Connect with us

Bitcoin

Could Bitcoin Become the First Pan-African Currency?

Published

on

Pan African Currency

Bitcoin is the world’s first truly global currency that anyone can use to make payments and transfer funds. In Africa, bitcoin has so far been growing primarily in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana and is currently being used mainly as an investment and for private international remittances. But does it have the potential to become the first pan-African currency?

Here are some reasons as to why people believe that Bitcoin, will be the leading global currency.

  • Anyone with Internet access can use bitcoin
  • Bitcoin is not controlled by any government or central bank
  • Payments and money transfers take less than 30 minutes
  • The cost of a bitcoin money transfers is minimal
  • Transactions are transparent as they are publicly recorded on the blockchain
  • There is a fixed supply of bitcoins, so hyperinflation cannot occur

Bitcoin remittances in Africa

While, in theory, bitcoin remittances make sense in Africa the reality is that there is the (partly) costly challenge of exchanging the received bitcoins into local African currency. For this reason, bitcoin remittances are currently not the cheapest way to remit funds into Africa, according to a report by US bank Citigroup. However, as exchanges are expanding and the bitcoin economy is growing in Africa, bid/offer spreads will tighten and bitcoin remittances will become a viable way to transfer money across borders at a low cost.

There will be an increase in money remitted to sub-Saharan Africa from people in the diaspora. Western Union and MoneyGram have been the main beneficiaries of it. This is one of the key reason why so many people in the bitcoin economy believe that bitcoin will succeed in Africa, as the costs of cryptocurrency-based remittances are substantially lower than using the before-mentioned expensive traditional Money TransferOperatorss (MTOs).

So far, consumer bitcoin remittances into Africa have only really taken place on a small scale as can be seen in the video by BitcoinFilm.org below. But as the bitcoin infrastructure improves in Africa, the trend for bitcoin remittances will undoubtedly be positive.

 

Bitcoin as a store of wealth and as a spending currency

Once bitcoin volatility reduces (which arguably will take quite some time) bitcoin will very likely become a viable store of wealth. Furthermore, as merchant adoption increase both globally and in Africa (as seen in South Africa), Africans will be able to use bitcoin as means of payment across the continent. The reality is, however, that it will take a substantially amount of time for this to occur.

In fact, bitcoin adoption correlates to some degree with Internet penetration in Africa. It is not surprising that the countries with the highest Internet penetration are also those spearheading bitcoin adoption on the continent. As affordable access to the Internet spreads in Africa, so will bitcoin as a store of wealth, a means to transfer money and as a spending currency.

To answer the question in the title of this article: YES, bitcoin could become the first pan-African currency. This could occur once internet penetration reaches the majority of the continent and global bitcoin adoptions increases, to the extent where it becomes globally recognized as legal tender. Whether that will happen or not, remains to be seen and, if it does, it will take a long time.

 

 

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Almost a Quarter of High-Tech Consumers in South Africa Now Own Cryptocurrency

Published

on

High-Tech Consumers in South Africa

A new study titled “Digital Lifestyle Measure report” conducted by MBIT found that 23 percent of high-tech consumers in South Africa own at least one cryptocurrency, with bitcoin being the most common holding. 

New Report Shows High-Tech Consumers Hold Crypto

In the”Digital Lifestyle Measure report” report, each level of tech consumer (high, medium, and low) was grouped according to DM segmentation. A high-tech consumer is identified and tagged as a “DLM5 consumer”, and for the low-tech consumers, a “DLM1 consumer” was used. 

To place each of the participants in the right groups, the survey made use of a question and answer (Q&A) method. Each person was categorised according to how well they were able to answer the provided questions. The questions mostly focused on their private digital lifestyle and technological gadgets they own and can operate well.

The result of this survey shows that only six percent of the low-tech consumers (DLM 1) own crypto, while 23 percent of high tech consumers own cryptocurrencies. The remaining percentage was then shared in the order: DLM 2: seven percent, DLM 3: twelve percent, and DLM 4: eight percent.

cryptoThe report also stated that of the DML5 population, about 42 perfect of them are of the notion that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Same goes for 30 percent of the DLM 4 consumers group.

Conversely, 41 percent of the low-tech consumers (DLM1 consumers) did not know what cryptocurrencies are all about, according to IOL

From the DLM 3 consumer group, about 34 percent of them cannot say what the future looks like for cryptocurrencies but 26 percent of them claimed cryptocurrencies to be the “future of financial transacting.”

The report has further shown that high tech consumers who are continually paying for something electronically, are more likely to buy crypto in the long run.

