This week we want to discuss the role of trust in the technology sector.
For those of you that are not familiar with the history of Bitcoin, it’s important to know that it was created as a response to the last financial crisis in 2008-2009. Ten years ago as banks were getting bailed out by the U.S. government and thus the U.S. taxpayer the “Occupy Wall St” movement was born. Citizens were upset that Wall St banks were getting bailed out while the main street was suffering.
Banks received government money while citizens lost their homes. To say that this situation felt inequitable would be a gross understatement. In short, financial institutions had betrayed the trust of the public.
Not surprisingly Bitcoin was birthed from the strong desire to create an easy method to store value and then send and receive it without any disintermediation by untrustworthy financial institutions. And to this invention we applaud. But as Bitcoin and its philosophy gain world-wide adoption it ignores the healing necessary for the underlying dilemma; trust has been broken.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you live in a nice home but because you don’t trust the safety of your personal assets you put bars on all the windows. You also install a security camera and a large fence around your property. You do all these things because you don’t trust those around you. You don’t trust your neighbors or perhaps strangers in your neighborhood or maybe even the police that patrol it. Sadly, many of us live in these circumstances and often without the financial means to have a nice home or good security. Is this the world that you want to live in? Of course not. It’s for this reason that we need to look at restoring trust in society.
Trust is earned not given.
People are right to be frustrated, even outright appalled at the behavior of financial institutions. It seems that every week there’s a headline of a bank violating money laundering laws or charging their customers hidden fees unethically. Big technology companies are also under fire for collecting enormous amounts of private data on their users without making it clear they are doing so.
Companies that wish to succeed need to have integrity and trust as part of their DNA. They need a long term road map to earn trust. Operating transparently simply goes a long way towards achieving these objectives.
In our view the strongest value of distributed ledger technology (DLT) is to improve record sets for transparency and accountability. DLT can also be used to reduce financial friction and greatly improve transactional speed and security. That said, it remains the responsibility of society to hold companies accountable for their actions. We still rely on grocery stores to provide us safe food, shipping companies to deliver our packages on time and without damage, and our doctors to safely care for our health.
We should expect no less from our financial institutions. The idea of eliminating financial institutions from transactions makes about as much sense as eliminating grocery stores and the supply chains involved in food. We can use advancements in technology to improve food quality, lower its prices, and distribute it more equitably including encouraging people to grow their own. Most people will not find growing their own food practical for their daily lives and therefore they will place their “trust” in the companies that best serve their needs.
Our subsidiary company Coro Corp, is being designed intentionally as a financial institution. The opportunity for Coro is so great because the gap and the wound left behind by the dominant global financial institutions is so large. We are a fintech company built on the belief that you deserve better and that we can deliver better.
To the cryptocurrency maximalists out there that believe you need a currency free of ALL institutions we agree. This is why we built Coro with the ultimate currency; gold. Gold is the only currency that is actually universally accepted and has been since time immemorial. Coro will allow customers to withdraw their physical gold and we will encourage them to do so. The ultimate arbiter of trust is being able to physically touch and hold your money.
Just like an organic food company that sells you their produce AND encourages you to plant your own garden, we want you to use our services AND physically hold your financial garden.
The future belongs to companies that are willing to take a longer vision and earn the trust of their customers while giving those customers the tools on day 1 to take trust into their own hands. It will only be through the reestablishment of trust that we will be able to down the barriers between us and freely cooperate, collaborate, a cohabitate once again.