How Much of the World is Unbanked?
Nov 1, 2021
Globally, around two billion people remain unbanked. With the world's population sitting at around 7.8 billion people, this means that over 25% of the world's population are without banking facilities. Cryptocurrencies will play a significant role in financial inclusion, offering financial services to those without access to traditional banks or financial institutions.
Cryptocurrencies are better known for their volatility and their unfortunate links to scams in recent years, but few people comprehend the potential that they have to change the financial world as we know it. With around 2 billion of the world's population being unbanked, the crypto industry has the perfect opportunity to bring financial services to those individuals who do not have access to traditional financial institutions.
There is an incredibly large number of people who are unable to use banks to meet their day-to-day financial needs simply because they either don’t have access to the infrastructure or because they are too costly. Despite not having access to such banking infrastructure, what these people do have access to is mobile phones. According to a report by The World Bank, mobile money services, which allow users to store and transfer funds through a mobile phone, can help improve people’s earning potential and thus reduce poverty.
Coupled with the rapidly developing innovation of cryptocurrency wallets and apps, it is clear that blockchain tech has the potential to become a widely used form exchange for those who don’t have access to traditional banks.
How can crypto benefit the unbanked?
- Cheaper fees
Traditionally, microtransactions are incredibly costly for banks to handle (which is why many banks focus on larger, wealthier clients). In developing countries, bank charges can often be higher than the money they actually need to settle with the service provider. With blockchain and crypto, micropayments are no longer an issue. Most crypto blockchains, especially XRP and LTC, can handle transactions at a fraction of the cost of traditional banks.
- Lower Barriers to Entry
Most banks globally require users to open an account with a minimum balance, even as small as $10. This is off-putting to many users in lower-income areas, who would rather keep or use the $10 than deposit it into a bank. Most cryptocurrency wallets require no account maintenance fees or minimum balances, and users can create accounts within minutes for free.
Cryptocurrencies are borderless! Cryptocurrencies are software and therefore are not limited by jurisdictional restrictions. Anyone anywhere can access a cryptocurrency wallet, as long as they have an internet connection. In the same way that a user with an Android phone can download Twitter in Kenya and interact with users in Canada, that same user can download an XRP wallet and interact with users of its blockchain anywhere in the world. The same goes for the myriad of other cryptocurrencies available in the industry.
Crypto gives people control over their lives by giving them access to financial services which they previously never had access to. Blockchain developers are building layer 2 functionality into their wallets that allow for the ability to monitor transactions, save beneficiaries, even create budgets! These are all services previously reserved to banking institutions, and now are becoming available to anyone with access to an internet-connected mobile phone.
All in all, as cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech continue to develop, there is no doubt that large-scale adoption will occur. We are seeing an 84% industry growth rate per annum in adoption, which means that by the year 2028, experts estimate every adult on the planet will have access to the technology.
Yes, only time will tell exactly how cryptocurrencies will benefit the unbanked population of the world, but from what we’re seeing so far, the adoption of their technology will drastically improve the quality of life of millions of such unbanked people throughout the world, and we at MEX Digital are excited to be part of this revolution.
Always remember: crypto trading is extremely risky due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, you should never risk more than you are willing to lose.