Here is an interesting twist – why don’t governments offer public services as a software? After all, the business of government doesn’t have to be synonymous to tedious bureaucracy, and there are nations confidently moving towards an efficient, modern idea of a digital government capable of innovating the public services delivery.
Pick #1. Initial Country Offering as Next Big Thing for ICOs: Expert Blog
You are probably familiar with SaaS – “software-as-a-service.” It’s basically paying for software/hardware as you use them, rather than buying them. These services used to cost you a lot, but are now free or near enough. That’s where governance is going. Government services could become plug-and-play apps you stitch together to suit your business or lifestyle. There’s no logical reason why governance shouldn’t be delivered as SaaS (CaaS).
The most interesting (and promising) Blockchain-related industries are strictly outside of the crypto realm – they include solutions for healthcare & logistics, land sale support, and governmental & corporate workflow solutions.
Estonia, a global leader in e-government, has recently launched a unified medical record database, accessible to hospitals and insurance companies, in partnership with the Blockchain startup Guardtime. Prescrypt works along the same lines in partnership with SNS Bank and Deloitte in the Netherlands, and BitHealth in the United States.
Pick #2. Does Microfinance Really Alleviate Poverty? The 34-Billion-Dollar Question
Philanthropic donors and policy-makers are enthusiastic about microfinance initiatives and, understandably, those working in microfinance often have a vested interest in showing that their work is effective.
However, microfinance initiatives can produce unintended consequences. When poorly managed, they provide entrepreneurship opportunities for “middlemen” where borrowers who more easily qualify for loans from microfinance initiatives then lend to poorer borrowers. Consequently, the poorest of the poor micro-entrepreneurs benefit less than the comparatively less poor, and this reinforces existing socio-economic hierarchies in these countries.
Pick #3. MoneyGram to Use XRP for Faster International Payments
To allow their customers to send and complete cross-border payments quicker and cheaper, MoneyGram — one of the world’s largest money transfer companies — will use XRP in their payment flows.
The use of XRP allows MoneyGram to solve the age-old liquidity issue most financial institutions face while saving time and money. Additionally, customers will have the ability to send funds in real time with transparency and certainty. MoneyGram will access and use XRP, the native digital asset of the XRP Ledger, in their payment flows through xRapid, Ripple’s on-demand liquidity product.
Here’s how it works: xRapid enables real-time foreign exchange (FX) settlement through XRP, which gives financial institutions the ability to unlock liquidity and access multiple corridors with one pre-funded originating account. Financial institutions will be able to send on-demand payments, reduce FX costs and fees, and customers will receive real-time insight into the status of their payments.