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SXSW Interactive 2015

Future of Bitcoin Serving the Unbanked

Crypto currency, in particular Bitcoin, is transforming financial services. What does the future hold for the next couple of years? The number of bitcoin and virtual currency startups on Angel List has nearly doubled in the last six months to ~500. Will technologists exert greater and greater control over the financial ecosystem? If bitcoin becomes main stream, many of these startups will provide extensive banking services to the unbanked such as savings accounts, remittances & loans.

Governmental regulation will play a key role in how the virtual currency landscape evolves. Central Banks provide tools to control the money supply to balance inflation/deflation, tools to manage price of the currency vs other countries currencies,
and to manage banking institutions. Bitcoin on the other hand is immune to money supply pressures as it is mined. Bitcoin may impact payment processors by lowering transaction fees, be a boon to economic activity & help democratize financial services.

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  1. What are the biggest risks to crypto currency becoming main stream? governmental regulation? lack of countries participating fraudulent events? too many software failures? a tangential system?
  2. In what ways have software developers & their startups are rebuilding banking, especially in their capacity to serve the unbanked?
  3. Who has the most to win for crypto currency to become mainstream? investors? financial institutions? consumers? the unbanked/underbanked/unhappily banked? startups?
  4. Though the block chain was designed initially for transactions, what impacts may it have on other aspects of the financial system?
  5. Of the 100’s of crypto currency startups, which is the most ambitious about serving the underbanked and why?


  • Robert Schwentker, Startup Relations, PayPal
  • Veronica McGregor, Attorney - Partner, Hogan Lovells


Robert Schwentker, Startup Relations, PayPal

Meta Information:

  • Tags: bitcoin
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Core Conversation
  • Track: Entrepreneurialism and Business
  • Level: Advanced
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