How cryptocurrency is empowering global economic inclusion
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How cryptocurrency is empowering global economic inclusion

Crypto is driving global economic inclusion by connecting individuals in emerging markets to opportunities that were previously inaccessible.

When Sam (this is a pseudonym adopted to protect the individual’s anonymity) started as a freelance writer, working from Nigeria for Western firms in 2011, he had become connected to the global market. He could now earn foreign currencies right from his house. But he quickly found out that the said global connection was only partial when conversations got to getting paid. His options were so limited that he could only work with companies that could pay via Payoneer. PayPal was a standard payment option, but the service was unavailable in Nigeria. This problem manifests differently when people in the Global South attempt to connect with the global market.

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This is a big reason emerging markets like Africa are seeing massive crypto adoption. According to blockchain analytics company Chainalysis, Sub-Saharan Africa received $117.1 billion in crypto value between July 2022 and June 2023.

Be smart: Sub-Saharan Africa is the region of the continent that lies south of the Sahara desert. The region generally excludes Northern African countries.

Unlike traditional financial systems, cryptocurrencies power borderless and decentralized financial services in a way that helps people maximize global connectivity.

The problem with existing systems like PayPal is that they’re closed systems only working in regions where companies decide to set up. But cryptocurrency is open and makes global payment ubiquitous. That is, someone in Chile can send you money just as easily as you send an email. The best part is that both parties don’t need to use the same service provider like PayPal — similar to how a Gmail user can email a Yahoo mail user.

Thanks to this ubiquity, people who were previously only partially connected to global opportunities are increasingly getting even more included.

In Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, a video editor and content creator, Rotimi Daniel, has become better connected to global opportunities thanks to cryptocurrency. As a freelancer, he specializes in creating promotional and educational videos for blockchain companies.

Speaking to Mariblock, he expressed the benefits he has enjoyed from working in the crypto space compared to previously working for traditional firms and clients. 

“The blockchain space brought flexibility of work. It brought higher pay… overall, [it has] made life easier and [has] more opportunities,” he said.  

In addition, Rotimi uses crypto to make it easier for his friend, who is based in the United States, to send money back home. The friend buys stablecoin (a form of crypto pegged to a fiat currency to prevent volatility) and sends it in minutes to Rotimi, who then converts it to naira and sends the money to the friend’s parent. Talk about interoperability.

After the Taliban took over the government in Afghanistan, female employment dropped by 25%. This led to efforts to connect women in the country to global opportunities, part of which was a pilot program run by Code to Inspire in partnership with Binance Charity to train women in computer skills.

One of the beneficiaries secured a remote internship in a software company that paid salaries to bank accounts. However, she could not set up a bank account due to the situation in Afghanistan. Fortunately for her, the company was open to paying her in crypto. This allowed her to secure the internship. 

While the “get-rich-quick” narrative often dominates conversations surrounding cryptocurrencies, it’s important to remember that this technology represents far more than speculation and fleeting profits.

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Crypto presents a unique opportunity for economic empowerment and the creation of innovative solutions that address real-world problems. From facilitating financial transactions in war-torn regions to fueling the growth of new businesses and industries, the potential of crypto extends far beyond mere financial gain from trading.

Crypto provides diverse opportunities for value and meaningful work. From developers and security experts to content creators and social media managers, it creates an ever-growing ecosystem of jobs and careers. As this technology advances, it will open more doors for people and communities worldwide.

“Crypto is a lot more than trading. There are less risky ways to [gain] value in the space. [There are] job opportunities, especially for creatives. [crypto offers] exposure to international clients … and [serves] as a means of payment to facilitate business,” Rotimi told Mariblock.


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