Source [image.](https://www.uncdf.org/download/file/4142?defaultFile=%2FDefaultImages%2FdefaultImage.png&thumbnail=False&cultureId=127&useLarge=true)

According to the world bank about 1.7 billion of adults remain unbanked – without an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider. Financial inclusion is an important aspect of social development as credit and saving opportunities are the cornerstones of economic growth and economic well being. However, in many countries around the world this inclusion – often taken for granted in the developed world – is far from being a certainty, or even an option. To elaborate on my exploration of Nepal (check out my recent article about human trafficking between Nepal and India), I decided to zoom in on Nepal's banking situation, and what technological innovation could potentially mean for its capability deprived citizens.

According to the 2017 World Bank Global Financial Index, financial inclusion in Nepal increased from 25% in 2011 to 45% in 2017. Although this stat seems promising, it should be noted that this growth in financial inclusion is still notably lower than that of 127% and 111% recorded for India and the South Asian region. The same data report by the World Bank also showed that Nepal had a lower level of growth in financial inclusion compared to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (over the years 2011, 2014, and 2017).

The World Bank showed that the distance to financial institutions (terrible branch accessibility) is one of the reasons why people remain unbanked. Financial illiteracy and the costs associated with banking also play an important role.

After some Googling I found out that the government of Nepal is actually pursuing the endeavour of establishing access to a bank for all of its citizens, and has ordered a branch in each of its 753 districts. I found this to be kind of odd, as sub-Saharan African countries have shown that focusing on digitisation – in the form of mobile money – has a lower barrier of entrance, and wins when it comes to cost effectiveness. This is probably why the Nepali government has also stimulated the adoption and innovation of Nepali Fintech companies. As of today, two popular mobile wallets – that can be used for anything from paying for utilities, to remittances – are eSewa and Khalti Digital Wallet. Both apps have over 1 million downloads in the Play Store.

eSewa Money Transfer Nepal.

As far as the ''old-fashioned'' approach from the government goes, Himalayan Bank (Ripple customer), a large, privately run lender founded in 1992, was told to open new branches in 11 districts around the country. Nabil Bank added 12 branches to its roster, while RBB opened 14. Jyoti Bikash Bank, a nationwide development bank, opened 18 new branches in rural areas between May 2017 and October 2018. Few could deny that the plan, as originally intended, has been a success: at the end of April 2019, according to central bank data, there were branches in 730 districts, leaving just 23 to go.

This is all great, but what's the impact? Unfortunately the latest report by the World Bank is the one from 2017, and there simply aren't any other credible sources that capture our required stats. However, I found a blog post that used statistics from Nepal Rastra Bank to give us a sense of the adoption of mobile banking in Nepal.

The graph, prepared using statistics from Nepal Rastra Bank, shows Nepal has recorded a steady growth rate of mobile banking users.

The underbankend and unbanked population of Nepal face an incredible opportunity by the innovation made in mobile banking – accessibility, usefulness, and cost effectiveness – although, it should be noted that the majority of mobile banking users are from urban areas (about 81% of Nepal's population lives in rural areas). A recent published article from Khalti (the mobile wallet Fintech) claimed that they have 150,000 active users, out of a total of 1.2 million registered. Overall it has been a vocal point of critique that many Nepalis register for a bank account or mobile wallet, but then rarely use its service. Many argue that digital literacy and financial literacy is required to increase both access to and usage of mobile banking in rural parts of Nepal.

Education certainly plays a pivotal role in Nepal's conquest to establish financial inclusion. “Most people in Nepal are uneducated, illiterate,” says RBB chief executive Kiran Kumar Shrestha. “They don’t know how to do business, write their name or open a bank account.” In a policy review, with focus on financial inclusion, Bhubanesh Pant (PhD) emphasised the need of financial education and investment support. Credit has become much more accessible over the past few years, however, the financial institutions often don't stimulate or give guidance on investment opportunities. This results in little growth and much debt. India has faced a similar problem, where farmers eventually killed themselves in plenitude because of compounding debt due to financial illiteracy.

When I learned about these obstacles, I soon came to understand the all encompassing ban on cryptocurrencies in Nepal.. It's simply too prone for disaster.

Personal thoughts

I've been contemplating about the opportunity for non-custodial blockchain based payment apps (XUMM alike) in rural areas of developing countries like Nepal. The increasingly accessibility and affordability of internet connections and smartphones has resulted in the upsurge of adoption and usage of mobile wallets across the globe. This trend is also clearly visible in Nepal. However, the backlog in education – more specific: in financial literacy – poses, in my opinion, the biggest obstacle on the road to financial inclusion. Even considering an easy to use interface, and interoperability among multiple wallets (and the ability to pay taxes and utilities), the need for accountability and education points us in the direction of the word ''service''. In other words, there will be a need for customer support and reimbursement options when funds disappear.

In Nepal the banks have unconsciously invited tough competitors with the new Fintech mobile wallet providers. Just last week eSewa established a partnership with Malaysian Valyou to support Malaysia – Nepal remittance flows ( biggest corridor with 22% of all incoming remittances) as a cheaper alternative to the banks.

Earlier this year Himalayan Bank partnered up with Ripple to: ''.. integrate blockchain technology with online Remittance system.''

A perfect example of healthy competition.

DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) based tools will improve efficiency under the hood, while customers can expect to benefit cheaper rates and a better user experience. I believe that the competitive environment that's emerging in the financial sector will unleash a period of relentless innovation with, likely, at the end of the day, the unbanked as the big winners.

Thank you for reading;)

Let me know your thoughts @nvds888












Source [header image.](https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58f367f6d482e960c00d7586/5b285e2ff950b776fe5c0112/5c453288b8a04573760a1421/1555049376257/IMG_2667_1.jpg?format=2500w)

‘’Over 5% of Nepal’s population is highly vulnerable to human trafficking’’, says Nepal’s National Rights body. The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transfer or harboring of persons through force or deception for the purpose of exploitation.

The 1,750km open border between Nepal and India is a dream for traffickers. Every year around 35,000 Nepali women and children fall victim, and are trafficked into India to work in brothels, sweatshops, or sell their organs. After the 2015 earthquake that ravaged large parts of the country, trafficking increased with over 500%. According to various research vital push factors of human trafficking are poverty, lack of education, political instability, and civil conflict. Human trafficking is a thriving business that accounts for $150bn a year worldwide. Women and girls make up 71 percent of all modern slavery victims. Nepal is one of the most lucrative markets, and at least 54 girls and women are trafficked into India every day.

Trafficking of people is widely recognised as being a high-profit, low-risk crime. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that according to the Kathmandu Post Nepal’s unemployment rate has recently passed the 10 percent. To illustrate Nepal’s dire situation, let me quote the World Bank: ‘’At a higher line of $3.20 a day, 39 percent of the population in Nepal is estimated to be poor in 2019, a 15 percentage-point decrease from 2010. About 31.2 percent of the population that are estimated to live between $1.9 and $3.2 a day face significant risks of falling into extreme poverty, primarily because of reduced remittances, foregone earnings of potential migrants, job losses in the informal sector, and rising prices for essential commodities as a result of COVID-19’’.

This pitiful set of circumstances results in women and young girls being an easy prey for the traffickers. What might be even more disturbing is the fact that the traffickers are often familiar faces to the victims, sometimes even their own fathers. For the traffickers to be successful they have to win the victim’s trust. In order to pass the border the victims have to be manipulated enough to be willing to lie to the guards. In many cases this happens by pretending to be a boyfriend and buying the oblivious girls sparking new clothes, while promising a better life on the other side of the border. Potential victims are easily recruited in the poorer regions with high illiteracy rates. If a relative or friend turns up offering someone a job, it is often the girls’ parents themselves who encourage them to go, without realising what is really happening.

All too often trafficking is thought of as solely being a means for sexual exploitation. However that may be one of the primary destinations of the victims, trafficking is also used to supply the lucrative illegal organ market in India. Supposedly organ trafficking took really off after the 2015 earthquake, but unfortunately not much information about this predicament can be found online. To sketch you an image of the situation, I’ll use a Q&A with Rajendra Ghimire, a human rights lawyer and executive director of the Forum for Protection of People’s Rights in Kathmandu.

Interviewer: ‘’How big a problem is kidney trafficking in Nepal?’’

Rajendra Ghimire: ‘’There has not been any attempt to find out the magnitude of the problem across the country. A survey conducted in the villages of Nepal’s Kavre district sets the figure at around 150 sold a year. Due to the lack of detailed and comprehensive surveys nationwide, it is difficult to speculate the number of kidney trafficking cases in the country.’’

