Bill Barhydt

CEO, Founder, Boom Financial
Los Gatos, CA, United States

About Bill

Bio

Bill is the Founder, President and CEO of Boom Financial, the makers of BOOM, the first mobile bank account for the US immigrant population and their extended families abroad. Boom members utilize their mobile phone as a simple bank account and can initiate cross border and domestic money transfers, bill payment, and other financial services directly from their mobile phone in english, spanish and creole. There are over 40,000 Boom Merchants, ATM's and Agents throughout the Americas.

Before his current mission to make financial services accessible to billions of people, Bill was an early employee of Netscape where he designed hosted systems for telecom companies and retail banks, worked for Goldman Sachs designing trading systems and was a research engineer for both NASA and the CIA. Bill received the Technology Pioneer Award from the World Economic Forum in 2000.

Bill has studied Computer Science, Computational Mathematics, Graphic Design and Sabermetrics!

Born in New York City, Bill has also lived in Washington DC, Paris, Munich, San Francisco, the Bavarian Alps, and Hoboken.

Languages

English, German

TED Conferences

TED2015, TED2014, TED2013, TED2012, TED2011, TED2010, TED2009

Areas of Expertise

Mobile Technology, Angel investing, Venture Capital, Entrepeneurship, Start up and business mentoring, Bitcoin

An idea worth spreading

The opportunity to leverage the mobile phone and cellular networks to improve the lives of the "bottom of the income pyramid" is unprecedented in global history. Enabling money transfer, The Internet of Things, Micro-finance, P2P Lending, Insurance/Savings, Mobile Healthcare and Mobile Education via the mobile phone and cellular networks is an unprecedented opportunity to begin the process of lifting a billion people out of poverty. Everyone deserves the chance to become an educated, skilled, self sufficient, positive contributing members of society.

I'm passionate about

... financial inclusion
... history
... science & technology

Talk to me about

Bitcoin & Smart Contracts
Arduino & Robots in the Classroom
The Internet of Things

People don't know I'm good at

Gardening
Cooking
Programming

My TED story

At TED 2008 I met a TED Fellow who became my catalyst for creating the Boom Foundation and our work in Haiti. She encouraged me to spend time with non-commercial organizations such as the US State Department, USAID and other organizations that have shown me how our company could ultimately do more than just help the middle of the income pyramid and focus on the poorest of nations that could also take advantage of what we have to offer. I am very grateful to TED for the role they have played in shaping the last few years of my life.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

212236
Bill Barhydt
Posted over 3 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
The article does explain where the data comes from. It's worth a read. IMO, a death is a death and if that death could be avoided by avoiding that form of energy then it is relevant. No? Regarding spent nuclear fuel and its impact on the earth, I can only point you to France as an example. They got it right. It scales and it is safe. Here is an article from the WSJ on this topic: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123690627522614525.html From the article: "France, which completely reprocesses its recyclable material, stores all the unused remains -- from 30 years of generating 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy -- beneath the floor of a single room at La Hague."
212236
Bill Barhydt
Posted over 3 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
I came across some data on deaths related to various energy sources. The data is measured in deaths/TWh for all energy sources. Here is the original link: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html He seems to provide good sources and a reasonable explanation of the calculations involved. I realize this is just one variable in a very complex equation on energy needs but to me it's a very important one. Here are the results: Energy Source - Death Rate (deaths per TWh) Coal – world average - 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity) Coal – China - 278 Coal – USA - 15 Oil - 36 (36% of world energy) Natural Gas - 4 (21% of world energy) Biofuel/Biomass - 12 Peat - 12 Solar (rooftop) - 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy) Wind - 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy) Hydro - 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy) Hydro - world including Banqiao) - 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead) Nuclear - 0.04 (5.9% of world energy) My interpretation of the results is that eliminating all forms of energy above the solar line should be our collective goal. I believe that can only be done with an emphasis on nuclear. Many here disagree. The good news is that all of our choices in this thread appear to be safe in terms of mortality rates. Let the attacks re-commence... Thanks everyone for your passionate input on this debate.
212236
Bill Barhydt
Posted over 3 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
Good question. Just because the energy is there does not mean it can be easily tapped and brought to people at scale. As I said, if one government were to run a real world test and show that it works at scale, I'd probably become a supporter. I'm skeptical, but always open to a better way.
212236
Bill Barhydt
Posted over 3 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
Adam, my working assumption when I initiated the debate was that few people would (at least publicly) agree with me. The public has not disappointed! ;) You, correctly in my opinion, insinuate that we have a resource-abuse problem. I couldn't agree more. I don't know how to solve that problem. Maybe when our generation dies off our kids and their kids will be smarter about conserving resources then we were. For better or worse I've seen nothing of any realistic nature in the many great postings here to convince me that any other technology can scale to meet our needs on a global basis, to replace fossil fuels, the way nuclear can. I read the article you sent on off-shore wind. If one country would deploy it at scale it would sway my thinking. Your probably saw Gate's TED talk from last year on building better, cheaper and even more productive nuclear reactors (that he is investing in). In case you missed it: http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2010/02/bill_gates_goes.html
212236
Bill Barhydt
Posted over 3 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
I am not an apologist for anyone or anything. You don't know me, so please don't presume that you do. My intent here is to foster a civl debate among people that care about our future as it relates to our energy needs. If you have an opinion about our energy needs, please share it, I'm sure we'd all love to hear it. Thanks.
212236
Bill Barhydt
Posted over 3 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
Maven Research has been contacting radiation and energy experts to get their perspective on what is happening in Japan. They were kind enough to post some of their early findings via these experts... (Note: they don't actually say who the experts are so I guess we have to take it on faith that they really are experts. I sent them a note asking for a full disclosure, I'll report back on what they send me.) http://www.mavenresearch.com/blog/2011/03/13/japan-nuclear/
212236
Bill Barhydt
Posted over 3 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
Tao, you make a couple of excellent points. I have struggled with these issues in forming my own opinions. I remember reading "The Reckoning" as well back in the mid-80's which was a wake up call for me in a similar fashion. However, I simply don't see how countries like the US, China, India, Russia, etc can deploy wind, solar and hydro-electric at a large enough scale to replace fossil fuels. Nuclear, vis-a-vis, the French example seems to be the only viable option that scales.
212236
Bill Barhydt
Posted over 3 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
Edward, I promise I will watch the trailer and then (probably) rent the movie. I never dreamed when I started this thread that I would get such impassioned responses. Most have been great, even the ones I don't agree with. A couple (below) have been personal attacks which I guess I can take but wasn't expecting. I still don't agree with your logic but I'm excited to take part in the debate and hope that we all get a little closer to the best possible solution because of it. I'll try and remember to let you know when I watch the movie!