Deputy Director and Principal Technologist of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Miller Abel, tweeted on Monday that his organization would be partnering with Ripple Labs and Coil to explore ways to help get payment systems to the poor.
— Miller Abel (@MillerAbel_) October 17, 2018
The announcement was also tweeted out by Kosta Peric, deputy director of the Gates Foundation’s ‘Financial Services for the Poor’ program.
What is Mojaloop?
Mojaloop is an open-source software designed for use by financial institutions to give people a method of sending digital payments, regardless of the bank service they’re using. Paired with Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency and Coil’s web monetization capabilities, the minds behind this software have tried to build a way to send money to poor parts of the world more quickly.
The official website claims it can be used person to person, for point of sale transactions, and for payroll.
Crypto lending platform Nexo and sharing platform Omni have also recently announced support of XRP, with Nexo accepting it as collateral and Omni letting you get paid in XRP when you rent out your unused stuff.
Serving the Underbanked
The Gates Foundation provided funding for Mojaloop, and Ripple Labs is listed on their website as a collaborator. The mission of Mojaloop is right in line with the Gates’ Foundations goals of bringing payment systems into environments where they don’t exist or aren’t reliable. They’ve expressed an interest in digital payments to achieve this, stating on their website:
“Perhaps the most important condition for the development of new, pro-poor payment systems is interoperability – the ability of customers to transact with any other customer, whether they use the same service provider or not. This kind of open-loop system substantially lowers the costs and complexity of digital financial services and payment platforms. Opening up payment infrastructure to new kinds of companies outside of traditional banking organizations can help accelerate the development of these systems.”
Ripple Labs is far from the only company looking to expand digital payments into poorer countries. Binance launched its first fiat to crypto exchange today in Uganda and plans to expand further into Africa.
According to Abel, Mojaloop was demonstrated Oct. 17 at the Githubuniverse conference in San Francisco.
Cover Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash
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