Empowering Growth by Enabling Investment by CHRIS GEORGEN Chief Architect and President
In the world today, over 600 million people live in countries where the average daily income is less $3.10. For comparison, someone in the US working at a minimum wage job would earn that amount more than 18 times a day. Not only does this illustrate nearly unbelievable inequality across different countries, but this income discrepancy also represents perhaps the greatest opportunity for economic growth in the 21st century. Even increasing the average daily income to $10 a day across the world would grow the global economy by $6.6 trillion a year. And to put it simply, we created Topl to empower and help drive this growth. At Topl, we’re working to build the financial infrastructure necessary to power growth around the world. We believe that a key barrier to economic and therefore income- growth across developing countries is a shortage of well-placed investment in young and vibrant new enterprises. Right now, there are large amounts of excess capital held by investors and funds in wealthy countries that has for years have been seeking access to improved returns. While their enormous potential for broad-based economic growth should make developing countries more than attractive enough to garner sufficient capital, such investment has for the most part failed to materialize. Why is this?
In short, investing in developing countries is challenging, and investing in young, innovative companies in developing countries requires a level of expertise and experience that very few individuals or firms possess. Instead of robust, well-designed infrastructure to support sourcing, due diligence, and fund transfer, those seeking exposure to the most vibrant opportunities in developing countries must rely on ad hoc processes and a confused patchwork of connections. This state of affairs results, not only in an extremely high barrier to entry for investors, but also in excessive borrowing costs for businesses in these markets, with annual interest rates easily exceeding 40%. Now, it’s one thing to believe that the goal of facilitating investment into developing countries is one worth pursuing; it is something more to think that this goal is best achieved using a blockchain protocol. However, this is exactly the belief behind Topl. While it may seem bold to argue that the course of economic development across more than half the world can be substantially altered by a single technology, the blockchain, we gain confidence from the fact that our vision for Topl is an ideal use of this incredibly powerful new technology. This fit between Topl and blockchain technology becomes apparent when we look to Bitcoin. In this original vision of the blockchain, we see the creation of financial infrastructure that can remain trusted and secure without any centralized (or state) authority
or any prior relationship between participants. Conveniently for us, this, at a high level, exactly describes what is needed to facilitate low-cost and effective investment into developing countries where there are rarely clear enforcement mechanisms and trust is hard to come by. We began development of the Topl protocol seven months ago and in this short time our team has already made great strides. During this time, we have, among other things, developed an operational testnet, designed and implemented a robust smart contract system specially designed for investments, and built a strong network of partnerships to connect our protocol to investable businesses across countries like Colombia, South Africa, Ghana, India, and Fiji. If you’re interested in Topl’s goal of enabling low-cost and effective investment anywhere in the world to support the next wave of inclusive economic growth, I invite you to follow our progress on Github or join our Slack channel and let us know what you think. More importantly, watch out for announcements regarding our token presale, organized and supported by the amazing team over at Iconiq Lab, so you’re ready to participate in Topl’s Divine information markets, which we expect to be the first ever successful use of prediction markets to provide risk assessments for investments. For more information about Topl, visit www.topl.co 45
Published on Dec 28, 2017