Is bitcoin a currency, or an investment? What is the future of bitcoin speculative bubble, or here for the long run?
As the debate continues, one thing is certain. Leaders everywhere call for the same goal of sustainable growth, and financial inclusion is critical to any effort raise people out of poverty. The poorest places in world are severely underbanked, none more so than Sub-Saharan Africa where a staggering 66 percent lack access to basic financial institutions. But, we are now now seeing 90 percent digital mobile penetration in these unbanked places. While these areas may not be able to access traditional banks, they can access the blockchain from their phones. We are seeing the dawn of a new financial system. We don’t need to look halfway around the world to see the effects of under-inclusion.
The FDIC recently found that 27 percent of US households were unbanked or underbanked. This problem became more acute in the wake of the 2008 recession when banks shuttered less profitable branches across the country. Bank of America alone closed 1,600 locations, primarily in rural areas. Online banking was supposed to fill some of these gaps, but the high number of unbanked families persists. The unbanked both at home and abroad face excessive fees that destroy the ability to save and face often insurmountable obstacles to the credit that is need to buy a home or start a business. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies just might be the solution.