Machado: cryptocurrency programs must be designed for low-income users.
Alejandro Machado is a graduate in computer studies from the Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela. He holds a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and has more than 4 years as an independent software product design consultant. In October 2018, he founded, together with Jill Carlson and Jamaal Montasser, the Open Money Initiative (OMI), a design research firm spatialized in cases of cryptocurrency use with a concept similar to IDEO.
A few weeks ago Alejandro shared exclusively with CriptoNoticias more information about the work of the organization, whose studies focused on the use of cryptocurrencies in Venezuela have received the support of organizations such as the Human Rights Foundation, Zcash Foundation, Electric Coin Company, Stellar, LocalBitcoins and IDEO.
“We investigate how people use money in countries and societies that are full of controls. Where there is a problem with the currency at the issuance level and at the hyperinflation level. Where in general there is a humanitarian system and an economic system that does not work for that society. We are doing design research studies like what IDEO does. We get as close as we can to people who are in these conditions in this case we start with a project in Venezuela.”
Machado began the interview by explaining that the IMO investigation focused on migrant Venezuelan populations from different socioeconomic strata in the Colombian cities of Cúcuta, Medellín and Bogotá. He also mentioned that they interviewed people from Caracas, Mérida and Carora through recruiters in Venezuela. Personal meetings of more than two hours included the use of audiovisual resources and memory exercises to learn about the emotional sequels that the subjects experienced.
Open Money Initiative conducted a total of 17 interviews of a qualitative nature in order to obtain conclusions about some behavior patterns, which are expected to serve to inspire financial products and services of the digital economy. Alejandro wants these future developments to be solutions for users of restrictive economies such as Venezuela.
The sample of the interviews was not enough to have an idea of the general behavior of Venezuelan migrants regarding cryptocurrencies. In fact, he stressed that to achieve estimates of this caliber, censuses conducted by government entities or some organization that handles large numbers of users, such as Facebook, would be necessary. Machado said he is interested in the broad potential of the future cryptocurrency of the social network: Libra.
“People do not know much Bitcoin. In fact, one of the things we saw is that many people confuse Bitcoin with El Petro or with other cryptocurrencies that are scams. Or there are people who with the same Bitcoin scam you because there is a lot of misinformation and the way to make easy money abounds in the ‘look, double your money’ systems.”
Machado also emphasized that those organizations that wish to participate in the digital economy of countries such as Venezuela need to take into account discontinued telephone users. He explained that at least about five million Venezuelans use phones with Android 4.0 software or less, so they must be the focus of designers. In addition, without sacrificing the minimum security systems required to be functional.
As for the next movements of the foundation, Alejandro explained that at the moment they only want to publicize the study they carried out in Venezuela during the last months. For him in Venezuela the transition to cryptocurrencies would be favored by how accustomed the population is to digital payments on platforms such as LocalBitcoins and AirTm. However, later they might consider doing studies in countries with high levels of inflation such as Argentina.
Disclaimer: This press release is for informational purposes information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of infocoin, and should not be attributed to, Infocoin.