If you are an engineer working for Google in Silicon Valley, Bitcoin may not change your career much, but for billions of talented people in emerging countries, virtual currencies have the potential to literally reshape their futures.
One currency levels the playing field
Imagine a talent exchange in which it makes no difference whether you live in Vancouver, the Philippines, Malta, Argentina, Mexico or New Zealand. No matter your local currency or the strength of your country’s banking system, you will quote a price and get paid in a single virtual currency.
In fact, use of such a currency can prevent assumptions regardless of the talent’s location. As a client, your business might solicit bids from 20 contractors, each of whom quotes a virtual currency price and submits a proposal. All that matters is talent and results, rather than location and hassles such as currency conversion or trying to compare apples to oranges.
Speed and ease
On a virtual currency-based talent exchange, payments can be transmitted and received in minutes, rather than the days it can take to make wire transfers. All it takes is a few clicks. This reduces paperwork and makes you less reliant on traditional financial systems. Again, this minimizes the obstacles to hiring the best talent, without regard for where that talent lives.
Freedom from local obstacles
In some countries, financial challenges such as hyperinflation reduces standards of living and demotivates workforces. But a global virtual currency allows talented workers to improve such issues, and earn—and keep—a fair value for their work.
Instead of settling for lower wages, where the value slowly erodes before the worker even collects their payment, they can earn a fair value to what people in other countries earn… even if they live in an exceptionally poor country.
I know that such changes will take time, and for the foreseeable future, the San Francisco engineer will earn a higher salary than a similar talent across the world, or even here in Vancouver. But a virtual currency-based talent exchange has the potential to significantly narrow these gaps and to thus empower talent that, until now, has had all the odds stacked against them.
Let’s say that two billion people live in extremely poor areas. Talent and wealth are not correlated; you can be poor, hungry and even uneducated… but still be highly intelligent. For too long, we have wasted immense amounts of human talent. Virtual currency has the potential to rectify that outrageous misfortune, and that alone is a truly compelling reason to embrace it.
The future I see is a meritocracy in which talent is more important than the blind luck of where you were born. It is also one in which employers will have an easier time finding the best person for the job, rather than simply the closest “pretty good” person.
Wayne Chen is CEO of Vancouver-based fintech firm Interlapse, and Co-Founder of virtual currency platform Coincurve.