Bitreserve’s Eric Benz: Bitcoin Gives Companies a ‘Chance to Innovate’

By Kyle Torpey Mar 26, 2015 10:42 AM EST

Eric Benz Bitcoin

Bitreserve is a cloud-based solution for finance that allows anyone to lock the value of their bitcoins to a variety of currencies and assets. Using bitcoin as the rails, the company wants to make moving money as simple and instant as sending an email. Bitreserve VP of Global Payments Eric Benz recently gave a presentation expanding on the social empowerment involved with bringing this access to global finance to various underserved markets and consumers around the world.

[Read More: Colored Coins: How Banks Could Exploit Bitcoin Technology]

Cloud-based solutions for finance

As Bill and Melinda Gates noted in the 2015 Gates Annual Letter, it seems obvious that mobile and digital payments are going to power access to the global economy for many underdeveloped parts of the world over the next decade. Bitreserve is focusing on cloud-based solutions in an effort to bring cheap, instant payments and banking to the entire world. During his talk, Benz noted:

“A lot of what Bitreserve is providing in terms of the technology — in terms of the cloud solutions — is really gearing towards providing these emerging communities access to online financial services.”

Benz routinely made references to the high fees and costs associated with the current banking and payment models, and Bitreserve plans to use technology to bring those costs down rather than attempting to recreate their own version of the current system.

No restrictions when building on top of bitcoin

A key point that Benz made during his remarks is that bitcoin and related blockchain technologies allow companies and individuals to try out new ideas for finance without having to ask anyone for permission. This is the sort of permissionless innovation that many bitcoin aficionados have discussed in the past. Benz explained:

“The biggest legacy mindset we have as a consumer or business is finance. So being able to change that — being able to apply cloud-based technologies, as well as blockchain technologies now — you really do have a winning solution that doesn’t happen to be sitting on Visa’s, Mastercard’s, or American Express’s rails. And that’s really important because that’s when you really have a chance to innovate.”

[Read More: Bill Gates’s 3 Criticisms of Bitcoin]

We’re not here to replace the dollar

One aspect of Bernz’s presentation that will have some individuals in the bitcoin community pulling out their hair was his constant reference to bitcoin as a technology rather than a currency. Although no one is saying that bitcoin isn’t useful as a technology, there is a segment of the bitcoin community that tends to get angry when people start talking about how bitcoin (the currency) is not important and the technology is what will last over the long term. Benz explained that the company is “not really here to replace the dollar.” He continued:

“We really like real money. Everybody loves real money, but the access to real money, and the way that money is sent and held and all of the charges that go into moving money is a thing of the past.”

This should not really come as a surprise as Bitreserve Halsey Minor has made similar comments related to the viability of bitcoin as a currency over the long term. Putting this issue aside, it’s clear that Bitreserve is focused on providing real financial solutions for the underbanked. This is a company that is more interested in finding real solutions for people, and they don’t seem too concerned about which technologies are used, as long as they’re able to reach their goals.

You can follow @kyletorpey on Twitter.

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