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Blockchain and Bitcoin Education Targeted by Paystand with Paystand.org Launch

Blockchain and cryptocurrency have massive potential to help vulnerable and underrepresented communities. Evidence of this can be seen with the launch of Paystand.org, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Paystand, the blockchain-enabled commercial payments platform.

Paystand.org is rooted in Paystand’s mission: to decentralise the financial system, transforming businesses toward a better economy. The initiative addresses the serious challenges facing emerging economies globally in financial inclusion. This includes high inflation, lack of access to banking, burdensome service fees, long payment delays with too many intermediaries, and difficulty obtaining credit and capital.

These underserved communities also deal with such issues as workers sending money back home and being hit with unfair charges as high as 6.8 per cent. They also must wait days for their families to receive it — showcasing a clear exploitation of the less fortunate by the financial system.

Solving a remittance fee pain point in LatAm

For example, in Latin America, an estimated 70 per cent of the population is unbanked or underbanked, forcing individuals and businesses to rely on informal lenders and personal networks for credit. However, in El Salvador, where a bitcoin circular economy is emerging, more than two million underbanked citizens use bitcoin.

Additionally, tourism has increased 30 per cent, bringing foreign investment; and more than $120million in cross-border remittances was sent last year using bitcoin, avoiding fees for Salvadoran overseas workers supporting their families back home.

The same is true for other countries with growing bitcoin economies. Bitcoin use is growing significantly faster than the traditional banking system in these regions, and signals a higher adoption rate of digital currency, driving significantly more inclusive opportunities for the underbanked in Latin America.

Additionally, integrating blockchain and Bitcoin technologies with circular economy principles offers a transformative opportunity for Latin America’s 160 million youth, the SMEs that constitute 99 per cent of the business landscape, as well as investors who channel $100billion in annual finance flows.

Bitcoin and blockchain education

To create this critically needed more inclusive financial landscape and help build economic growth, Paystand.org is selecting organisations that educate and promote the use of Bitcoin and blockchain technology in emerging and underrepresented communities.

“Since we started Paystand nearly 10 years ago we’ve built our mission on Bitcoin and blockchain as the key enabler to democratise an unjust financial system. It is more than just technology or investment opportunity for Silicon Valley; it is the critical tool for a more efficient and thriving global economy, and in emerging markets to unlock better equity, access, and economic opportunity for the underbanked,” stated Jeremy Almond, CEO of Paystand.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see the dual impact Paystand.com can have first on the commercial side of finance, and now with Paystand.org as a catalysing change agent for financial inclusion for the underrepresented. We hope this dual approach can be a model for how emerging tech companies should approach stewardship.”

Creating sustainable and regenerative economic practices 

The Paystand.org grantees use the funding, mentoring, expertise, basic financial literacy education and technology training – to build community financial services that can create sustainable and regenerative economic practices.

For example:

  • My First Bitcoin (Mi Primer Bitcoin, El Salvador) is one of the first international projects in which Paystand.org provided financial support to create a platinum-standard curriculum for more than 800 classes for 22,000 people, enabling them to use and understand the blockchain technology-based financial system, with more than 1,800 earning bitcoin diplomas.
  • The Digital Nest organisation (headquartered in the Bay Area) is creating tech training centers for Latinx youth from immigrant and farmworking communities. Providing assistance and mentorship so that more than 3,100 young people received professional technology training and career development, enabling them to participate in career track activities and internships.

“This grassroots approach demonstrates the tangible benefits of bitcoin-based economies to unbanked and underserved populations and improves the circumstances of economically marginalised communities,” said Alexandra Navarro, Paystand.org chief executive. “Early adopters will educate local populations on how to integrate more capital circulation into community life, how to access and utilise cutting-edge financial technologies, and will coach individuals and businesses on how to use bitcoin most effectively.

“Moreover, Blockchain can empower entrepreneurs by democratising access to capital, fueling the growth of SMEs that are the backbone of our economy. Our commitment at Paystand is to harness this technology, not just for economic efficiency, but as a force for equitable growth across Latin America,” she concluded.

Paystand.org roots

Initial funding for Paystand.org’s CSR work comes from a percentage of Paystand Inc.’s annual revenue to cover operations, donations and grant making, with an ambitious goal of giving up to 10 per cent of their profits. Grants are awarded to eligible nonprofit organisations based on criteria established by Paystand.org’s board of directors.

Paystand.org is selectively adding corporations, other foundations, and financial institutions as founding partners in order to increase the philanthropic impact. And starting 15 February 2024, Paystand.org will begin accepting new grantee applications for 2024 for organisations and projects that will advance its philanthropic mission.

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