Crypto’s Use Case for Unbanked Driven home at Davos by OKEx


The World Economic Forum being held in Davos, Switzerland is one of the biggest coming together of economic players to discuss the global economic industry. Recently, it has also started attracting a small niche of financial technology – cryptocurrencies. 

However, as of yet, cryptocurrency remains at the edges of the global economy and is yet to find its place at Davos, or globally as a financial solution. However, as the voices from the cryptocurrency space grow louder at these types of forums, so do the use cases. 

OKEx, a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange, used its voice at Davos to champion the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency for the betterment of the unbanked. Currently, there are an estimated 1.1 billion people who do not even possess the ability – in terms of a verifiable digital identity – to become banked, and a total of 1.7 billion who are deemed unbanked.

For OKEx, this represents a gap in the market that cryptocurrency can fill, and a chance to better the lives of over a billion people. 

A new Financial System

In a presentation delivered by the OKEx Financial Markets Director Lennix Lai, the focus was on the challenge of extending financial services to the nearly two billion people worldwide who remain unbanked.

“We see the endorsement from global regulators. We also see the volatility of Bitcoin getting lower, making it become a favourable alternative asset for mainstream finance. And the recent surge of DeFi reflects that people are starting to brace a free, open, permissionless financial system,” Lai explained.

“Unbankedness has been a global challenge. The underprivileged who are not able to afford or return with enough economic benefits to the bank are left behind from a decent living standard,” 

“Blockchain and cryptocurrencies appear to be a solution to the problem by providing a digital, decentralized financial system that can work mutually-beneficially with traditional markets to substantially lower the operational costs and serve the areas traditional banking cannot cover.” 

A need for both sides

The notion of building a new financial system in regions where the current system does not currently suit feels like a difficult undertaking. However, with a new financial system currently being built that is far better suited, blockchain and cryptocurrency could find its niche. 

This would be a big benefit for blockchain and cryptocurrency that is yet to find a use case on a critical mass level, and of course, for the unbanked, it would be a far better solution to the exclusionary one that exists currently. 

Darryn Pollock
Darryn has been interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since he heard about Bitcoin in 2015. He then decided to use his journalism degree to report on this fascinating fintech space in 2016, and has not looked back since.

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