the world, and a cheaper option for the underbanked living in financial ambiguity. We have an open API, global partnerships in the pipeline that will allow people to move money conveniently on their devices, and a growing team of financial technology experts with reputations as global as our business.
Joining Bitreserve was the best career decision I’ve ever made. We’re at an exciting and truly pivotal moment for the cloud- and mobile-based financial industry.
Reach out to me anytime at @AnthonyWatson. I would love to hear from you.