Bitcoin to the Rescue: Banking the Unbanked
As of 2018, the World Bank reported that some 1.7 billion people remain unbanked. That's 1.7 billion people who operate without the privilege of access to financial services. That is 1.7 billion people who are not afforded the same opportunities as the rest of the world. That's far too many people.
The unbanked do not have a checking or savings account. They do not have access to reliable credit. They do not receive direct deposit into any of these non-existent accounts from their employers. They operate day-to-day, with the money they are able to procure on hand, hoping it is enough to give themselves and their families another shot at tomorrow.
Financial Inclusion Is on the Rise
Even though financial inclusion is on the rise, we still have a long way to go. On top of those 1.7 billion people are another roughly four billion that have limited access to banking. They utilize some financial services but do not enjoy all the perks and privileges of modern day banking. Love it or hate it, bitcoin can help close the gap between the fully banked and the unbanked.
Is Bitcoin Closing the Gap?
Bitcoin has taken on many use cases but it continues to be a tool for financial speculation. This may detract from its innate ability to help close the gap in financial inclusion. Many treat bitcoin like a form of digital gold. Others speculate on its price through trading on exchanges, buying and selling bitcoin as if it were a publicly traded security. Bitcoin needs to break away from these use cases and return to a medium of exchange if it hopes to close the banking gap.
Bitcoin Can Be a Bank in Your Pocket
The possibilities are endless if the world's largest cryptocurrency fully utilizes its blockchain technology. Any individual, anywhere in the world can access, hold, and send or receive bitcoin by simply logging into the bitcoin wallet using the internet. Greater access to the internet will help bitcoin close the banking gap. Blockchain has proven to be a tool to further distribute financial equity across the world. Like with any tool though, it needs to be used in a way to make that happen.
Can bitcoin bank the unbanked? It's capable of doing just that. Bitcoin needs the backing of those who also want to close the gap between the banked and the unbanked. Institutional support is required to turn bitcoin in a phenomena that can be used for good. Time will time how impactful bitcoin is on the fight for financial inclusion.
Keep reading about bitcoin and discover the story about the person who invented the cryptocurrency.