Africa’s Bitcoin Usage To Improve With Better Internet Connectivity, Crypto Adoption Inevitable
It’s been said time and time again that Africa could be the biggest beneficiary and adopter of blockchain technology. The continent often faces challenges which could be easily tackled using blockchain. However, it seems that poor internet connectivity could hamper the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies in Africa.
According to a report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), $450 billion is needed in order to give 1.5 billion people access to the internet. Most of these people live in Africa. The report further says that African governments are not keen on providing broadband connectivity to its citizens. Actually, most of these governments use three times less what the rest of the world spends on average to provide internet solutions to its citizens.
Can Crypto Thrive in Africa?
As much as blockchain technology is seen as a solution to most of Africa’s problems, there’s a big question on whether the continent has the necessary infrastructure to adopt it. There has been a wave of excitement about crypto in African countries such Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa where people have increasingly embraced cryptocurrencies. In Zimbabwe, there was massive adoption of Bitcoin when the country’s economy was experiencing runaway inflation.
According to the latest findings by ITU, African governments have a lot of work to do in order to lay down the infrastructure necessary for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a whole to flourish. In the report, it’s said that 52% of the global population still have no access to reliable and fast internet connectivity.
Hindrance to Economic Growth
According to Internet World Stats, the average penetration of internet for most global counties is about 46.7 % whereas in Africa the number is at only 27.7 %. This lack of internet has led to sluggish growth of African economies since it doesn’t give them a competitive advantage in global trade. Virtual money can only progress where there’s internet since most platforms operate online. Most of the unbanked people who could gain immensely from blockchain technology are in the rural areas where internet connectivity is unheard of.
The greatest impediment to connection to the internet in most African countries is the lack of the fixed infrastructure necessary to facilitate this. At the moment, the only African country that has made giant strides in the connecting its citizens to the internet is Rwanda where 90% of the people have access to internet.
That said, cryptocurrency adoption in Africa will continue being slow unless the governments prioritize providing its citizens with good internet connectivity.