Current banking systems are inefficient, expensive, and overly time-consuming. Look at the length of time it takes an international money transfer to hit your bank account, or the fees levied for ‘processing’ it. You may also want to look at how long it takes for a ‘pending’ payment to leave your bank and get to its recipient. ATM fees – you need to pay to get your own money, and some banks will even charge you extra to get your money from the ‘wrong’ ATM. The list of inefficiencies and expenses is truly huge.

It is, of course, arguable that these fees are necessary to pay for these financial institutions’ massive, complex infrastructures. Conversely, it could be argued that these fees are really to subsidize executive pay packets and bonuses, and to satisfy shareholders’ bank balances. The Institute for Policy Studies identified that:

“The top 20 U.S. banks paid out more than $2 billion in fully deductible performance bonuses to their top five executives over the past four years.” [1]

On average, over $100,000,000. Per year. Each.

That’s enough to make anyone’s eyebrows furrow.

What’s worse is that all legal (and many illegal) fiat currency transactions pass through the banks. Every transaction carries fees and takes time to process. As if banking fees weren’t enough, while your money is being ‘processed’, the banks are speculating with it to make themselves – you guessed it - even more money. And the banks guard their monopoly over your wealth most jealously.

Think of it like the Bank of Smaug - a great, greedy dragon sat atop his hoard, ready to set aflame any competitor that might be able to disrupt its dominance. That may or may not be a small exaggeration.

In a 2006 study [2] centred on adults ‘outside’ the banking system, it was found that:

· “2.5 billion adults, just over half of the world’s adult population, do not use formal financial services to save or borrow.

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· “2.2 billion of the unserved adults live in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

· “Of the 1.2 billion adults who use formal financial services in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, at least two-thirds, a little more than 800 million, live on less than $5 per day (purchasing power parity adjusted).”

Not only is this a huge potential market, it is a vastly underserved market, and “providing workable financial services to this population is often tagged as a key step towards eliminating world poverty…”[3]

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Everex is ready to take this market by storm and ease the financial inclusion problem using blockchain technology. In fact, their blockchain-based capital transfer system lowers financial inclusion barriers and provides financial services such as cross-border remittance, online payments, and microlending for the un- and underbanked.

All outside of the Bank of Smaug’s greedy grasp. Well, maybe not quite.

Blockchain technology is decentralized, which is to say that transactions are made without the need for a central authority – such as a bank – to approve or decline them. Instead, each transaction is fully viewable on the blockchain on which it was made, and depends on the agreement or consensus of all nodes on that blockchain to declare a transaction valid.

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Due to the fact there are no massive corporations involved in these processes, transaction fees are exceptionally minimal. At time of writing, these are anywhere from USD $0.01 to $0.10. That’s a tiny fraction of bank fees.

By utilizing the Ethereum blockchain and its ability to allow users to create their own ERC20 tokens, Everex have created the concept of Cryptocash, which is a cryptocurrency that’s value is pegged on the value of its corresponding fiat currency. These Cryptocash currencies are fully reserved stablecoins issued by a decentralized and federated network of cash custodians and underwriters. They can be redeemed using bank to bank transfers, ATM networks, fiat currency, or a range of mobile or online wallets.

All service applications on the Ethereum blockchain require the use of smart contracts, and the services that Everex provide in the financial inclusion sphere are no exception. In Everex’s case, they will be using Agrello’s legally binding smart contracts in conjunction with Agrello ID, so that KYC regulations are met.

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Since all such token contracts are publicly available on the Ethereum blockchain, and are therefore immutable, they are also open to audits. It is Everex’s intention that, during the project’s later stages, contract control will be delegated to a third party such as a regulatory body so that there is complete transparency. Try asking the Bank of Smaug for its books.

Banks are rushing to adopt blockchain technology in their infrastructures. After all, it will save them vast amounts of money by reducing overheads and transaction processing times, and lead to increased profits and shareholder satisfaction. However, they are struggling to incorporate the technology in many instances. [4]

Everex are positioned to roll out their financial inclusion solutions, and the banks are not positioned to compete. In fact, it is possible that the banks won’t even have caught up to Everex’s enviable position when they roll out their services globally.

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Banks and regulators are already attempting to slow down the rapid expansion and adoption of cryptocurrencies. With China’s recent ban on ICOs, the US’s regulation of ICOs and view of tokens as commodities, and even some countries like Nepal and Bangladesh outright banning their cryptocurrencies for transactions, it would seem like the Bank of Smaug is frightened of losing grip of its hoard.