In a recent discussion panel, Elaine Ou, Blockchain Engineer at Global Financial Access, spoke about the problems faced by individuals in the context of getting access to a bank account or making transactions overseas.
According to Elaine, people who did not have access to a financial institution, could not send money. Elaine further stated that “unbanked” individuals could benefit from cryptocurrencies as it could help them in financial empowerment.
Elaine added that if individuals had a Bitcoin [BTC] account, they could make a transaction and directly transfer value to the recipient without the intervention of a financial institution. She added:
“About 15 to 20 million Americans don’t have bank accounts and how do they send money to Mexico”
She was further asked whether an ideal poor individual had the knowledge and technological tools required to transact with cryptocurrencies.
To this, Elaine said that one of the main reason individuals did not have a bank account was because of the “de-risking” factor involved with banks. Furthermore, another issue was that banks were required to do multiple verifications on every transaction that took place. She added:
“For example, sometimes you use Bitcoin to donate to organizations like Wikileaks and SCI-HUB and there is nothing wrong with them, per say, but financial institutions refuse to work with them and it’s not on me, it’s them.”
Camila Russo, a cryptocurrency news journalist was also one among the panelists. She stated that there were about 2 billion individuals who did not have a bank account. Whereas, one-third of them had access to mobile phones. She said:
“So, I mean, that tells you like sure not everyone who doesn’t have a bank account doesn’t have access to technology or the needs to transact with Bitcoin”
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