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From M-Pesa to Dogecoin to the Digital Naira: The Role of Digital Money in Financial Inclusion
After the success of M-Pesa in Kenya, mobile money leapt to the forefront of development conversations about financial access and inclusion. In the years since, digital currencies have proliferated and diversified, from digital payments systems, to digital currencies backed by a central bank (CBDC), to cryptocurrencies. What does this mean for financial inclusion? Which uses of digital money can solve real access and inclusion problems, and which are techno-optimistic “solutions” in search of problems?

Join the Financial Access Initiative’s Tim Ogden in conversation with Jesse McWaters, the Global Head of Regulatory Advocacy at Mastercard, to explore some basic frameworks for understanding the differences between the rapidly growing types of digital currencies. Through this session you’ll gain a better grasp of how new and evolving digital means of exchange, how they interact, and what that means for pro-poor financial inclusion.

We’ll talk about how payments systems are different from digital currencies and how digital currencies are different from cryptocurrencies. Do digital currencies fundamentally change the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion? What does crypto add (or subtract) from the story? What should you be paying attention to, what questions do you need to be asking, and what can you roll your eyes at? Then, we’ll have lots of time for you to ask questions or share your perspectives.
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