Bitcoin adoption is accelerating around the world and soon there will be more smartphones than bank accounts. Tech giants like Google and Facebook have plans to speed things up by targeting emerging markets to bring over a billion new users into the internet economy. These next billion users are going to need a means to connect to the net and mobile devices like smartphones are the cheapest and most common means of making that happen.
It is estimated that there are currently over 2 billion adults who do not have access to bank accounts. They have essentially been “left behind” by the banking system but they haven’t been left behind by technology. Smartphone usage has been steadily on the rise for years and according to a report by Statista, there will be an estimated 2.87 billion users by the end of 2020. One of the biggest problems with legacy finance is that regulations are perpetuating aglobal financial exclusion. So, what would you do if you didn’t have access to a bank account and you wanted to accept payments online?
This type of banking exclusion is driving people to alternative means of conducting business. For billions of people, increased access to new tools is opening doors for bitcoin to come in and fill the gaps that have been created by the banking system. Bitcoin doesn’t operate like a bank account at all. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t close for holidays. It doesn’t have “company policies” or hours of operations or age limits or require an address. It is the most radically inclusive financial tool in the planet and all people like you and I need to do is use it.
From Me to You
Since bitcoin is a borderless open-source software, it is not bound by the rules of any single jurisdiction. This new frontier is enabling creative destruction in finance like never before. With nothing but a smartphone I can send money from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world without any middlemen. Now anyone with a smartphone is able to spend bitcoin in any number of countries as an alternative to the local fiat currency. In fact, there are entire neighborhoods popping up all around the world that are adopting bitcoin because they see it’s potential to remove the banks (and their fees) from business.
While bitcoin isn’t likely going to become a key payment mechanism in the developed world, it certainly has the potential to become a dominant player in parts of the world where people trust their cell phone more than their government or financial infrastructure.
2017 and Beyond
In 2016, the price of bitcoin grew by over 110% largely fueled by demonetization, hyperinflation, gold seizures, currency manipulation, capital controls and other actions by banks and governments. These type of actions on behalf of the ruling class are not likely to slow down in 2017.
Ease of Access
Smartphones are used to do almost everything these days. You can book international flights, call an Uber, expand free education with podcasts, monitor physical activity and even manage entire businesses from a 4 inch touchscreen. As people become more and more comfortable using their smartphones for all of these things, the idea of paying for things with bitcoin doesn’t sound so crazy.
Take Action. Use Bitcoin
Bank accounts obviously offer utility for those of us in parts of the world with a robust banking infrastructure but what about those who do not have such easy access to these financial tools? How can they take part in the global internet economy? Well, with nothing more than an internet connection and a smartphone, they are now able to tap into one of the biggest innovations in the finance industry since the invention of money itself. Now they have access to Bitcoin.
We are doing whatever we can to increase bitcoin awareness and educate new users and we need all the help we can get. If you feel that this post would benefit others, please share it. Also, if you feel like creating discussion around bitcoin out in the real world, we would love it if you would wear one of our bitcoin shirts.
Do you think people without modern banking services will skip banking because their smartphone offers a more inclusive alternative? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons