Some of the most important pathways to middle class American life become out of reach when one has little or no credit history. Buying a car or house, or sending a child to college can become close to impossible.
The quiet lobbying game works best when no one looks carefully at the sausage-making machinery. It offers a stark contrast to the money game where contributors present themselves as 800-pound gorillas who are willing to spend as much as it takes to make things happen their way.
Beyond being digital, what does Bitcoin have in common with electronic money and financial inclusion generally? At this point, there seem to be more differences than similarities and it's important not to conflate electronic money with the virtual currency.
It's important when participating in this conversation to understand who the underbanked are. And alarmingly, according to the 2011 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, they are 1 in 5 households in the U.S. (20.1 percent).
The regulatory framework for financial institutions in the United States, including many provisions of Dodd-Frank, impose significant costs on community banks without providing benefits to consumers or the economy that justify those costs.
The bank account as the central money management tool is simply not relevant for many low income people. If we want to assist people in their efforts to be competent money managers, what is the best mix of services?