The popularity of bitcoin has boomed whether we like it or not and it seems that it is here to stay for the foreseeable future. It has gotten to the point that some people around the world are actually dependent on bitcoin for their daily needs. Every year, nearly 700 million USD is sent back home to Uganda by their family members. Ronald is an example of those that are using bitcoin to not only improve the money transfer system but also to improve their quality of life. Find out how bitcoin helps this African student go to school and pay for his everyday needs!
The family is Always there
Being born in Luwafu, Makindye located in Kampala, Uganda, Ronald has known a life of disadvantage. He struggles to pay his tuition and to find a job. Luckily, his sister Ronah, from Brookline, Massachusetts, sends money to him. The two viable options for sending cash somewhere is MoneyGram and Western Union. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult as there are two main problems with the money transfer methods in Uganda. First, the time before you can get your money. It often takes a couple of days for someone to be able to receive their money and secondly, the price. The banks in Uganda often take 10-20% of the money sent so it makes it harder on those sending money to their family members. So Ronah’s fiancé’s idea is to use bitcoin to make sending money much easier.
A Bitcoin Experiment
Ronah and her fiance first try to send Ronald some money in bitcoin, communicating with him on a phone simultaneously. They first try to send 10 cents to see if it works. They ask “you got it?”, and Ronald replies with “I got it” almost instantly. They then try 30 dollars and they ask if Ronald is able to exchange it for Ugandan shillings. Ronald then finds out that there is a demand for bitcoin in Uganda, despite not a lot of people knowing about it. He also finds out that buying a cellphone with an internet connection is much cheaper than paying for banking fees. With the cellphone being a tool for music, games, and communication, it’s not far fetched to think that it could be used as a banking tool as well.
The story of Ronald is very inspiring for those who truly believe in the true purpose of Bitcoin – which is to be able to be in control of our own money. With the emergence of Bitcoin, countries like Nigeria and Uganda are seeing ways to change their financial situations for the better. The decentralized aspect of Bitcoin is what makes it what it is and what brings advantages to those that are less fortunate.
Not a Solitary Case
You see stories like those of Ronald and it makes you think about what goes past the profit-making side of Bitcoin. You start thinking about how it could start helping the less fortunate and developing communities by the means of Bitcoin, like building blockchain hubs and building schools (which have both been done already in Africa) or even more. It could be as simple as helping a relative out (like in the case of Ronah and Ronald) or as complex as helping a whole community. Paxful’s #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative is a great example of how bitcoin can help communities for the better.
Potential to Do Good
Paxful’s #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative has done as much as building a nursery school (built in late 2017) located in Kasebigege Village, Rwanda. In partnership with Zam Zam Water, Paxful was able to build a school with three classrooms, a portable irrigation system with four lavatories, a 15,000-liter water system, and a farm which will be able to provide sustainable agriculture. This project was able to school 7,500 children (ages 3-6). Recently, Paxful has increased its investment by upgrading the facilities of the nursery school, giving teachers new educational materials and higher salaries, and giving students free lunches, uniforms, and new desks.
Build It with Bitcoin
The #BuiltWithBitcoin program is now launching a Rwandan water tank project for the nursery school that was built and is also giving more than $15,000 worth of scholarships to female Afghan refugees so that they have the opportunity to pursue their careers in the United States. Susan Naseri, a beneficiary of Paxful’s scholarship program (among many others), will be pursuing a career in law and has expressed an endless amount of gratitude towards Paxful and Zam Zam Water. Each beneficiary of the scholarship was given $5,000 in two installments of $2,500.
The projects that Paxful has been doing, along with the example provided by the story of Ronald, are concrete examples of how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can help large communities by providing some of the basic essentials of human life such as clean water and proper education. The convenience and practicality of using Bitcoin on platforms such as Paxful are what make helping the less fortunate easier for anyone in the world to do. It also makes it more convenient for people like Ronald, who is just trying to get money from his sister, money’s he’s going to use for school. Plus, it’s much easier to use a platform such as Paxful when you know that they’re doing good with the money that they earn.
Watch Ronald’s Story
Technology truly has taken humanity to a whole new level. With Bitcoin being in its infancy stages, I’m sure that we’ll eventually figure out ways to help humanity even more. Watch Ronald’s story and how cryptocurrency has changed his life here: