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Bitcoin for the Unbanked

Cryptocurrencies That Go Where Big Banks Won’t

Antana / Flickr

Roughly 2.5 billion adults in the world don’t have access to banks, which means somewhere in the order of 5 billion people belong to households that are cut off from a financial system that the rest of us take for granted. They can’t start savings accounts. They don’t have checking accounts. They can’t get credit cards. They live in places where banks don’t want to go, and because of this, they remain effectively walled off from the global economy. They are called the unbanked. But they are not unreachable, not by a long shot, and one of the biggest and most exciting prospects bitcoiners talk about is using their cryptocurrency to bring these billions of people roaring into the twenty-first century.

The Caribbean is an area of the emerging-market world where a strong case can be made for locals to use bitcoin to get around a restric­

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