According to Ghimire, the trafficking between Nepal and India is relatively easy due to the open border between the two countries. ‘’Nepali people often travel to India for medical treatment and for employment, therefore it’s easy to bring a victim into India and remove his or her kidney.’’

In the Nepali village of Hokse, many residents have only one kidney. Tempted by the promise of money, they are victims of an illegal organ trade that preys on poor, illiterate villagers to meet an ever-growing demand for healthy kidneys.

In the 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report, the United States Department of State concluded that: ‘’The government of Nepal does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Nepal remained on Tier 2.’’

However, efforts are largely reliant on the many anti-trafficking NGOs. These organisations are often criticised for their impotency, and lack of transparency. Most of them are located in Kathmandu valley and have limited reach in the rural communities where many victims and the vulnerable reside. Disorder on the organisational level, lack of communication and coordination, duplication and competition amongst NGOs proves to be limiting for any anti-trafficking efforts. The problem of accountability and transparency might be the all-encompassing evil in this debacle: no reliable database of NGOs exists, and there is no way to track their activities, expenditures, and administrative costs.

This isn’t to say that all is bad. Various organisations, like, for example, Maiti Nepal, are preventing human trafficking and supporting victims everyday by spreading awareness, offering counselling and rehabilitation services, and even organising repatriation missions.

Ghimire, in her Q&A, emphasised the need for a holistic and integrated approach. ‘’I think that for Nepal’s government, education, awareness-raising activities on a community level and employment-generating activities are necessary.’’ Also, she added, that providing people with opportunities to improve their financial situation is another important aspect.

A desperate haul for money often originates at a place of no choice. .

Please make sure to check out the photographs in the ''subscriber only'' section.













Source [image](https://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/article_main_large/public/bird_16x9_3.jpg).

A dream will not become an innovation if there is no realization.

- Ciputra

The Internet ~ 62 years

Source [image](https://secureservercdn.net/

Aviation ~ 220 years

Source [image](https://www.bsea.nyc/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/sector-analysis-of-aviation-industry-3-638.jpg).

Cars ~ 120 years

Source [image](https://sharpmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/timeline_large.jpg).

Space Exploration ~ 63 years

Source [image](https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/PgGVJ6QVMSmZaIbqsOPzZaM50A_MU4OAUwKCEz_0xG1usxNsqNCO_8aBT7dEBPcDxYGFq3CNZRAbAMF_GO0wqvVcn0CzGJP3nwxOzeZo7on6Erk_diQjBLvmTUyWFgDvP_gbqS1I1GfaiUuw).

Antibiotics ~ 100 years

Source [image](https://fems-microbiology.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/AMR-timeline-EAM-scaled.jpg).

Artificial Intelligence ~ 370 years

Source [image](https://qbi.uq.edu.au/files/40697/The-Brain-Intelligent-Machines-AI-timeline.jpg).

Mobile Phone ~ 37 years

Source [image](https://www.tigermobiles.com/evolution/uploads/history-of-the-mobile-phone.jpg).

Cinema ~ 140 years

Source [image](https://williamholemedia.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/short-film-history.jpg).

Bitcoin ~ 12 years

Source [image](https://wp-blog-assets.coingate.com/2019/03/Mobile3.png).

Interledger Protocol ~ 6 years

Source [image](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZRb1l-G-rE).

ODL (On-Demand Liquidity) ~ 1.5 years

Source [image](https://zycrypto.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/On-demand-liquidity.png).

PayID ~ 1 week

Source [image](https://payid.org/).

Know what you own, and know why you own it.

- Peter Lynch

Source [header](https://www.pngkey.com/png/detail/66-661421_jackie-chan-wtf-meme-jackie-chan.png).

An introverted kid withdrew himself from the crowd. He was thinking, and needed absolute silence to give this thinking the power it required. You see, recently he found out about the crypto markets. A friend had told him about a life-altering project that would be used by all banks to send money around the world. The friend had been bragging about the incredible return he'd made by ''investing'' some of his savings into the project's coin.

''I'm as genius as Warren Buffet. If you want to make money, you better listen to me!''

But the kid knew better, and we should give him some credit for scrutinising the whole situation on his own. When his friend came to him the next day to tell him about even more profits he had made with his investment in the banking coin project, the kid simply replied with: ''Who knows what's good, and what's bad.”

