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Blockchain entrepreneurship opportunity in the practices of the unbanked

Guillermo Jesús Larios-Hernández

Business Horizons, 2017, vol. 60, issue 6, 865-874

Abstract: Two billion people in developing economies have limited or no access to formal financial services, creating cause for substantial research interest in financial inclusion as a complex multidimensional phenomenon. Digital finance technologies, including blockchain, have empowered a type of crescive entrepreneurship that seeks opportunities in relation to financially excluded individuals. This article hypothesizes that nonmonetary causal factors and informal financial practices play a major role in habits of the financially excluded, which would favor blockchain’s disintermediation features over the incumbent approach. After applying fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to determine the conditions related to financial practice and motivations that explain the absence of a formal bank account, I prescribe five sensitivities that blockchain entrepreneurs need to consider when targeting this segment. The value of this article’s approach extends well beyond traditional unisystemic views for financial inclusion, as blockchain-based entrepreneurial opportunities emerge to reveal alternative forms of disintermediated financial services, which we exemplify in startups modeling informal practices. Blockchain entrepreneurship can generate semi-formal financial services that bring financial aspirations closer to people. My perspective is relevant to blockchain entrepreneurs who aim to understand the practices of the unbanked as source information for the development of innovative solutions.

Keywords: Financial entrepreneurship; Financial inclusion; Blockchain; fsQCA; Informal finance; Fintech (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:60:y:2017:i:6:p:865-874