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Can bitcoin help marginalized communities with wealth generation?

#FeatureByPatrickLee

bitcoin

Wondering whether bitcoin helps marginalized communities generate wealth? If so, here is an example of how bitcoin has helped some marginalized communities.

What began as a simple $3,000 one-time effort to purchase shoes and socks for Peruvian children facing high mortality rates expanded into a full-scale attempt to enable financial empowerment through Bitcoin.

Rich Swisher, president of non-profit global empowerment group MOTIV, saw the numerous opportunities that a sovereign and decentralized monetary network had to empower those left out of the traditional banking system after visiting Bitcoin Beach. This non-profit initiative seeks to deliver financial inclusion to the coastal city of El Zonte in El Salvador through bitcoin circular economies.

MOTIV is now utilizing Bitcoin to offer inclusion and hope to disadvantaged communities in Peru through 15 hubs, ranging from medical care to entrepreneurship classes.

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By reading the Bitcoin Motion in the magazine, Swisher told Bitcoin Magazine, "There is an exceptional linking between Bitcoin and humanitarianism." "Having unrestricted access to a financial system that is not seizable without a central authority that can shut it down is critical for people to build hope."

Freezing Children with Barefoot

Swisher sowed the seeds for MOTIV's operations in Peru after he and Vali Popescu, co-founder, and director of field operations, discovered that many children were dying due to a lack of shoes, a seemingly insignificant accessory many of us don't appreciate.

Swisher explained that the Peruvian village is at the bottom of a steep valley surrounded by mountains. People live in a huddled area and farm on the hillside, where they often plant maize and grass for their Guinea pigs as their primary meat source.

Swisher explained to Bitcoin Magazine, adding that "with the feet freezing and thawing and freezing and thawing," children who don't die may develop circulation problems and other medical issues.

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Furthermore, Swisher stated that a lack of footwear prevents children from walking to school, as going to school can involve a 10-mile commute.

The pair then ran some calculations and discovered that $3,000 could provide each child with a couple of hiking boots, seven pairs of socks, and two visits to a foot medical specialist annually. Following the initial commitment, they began looking for ways to expand their regional presence and further develop the programs already assisting more people. However, it wasn't until MOTIV discovered Bitcoin via Alex Fedorak, the non-director profit of corporate communications, that a new chapter began.

The peer-to-peer (P2P) currency quickly enabled new use cases, but a trip to Bitcoin Beach takes things a step further.

While some billionaires dismiss Bitcoin, people in disadvantaged communities worldwide, frequently left out of the banking system, have much to applaud in a decentralized monetary system. That's because it empowers them to pursue their goals and conduct local trade regardless of community or country conditions.

Empowerment of Females

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Women in a village in the Andes, the world's most extended continental mountain range that spans seven different countries along the western edge of South America, saw Bitcoin as a way to circumvent societal norms.

These women have been able to sell their handcrafted items in Cusco and even Lima, the country's capital. While purchases in more developed areas are still primarily made with fiat currency, Swisher stated that the team focuses on establishing a circular bitcoin economy in Cusco. And this development is already growing by encouraging people to earn bitcoin and allowing them to use BTC to purchase daily necessities.

LET US HOPE FOR A BETTER FUTURE

"So many people are demoralized and marginalized that many just say, 'Whatever, I don't have any hope for the future,'" Swisher told Bitcoin Magazine. "That is what Bitcoin is changing in that area."

Swisher explained that the problem is systemic in the villages and municipalities where MOTIV works, as the lower classes are kept at the bottom and do not believe there is a way out. A lack of future hope plagues these communities due to a financial system that does not cater to them or their needs.

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MOTIV is enabling otherwise powerless people in Peru to find something they are good at and train until they can produce goods and services and earn bitcoin — which they can then use to buy shoes for their children's freezing feet.

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