Crypto education can bring financial empowerment to Latin Americans

Crypto education can make financial empowerment to Latin Americans

In October 2021, it was estimated that about 15% of the world’s supply of bitcoin (BTC) was in circulation in Latin America. According to a current report released by crypto literacy, however, 99% of Brazilian and Mexican respondents declined the main assessment of crypto literacy. Crypto adoption across the sector is underway – even increasing – but people still lack the main understanding of its underlying technology and use cases.

This becomes a serious concern when the lack of basic crypto literacy is evaluated in the context of evolving markets in Latin America, where the use cases of blockchain technologies are of actual importance.

The Latin American population that lacks crypto literacy risk is missing out on stablecoins that can protect against Latin America’s rapidly growing inflation. As well as decentralized applications (Dapps) that give a population of unbanked individuals access to financial services from their mobile devices. In countries where remittances are a major aspect of the economy, cryptocurrencies offer a faster and cheaper option to send money across borders.

So, how can we help Latin America’s under-served community have access to this life-changing technology? Education.

Opening up mainstream adoption through education

Education has the potential to address three major barriers deterring mainstream crypto adoption: Financial literacy, Trust, and Security.

Financial literacy

Financial literacy, or lack thereof, doesn’t just stand as a barrier to crypto adoption: it acts as a barrier to traditional bank adoption as well. Across Latin America and the Caribbean, about 50 percent of the population lacks a bank account or access to other financial services as of August 2021. Apart from staying away from financial institutions, many individuals note the lack of trust in institutions as one of the reasons for remaining bankless. Where there is slight trust, there is always a lack of understanding.

Trust

Speaking from personal experience, it is not unique in Mexico to hear stories of parents telling their (adult) children to exchange their savings for United States dollars and keep it away in a safe rather than believing that income with a financial institution. By building financial literacy around both wider financial concepts and more focused blockchain-related concepts, we can encourage greater trust in financial institutions as the main pillar in driving mainstream adoption.

Security

The trust that is fixed in education is much more than trust in financial institutions. It’s also trusting on yourself: when people are more likely to make risky financial decisions when they don’t understand the institutions and tools they’re interacting with. And, they know that. Education can assist as a form of safety net, teaching individuals what rules are and are not to conserve them so that they understand how financial services fit within those regulations.

Instruct where it matters greatly

Crypto has the potential to transform the world and those who understand it best will benefit greatly. Recognizing the power created by education, it is significant that the crypto world strategically targets audiences to immortalize the inequalities that already exist. Remote and under-served communities, as well as those with little access to conventional education, should be at the forefront of those seeking blockchain education.

For remote communities, we must organize mobile-friendly educational opportunities so that individuals can access learning materials from their phones without having to travel miles to cities.

For a global audience, we must create resources in local languages   – Spanish and Portuguese in Latin America – to assure that we attain the largest audience possible.

For everyone involved, we must avoid establishing financial barriers to education – trusting in the long-term benefits of growing user bases through free and accessible education.

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies were built to break the power structures of conventional finance. They can drastically improve financial inclusion and freedom in Latin America. Therefore, it is no surprise that crypto adoption is already on the rise. However, with the extensive adoption of such new technology, we face a current risk of leaving behind the most vulnerable populations. Education can solve this. Education can create confidence in this rapidly advancing technology and build knowledge that allows individuals to interact safely with these new devices. Education can break the process of financial exclusion.

Author

  • Vinayak Rajagopalan

    Hi, I'm Vinayak Rajagopalan, Blockchain Consultant at Dconn. I stumbled into blockchain when I was an undergrad and a friend of mine introduced me to Bitcoin. I've never left it since. The one thing that got me so intrigued by blockchain is that it is not a zero-sum game. Once I realized that, all I wanted to do was tell more people about this revolutionary technology. This is my way of doing that.

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