Bitcoin adoption will thrive once more people gain access to affordable Internet access. Most people assume everyone in the world has access to the Internet, but there are still billions of people waiting to be connected. Mobile Internet connectivity is not always a viable option either, but that situation might be about to change, thanks to Microsoft’s new initiative.
Microsoft Targets Innovative Business Models
As you would come to expect, Microsoft is not planning to roll out Internet infrastructure themselves, nor should they be looking to do so. That being said, Microsoft is creating a new fund to bring Internet access to the 4 billion people who are still disconnected. This new fund will serve as a financial aid to aspiring entrepreneurs tackling this issue head-on.
Qualifying for this fund is subject to certain requirements, as only commercial organizations can apply, assuming they have at last a working prototype of their project. Additionally, there is a minimum requirement of having two full-time employees on the payroll, and paying customers are an added bonus for qualifying.
Bringing internet connectivity to the disconnected will not be an easy task, as the lack of existing infrastructure makes it incredibly difficult to do so. That being said, this Microsoft fund is also aimed at startups looking to introduce new payment mechanisms and innovative business models helping to get the disconnected online.
Every successful applicant will receive US$75,000 in funding. Also, Microsoft will provide a sort of incubator program, as well as free services and software. It is not the first time Microsoft ventures into the world of innovative technologies, as they have recently announced their plans to embrace blockchain technology.
Blockchain-based Payment Services For Slower Internet Connections
As Microsoft is targeting startups to bring internet connectivity and services to disconnected people, blockchain technology will play an important role in the process. Areas where there is no Internet infrastructure usually have no financial infrastructure either, and blockchain technology can give people access to financial services as long as Internet connectivity is available.
Just a week ago, Microsoft announced a new cloud platform offering Ethereum Blockchain as a Service. Microsoft Azure users will be able to deploy blockchain technology in a few clicks, without requiring any upfront investments. Once companies and developers see the value of the Ethereum blockchain, they can take things one step further, and develop financial tools for the soon-to-be-connected population.
What are your thoughts on this Microsoft fund? How would you bring Internet connectivity to the 4 billion people still disconnected? Let us know in the comments below!
Partial Source: TechCrunch