Macrina Kgil, CFO of Blockchain.com, discusses the critical role that blockchain technology can play in closing the gender gap in access to financial services.
Blockchain has the ability to close the access gap when it comes to the financial empowerment of women. Leveraging the technology will aid in bridging the gender divide that keeps many women sequestered from opportunities of financial freedom.
Equalizing the gender divide is critical to helping solve the systemic issues that have been obstacles to women when it comes to access to financial systems, financial literacy, and financial independence. Blockchain technology
can also address the problem of underbanked and unbanked communities that make it very difficult for women to have equal opportunity.
Recently, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the World Trade Organization’s director-general and the former foreign and finance minister of Nigeria, addressed the benefits of blockchain. During the G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing, the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, Okonjo-Iweala
cited blockchain as a key tool for empowerment.
Blockchain, noted Okonjo-Iweala, who co-chaired the panel, can bring greater transparency to businesses by removing intermediaries. Introducing blockchain into financial transactions can help women in countries where access is limited. In the financial services industry, issues of access have increased during the pandemic as more institutions have closed.
Cryptocurrencies offered on the blockchain
can help break the barriers that women face in many countries where financial exclusion is a problem. Blockchain technology can address the practical constraints women face in these countries, such as long and arduous travel times to access financial institutions, gender restrictions when opening bank accounts, and laws that prohibit legal property ownership.
The technological advantages are significant to social improvement and what follows are some of the benefits.
Saving Time and Money
Women still earn far less globally when compared to men, but are often responsible for working difficult jobs and sending money abroad to support their families. However, sending payments abroad often takes a long time and it’s expensive.
With blockchain technology, women can transfer money in seconds and the transactions only cost a fraction of a cent. By simply having access to a phone, which is far easier in many places of the world than having access to a traditional financial institution, women can invest and transfer their earnings while reducing the time, cost, and energy expended.
Blockchain allows access to the global economy
and provides empowerment to its users. It leads to better ways of leveraging financial services that are limited in the existing financial infrastructure for those who are unbanked and underbanked.
Instead of paying exorbitant fees, dealing with lengthy travel times, or holding cash in their homes, women can safely participate by leveraging cryptocurrencies on the blockchain.
By providing women with better tools, cryptocurrency reduces vulnerabilities, especially in women-led households, while providing greater financial independence. It can also have other positive effects. As women gain financial freedom, they can help strengthen their family’s financial outlook and help lift up their communities.
True Financial Ownership
Blockchain provides ownership and control of financial resources. It provides women with the ability to make their own decisions, independently, and free from control by governments and individuals.
Blockchain has the potential to help women
, and their families and communities, out of poverty. It allows women to build equity, invest, raise healthier children, and provide them with access to better educational opportunities. It also gives women a chance to become entrepreneurs, own their own businesses, and fully participate in economic markets.
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis, the blockchain industry has an opportunity to help empower women to live better lives, with greater financial flexibility and freedom. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has the potential to open pathways to positively impact the lives of women worldwide.
About Macrina Kgil
is the CFO of Blockchain.com, one of the world's largest blockchain companies. A graduate of Seoul National University, Macrina Kgil has held senior finance positions
at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fortress Investment Group, Springleaf Financial Services, OneMain Financial, and GPB Capital Holdings.