When you hear the word “bitcoin,” many things may come to mind: its price that sometimes swings like a yo-yo, high electricity consumption that crowns Iceland the world’s leading bitcoin miner, and decentralized nature that makes it the preferred currency of the unbanked. For many people, bitcoin may still sound like a digital cryptocurrency that is foreign and not pertaining to their everyday lives.
Little did they know, bitcoin is reshaping the world in many ways that were previously unimaginable. Of course, we’re not going to keep you hanging—let’s dive straight into the good that bitcoin has been doing us since its birth in 2009!
Bitcoin itself doesn’t teach, but the limitless possibilities it offers traders has allowed many to afford school—something that might have been out of the question before. In fact, we have a perfect example to show you how bitcoin is enabling education.
There was a period when Ronald, a local Ugandan, struggled to secure a stable income to pay for his tuition before bitcoin was invented. He was one of the lucky ones, however, as his sister Ronah regularly sends money to him from the United States. Before bitcoin, the siblings relied on Western Union and MoneyGram—but they thought that both methods are time-consuming and charge transaction fees that are way too high.
When bitcoin began to gain popularity, Ronah and Ronald decided to give it a try. After Ronah’s first attempt of 10 cents arrived safely at Ronald’s wallet, she tried a bigger amount of $30. The magical moment of knowing that the funds arrived almost instantly is when Ronald knew that bitcoin was about to alter the social and financial landscape in Uganda.
Because of bitcoin, Ronald’s able to receive funds for his tuition fees on time and go to school again. Education is possible because of financial inclusion, but it doesn’t end there.
You can help too
Paxful’s very own #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative aims to build 100 schools that are completely funded by bitcoin across emerging markets. Since 2017, this initiative has made education and access to clean water possible to more than 400 students. This year, we’re building an early education center in Kenya for 120 children aged 3 to 6—donate now to show the world how bitcoin is capable of changing people’s lives!
For decades, women have always been less privileged when compared to men in Afghanistan—and it becomes very obvious when we look at the rate of girls attending school. From 50% in primary school to below 20% in secondary school, girls are increasingly unlikely to stay in school as they get older.
A big reason for this is the fact that parents are reluctant about having their daughters taught by male teachers. Currently, only 25% of all Afghan teachers are female. What makes it worse is that 60% of students have to learn in tents or dilapidated structures—poor hygienic levels are never appealing to girls.
With us, things are changing. As part of the #BuiltWithBitcoin program with our partner Zam Zam Water, scholarships are offered to select Afghan women as an attempt to encourage the historically underprivileged population to achieve higher education. Winners are awarded $5,000 each, $2,500 per semester towards their university degrees.
If you want to improve gender equality and don’t want to do it alone, consider becoming a donor.
Every year, international workers send billions of dollars overseas to their families. Billions! But as we mentioned earlier in this article, remittance service providers typically charge high fees and take days before your family members get a hold of the money. (Remember, some service providers close on weekends and public holidays!) The high fees affect emerging markets the most as it is already difficult for people there to muster an amount to send to their families.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, takes only seconds and doesn’t charge you an astronomical amount of money. To use bitcoin as a form of remittance, simply use Paxful to buy bitcoin from the source country that you are remitting from. Once the bitcoin is in your wallet, you can sell it to the destination country that you’re remitting to at a premium or market price.
Bitcoin is offering you the option of sending money home and making profit at the same time—take advantage of it.
Your hard-earned money deserves to be protected. This speaks especially to people in countries that tend to experience extreme economic crises and devaluation of their currencies. It’s terrifying to see your savings’ value plummet overnight, which is why many have turned to bitcoin—a more stable currency by comparison—to preserve their wealth.
Let’s look at a real-life example together.
In August 2019, Venezuelan bolivars experienced a record inflation rate of 10 million percent, immensely cheapening the fiat currency’s value and threatening millions of households. Carlos Hernandez, a Ciudad Guayana native, saw through that and decided to store all his money in the form of bitcoin and would only withdraw small amounts when necessary. According to him, to have money in bolivars is like “financial suicide.” Other Venezuelans have followed suit; the country hit an extraordinary bitcoin trading record of 120 billion bolivars in September 2019 as people realized that bitcoin can protect their fiat currency from hyperinflation.
Now you know. Not only is bitcoin a faster and cheaper to send money home, but it also serves as a means to enable education and gender equality. For those that are worried about their currencies becoming devalued, bitcoin comes in handy as well.
Can you think of other ways that bitcoin is positively changing the world? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’d like to help us build schools for underprivileged kids, please donate to our #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative.
Alternatively, you can donate directly to our wallet address: 3EGxPr7NwbiDfyXWcgvtuvHRmGZRRDmaMT