The cryptocurrency concept, and blockchain, which is the technology associated with it, have been visualized to help bring a revolution in addressing a wide range of issues that a migrant might face away from home. Getting accustomed to a new environment isn’t easy, and a migrant faces a lot of challenges daily. Change in culture, lifestyles, currency, and technology, are important factors to consider in the process of migration. On top of it, migrants don’t get access to banking facilities readily, which creates problems right from getting their pay-check to paying for regular, basic services. There is a need to create a system, where flexible transactions can take place within a country irrespective of the citizenship or the location of the migrant. A migrant, though not being a citizen, needs to have access to basic financial services, and cryptocurrency can help a great deal in addressing these issues and assure easy access to services even before he begins his migration process.
Migrants from developing regions may move to more developed countries because of reasons like poverty, culture, political or economic circumstances, but mostly to move somewhere which provides a better quality of life. This change doesn’t come easy, as the migrant is expected to leave everything behind and move to a new location. Migrant workers don’t only contribute to the economy of the country they have moved to, but also to the country of their origin, as a migrant sends money back home to his dependents. Underdeveloped nations lag in employment opportunities and international exposures, which ensures that poverty thrives. Their population consists both skilled and unskilled labour, but the absence of opportunities prevents them from sustaining a good lifestyle. On the contrary, fast-growing economies always require human resources to propel infrastructural and economic growth. It is then, that the gap between these nations is bridged by providing labour for such growing economies and the process calls for migration.
When migrants cross borders in search of opportunities, they face challenges related to banking facilities. Something as simple as creating a bank account isn’t possible due to various compliance checks and minimum limits that banks impose. For private banks, the minimum limit balance for a salaried account is not enough to enable a migrant employed on daily wages. Besides these limits, insufficient documentation and no residence proof prevents migrants from getting access to basic banking services.
This is where LALA World can play a major role by providing a mobile LALA Wallet to the underbanked population. LALA is one of the pioneers of this vision of providing financial facilities to the underbanked, mainly through its own cryptocurrency, which is the LALA Token. Cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the US dollar, but is digital, and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds. Digital currency doesn’t have limits across borders, and it needs no repetitive documentation or futile paperwork to provide a migrant with a flexible option of storing currency, whether encrypted or fiat. These wallets also support the option of converting digital currency to fiat money, thereby satisfying the purpose of a fully functional bank account. LALA Card, being directly linked to migrants’ accounts, can be used for transactions at PoS machines anywhere. This way migrants do not have to deal with handling cash, bank accounts, unnecessary bureaucracy, and cashiers. The platform enables convenience and transparency, offering an easy learning curve for a population which isn’t much educated or aware of ways to utilise banking services.
Another advantage that comes with this technology is the freedom of international remittances without any unnecessary fees. MTOs (Money Transfer Operators) charge about 10% fee to conduct money transfers which reduces the utility of a money transfer and puts additional pressure on a migrant who values every single unit of his hard-earned money. And while converting to fiat currency might incur costs, it remains practical for a migrant who hopes to support his dependents back home in the most convenient way possible, by enabling them to access facilities that could improve their quality of life.
A secondary, although critical aspect of cryptocurrency is the provision of digital identities that it can provide. The idea of uploading identities of migrants on the Blockchain and providing them with digital identities across all basic services, is promising. Providing this identity can ensure easier access, and can facilitate integration and speed up the immigration process.
As the cryptocurrency ecosystem matures, the 350 million people migrating globally every year, will be among the many benefactors of the development of cryptocurrency. By paving the way for low-cost, cryptocurrency-based transactions and remittances, LALA World is a practical solution to enable the migrant communities’ inclusion into the financial ecosystem, and bridge the gap between underdeveloped and developing nations.