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Why You Should Care About Bitcoin – Even if You Don´t Believe in it

Bitcoin is likely doomed as an alternative to national currencies, but its key engineering elements offer us the possibility of imagining a radically different approach for architecting electronic payment systems. This paper by Ignacio Mas explores the technologies embedded within bitcoin have the potential for supporting the development of more open, contestable and interconnected ecosystems for the delivery of payment and financial services, much like the internet did for the delivery of communication and content services. By lowering costs and encouraging innovation, the adoption of bitcoin-like protocols could radically expand access and relevance of financial services globally, especially across borders and in developing countries.

Ignacio Mas
Ignacio Mas is a Senior Fellow at CEME at the Fletcher School. He has been deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has held senior telecoms jobs at Vodafone and Intel, and has been adjunct professor at the Business School at the University of Chicago. He holds a SB degree from MIT and a PhD from Harvard.

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