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Since money was first invented many thousands of years ago, poverty has always been a social problem. Income inequality has always existed. A few select people have the majority of the wealth, while everyone else have a minority of the wealth available. The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century and the arrival of the internet at the end of the 20th century did nothing to change this reality. Many people remained poor, in spite of the revolutionary way in which standards of living changed for the blue collar day laborer. Precious minerals constituted a great part of this wealth. Among these were gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. Each mineral has its own intrinsic value and thus its own unique price. Both governments and wealthy people recognize that precious minerals are a better way to secure long-term wealth than fiat currency, for fiat currency is subject to the whims of rulers. It may be inflated, or hyper-inflated. Its value is often determined by the decisions of those who own a nation’s printing press. This is not the case for cryptocurrency, however. Cryptocurrency is essentially digital money with no physical basis. It cannot be printed. It can be introduced all at …

Why This Internet Pioneer Believes Bitcoin Has the Power to Break the Cycle of Poverty

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When millionaire Wences Casares speaks of poverty, and he often does, he’s not blowing hot air. He’s speaking from firsthand experience. The Argentina-born serial Silicon Valley startup investor and bitcoin entrepreneur grew up on his parents’ sheep ranch, 20 miles from the nearest neighbor and 100 miles from the nearest town. Isolated in the rugged Patagonia region, he watched his family lose their life savings, not once but three times due to hyperinflation. “I remember my parents losing everything,” Casares told TechCrunch. “I was 14.” Bearing witness to his parents’ devastating consecutive losses cut deep, fueling his ongoing global mission to leverage technology to help spare others from similar straits.   He set out to help impoverished and underserved people gain access to critical financial services that often only the well-to-do throughout much of Latin America are privy to. In 1994, at the age of 20, he made history when he founded Argentina’s first Internet Services Provider. In 1998, Casares founded the online brokerage Patagon, an Internet-based financial services portal. The startup was eventually scooped up for a cool $750 million. Casares later launched a successful video game development firm that gaming goliath Activision acquired. He also created a retail bank that grew …