Connecting Tradition and Innovation
In September 2023 we initiated an exciting project pilot with Ammer Group, Impact Market, Celo Foundation, and the Peruvian NGO Agape Hands to bring Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) and microcredits to empower a community in Tarma, Peru.
Financial inclusion and poverty are critical issues in Peru, affecting millions of its citizens. Access to formal financial services has historically been limited in Peru, particularly in rural areas.

Limited financial literacy is an obstacle to financial inclusion. Many Peruvians, especially in remote regions, lack the knowledge to make responsible financial decisions or take advantage of available services.

Poverty has been a persistent issue in Peru, approximately 60% of households in Peru continue to lack essential services, including but not limited to access to drinking water, sanitation, electricity, and internet.

The adoption of cryptocurrencies in Peru is still in its early stages and faces a number of challenges, including regulatory uncertainty, lack of awareness, and financial stability concerns. Despite these challenges, there was potential for cryptocurrencies to address financial inclusion issues. Initiatives like our project in Tarma could help raise awareness of cryptocurrencies and their potential benefits in underserved communities.

Community: Cochas Bajo, Tarma, in the Peruvian Andes

Cochas Bajo is a rural community located in the district of Tarma, within the department of Junin. Cochas Bajo is home to a predominantly indigenous population, largely of Quechua descent.

Cochas Bajo primarily relies on agriculture, with subsistence farming being a common livelihood. Economic opportunities have traditionally been limited, contributing to the high poverty rates in this region.

Beneficiaries: 36 women and 14 men were selected by the NGO Agape Hands to receive the UBI. Regarding age groups: 3 people between 18 and 29, 26 between 30 and 49, and 21 people over 50. Yes, we are talking about grannies transacting crypto (the first cashless transaction in their lives, by the way) in a small rural village in the Peruvian Andes.

Merchants: Two women between the ages of 18 and 29 were selected to receive microcredit and invest it in their businesses. They received an Ammer Cards PoS (Point of Sales) device to enable beneficiaries to easily spend their UBI.

Early Concerns and Learned Lessons: Initially, beneficiaries expressed apprehension about transaction fees. However, as the pilot progressed, they discovered CUSD fees were minimal, enabling smaller, more frequent purchases. This newfound knowledge transformed how they managed their UBI.

Success and Stories to Share: The 3-month pilot showed promising results. Beneficiaries actively participated, making purchases and learning valuable financial skills.

We look forward to empowering more communities, bringing financial inclusion and the freedom to share value.