New research finds that digital currency is an economic force that can bring people together and help them access essential goods and services.
The study, conducted by researchers at the MIT Media Lab and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that digital currencies and other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which are currently considered illegal by most countries, have the potential to create a new kind of economic bridge.
The MIT researchers found that a bitcoin transaction could create a digital “bridge” to help a person in need in need of cash find other ways to access essential services like transportation.
The bridge can help a user access transportation at a lower cost than the normal way of getting around.
The researchers said this could be important in times of economic hardship, such as the recent shutdown of the US Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
“Digital currencies have the ability to create an economy of shared access to goods and information,” the study’s lead author, Eric Dondero, said in a statement.
“This new form of economic development will bring social and economic benefits to those in need.”
Donderos work was funded by the MIT Technology Review, the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Office of Technology Assessment.
The findings of the study were published online on Monday in the journal Science.
The research was funded through MIT’s Open Science Initiative, a collaboration with the Open Philanthropy Project.