One of the most important goals of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies is to bank the unbanked.
When everyone is free to transact with any other person on the planet, we can say cryptocurrency has achieved its main purpose. So far though, that goal is still very far away from being accomplished.
However, as time goes by, we see more people in countries such as Brazil adopting cryptocurrencies.
Start-ups are building more ways for people to easily exchange reais for Bitcoin, from Bitcoin ATMs to a plurality of exchanges like Foxbit, Mercado Brasil, and CryptoHub.
Recent data shows that around 40% of Brazil’s population is unbanked.
Looking closely, the worst part is that most of that 40% is represented by young people between the ages of 15 and 24 and people living in rural areas or receiving low salaries.
Other statistics show that globally, the people most interested in Bitcoin are younger people up to 35 years old, as they are the ones pushing retail adoption.
It seems probable then that the number of Brazilians looking into Bitcoin in the near future will grow, as most of the younger generation will turn to other forms of payment such as crypto as it becomes increasingly harder for them to open bank accounts.
In addition, younger people are more adept with new technologies and are dependent on their smartphones for everyday life. Adding a currency to their phones seems like a logical step simply because people are now used to transacting via their phones.
Banking the unbanked
As mentioned above, some of the exchanges that are bringing further adoption in Brazil are Mercado Brasil, Foxbit, and CryptoHub.
It’s important to underline that a great deal of Brazilians use platforms like eToro and LocalBitcoins as they allow for different types of buying and selling (through derivatives and/or P2P), which is an attractive feature for the Brazilian population.
Now that a new crypto tax has been implemented in the country, I personally believe user behaviour might change and we will see increased adoption of foreign exchanges.
Nevertheless, Brazilian exchanges have been doing an amazing job promoting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies among Brazilians, and it is estimated that more than 1% of the entire population has heard of Bitcoin or dealt with the currency at some point in their lives.
The more adoption we see, the higher price tends to rise, which in turn leads to further adoption.
Brazil’s unbanked population has a clear use case for Bitcoin, and I expect more people to demand salary and payments to be made in Bitcoin in the years to come.