UNICEF’s latest report on mainstream adoption of cryptos highlights the possibility of massive financial inclusion along with the need for new child safeguards. The United Nations Children’s Fund has now called for the incorporation of child safeguards into online child protection initiatives, citing various financial and exploitative threats posed by unregulated crypto markets.
UNICEF’s “Prospects for children in 2022” report that examines the effect of global trends on children, expects more mainstream adoption of cryptos; “demonstrating both the promise of greater financial inclusion and the need for new child safeguards.”
Their report indicates that digital currencies had gained massive interest in 87 nations by the end of last year, with most of the jurisdictions experimenting on their in-house versions of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). UNICEF anticipates the same growth trend in 2022, as the report reads:
“A potential alliance between governments, large banks and investment firms against challenger banks and blockchain-based finance could arise in many countries.”
The push for crypto’s mainstream adoption is also pushed by the economic pressures pushed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As UNICEF previously stated, the economic recovery in the high-income nations will slowly see a surge in 2022 despite considering the future disruptions from the pandemic.
UNICEF also expects the participation of governments, investment companies, and large banks with cryptocurrency and blockchain companies:
“These developments will eventually require the emergence of national and international legal and regulatory frameworks. As we wait to see what direction these trends take us in, the implications for children hang in the balance.”
With the mainstreaming of cryptos, UNICEF confirms that there are considerable benefits that come through financial inclusion and:
“Frictionless remittances and more instant, transparent and efficient social assistance programs.”
Nonetheless, the UN agency warns about the growing threats that come with unregulated markets to the well-being of children, like the stability of financial systems and dwindling government revenues.
The agency called out for new safeguarding reforms, the report also says that some of the potential negative effects of unregulated transactions that support sexual exploitation, child trafficking, the sale and purchase of content depicting child abuse, and defrauding and extortion of children around the world. Looking at an end note, UNICEF suggested:
“Now is the time to begin incorporating cryptocurrency and digital currency child safeguards into online child protection initiatives.”
A Crypto.com report projects that global cryptocurrency users may reach one billion by the end of this year. Based on other previous reports, the global crypto population surged by 178% in 2021, rising from around 106 million in January to 295 million in December.
Crypto.com’s report estimates:
“If we extrapolate a similar rate of increase in 2022, we are on track to reach 1 billion crypto users by the end of 2022.”