Cryptocurrencies is the next foretold revolution that will hit the African continent by storm. Experts believe that the economic climates of Africa will give cryptocurrencies an ample opportunity to thrive. Interest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and other digital assets are on the rise in Africa.
At the backend of most cryptocurrencies is a simple technology known as “Blockchain”, a system residing in multiple computers that allows for peer-to-peer financial ledger recording of all transactions occurring in a network. This results in a transparent open-access registry of monetary flows which makes the intermediation of banking authorities unnecessary. Thus it challenges the conventional belief that money can only work through central planning.
Conventional money or fiat currencies are managed by central bodies and banks, with users on the receiving end of monetary policy decisions. By contrast, most alternative currencies are peer-to-peer. That means they are managed by users themselves and do not require intermediaries. Some of them have global outreach thanks to digital technology, while others are locally based.
Most developing economies in Africa are embracing this change and are making the most of it,
Here are the Top 5 African Countries Using Cryptocurrencies
Zimbabwe, the collapse of the country’s formal financial system has made Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies an attractive alternative. This is especially the case for online payments, which are restricted by banks, and for remittances, which constitute the backbone of the economy. The hyperinflation in 2008 has swept through the country leaving people with no other alternative than to use cryptocurrencies in Zimbabwe.
A growing number of Zimbabweans are also using cryptocurrencies as a saving mechanism. BitFinance, a Harare-based online portal that allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin using mobile money, says 37 percent of its customers use the digital currency for savings.
For Africa’s largest economy, the decline in oil prices during the past couple of years has depleted the biggest source by far of foreign earnings and put downward pressure on its currency, the naira. In an attempt to fight the depreciation of the Country’s currency the government has limited the amount of naira converted into dollars, this has caused a downward spiral and placed business owners with an inability to buy business components for their business.
Despite warning from the Central bank of Nigeria about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin “are not legal tender in Nigeria” and will become subject to “substantive regulation,” trading has been rising significantly. Nigeria are leading the Blockchain tech innovation in Africa with Blockchain companies like Satowallet, making the exchange and trade of cryptocurrency a click away. Nigeria is gradually growing to be of the countries in Africa using cryptocurrencies.
While a host of other countries are banning cryptocurrencies, Tunisia became the first country to legalize the use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Tunisia became the first country worldwide to use Blockchain technology for supply of its currency, the dinar, via a platform built by Monetas.
The people of Ghana have always been on the totem end of the pole overland grabbing and land theft, Bitland came on scene. Helping people protects their land registry on the blockchain. Bitland has paved the way for the cryptocurrency market in Ghana and has made Ghana one of the African countries to use cryptocurrencies
Big players are continuing to roll out cryptocurrency services in South Africa, from international exchanges to major asset managers.
While the country may fall behind in other sectors of cutting-edge technology, South Africa’s cryptocurrency industry is alive and well.
Locals have shown a great interest in cryptocurrencies, with South Africa consistently ranking highest worldwide in search interest for “Bitcoin”, according to data from Google Trends.
Despite mainstream interest declining since the massive drop in digital currency prices, many startups and companies are looking to cryptocurrency and the technology behind it.
International organisations are looking to the South African market to launch cryptocurrency services, and local players are beginning to build global products.
In conclusion, the cryptocurrency interest across Africa is growing and it is an exciting news for the Continent but one of the major constraints still faced by cryptocurrency enthusiast in Africa is access to internet just a little above 22% of Africa has access to good internet services, while this can cause an impediment to the mass adoption of cryptocurrency but there still hope that cryptocurrency and blockchain has a major to play in the infrastructural development of Africa.