Cash Not Accepted

Season #1 Episode #8

The utopian future of blockchain promises a future of more inclusion for the underserved and unbanked. But in a world where it’s been reported that 9% of accounts hold 80% of the NFT market and 2% of accounts hold 95% of Bitcoin - is inequality being solved?

Blockchain technology has created new opportunities for emerging markets, including digital finance solutions to help communities access affordable credit, insurance, and savings in the informal economy.

Today we’re excited to be joined by Sofie Blakstad, founder of hiveonline to talk about the financial inclusion gap and how they are giving rural smallholder farmers access to credit and markets through decentralized finance.

In this conversation, Sofie and I talk about the complex barriers that have kept so much of the world’s population unbanked and without access to financial services, why infrastructure matters, what decentralized finance means, and why it’s a good solution for creating access, how hiveonline leverages existing social systems to work with local cooperatives and farmers in Mozambique, the opportunities to connect DeFi with centralized banking systems, and more.


Welcome Sofie Blakstad

Sofie’s accidental entry into technology and banking

How lack of infrastructure impacts populations

The complex reasons why many people around the world remain unbanked

Bridging the financial inclusion gap with decentralized finance (DeFi)

Why Sofie wanted to focus on working with cooperatives in Africa

How DeFi reduces costs for end users

Some of the issues with preexisting FinTech solutions

Leveraging existing social systems to allow access without infrastructure

The founding premise of Hiveonline

How traditional savings groups work

Connecting DeFi with centralized banking systems

Hiveonline’s plans to digitize alternative value systems

The difficulty with validating whether protocols and ecosystems are truly green



Sofie Blakstad on Twitter

Key terms

  • Decentralized finance (DeFi): a major growth sector in blockchain that offers peer-to-peer (P2P) financial services and technologies built on protocols such as Ethereum, Cardano, Polkadot, and Solana. DeFi loans, investments, trades and swaps are typically transparent, permissionless, trustless, and interoperable.
  • Smart contract: a self-executing code or protocol that carries out a set of instructions verified on the blockchain. These contracts are trustless, autonomous, decentralized, and transparent; they are irreversible and unmodifiable once deployed.

Definition source:

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