Cryptocurrency/Blockchain in Africa

This article was first published on Move Around Africa’s Website

Cryptocurrency is fast gaining ground in Africa. Although it has been received with a fair amount of scepticism, if the social media is anything to go by, there are those who swear by cryptocurrencies. Let us take a look at cryptocurrency in Africa

What are cryptocurrency and blockchain?

The blockchain is defined as a ‘continuously growing chain list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography’. The blocks point back to a previous block and the chain grows

One could be forgiven for thinking cryptocurrency in Africa is a completely foreign concept; because it is. When anyone speaks to people about alternative currencies, they are bound to cause brows to rise

Cryptocurrency Market in the World

There are governments that will have nothing to do with cryptocurrency and have banned it. Other countries have elected to keep a close eye on it and have regulations in place. Yet others have fully embraced cryptocurrency and have laws that encourage it.

There is no union or organization that has been formed to address cryptocurrencies on a global platform, so each government is free to deal with it as they deem fit.

Cryptocurrency/Blockchain in Africa

The African market has witnessed a lot of Bitcoin exchanges which aim at providing efficient, but cheap trading services. That should go a long way in getting more people on board.

The Future of Cryptocurrency/ Blockchain in Africa

Countries like Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe utilize the Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency/blockchain in Kenya

This east African country is known for Bitpesa. It allows users to send funds to individuals and business using the mobile money service known as MPesa. This service supports cross-border transactions. Blockchain in Africa may be headed for better times yet.

Cryptocurrency/blockchain in South Africa

A 2017 report alleges that at least 66% of South Africans are open to Bitcoins, with reasons ranging from faster payments to investment options. Bidorbuy is to South Africa what Bitpesa is to Kenya. Bidorbuy is a huge online marketplace which accepts cryptocurrency as a payment option. More than one thousand businesses in South Africa accept Bitcoin as a measure of currency.

Investing in Africa by Africans may depend on the strength of the economy and the attitudes towards investment. The attitude towards cryptocurrency as an investment or trading to seem to have picked in South Africa.

Cryptocurrency/blockchain in Ghana

Ghana can be credited with taking cryptocurrency in Africa to the next level in via Ghana Dot Com. Beam is Ghana’s major Bitcoin Startup. Users have their money paid straight to their mobile wallets.

The other service that has made some headway is Kitiwa which came about in June 2017.

Cryptocurrency/blockchain in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is not known for a strong economy. If anything, it is known for having one of the weakest in the world. The presence of Bitcoin in Zimbabwe tells you how far cryptocurrency in Africa has spread

There are two Bitcoin services in Zimbabwe known as Bitfundi and BitMari. Quite a number of Zimbabweans are on board using these platforms to save through cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency/blockchain in Nigeria

Nigeria is credited with pioneering cryptocurrency in Africa. The service they use here is known as the BitXechage. Despite the popularity of virtual currency, or maybe because of it, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a warning against it. In its warning, it said that virtual currencies are not yet legal tenders and are used at user’s own risk.

What is clear as day is that the African crypto tour is set to continue to educate Africans about cryptocurrency. Whether that will lead to more Africans joining in remains to be seen.

Why buy cryptocurrency:

Last but not least, you can buy and hold a cryptocurrency hoping the price to raise and sell them at a profit. For instance, one bitcoin (1 BTC) was around USD 1,000 in mid-February 2017, by mid-December 2017, the price of one bitcoin (1 BTC) was over USD 17,000. Nevertheless, the market fluctuates with time and today 1 BTC is around USD7,400. You can always monitor coins/tokens market prices here.

Education Ecosystem has a buy and Hodl program where you can buy their tokens and hold to earn monthly rewards depending on the number of your tokens. A good way to invest too.

Watch this space for our next series on how to start investing in cryptocurrency.

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