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Bitcoin: The World's Most Inclusive Money

22 June 2022

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Bitcoin: The World's Most Inclusive Money
What Does Financial Discrimination Mean? / 

Learn how bitcoin is disrupting the financial system and how it will bring about a more inclusive global economy.

In the spirit of Pride 2022, we'd like to take a look at how bitcoin is the most inclusive money humankind has ever seen. In a world with financial exclusion and discrimination, bitcoin offers a way to level the playing field, giving anyone with an internet connection access to the same financial opportunities as anyone else. LGBTQ+ people—especially trans youth—have often been denied access to banking services and have had difficulty obtaining loans, opening lines of credit, and even renting apartments.

Bitcoin offers a way to subvert the traditional financial infrastructure by opting into neutral, decentralized platform that is not subject to the same biases and restrictions. Especially in countries with oppressive and violent anti-LGBTQ+ leadership, bitcoin provides a way for individuals to maintain their privacy and safety while still being able to access essential financial services.

What Does Financial Discrimination Mean?

Money is the root of all economic activity. It's the lifeblood of our civilization. The beating heart of our society. From the barter system to the Mesopotamian shekel to gold and the US Dollar, money has taken many forms over the millennia. It's been the source of prosperity, a tool for upward mobility, and a way to dream of a brighter future.

But money is also the source of much human misery, as those who don't have enough of it can attest. It's the sole enabler of much of human inequality and exclusion. It plays a role in corruption and crime. Money does make the world go round, but often in ways that we aren't happy with.

Money contributes to great human suffering, but it doesn't do it on its own. Greed is the hole in the human soul, and when someone controls the money supply, they control the fate of the people. Printing money to fund wars, spend irresponsibly, and bail out corrupt institutions has happened throughout history, and it's often led to bouts of hyperinflation, economic stagnation, and disenfranchised populations. But these externalities rarely fall on those in control, as evidenced by the Cantillon Effect, or why Wall Street gets a bailout and you don't.

This financial discrimination severely hampers social mobility and keeps entire communities from reaching their potential. It's not just a market failure of inequity. It's a failure of humanity.

It's why the people who control the money supply end up hurting the people who need it most to simply live. Inflation disproportionately eats away at lower-income families who go from living paycheck-to-paycheck to being in a state of constant economic insecurity. The wealthy, on the other hand, can weather inflationary periods quite well, as they have more money to invest and can take advantage of opportunities that come with a depreciation in the value of money.

But it doesn't stop just there. Over 2 billion people are unbanked around the world. While it's for a variety of reasons, it's mostly due to financial institutions not serving them or being accessible to them. These people are locked out of the financial system and can't participate in the global economy. It's not profitable to bank them, so they're left out. It's not "worth it" to give them access to the same financial opportunities as everyone else, so they're stuck on the sidelines.

Access to money also intersects with racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and almost any form of discrimination you can think of. People of color experience more racial profiling, encounter more red tape, and have a harder time getting loans. Immigrants have a hard time sending money home because of exorbitant fees. Banks flag trans folks' bank accounts for fraud—for not sounding like their "real name"—all with little recourse. The list goes on.

This financial discrimination severely hampers social mobility and keeps entire communities from reaching their potential. It's not just a market failure of inequity. It's a failure of humanity.

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