''What do you mean?'' the friend asked. ''I've made a ton of money, of course it's good!''

''Who knows what's good, and what's bad.''

The next day he met with the friend again. This time he didn't look all that happy. ''What happened?'' the kid asked. ''I've lost everything..'' The kid looked his friend curiously in the eyes. ''How is that even possible?'' The friend scratched his head, and sat down on the sidewalk. ''Well, I didn't include a destination tag when I send my crypto coins to another exchange. So, I've lost everything.''

The kid took a moment to think about the matter. The previous evening, in his attempt to scrutinise the crypto-space, he had read about the so-called ''destination tags''. He remembered reading somewhere that forgetting to provide the ''destination tag'' didn't necessarily mean that funds were lost. ''Just contact the exchange, I think there's a good chance that you can get the crypto coins back.'' But, the friend didn't want to hear it.. ''It doesn't matter, I've lost everything.. This is such a disaster.''

The kid sighed, ''who knows what's good, and what's bad.''

A few weeks later the friend still hadn't heard back from the crypto exchange. He had grown used to the fact that he'd lost it all. But, then, all of the sudden, all crypto coins started to rise even higher than they'd already done before! So-called ''moon'' season was consuming all of his attention.

''If I hadn't lost it all, I would've sold it right now and made a fortune!'' – he said to the kid, while he shed a tear. The kid didn't comfort his hurting friend, but instead only replied with: ''who knows what's good, and what's bad.'' To which the friend replied furiously: ''I could've made so much more money, now I have nothing! Of course this is terrible! You are so stupid!''

Fast forward two weeks most crypto coins had surpassed the ''moon'', and were well on their way to reach ''mars'' before the week's end. Everyone was euphoric, except, of course, the friend. ''If I hadn't lost it all, I would've sold it right now and been practically royalty!'' The kid had to laugh and asked: ''If you could, hadn't you sold it two weeks ago already?'' ''No, I definitely would've kept them! But, unfortunately I have nothing, because I lost it all.. This is so bad!''

''Who knows what's good, and what's bad.''

Then, out of nowhere, the friend received an email from the crypto exchange stating that they'd recovered his crypto coins and credited them to his account. As you can probably imagine, the friend was euphoric! He was dancing and singing in the middle of the street; that's how happy he was. His crypto coins were worth more than ever before. ''So you're going to sell everything now?'' the kid asked his friend. ''No, of course not, that would be stupid! This bull-market is just starting, and I'm not planning to miss out. This is the best day of my life!'' Again, the kid conveyed his favourite sentence to his friend: ''who knows what's good, and what's bad.''

The day after the friend had reclaimed his lost crypto coins, the crypto market started to fall into a steep cliff. All of the sudden it was red all across the board. During the night, while they were asleep, his crypto holdings had depreciated with almost 50%! The kid asked his friend if he was ready to sell his crypto coins now. But, the friend didn't show the tiniest sign of doubt, and concluded that this was just a small bump in the road. The project of his investment was going to solve the global liquidity problem, what meant, according to his rationale, that it was still incredibly undervalued! Short after he made this audacious statement, the crypto markets bounced back a whole 10%. ''It's good that I didn't sell because of this small bump in the road.''

''Who knows what's good, and what's bad.''

The next day the market turned around again, and his crypto holdings depreciated another 30%. And a week later the value of his crypto holdings was even below break-even..

The friend approached the kid with tears in his eyes: ''I've lost everything.. This is terrible. Cryptocurrencies are scams, and XRP is the worst!''

To which, as you can probably guess, the kid replied:''who knows what's good, and what's bad.''




Hello everyone,

These are some pictures of our trip to Malaysia a few years ago. Due to bad weather in Nepal we couldn't finish our Annapurna hike, so we decided to book a short trip to Malaysia to catch some sun;)

Most of the pictures are taken on the north-western island: Langkawi.

Enjoy the summer vibes..

Yes, Srdan was there too;)



Source [header](https://static01.nyt.com/images/2014/08/27/opinion/27etcheson/27etcheson-superJumbo.jpg).

This month I've explored the turbulent past of Cambodia here on Coil. The atrocities that have occurred in the unstable times of the civil war, and under the control of the Khmer Rouge regime, should never be forgotten. My own thoughts about the lack of international interference in this revolting humanitarian crises became pretty much unsettling when I learned about the role of the United States, and how their impotent behavior consequential gave rise to more terror and suffering within the borders of Cambodia.

