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Pelle Brændgaard @PelleB
, 15 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1. I’ve been thinking a long time about how #ecommerce, #fintech, #blockchain etc. can solve real problems in the developing world. I think I’m close to being able to formulate a theory.
2. As with many other things to understand the developing world we have to back to the book the Mystery if Capital by @ReadingSignals…
3. Most Developed world fintech sits on top of a trusted centralized society built on governments, banks and other institutions that mostly work.
4. In addition most people starting businesses in the developed have the resources to setup a merchant account and for example a Shopify site.
5. In the developing world few people trust the homegrown centralized institutions, don’t feel they provide any real benefit and in many cases can’t access them.
6. That is not to say that these are trustless societies. There is a lot of trust in communities and informal networks. For more follow @pesa_africa to learn about Chamas in Kenya.
7. Most e-commerce happens via social media with cash on delivery. The Instagram/WhatsApp combo is probably used for more sales than amazon outside the developed world.
8. In Africa loans, savings and investments happen through informal groups as well. Haven’t found much evidence of this here in Latin America, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it also exists in certain groups.
9. The main developed world tech besides communication and social networking tools that seem to succeed are self contained marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb.
10. It appears that imported tech is either or multiple of these:

- difficult or expensive onboarding
- incompatible with informal trust structures
- relies too much on formal institutions
- too complex

Very similar to De Soto’s work on poor people vs governments.
11. I think to be successful tools need
- simple reliable functionality
- minimal if any onboarding
- composability (easily use them together)
- enable income generation
- agnostic about external trust structures and institutions
12. With the advent of tools like Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook even middle class university educated people in the developing world are leaving a disfunctional formal economy to join the informal world. I wonder if we need to swap the terms formal vs informal.
13. It should be no surprise that I think #blockchain tools will be able to help here. But simple onboarding is key and as yet not there.
At @uport_me we are working on improving onboarding a lot.
14. The #Ethereum community is working on composability.

Unfortunately the reliance on utility tokens for many smart contracts ironically creates real barriers against onboarding and composability.

But it seems the community is learning that.
15. Excited to see solutions to many of these at #Devcon4 next week.

It also strikes me that many of these rules are also what makes functional programming so powerful.
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