How Crypto is Impacting and Empowering Women Around the World
WHEN Krista Kim sold her digital home, Mars House, as a non-fungible token (NFT) for more than $500,000 a few months ago, she set the pace for many women who intended to get into cryptocurrency and the world of NFTs. The digital home, sold on SuperRare, was just a sneak peek at how people have learned to express themselves as humans through NFTs. But this sale is just the tip of the iceberg as far as cryptocurrency impact on women is concerned. This article explores how cryptocurrency and blockchain impact women worldwide with increased access to financial services, remittance, and increased investment opportunities.
The emerging field of cryptocurrency and its underlying technology have been dominating tech news recently. Slightly over a decade old, cryptocurrency promises to revolutionize global commerce in many ways, from changing the way we pay for goods and services to opening new investment fronts. Blockchain technology is an online ledger that keeps details of all transactions in the network. Cryptocurrency and the blockchain are projected to have a massive impact on women across the globe.
Increased Access to Financial Services
History, women have had a challenge accessing services from traditional financial institutions due to lack of identification, income from informal sectors, and insufficient collateral. However, blockchain creates identity in new ways coming up with ideas to bridge the disparity making financial services available irrespective of location. Blockchain transactions are global and bound by no border, creating openness while ensuring interoperability with the formal and informal financial system. For example, Hiveonline has joined the CARE Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) program, which has reached 6.7 million people in 47 countries, mainly women.
The growing power of crypto and blockchain technology is projected to significantly impact financial access, especially for the majority unbanked in the developing world. Reports indicate that only 18% of men and women in Africa and the Middle East hold a savings account, compared with 89% of their high-income peers from developed nations. The majority of the affected are women, estimated to be 40% by the World Bank, who are denied access to essential financial services such as credit facilities and insurance. Cryptocurrency has opened the door for unbanked women, who can access financial assistance through the increasingly popular decentralized finance. With the growing digital payments facilitated by cryptocurrency and blockchain, women’s economic empowerment can increase women’s economic participation.
Payments have been cited as one of the most effective ways to boost the welfare of women and families in the developing world. One of the most attractive features of cryptocurrency is the ease of sending it quickly with minimal cost. Cross-border money transfer via traditional financial systems such as banks is slow and costly because it involves many intermediaries. There are also complicated legal barriers, mainly where the legal status of the sender is in question. Cryptocurrency is fast and cheap with peer-to-peer transactions, making payments convenient, secure, and affordable. For instance, families in countries like the Philippines and Mexico receive many payments through cryptocurrency from their relatives living in the United States, which primarily empowers women in these recipient countries.
In the US, women form approximately a third of the country’s crypto investors, which is a significant number as the world attempts to close the gender gap in investment. There is a growing number of female investors, artists, and collectors embracing cryptocurrencies and NFTs, reducing gender diversity. For example, Maliha Abidi, an artist and women’s rights activist, has already established herself in digital technology. The Pakistani-born who migrated to the US as a teenager recently created her first NFT. She is launchings a campaign to usher 100,000 females into the crypto industry by 2022.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is growing fast, creating a world of inclusion and diversity. Mass adoption of cryptocurrency is a catalyst to revolutionize the financial industry, particularly by increasing financial inclusion that helps more women across the globe.
-Crypto Pineapple, @cryptoPBsix