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Bill Gates, the man behind Microsoft, since, 1975 known for founding Microsoft, software development, philanthropy has pledged 1.4M USD to CREST blockchain project before departing the Microsoft board.

As per a press release, Microsoft has announced change in its board of directors. Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates steps down from the board to dedicate more time for his philanthropic activities like global health, development, education, climate change.

Bill Gates started Microsoft in 1975 along with Paul Allen. The company is most known for its Windows computer operating system which was released in 1985. Windows even today is indispensable.

Gates did a transition and stabilization exercise in 2008, by getting out of day to day activities of his company. He started spending more time on his work at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Now, Mr. Gates has recently backed a blockchain enabled security service for fintech companies operating in Africa and Asia called Crest by donating $1.4 million in February 2020 to help financial technology companies in the field to bring financial services to the unprivileged and unbanked populations. The donation has been granted to help to increase cyber security capacity in African and Asian markets, and provide safe and secure access to digital financial services for the unbanked.

Crest is a non-profit UK based organisation is related to cyber security accreditation and certification. Their rigorous assessments are designed to provide reassurance for its member companies to provide to their clients of their security posture.

This assurance is more relevant to the financial services’ industry which is rapidly digitizing. This becomes all the more necessary with the advent of 4G mobile technology and financial transactions of mobile devices.

Using the technology for financial transactions has helped provide means to everyone to participate in the financial sector, it has become the general population more vulnerable. It has created newer cyber risks which have to be managed and addressed.

Crest plans to reduce cyber crimes by making the cyber security capabilities in fast developing countries using blockchain.
Bill & Melinda Gates grant is seen as a recognition of the Crest’s contribution to the UK and other countries like Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and North America. Crest plans to use the funding to support threat intelligence led system penetration testing through its ecosystem of trusted accredited providers and raising the security standards using blockchain technology. Also, defining measurement frameworks and improving security capability for consistency in the financial service organisations.

Crest shall help to build the capacity of the local private sector cyber security companies in the African countries to deliver managed services as per globally accepted standards and processes. Crest would be involved in training and accreditation programs.

Ultimately, this will help the security industry, and the financial industry becomes more matured in target countries in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

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