Based on the google trends data, South Africa currently has the highest levels of interest in bitcoin across the world. Hence, it should come as no surprise that tech-savvy South Africans are the ones investing in digital currencies and tokens. 

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Ecobank Report: Most African Regulators Are Taking a “Wait and See” Approach to Cryptocurrency Regulation

Published

on

African Regulators

While there has been a substantial increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Africa compared to three years ago, there has been minimal effort from African countries to try and regulate cryptocurrencies despite their increased use in various African nations according to a new report by Ecobank.

Ecobank tracked “the current state of cryptocurrency regulation in all markets in Sub-Saharan Africa” through the regulatory responses that have been issued by central banks or financial regulators. In the report, the pan-African bank found that most African regulators are taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to cryptocurrency regulation.

The report stated: “Many African governments and regulators recognise both the risks and the potential positive impacts of cryptocurrencies, and some also appreciate the difference between cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology. But they have been reticent in authorising cryptocurrency transactions, and mostly remain apprehensive about the potential risks. African countries appear to be looking to their neighbours to regulate and innovate first, and learn from their mistakes, rather than being the first mover.”

The reported noted that the main reason why African governments were being skeptical about licensing the use of cryptocurrencies was their citizens getting overexposed to cryptocurrency investments and there being a future crash that would cause a ripple effect in the broader economy.

African Regulators’ Stance

African RegulatorsOut of the 39 jurisdictions surveyed, more than 21 countries in the region are yet to make a public declaration on the use of cryptocurrencies.

So far, there have been three countries that have taken a stance on cryptocurrency. Namibia tops the list having banned the commercial use of digital currencies. However, South Africa and Swaziland are the only two countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that have adopted “a generally favourable and permissive stance, but without full legality”.

The remaining countries fall somewhere in between and “refuse” to directly regulate cryptocurrencies claiming that bitcoin and other digital currencies “operate in the grey area between legality and illegality” and have issued warnings to their citizens and investors against using or investing in them. The bank also noted that conversations regarding the speculative nature and instability of cryptocurrency prices have overshadowed their benefits and the potential they bring.

The bank went ahead to note: “Unfortunately, the spectacular rise and fall in the traded value of cryptocurrencies has drowned out broader discussion on the potential benefits this new technology could bring. The transformational impact that could be delivered by tokenising products and services on the blockchain has been compared to that of the Internet. Crypto tokens and currencies could enable consumers to transact instantly, cross-border and for free, provide them with KYC-compliant digital IDs, and incentivise their behaviour and change the way they engage with governments & service providers.”

Ecobank will continue to track cryptocurrency regulation in Sub-Saharan Africa and provide regular updates that will reflect the regulation progress in the African nations.

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Paxful Continues #BuiltWithBitcoin Charitable Initiative in Africa with the Construction of a Second School

Published

on

#BuiltWithBitcoin

Peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Paxful announced the newest chapter in its #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative: the construction of a school in Rwanda – for students aged six to fifteen – in the Nyamata Sector of Rwanda’s Bugesera District. This will be the second bitcoin-funded school that Paxful has raised funds for.

bitcoinContinuing its partnership with NGO Zam Zam Water, Paxful has kickstarted the project with a $20,000 donation. The total construction cost of the school is estimated to be $100,000. The remaining balance, Paxful hopes, will be raised through its fundraising campaign.

Donations can be made via Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash.  Paxful will match all community donations until the $100,000 goal is met.

“The #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative is a testament to the power of cryptocurrency,” said Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful. He added:

“We firmly believe that it can improve lives and make the world a better place.”

The planned school is expected to be almost twice the size of the first bitcoin-funded school and will serve up to 300 primary school students upon completion. Furthermore, the school will include a cafeteria, a 35,000-liter potable water well, solar panels for sustainability, and many other resources for the education and enjoyment of students, staff, and faculty, according to a company press release.

“Education is a crucial tool for helping those in developing nations increase their standard of living, so we are very pleased to partner with Paxful to serve these bright young students,” said Yusuf A. Nessary, founder and president of Zam Zam Water. He added:

“This is only a small glimpse into what we can and will continue to do with the power of cryptocurrency.”

Paxful began the #BuiltwithBitcoin initiative in 2017 to promote philanthropy and charity within the cryptocurrency industry. The company plans to construct 100 African schools, as well as donate money for wells and other projects.

To contribute to #BuiltwithBitcoin, send all donations to Zam Zam Water:

BTC (Bitcoin): 3Q5CESP85hhXTLSy2HDbSyNchb5Bi8D7ku
BCH (Bitcoin Cash): 15YGniLxo77kfMUWGoRNT6ShUQC93MvaXg

Continue Reading

Popular Posts