The ideological driven Khmer Rouge neglected all of human dignity, and pursued the horrific road of mass cleansing. Without any restrictions on the omnipotent dictatorship; executed by souls that lacked all of what makes one human.

Could all of this have been prevented? What if the United States actually helped the Cambodian people, instead of bombing them? Was the clash between Capitalism and Communism worth the suffering? Sadly, these are questions that will never be answered. What we can do, is to choose to learn from past mistakes, and remember the evil as to emphasize the need for scrutiny whenever early symptoms emerge.

Cambodia Chronicles Part One (Subscriber Exclusive)

In this article I re-imagined my own experiences of when I crossed the Thai/Cambodian border a few years ago. The change of atmosphere upon crossing the border was staggering.. Is it fair to say that Cambodia is still haunted by its horrific past?

Click here.

Cambodia Chronicles Part Two (Subscriber Exclusive)

In this second article of the Cambodia Chronicles series I explored the rise of the Khmer Rouge, and what signified their ideology. How could it be that such a futile political party triumphed?

Click here.

Cambodia Chronicles Part Three (Wordless Wednesday)

In line with the Wordless Wednesday tradition on Coil, I've published a recollection of pictures that highlights the tone during the Khmer Rouge reign in Cambodia. Subscribers have access to a photo collection of re-enacted atrocities on the National Day of Remembrance (2019).

Click here.

First Meeting With the Khmer Rouge

After the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accord, the United Nations was called upon to ''restore peace and civil government'' in Cambodia. Under leadership of the famous UN diplomat, Sergio Vieira de Mello, a small group of UN officials set out to meet with senior Khmer Rouge officials for the very first time. Was the meeting a success?

Click here.

Source [header.](https://myhero.com/images/guest/g267232/hero92965/sergio.jpg)

In charge of UNTAC's repatriation mission in Cambodia, Vieira de Mello emphasized the importance of establishing contact with all involved parties; this included the Khmer Rouge.

After Vietnam had left the country in 1989, the Hun Sen government continued in control. However, most of the Cambodian population opposed this as they saw Hun Sen as an extension of the Vietnamese (he came into power in 1985).

After the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accord, the UN was called upon to: ''restore peace and civil government in a country ruined by decades of civil war and Cold War machinations, to hold free and fair elections leading to a new constitution and to “kick-start” the rehabilitation of the country''.

Not an easy task for the United Nations, and the first time that they took over an independent state, and organised and run elections.

Sergio Vieira de Mello. [Source.](https://allthatsinteresting.com/thumb/1200.633.https://allthatsinteresting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/sergio-vieira-de-mello-og.jpg)

For only $5,– a month you can become a Coil subscriber & read about the first official visit by international staff to the Khmer Rouge area.


In line with the Wordless Wednesday tradition here on Coil, I've gathered some photographs that clearly illustrate Cambodia's haunting circumstances during/after the occupation of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Subscribers have access to a series of pictures in which Cambodian actors re-enacted atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge.

Child soldiers of the Khmer Rouge show off their machine guns.

A family of starving refugees struggle to make their way across the border to Thailand.

A crowd gathers around a civilian killed by the Khmer Rouge.

At the twilight of the Cambodian Civil War, the people of Phnom Penh start to evacuate, as the burning gasoline depot behind them signals the arrival of the Khmer Rouge.

Young refugees hide under tall grass, escaping from the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge.

This photograph shows forced laborers digging canals in Kampong Cham province, part of the massive agrarian infrastructure the Khmer Rouge planned for the country.

The Vietnamese overthrew Pol Pot, too, driving the leader to the Thai border where he continued to head the Khmer Rouge in the jungles.

The Khmer Rouge sought to rid Cambodia of all Western influences that distracted its people from their agrarian calling. Cars, abandoned and forbidden, were stacked up alongside the road.

An exhumed mass grave, pictured in 1981, in the Cambodian countryside reveals the skeletons of those executed and buried together under Pol Pot's regime.

Without backing from the Soviet Union, Vietnam could no longer afford to keep its troops in a state of indefinite occupation in Cambodia. In September 1989, Vietnamese troops withdrew from Phnom Penh