Colu Local Network Whitepaper

The Internet is making its way into every part of our lives. With the speed of adoption
increasing, technical barriers are being lowered and we find our physical and digital lives
beginning to integrate, creating a huge impact, especially on millennials. They are the
first digital-native generation to be born into this world and the largest generation in
history—significantly larger than the baby-boomer generation, and are expected to be in
control of 24 trillion dollars of the world’s wealth by 2020. They are more likely to live in
cities, they own fewer cars, and they choose their brands based on values like ethical
sourcing, social justice, and environmental effects. They are looking for meaning, and
often find it in making a positive impact on the community around them, thus creating a
demand for financial community ties.

Technology is dramatically changing the way millennials make payments and consume
other financial services. As physical cash is being replaced by digital means, from cards
to mobile, they come to expect payments to be quick, safe, cool to use, and available
24/7. This creates pressure on merchants to broaden the means of payments they
accept, in an effort to catch up with user demand. This pressure is especially
burdensome for smaller merchants in today’s environment as they often pay the highest
fees for payment processing, making for an uneven playing field for local initiatives.
Moreover, as a consequence of accelerating globalization, the diminishing frictions in
cross-border commerce have incentivized corporate rent extraction through
cost-externalization and the outsourcing of production. Encouraged by the continuation
of open policies on multilateral trade, global supply chains have penetrated domestic
markets, resulting in the incremental centralization of capital flows toward multinational
organizations.

While the free movement of goods is imperative to open markets, SMEs
(small to medium size enterprises) get the short end of the stick, being unable to
compete in their native markets. In particular, small businesses with less than 10
employees make up over 93 percent of all enterprises in the EU and account for around
two-thirds of employment.

In the US, small businesses account for 99.7 percent of firms
with paid employees, and annually contribute almost 40 percent of US private, non-farm
output.
[3] Yet, these small businesses often face difficulties accessing capital. Colu Local Network Website
Colu Local Network Whitepaper

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