- The company will provide 100 Chicagoans with $500 a month, financial education, a fee-free bank account and a Visa debit card
- As for future programs, FTX.US and the city are exploring ways to support Chicago residents with global remittances
The US subsidiary of Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX has made Chicago its headquarters and will pilot a program focused on helping the city’s underbanked communities.
FTX.US President Brett Harrison told Blockworks that some of the largest exchanges, trading firms, hedge funds, fintechs and venture capital firms are based in Chicago, making it an ideal — albeit competitive — place to recruit.
The company’s goal is to provide financial relief and economic mobility to residents of the less affluent boroughs of Austin, Englewood and West Garfield Park.
FTX.US is partnering with nonprofit organization Equity and Transformation (EAT) in a year-long program to offer 100 Chicagoans $500 in additional income, financial literacy education, a fee-free bank account and a Visa debit card.
The move follows FTX.US’ closing of a $400 million Series A round in January that valued the company at around $8 billion.
The initiative builds on Chicago Resilient Communities Pilota $31.5 million city pledge to address pervasive poverty.
According to Samir Mayekar, Chicago’s Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development, the program, which provides $500 a month for a year to 5,000 Chicagoans, is the largest municipal cash assistance program in the United States.
“Really focusing on bringing their products and services to those in need in Chicago is a very innovative way to showcase some of the unique benefits of blockchain technology in a way that can make a difference here in local neighborhoods. Mayekar told Blockworks.
An academic partner will conduct a research study examining the impact of the $500 monthly payments and financial inclusion services on residents’ financial stability and economic mobility.
“We’re going to study this program and see if it’s a viable, scalable program to continue on a larger scale in this city,” Harrison said.
Going forward, FTX and the city are exploring an additional program that would focus on how it could support Chicago residents with global remittances that could launch before the end of the year.
Chicago is an “immigrant-friendly” city with many residents sending money to families in other countries, Mayekar said. He added that such transactions can come with fees of 20% or more.
“If you look at a remittance pilot and leverage the power of the FTX platform to perform virtually zero-fee cross-border cash transfers, where you can also hedge against volatile currencies, it could be incredibly powerful,” Mayekar said.
The Post FTX Rolls Out Program To Support Underbanked Chicago Communities is not financial advice.
Source: Crypto News Austria