Africa day: cryptocurrencies as a resource for the continent
Africa day: cryptocurrencies as a resource for the continent
Crypto

Africa day: cryptocurrencies as a resource for the continent

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 25 May 2020

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Today is Africa Day, the anniversary celebrating the founding of the Organization of African Unity, where 30 African states joined in what has since been called the African Union. 

It was May 25th, 1963, and the treaty was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Africa day: what is the relationship with crypto?

To date, the African continent seems to be a promising ground for the use of cryptocurrencies.

This is for several reasons, the first of which is that the majority of the unbanked live here, i.e. people without a bank account, and who would find a quick way to overcome the obstacles imposed in the banking world through the simplicity of cryptocurrencies. 

It is no coincidence that one of the countries in the world most interested in Bitcoin, at least according to Google Trends, is Nigeria. There are also, but to a lesser extent, searches for the word Bitcoin in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco and Ghana. 

By analyzing the searches for the word blockchain, there is a strong interest in Nigeria, and to a lesser extent also in the other states mentioned above. Algeria can be added to the list.

According to a recent report by Arcane Research and Luno, 11% of Nigerians and 13% of the inhabitants of South Africa have cryptocurrencies. This is a figure above the world average of 7%. 

However, Africa is very deficient in terms of mining infrastructure, which is practically non-existent, and in terms of territory where merchants accept cryptocurrency payments, with very few cases. 

Moreover, even the spread of technologies such as smartphones is not yet so massive. In short, the infrastructure is lacking, as are the services related to cryptocurrencies. However, the political and economic contexts of the African continent make it a sort of land of conquest

In conclusion, it is no coincidence that the report says: 

“Africa is one of, if not the most promising region for the adoption of cryptocurrencies due to its unique combination of economic and demographic trends. There is no doubt that the continent still requires significant investment in crypto-specific infrastructure such as exchanges as well as its internet and electricity networks. However, this underdevelopment presents a large opportunity for projects and companies to take advantage of, building out the necessary infrastructure and adopting go-to-market strategies similar to the projects discussed in this report. We already see a lot of growth related to cryptocurrency in Africa and expect this development to accelerate in the years ahead”.

The interest in Bitcoin in Africa has been represented in a documentary entitled “Banking on Africa, The Bitcoin Revolution“, which will be broadcast on Amazon Prime Video.

It will be necessary to see how regulation will affect the disruptive spread of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in this continent. 

 

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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