A large number of African countries have accepted the potentials inherent in the use of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. Recently, African countries are looking for ways to make use of the blockchain technology to the benefits of its citizens. Digital currency has offered economically down countries a chance to redeem themselves. With the aid of cryptocurrencies and its underlying technology, African countries will have a access to an easy financial life, security and privacy of funds, faith in a common medium of exchange even with countries outside Africa, and aid many across Africa.
There has been an increase in crypto-based startups in several countries in Africa like Avesta in Guinea, Sure Remit in Nigeria, BitPesa in Kenya and so many others. Many remittance services have been created as an alternative to Western Union and other money transfer services. Even at that, many Africans are yet to come in terms with the many advantages the crypto space has come to offer: Security, reliability, privacy, easy access to funds, fast transaction and so many others. This notion or mentality is denying so many of the financial freedom other individuals from other continents are seemingly enjoying.
Some startups in Africa have been to able to provide better solutions to the initial solution provided by bitcoin. For example, bitcoin transaction time/confirmation time is about 600 seconds while that of Avesta is just about 10 seconds. So many other cryptocurrencies created and established by African startups are yet to break through totally because Africans are yet to adopt this new phase of Technology.
Although there have been talks of countries who would like to make use of Blockchain in the preservation wildlife and nature, there has also been an issue of when to adopt the use of the technology. If Africa can totally immense itself into the world of cryptocurrency there will be some progress made in the financial structure of each individual country.
Challenges faced by Cryptocurrency In Africa
Adoption of cryptocurrency in Africa has been low. A lot of Africans are either unaware, reluctant to invest in cryptocurrency or afraid of the risks. It happens that countries with a high level of inflation and currency regulations seem not to like the idea of cryptocurrency. This could be attributed to volatile nature of cryptocurrency ( regular yet unplanned high and fall in price and value).
However, in the last 12 months or more, the African market has seen and experienced its share of exchange platforms and trading sites. These sites seek to provide Africans with a safe and cheap way of efficiently trading and processing transactions. A lot of these exchanges have gone to the extent of setting up offices in several African countries with the aim of serving better due to the increasing demand of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
In East Africa, local innovators have introduced cryptocurrency systems to support cross-border transactions, as exemplified by initiatives like BitPesa. In South Africa, cryptocurrencies are becoming particularly popular. In Nigeria, local traders and activists believe this new money presents an opportunity to democratize the economy. This is propelled by the fact that people in Nigeria have been failed by conventional money.
While several exchanges offer conventional payment methods, such as bank transfers and account top-ups, a few platforms, like BTCGhana, provide local users and the underbanked population simpler methods of purchasing and selling Bitcoin.
Other Platforms like Avesta offer features in cheap and fast transaction time with a bonus of low fees. Miners can also use the platform in creating new currencies without the fear of disrupting the system in place.
Africa has lots to offer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, simply because Africa needs an alternative to the weak and not-always-available nor reliable local African fiat money. All products of cryptocurrencies will be well-embraced if promoted in Africa. The current vacuum for alternative means of payment in Africa is obvious.
Cryptocurrency is not just a solution to the plight of the ‘unbanked’. Rather, it is a method for allowing economically or politically subjugated populations to control their own wealth. Non-fiat digital currency can bring millions of people into a secure and person-driven global economy.
Cryptocurrency is a fast-evolving, complex phenomenon that in our view will have a major impact on power and wealth distribution in the global economy and on the African continent. Let Africa thrive!