Kiva has a long history of working to advance financial inclusion in over 90 countries. Over the past 13 years, we’ve made over $1.3 billion USD in loans to unbanked and vulnerable populations globally. With almost 97% repayment rates, we have shown that these populations are overly creditworthy, and we work every day to bring full financial inclusion to them. Because of this, we’ve been asked to participate in a new multi-stakeholder initiative focused on global payments. In our role, we will continue to advocate for unbanked and vulnerable populations globally.
Today, Kiva along with other organizations announced the launch of Libra Association, an independent not-for-profit organization committed to advancing financial inclusion. Together, the association will work to develop a global currency, called Libra, built on blockchain technology to help people everywhere use and move money more safely, quickly and affordably—no matter where they live, what they do, or how much they have.
Kiva is a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. We are excited to participate in this organization as we believe in the potential for this technology to promote greater financial inclusion globally.
We believe that a global consortia of diverse organizations is necessary to achieve the goal of greater financial inclusion, and more broadly to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Other impact organizations that are part of the Association include Women’s World Banking and Mercy Corps.
The efforts of Libra Association are very complementary to our own existing initiatives to leverage technology for broad financial inclusion -- notably, Kiva Protocol. With Kiva Protocol, we are using blockchain technology to enable verifiable identity and credit history to unbanked customers in many countries around the world. Improving the delivery and source of funds is an additional part of the foundation necessary for financial inclusion, which is why we hope to maximize the potential for Libra to be part of the solutions we’re actively implementing.
The implementation of Kiva Protocol is well underway in Sierra Leone and is expected to be completed in 2020. The ability to create a digital identity and track credit history will allow people in places like Sierra Leone to gain access to better and lower cost capital.
Kiva’s partnership with Libra Association and our work underway with Kiva Protocol represent a giant leap forward in Kiva’s efforts and influence to achieve greater financial inclusion worldwide. Underpinning these new initiatives, we also continue to invest in the growth of our Kiva.org crowdfunding platform to source zero-interest, risk tolerant capital and put it to work in underserved communities.
If we all come together, we truly believe we can use our collective power to create a world where everyone thrives.