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Breaking Barriers: How DeFi Drives Financial Inclusion

DeFi in developing countries

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  • DeFi in developing countries brings new financial opportunities to a wider audience
  • There are still many challenges to making DeFi widely adopted
  • Examples of successful projects

In the world of finance, the divide between the haves and the have-nots has always been a defining feature. As the world continues to grapple with issues of inequality and economic exclusion, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is poised to break down the barriers that have long stood in the way of financial access in developing countries.

The concept behind DeFi is simple: it’s a system where financial transactions are conducted on a decentralized network, cutting out the middleman and essentially democratizing the financial industry. DeFi has the potential to create financial inclusion by leveraging blockchain technology to build a permissionless and accessible financial infrastructure. 

Here are a few ways in which DeFi can facilitate financial inclusion:


DeFi is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, a smartphone, and a digital wallet. There are no geographic or regulatory barriers, unlike traditional financial services, which often require physical presence and compliance with local regulations.

Lowering costs

DeFi platforms typically have lower fees than traditional financial institutions, as they don’t have the same overhead costs. This can make financial services more affordable for individuals who might not be able to afford traditional financial services.

Empowering the unbanked

DeFi can enable individuals who are excluded from traditional banking systems, such as the unbanked or underbanked, to access financial services. For example, DeFi platforms can allow individuals to hold and transact with cryptocurrencies, which can be an alternative to traditional fiat currencies and banking services.


DeFi platforms are decentralized, meaning they operate on a peer-to-peer basis without intermediaries. This can increase trust in the financial system by reducing reliance on centralized institutions and minimizing the risk of fraud and corruption.

defi in developing countries
UN Women - Nepal - Joint Programme for Rural Women Farmers


The increased autonomy provided by DeFi helps to alleviate concerns around corruption and government interference in the financial system. Furthermore, DeFi’s open and transparent nature also makes it more accessible to those who are unbanked or underbanked, providing them with greater financial freedom and opportunities for economic growth.

Overall, DeFi provides greater access to financial products and services for individuals who are currently excluded from traditional financial systems. However, it’s worth noting that there are still challenges to overcome.


DeFi is not a magic solution that will instantly solve all financial woes. There are still challenges that need to be addressed before DeFi can be widely adopted. Some of these challenges include:

  1. Lack of internet access: Many people in developing countries do not have access to the internet or have limited access. 
  2. Limited financial literacy: Many people in developing countries may not understand how DeFi works or how to use it. This can lead to a lack of trust in the technology and reluctance to adopt it.
  3. Volatility: Cryptocurrencies and other digital assets used in DeFi are highly volatile, which can be risky for people who are not familiar with these assets. Price fluctuations can result in significant losses for those who do not understand the risks.
  4. Regulatory challenges: Many countries do not have clear regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies and DeFi. This lack of regulation can make it difficult for businesses and individuals to use DeFi without fear of legal repercussions.
  5. Infrastructure challenges: Some areas do not have the necessary infrastructure to support DeFi, such as reliable internet connections and electricity.


defi in developing countries
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Examples of Successful DeFi Projects

Across the globe, innovative DeFi projects are unlocking new pathways for financial growth. Here are just a few examples:

  • At Meta Pool, we are helping new projects and services launch in the ecosystem with our crowdfunding platform, Meta Yield
  • Nigeria-based start-up Xend Finance leverages blockchain to provide rural farming communities with better access to credit.
  • Bloinx has created community-based methods for saving money and issuing loans for the benefit of those in the community. A common community-based approach is what is referred to as a “saving circle.”
  • EthicHub is a ReFi (Regenerative Finance) protocol helping unbanked farmers access capital at low interest rates in a win/win model where all stakeholders benefit from interacting.
  • Kotani Pay makes use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), the primary mobile interface in the developing world, to provide users access to their blockchain-based platform. USSD can be used with basic feature phones and does not require access to the internet.

While these trailblazing DeFi projects are unique in their approach, their shared goal is clear: to level the financial playing field across the globe by promoting equal financial access for everyone.

Last words

The world is gradually waking up to the potential of DeFi and blockchain-based innovations to deliver greater financial inclusivity. As more countries embrace the possibilities of DeFi, we can come together to ultimately overcome challenges and realize its full potential. 

Who knows what bright future blockchain technology and DeFi might ultimately bring?

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