Stafford Masie, general manager of WeWork South Africa and former chief of Google Africa, believes bitcoin, more than any other technology, has the ability to permanently change the world for the good.
Speaking at the SingularityU South Africa Summit this week, Masie said that bitcoin’s ability to provide an exchange of value without the need of a centralized authority was the “greatest gift” to mankind. Reported by ITWeb, Masie said:
The third economy is an economy where people don’t have access to electronic forms of distributing value or cash […] Think of the people who live two hours outside Shanghai, China’s central coast. They will use Bitcoin to trade and unlock international transactions outside of the existing frameworks in a manner that you and I cannot imagine.
Masie’s so-called “third economy” differs in its approach to cryptocurrencies. Africa, for example, has one of the largest unbanked populations of any continent, yet access to cellphones and other mobile technology is prevalent. Research by Elixirr suggests that in countries where bank penetration is as low as 20%, approximately 80% of the population own a mobile phone.
It is populations such as this that Masie believes bitcoin needs to reach, and to do this potential users must overcome some misconceptions. Masie said that while the cryptocurrency is “misunderstood, misused, misrepresented and viewed as complicated – it will revolutionize global trade”.