The Journey of Bitcoin in Africa
Published on: April 20, 2021 12:18 (EAT)
As of recently, the percentage of cryptocurrency transactions is growing exponentially in Africa. There are many reasons for the growth, for example, Africa has always been a continent that has embraced mobile banking and the idea of a virtual currency. This is the reason why Africa is now standing at the brink of an economic revolution. All because of digital banking and now – cryptocurrency. The African population had already sown the seeds of this boom – as the population was always interested in technology. This curiousness has manifested in a profitable manner where analysts see a great future on hold for Africa which can push it up from the shackles of poverty. Here is an interesting timeline of the journey of Bitcoin in Africa. The journey of Bitcoin in Africa started when the Africans realized that they have no way of keeping a check of their assets and transferring money across cities or countries. So much so that around 60% of the population in Africa had no access to a bank account. Therefore, it was known as the “unbanked continent” of the world. Alternative to Mobile Banking Consequently, people started to look around for an alternative to conventional branch banking. The search led them to do the discovery of mobile banking as the Africans were already involved in tech, they had no resistance in adapting to the mode of mobile banking. Along the way, Africans realized that the banks always wavered off some of that money as a transaction fee. Moreover, the process of sending money through the bank was often delayed and expensive. On the other hand, bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies had no such fee and the transactions were fastest, as there were no weekend holidays. Moreover, people who had to send money to their families as remittances had to go through lengthy procedures, and a considerable chunk of that money was spent on traveling and transaction fees which was problematic. Accessibility of Bitcoin Considering the accessibility of the Bitcoin and the terrible performance of the Rand, even the African investors revised their strategies towards cryptocurrencies. They began to dig more into how cryptocurrencies work and the dynamics of cryptocurrency trading. Some used their expertise, and some took help from AI trading websites like Oil Profit. Similarly, the young population of Africa started to show interest in the cryptocurrency. Due to the unemployment and poverty – they started to look up to people who traded in bitcoins and earned money. This fascination led to an interesting revelation. Google revealed that in 2019, Africa had the greatest frequency of searches for the word “Bitcoin”. Consequently, due to the reputation of cryptocurrency, many investors and entrepreneurs started to look towards ideas that could utilize this hype. A consequence of it manifested in Nigeria – as the government drafted guidelines for the usage of the cryptocurrency in organizations and startups. So that the people could make use of this opportunity and the government could overlook the results. Conclusion: The journey of Bitcoin has been tremendous in Africa, which started from the curiosity of the public for technology and their deprivation of a proper banking system. As they got their hands on mobile banking and started to utilize it as their daily driver to send money and keep track of their assets, they quickly realized that mobile banking was not profitable for them. As the banks always charged huge sums of money for the transactions. This, along with the performance of the Rand against the dollar and other currencies led people to look up to cryptocurrencies. Slowly and steadily the investors took some plunges and now have started to incorporate Bitcoin into their businesses. Even though Africa has a long way to go, experts say that Africa will see a boom in its economy because of cryptocurrency trading that has picked up its pace in the recent past.