It’s easy to take for granted how far financial services have come. You need to look no further than the Nexo app, which facilitates our user’s needs when it comes to both their budgeting and spending. But not all of us have it quite so easy and financial inclusion remains a pain point globally.
A recent report from PwC, one of the Big Four auditing and accounting companies, reveals how blockchain technology can elevate financial inclusion in the societies of developing countries.
Mind you, the main numbers in the study paint the clearest picture for the magnitude of the problem(s):
43% of individuals have never conducted online payments.
Around 3.55 billion people never engaged in saving money.
Over 1.4 billion people lack access to essential financial services.
How can blockchain effectively help? Firstly, the importance of stablecoins cannot be overstated, especially for individuals who often face limited access to conventional financial institutions. For them, stablecoins offer a lifeline – a means to participate in the global economy, make secure transactions, and safeguard their wealth from inflation of the local currency.
Another key aspect is the emergence of crypto platforms facilitating the creation of digital wallets, which enable users to store digital assets and generate yields, providing a viable alternative to traditional banking systems.Frankly, some of those features aren’t new to experienced Nexo users, but it is the grand picture we are looking at – how blockchain could bridge the global divide in access to essential financial services. And that’s big.
Frankly, some of those features aren’t new to experienced Nexo users, but it is the grand picture we are looking at – how blockchain could bridge the global divide in access to essential financial services. And that’s big.
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A Good Week in the News
Those of you following the crypto markets closely will have spotted XRP’s price rise mid-week as Ripple’s coin surged over 5%. Trading volumes more than doubled in a day from less than $900M to reach an impressive $2B on Thursday. This activity was possibly supported by a number of favorable developments, surrounding Ripple:
The company’s Singapore arm has successfully secured a major payments institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which enables Ripplethe company to continue providing digital payment token services in the Asia-Pacific region.
Simultaneously, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) faced a setback in its attempt to appeal the Ripple case.
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The Products of Ether
In a dynamic shift within the cryptocurrency investment landscape, Ether enthusiasts witnessed a couple of pivotal moments this week:
No less than 9 ether-based futures ETFs debuted in the USA with ProShares, VanEck, Bitwise, Valkyrie, Kelly, and Volshares collectively launching their products. This represents a major step forward in crypto investments, although initial trading saw modest volume under $2M.
Grayscale Investments sought regulatory approval to convert its Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE) into a spot ETF. With nearly $5B in assets, Grayscale's Ethereum Trust is the world's largest ETH investment product.
The news translated to choppy price action during the week for Ether, but it’s the long-term effect of these developments that we’re more interested in, so stay tuned.
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Live at the Metaverse
Call us childish, but one thing the metaverse could be ideally suited for is a massive rave. And, childish or not, it’s happening as some of the biggest dance music artists seem to embrace the idea, led by renowned DJ Carl Cox, who is set to perform in Sensorium Galaxy's PRISM metaverse later this month. This event features Cox's photorealistic avatar delivering a 30-minute DJ set in the immersive virtual concert space, marking a "bold first step" in Sensorium's mission to democratize VR music experiences, says Deputy CEO Sasha Tityanko. PRISM will also host immersive raves by other top artists like Eric Prydz, David Guetta, and Charlotte de Witte.
The Week’s Most Interesting Data Story
Every Little Helps
The proportion of miner income generated from fees has been rising recently from around 1% towards a more substantial 4% at the end of the week. The culprit? Bitcoin inscriptions apparently. Even though both the total fees and their share of miner income are still relatively modest, they've surpassed the usual levels seen during bear markets.