How The Next Digital Currency Revolution Will Decimate Child Poverty

News, Opinion | July 12, 2019 By:

One of the most endemic problems of our society is child poverty. Out of the 7.8 billion people in the world, there are 2 billion living meal-to-meal. Those of us who are challenged to accept the statement of ‘’living meal-to-meal’’ as a fact only need to skip one square meal and observe their mind. 

Child poverty is one of the leading issues across the globe. According to the World Bank, more than 385 million children live in poverty. Those children are seven times more likely to drop out of school than those from families with higher incomes. It is clear for all of us that we must work to end child poverty once and for all and pull those 2 billion people into the economic fold. We need to do this now.

To decimate child poverty once and for all, we need to start from the fundamental tool that can allow children to grow into thoughtful and capable adults — and that is education.

If I didn’t go to school to get an education, I wouldn’t be able to communicate to you right now. While in Western countries, this may seem obvious, it’s not so much so throughout the world, where people are dealing with generations of poverty. Today’s society requires know-how for nearly everything. What if we were to incentivize parents’ efforts to have their children attend school, would that decimate poverty one day successfully? That could make an impact in the fight against child poverty.

Many hands make light lifting. Today we have 7.8 billion people inhabiting the planet. By 2050 that will grow to almost 10 billion. That’s a lot of hands. But how many of them will actually be lifting, hence contributing to society in a meaningful way? The prerequisite for this is inclusion in the educational and financial systems. But today it is estimated that 2 billion people are not involved in either. Those who are uneducated and unbanked can’t lift very much at all. 

This contributes to the circle of poverty that keeps generations of parents and children from developing the talents they were born with and contributing to society at their potential. It also contributes to a growing sense of alienation, resentment, and divisions. Those feelings, starting in childhood, also provide barriers to meaningful contribution to society and the cycle of violence.

Fiat money is not practical. Bills and coins were an innovative solution to problems that faced society centuries ago, but they no longer serve today’s lifestyle. Traditional money is hard to keep securely, and it’s expensive to send and risky to transact over the internet, especially across international borders. Additionally, for many, it’s restrictively challenging to borrow or lend, especially in small amounts. What if money could be sent around the world instantly, peer-to-peer, for a near zero cost? What if lending or borrowing even small amounts were fast and straightforward enough to do over a smartphone? What if we didn’t have to worry about exchange rates? What if money were more secure and easier to save, spend, or invest or trace when it is used for a financial crime against humanity?

Of course, the concept of universal digital money has been around since the early 1980s. But it wasn’t until 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto applied the idea to distributed ledger technology, called blockchain, that’s when a true global digital money seemed plausible. Now that we have the ability to create that smart money, it just seems dumb not to. Blockchain can remove friction points from a free flow of financial inclusion in the same way that the internet removed friction points from business and social interactions two decades ago. As with the internet, eliminating costs, efforts, and time constraints associated with money can have positive and transformative effects for all people and society.