So first off for those who don’t know, what is unbanked.

Unbanked is simply not having a bank account. The reason for this could be

  • Financial institutions often have steep entry barriers for people without much cash, such as minimum deposit requirements, fees, and other upfront costs. For example. At Bank of America, one of the biggest banks in America, the monthly maintenance fee is $12 for an advantage plus checking account, which can only be waived by a minimum monthly deposit of $250, or maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more.
  • Not having a valid ID
  • Not having adequate transportation to a bank branch
  • Being disabled, there is a lot of people who are disabled enough to make virtually no money. But they are smart enough to use a bank account if they wanted to. But due to the situation they are in, they can’t have one. It could literally be stupid legal stuff like guardianship. This being abused or not by the person overseeing them.
  • Distrust the bank/gov. Keep in mind the gov can freeze your bank account for basically any reason at any time. Clearing that up can be a nightmare.
  • ID theft. Like you are clearing that up.
  • And a number of other reasons.

As far as myself, I haven’t had a bank account since about the housing crisis in 2008 timeframe. But my reason was more the fees screwing me over because I was living in poverty. I got tired of them fucking me over, having to call and beg, and so on.


Here is a good article to get an idea on what to do for day to day.

The biggest rule is live within your scope. Like do everything to avoid debt. Loans while not impossible. It’s best to just avoid them unless if it’s a loan by a friend/family. Credit cards is possible, but again it’s better to not.


So, how to buy crypto while being unbanked

  1. You can use crypto ATM
  2. P2P
  3. Prepaid card
  4. If you live in an area that accepted crypto to a point. You might be able to do given jobs with the payment of crypto

SIDE NOTE: Depending on who you talk to is depending on if someone views this as a bank. But Fidelity has a cash management account. This has 0 fees, free to have, no minimums, and you get a free debt card. If I remember right, it’s prepaid. Anyways, technically this isn’t a bank account but you get all the functions of one without all the BS fees.


How does someone unbanked offramp their crypto (cash out)

There is honestly 3 ways that I know of.

  1. You can obviously try to buy goods and services directly with crypto.
  2. You can buy prepaid cards with crypto. I never used them, but there is some places that does this. Just DYOR to make sure you won’t be scammed. It might be a good idea if you use this to buy a local prepaid card with another. One you know it most likely hasn’t been screwed with.
  3. If you’re OK with KYC then some exchanges have cards. Most use prepaid debit cards.


Thing to note:

  1. ALL prepaid cards are is actually a debit card linked to a bank account. However, unlike a regular debit card that is linked to its holder’s checking account, a prepaid card is linked to a special account to which the card’s owner cannot deposit money, only withdraw it. Some cards do allow for refunds. If not, the shop will need to give you cash or another prepaid card.
  2. When you give your money to a bank account. It isn’t yours anymore. When you use an exchange card, your crypto becomes not yours. So they can freeze your card/account like a bank can.
  3. It is near impossible to freeze a prepaid card. Like if the gov knows about it or finds it. Then obviously they can take it. But without KYC, it’s pretty much impossible for them to know you have a prepaid card or not.

Again, if you are in an area that allows for it and just unbanked to avoid the fees. Check out Fidelity cash management accounts. Just note that you will still have to jump through hoops on some exchanges. Note 2 under thing to note.

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