2023 Fintech and Financing Conference & Expo

Opinion: Crypto and Financial Inclusion – Dispelling Narratives

Brookings | Tonantzin Carmona | Oct 26, 2022

Debunking myths about crypto and financial inclusion - Opinion:  Crypto and Financial Inclusion - Dispelling NarrativesConclusion  

Before embracing cryptocurrencies or overstating their potential, policymakers should first clarify the problems they are trying to solve, and more importantly, why they are trying to solve them.[87] When it comes to crypto and financial inclusion, there are fluctuating and contested terms and narratives. Thus, it may be difficult to discern what groups, problems, or pain points we are striving to address.  

When examined closely, crypto’s current capabilities do not match the needs of the groups it purports to serve, and it carries a host of risks and drawbacks that undermine its benefits. More alarming, we can observe parallels between crypto and other predatory products, which highlights crypto’s potential to exacerbate unequal financial services to historically excluded groups.  

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Considering this reality, we can either encourage inequitable and exclusionary banking systems to persist by enabling others to profit from the inequities, or we can develop the courage to ensure that banking is truly inclusive. For these reasons, rather than endorse crypto as a tool for equity, we should instead promote and explore policy solutions that can more directly and impactfully achieve and bolster financial inclusion.  

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