One of the key features of Bitcoin is that it can contribute to financial inclusion and empower the unbanked population. According to the World Bank, there are about 1.7 billion adults worldwide who are unbanked, meaning they do not have access to formal financial services. This makes it difficult for them to participate in the economy and access credit, savings, and insurance.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, allows anyone with an internet connection to participate in the global economy. It does not require a bank account, credit check, or other formalities that are often required to access traditional financial services. All that is needed is a Bitcoin wallet, which can be set up for free in a matter of minutes.
In addition to being accessible, Bitcoin is also affordable. Traditional financial services can be expensive, with fees for transactions, account maintenance, and other services. Bitcoin transactions, on the other hand, typically have lower fees, and there are no account maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.
Another way that Bitcoin can contribute to financial inclusion is by providing a means of remittance for people who live in countries with high fees for cross-border transactions. Remittance is the transfer of money by a foreign worker to their home country. According to the World Bank, remittances to low- and middle-income countries totaled $540 billion in 2020. However, traditional remittance services can be costly, with fees ranging from 5% to 10% of the amount sent.
Bitcoin offers an alternative to traditional remittance services that is faster and cheaper. Bitcoin transactions are processed within minutes, and fees are typically lower than those charged by traditional remittance services. This makes it easier for people to send money to their families and friends in other countries, particularly in areas where traditional remittance services are not available.
Furthermore, Bitcoin can provide financial empowerment to individuals and communities who may be excluded from traditional financial systems due to political or economic reasons. For example, people living in countries with high inflation rates or unstable currencies may use Bitcoin as a store of value and a means of exchange. This can help protect their wealth from inflation and provide a stable means of exchange in a volatile economic environment.
In conclusion, Bitcoin has the potential to contribute significantly to financial inclusion and empower the unbanked population. Its accessibility, affordability, and speed make it an attractive alternative to traditional financial services for individuals and communities who may be excluded from the formal economy. Moreover, Bitcoin's ability to facilitate cross-border transactions and provide financial empowerment in unstable economic environments makes it a valuable tool for individuals and communities worldwide.
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