Blockchain Entrepreneurship and the Struggle for Trust Among the Unbanked

  • Guillermo Jesús Larios-HernándezEmail author
  • Almendra Ortiz-de-Zarate-Béjar


Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that sustains cryptocurrencies, continues to develop as a valuable alternative for financial inclusion, considering that its successful implementation would depend on the entrepreneur’s ability to grasp contextual practices currently present in the reality of the unbanked. Lack of trust, reported as one of the main non-monetary barriers to financial inclusion, poses specific challenges to blockchain entrepreneurship, in that the meaning of trust appears to depend on context, and blockchain’s supposedly advantageous characteristics turn out to be insufficient when considering contextual sensitivities. In this chapter, we elaborate on the role and meaning of trust in the context of the unbanked in comparison to blockchain’s decentralized approach to trust, directing the blockchain practitioner to understand the informal practices of the unbanked as a much-needed factor for the creation of trust; practitioners are invited to adopt a sociotechnical approach to blockchain entrepreneurship. Finally, we exemplify this perspective by analyzing the cases of a qualitative phenomenological research, based on a sample of unbanked individuals working and interacting in a wealthy Mexican neighborhood. With this analysis, we hope to contribute to the design of more efficacious blockchain-based business models for financial inclusion.


Bank account Blockchain Bottom-of-the-pyramid Business model Confidence Consensus Context Decentralized Digital Disintermediation Distributed ledgers Edelman trust barometer Enforcement Entrepreneurship Everex Expectations Financial inclusion Financial services Financial services research forum Formal G-cash Government ICT Infomediaries Informal Informal practices Informality Information asymmetries Institutions Lending Low income Microfinance Miners Mobile Motivations M-Pesa Non-monetary barriers Pareto Peer-to-peer Platform Practices Qualitative Remittances Reputation Scalability Social entrepreneurs Social media Sociotechnical approach Technology Transactional costs Trust Trust asymmetry Unbanked Vulnerability Wetrust World Bank 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Jesús Larios-Hernández
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Almendra Ortiz-de-Zarate-Béjar
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de Economía y NegociosUniversidad Anáhuac MéxicoHuixquilucanMexico
  2. 2.Facultad de Estudios GlobalesUniversidad Anáhuac MéxicoHuixquilucanMexico

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