With Its Unbanked Majority, Bolivia Can Gain Much From Adopting Bitcoin

By September 29, 2016Bitcoin Business

A country with a high-rate of the unbanked, a large informal economy and a tumultuous history of inflation sounds like a perfect scenario for Bitcoin and cyrpyocurrencies to thrive. However, a quick glimpse on Bitcoin-related groups on social media shows otherwise. The Bolivian Bitcoin community is yet to take off. Unbanked majority The majority of the country’s population is unbanked. According to the World Bank’s Global Index 2014 , a meagre 11 percent used a debit card to make payments and near 5 percent used credit cards. Although, unlike other Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Paraguay, cryptocurrencies haven’t attracted the attention of Bolivians. And there is a reason behind this. First Latin American country to ban Bitcoin Back in 2014, Bolivia became the first Latin American country to ban Bitcoin and all digital currencies. The Central Bank issued a resolution banning “any kind of currency that is not issued and controlled by a government or an authorized entity” citing consumer protection concerns. “People using Bitcoin has been exposed and suffered monetary losses,” argued a report on electronic money released by the Central Bank in May of that year. Two years and counting, the Bitcoin activity still remains flat in the country. “I notice people are afraid of Bitcoin,” says Alonso Vaca-Pereira, creator of the “Bitcoin Bolivia” Facebook group. “Governments have linked it to drug-trafficking and illegal activities so people prefer to stay away from cryptocurrencies.” “Right now, the cryptoscene consists of in-person exchanges which are mainly coordinated through scattered Facebook groups, with no more than 20 – 30 members. Due to the legal status of Bitcoin in the country these groups tend to be private and in order to join them one must exchange some Bitcoins with the current members,” Vaca-Pereira told Cointelegraph. “I have […]

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