January 7, 2020; Vice
According to the most recent federal data, as of 2017, an estimated 14.1 million US adults lack bank accounts and another 48.9 million US adults are “underbanked,” meaning that many rely on check-cashing and payday loan services that charge ultra-high interest rates to meet financial needs.
More than one in four Americans lack adequate access to credit. Nationally, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reports that 6.5 percent of households are unbanked and 18.7 percent are underbanked.
How can this be remedied? One option that NPQ has covered would be to activate the US postal system to provide limited banking services, a practice that is common in other countries and was practiced in the US itself from 1911 to 1967. At the federal level, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has been a leading advocate.
Now comes a more high-tech option. As Jordana Rosenfeld reports in Vice, “In November, New York State Assembly member Ron Kim, Senator Julia Salazar, and Robert Hockett—a Cornell law professor— announced their Inclusive Value Ledger (IVL) proposal.” The bill is numbered Assembly Ordinance 8686, with a parallel measure (Senate Ordinance 6792) in the state senate. The bill, if passed, “would create the country’s first publicly owned electronic banking platform, as well as a digital currency that can be exchanged for goods and services within the state.”
In a public statement, Kim said:
I believe that our…