What makes crypto inclusive?
Now, more than at any time in human history, we recognize diversity and inclusivity as vitally important pillars of modern society.
But, things are still far from perfect.
In the traditional financial world, The World Bank estimates that there are over 1.4 billion unbanked people with no access to mainstream services. The vast majority of these people are women.
The Philippines, Vietnam, Morocco and Egypt continue to rank among the countries with the highest rates of unbanked citizens.
Even in the United States, the Federal Reserve found around 18.9 million Americans were considered underbanked — a term used to describe people who have limited access to financial services such as credit cards and loans.
These types of financial exclusion remain one of the world's biggest blockers for achieving equality.
But there is hope.
Kraken let's you access the inclusive world of cryptocurrency. See what crypto can be by signing up for your Kraken account today — or keep reading to learn more.
What does financial exclusion even mean?
When a group of people are considered financially excluded, or unbanked, it means they have no access to services like:
- A checking account for storing, sending, and receiving money
- A savings account for earning interest on deposited funds
- Personal loans and mortgages (at reasonable interest rates)
- Business loans
- Credit cards
- Cashier's and traveler's checks
- Foreign currency exchange
- ATM services
- Insurance products
As a result, unbanked people can only transact in physical currency and have incredibly limited means of storing and growing their wealth.
You might wonder, why are these people unbanked in the first place?
The World Bank cites a lack of money, insufficient documentation, and distance to the nearest financial institution as key reasons for people remaining unbanked.
Crypto is here to change that.
How is crypto different?
Cryptocurrencies are uniquely different from the traditional financial system in that they are not run by governments or banks.
Instead, they operate using decentralized technology, where anyone is free to use the network for a range of services, including storing and transferring value.
As such, cryptocurrencies themselves do not place any restrictions, censorship, or needs for documentation on end users. Anyone with a smart device and an internet connection can download a crypto wallet from an app store and start using crypto instantly.
From Afghanistan to Venezuela and Nigeria, cryptocurrency is already providing critical financial services to people suffering from totalitarian regimes, rampant inflation and a lack of financial infrastructure.
No matter where in the world these people may be, crypto is there for them to use.
You might be thinking, but how can people buy crypto without a bank account? Anyone can trade digital assets directly peer-to-peer for cash, or even earn crypto through various online avenues like play-to-earn games.
It's also possible to receive donations directly from other crypto holders around the world, without needing to go through the international banking system or charitable organizations.
The decentralization of finance
Beyond simple value transfers, crypto holders can also access decentralized financial services via the DeFi sector.
This relatively new area of the crypto industry consists of specially-created applications that provide automated mainstream services like lending and borrowing.
What's special about these platforms is that they run exclusively using smart contracts and cryptocurrency, not humans and government-issued currencies.
Smart contracts are intelligent pieces of computer software that can be programmed to automatically handle specific tasks. These tasks can include issuing and managing loans using crowdsourced funds deposited by citizens from any country.
Think of DeFi like people becoming their own banks. Using these protocols, anyone is able to control and lend out their assets to anyone in the world through purpose built services, which they can also help run. The strict computer-coded rules of the underlying smart contracts make sure everything is followed correctly without a human intermediary needing to be involved.
Overall, these protocols mean unbanked and underbanked people can finally access complex financial services, without needing to deal with the traditional banking system at all.
Why is it important that crypto is inclusive?
In a global landscape where conventional financial systems have marginalized and excluded numerous individuals, cryptocurrencies emerge as a beacon of hope for achieving financial empowerment and inclusion.
By ensuring that crypto remains inclusive, we can work toward a more equitable financial future, where individuals from all walks of life can thrive economically.
Get started with Kraken
Now that you have learned what makes crypto inclusive, are you ready to take the next step in your crypto journey?
Kraken lets you buy, sell and trade the leading cryptocurrencies that are reshaping the financial landscape.
Sign up for your Kraken account today to get started in the inclusive world of cryptocurrency.