Ripple kicked off its much-anticipated Swell conference on 14 October, with the event highlighting the blockchain firm’s various products and services while also bolstering Ripple’s vision of financial inclusion. On the second day, in an effort to add to this vision and contribute to economic empowerment globally, Ripple announced a $10 million contribution to Mercy Corps.
Mercy Corps will function in partnership with Ripple and a non-profit founded by Chris Larsen, Rippleworks. Its three-year initiative includes Mercy Corps support to solutions that leverage digital financial technologies like distributed ledgers, digital assets, and cryptocurrencies. This would enable the entry of people in emerging markets into the global economy.
Ripple has already been working with Mercy Corps Ventures and with the latest contribution,
“…will also be used to support the education of Mercy Corps’ field staff working to address the financial challenges faced in these regions and apply digital financial solutions. In doing so, Mercy Corps aims to reach 10 million people in the next decade.”
Due to the holes in the current system, 1.7 billion people are left unbanked, while disproportionately excluding women. The onus falls on evolving technologies like crypto and blockchain to transform this system by taking into account the needs of these vulnerable sectors. According to Senior Managing Director at Mercy Corps Ventures, Scott Onder,
“We are going to leverage our global resources and reach to ensure community voices are heard and vulnerable populations are not left behind in the fintech revolution.”
Contributions from Ripple and Rippleworks will support the launch of FinX, which is a joint initiative by Mercy Corps Ventures and Mercy Corps. This initiative will try to reimagine the existing financial system and build a coalition committed to ensuring this new system is inclusive for the un- and underbanked populations.
Chief Executive Officer Brad Garlinghouse recently spoke about the “meteoric rise” of digital banks and payment service providers. This step could be a huge leap towards the company’s goal of financial inclusion, a leap that may enable such services to reach the unbanked.
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