Latinx communities continue to climb over the hurdles of Bitcoin adoption – News Couple
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Latinx communities continue to climb over the hurdles of Bitcoin adoption


Recently, digital assets have become more and more prevalent in our daily lives – in the news, popular culture, and our personal interactions. In the first quarter of 2021, the number of daily Bitcoin (BTC) transactions reached 367,536. Bitcoin alone now accounts for about $20 billion in daily online transactions. Not only that, but those who are familiar with digital assets and cryptocurrencies implicitly trust them – Binance’s “Global Crypto User Index” 2021 shows 97% confidence in cryptocurrencies.

Comparatively, members of the Latinx community in the US have some of the highest cryptocurrency adoption rates, with approximately 31% of Hispanic people owning Bitcoin and the same data indicating that 25% of Bitcoin owners are Latinx. There are many reasons behind this astonishing rate of adoption, not the least of which is the fact that this group has less access to traditional wealth. In 2016, Hispanic families owned less than one-sixth of the wealth of white families and were many times more likely to support family members they did not live with. In 2020, Mexicans living in the United States sent more than $40 billion to family members in Mexico, and many of these transfers were made through cryptocurrency.

While the Latinx communities appear to be at the forefront of digital asset adoption and use to improve their daily lives, it is important that those working in the cryptocurrency and digital asset industries make efforts to include, integrate and embrace marginalized groups in their future plans. These communities, to continue this upward path of adoption and to ensure that everyone is aware of the wide range of benefits that digital assets can provide.

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It is only a matter of time before digital assets reach full prevalence in Latin America. For example, consider El Salvador’s decision to become the first country in the world to legalize bitcoin. Citizens of El Salvador can now receive $30 worth of bitcoin when they download and register with the government crypto app Chivo. Taxes can be paid in bitcoin, and prices will be shown in either bitcoin or US dollars. The main driver of the law is to help people elsewhere in the world who send remittances to El Salvador, as these payments generally suffer from high transaction fees and commissions when made through fiat currency.

Related: What Is Really Behind El Salvador’s ‘Bitcoin Law’? Experts answer

Argentina is following the example of El Salvador, where members of the Argentine National Congress recently introduced a bill allowing Argentines to accept their salaries in Bitcoin. Cuba, Paraguay and Uruguay have indicated that they will officially recognize and regulate the cryptocurrency in their countries in the near future. Leaders in Argentina, Brazil, Panama and beyond have endorsed El Salvador’s actions on social media.

Helping migrants who send remittances to their families and friends in their home countries is just one example of how digital assets are empowering people. Bill payment services via blockchain technology can also change the lives of people in marginalized communities. Blockchain payments are safer, faster, and often more cost-effective than traditional methods – and do not require access to traditional banking and payment channels. This is especially important, because a large number of those who live in marginalized communities do not have access to a bank account. While they make up only 32% of the US population, black and Latino families account for 64% of their unbanked population and 47% of their unbanked population.

Overcoming entry barriers

Those from marginalized communities showed their persistence and determination in how to innovate and use these new technologies to their advantage, overcoming the constraints imposed on them by traditional finance. These groups are among the most familiar in the US cryptocurrency space and are quick to adopt and use the technology.

It is now the role of the crypto industry, governments and organizations to reach out to marginalized communities and specifically address their needs, integrating with their communities and showing how they can benefit more and change their daily lives for the better. If companies and regulators can learn about the cultures and traditions of these societies, they can understand their needs and can accommodate these requirements in a way that is mutually beneficial.

There are still two major barriers to digital asset adoption: a lack of understanding and concerns about security. To that end, education is key to increasing digital asset adoption – people need to understand the value of digital assets and how digital assets can serve them and their communities. Given that digital assets are still a relatively new concept, fear and a lack of understanding are normal. It is difficult to understand how these new technologies can replace old structures, such as traditional banks, and how this new technology can meet them more effectively, safely and securely.

Related: Mass adoption of blockchain technology is possible, education is key

Digital assets use blockchain technology, which is generally considered one of the most secure options for transactions and payments; However, this may not initially be obvious to those who are not familiar with the concept and who are concerned with the security of their money and payments. With proper understanding and educational initiatives, we can help cryptocurrency adopters choose safe, regulated and licensed digital asset providers, so they can transact with peace of mind.

Large-scale cryptocurrency adoption is still in its early days, and many obstacles remain. Strong government links with traditional banking in many countries will raise doubts about digital assets. With a top-down approach, it is imperative that governments and industry leaders promote this highly innovative and useful technology. By creating a safe and regulated environment for cryptocurrencies and facilitating healthy discourse and education on this topic, we can empower and transform the lives of citizens even more.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risks, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The opinions, ideas and opinions expressed here are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Rodrigo Bizanilla He is the Latin American Business Strategist at Coinsource. With over 25 years of experience as an investment and financial advisor, Rodrigo has an extensive professional background in cross-border relations between Mexico and the United States. As a Managing Partner of the Tejas Opportunity Group, a transnational private equity firm focused on social impact investments in Texas, Rodrigo brings his expertise to building opportunities for the Latin American community through strategic business alliances and private equity activities.