The definition of growth and development is most evident in how engrafted a new technology seeps into society and become a way of life of the masses. In many parts of the world, especially in Europe, Asia and America, major actors don’t just like to be fed with an idea, they like taking the leap to re-engineer whatever they meet or see. The same is seen in the case of cryptocurrencies and how well they have been thriving in these select continents in the past decade. Africa is a region most likely possible to take the necessary shifts to embrace the possibilities cryptocurrencies have to offer.
How Integrated Is Cryptocurrency In The World?
Innovative strides thrive easily in these continents for many reasons including the open-mindedness, research, and value-oriented education that the society is built upon. Bitcoin, the first ever well-acclaimed virtual or digital currency was created under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. Although this pseudonym has a Japanese affiliation, we may not be able to conclude that Bitcoin originated from Japan. Virtual currencies are stored in the blockchain which constitutes a list of growing records. The blockchain company is located in Luxembourg a small country in Europe surrounded by France, Belgium, and Germany. The most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world today are operated in these three major continents, such as Binance Japan, Coinbase, Poloniex from the United States of America and on like that.
Alexandra Talty, a senior personal finance contributor with Forbes.com gave a list of the top 10 Bitcoin cities in the world which are Prague Czech Republic, Bueno Aires Argentina, San Francisco USA, Madrid Spain, New York City, USA, Amsterdam Netherlands, Bogota Columbia, Vancouver Canada, London England, and Paris France. These cities were so categorized based on the number of Bitcoin-accepting vendors operating therein.
North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and even South America are regarded as highly productive cryptocurrency hubs.
The Case For Africa
Africa is always the last to embrace technology. In fact, the majority of African countries depends on technological transfer from advanced countries which may include their colonial masters, Little or no wonder no African city ranks amongst Talty’s top crypto-cities in the world. Though slow-paced, Africans are now beginning to embrace digital currencies. South Africa and Swaziland have a favorable stance on cryptocurrency usage and while others are yet undecided, Namibia is known to have outrightly banned cryptocurrencies.
By and large, undecided African governments and central banks are mostly adopting a
‘wait and see’ approach when it comes to regulating cryptocurrencies.
Most countries appear to be looking to their neighbors to regulate and innovate first and learn from their mistakes before taking action and this is a hindering mindset that would always make Africans at the back of the game. The general fear of governments about the difficulty in regulating digital currencies is also a reason why most governments won’t embrace digital currencies willingly.
Many African countries lack strong structures or framework to monitor the Fiat money system with respect to all-encompassing taxation and believe their grip would be more weakened if they encourage free crypto-trading and transactions, genuine concern you would say?
Daring Leap for Investors
Even with this sow integration rate, a considerable number of Africans own Bitcoin, Ethereum etc. and trade on various cryptocurrency exchanges all over the world. A thorough analysis of participation on most of cryptocurrency’s social media pages like Telegram reveals a considerable presence and participation of Africans. An estimate to the exact number might be hard to come by due to the anonymity and data protection policies of most projects.
Hope For The Future
Africans are growing technologically, there will be about 725 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa by 2020, according to the GSM Association which suggests the fact that more people would have easier access in the nearest future to tools that would enjoin greater engagement in cryptocurrency.
Many African innovators are currently breeding cryptocurrency projects that would shape the narrative in 2019. For example, Eric Annan is a Ghanaian leading a team developing the KubitX, a hybrid exchange targeted towards serving the interests of African investors. Coinpesa is a Ugandan blockchain-based digital asset exchange that is focused on making cryptocurrencies and other digital assets available to emerging markets.
The platform attracted around 500 users in its first few months of operation, and it aims to give users access to digital currencies without the higher fees often attached to these transactions. This exchange offers Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.
Other exchanges like South-African based Luno has also played a tremendous pioneering work in stabilizing and ensuring the availability of cryptocurrencies in the African market space and with these innovations and more, we hope that Africa would come to be not just a major cryptocurrency hotspot in the world but also a true market decider in the next coming decades.