How Unbanked Africans Could Help Lead Bitcoin’s Legacy Into Forming the Future of Global Finance
Despite the mainstream media continuing to refer to the crypto industry as being a safe haven for money launderers and criminals, many economists and independent financial commentators (such as Andreas Antonopoulos) are of the opinion that most revolutionary adoption cases for Bitcoin will take shape within the continent of Africa instead of “first world” countries such as Britain, the United States or France.
Why Is Bitcoin Such An Exciting Prospect For The African Masses?
As things stand, massive chunks of the African continent are still suffering from a lack of adequate banking facilities. In this regard, a recent research piece released by Elixirr shows that more than 65% of the people living in the African Sub-Saharan region do not have access to a private bank account. Considering that this region has a population of around 2.16 billion, providing these individuals with uninterrupted access to crypto-payment services could really help turn their lives around in a big way.
According to independent crypto researcher @Cryptokoala_Aus, Bitcoin’s adoption potential in Africa is currently at an all-time high.
As can be seen from the infographic above, there are currently 167,335,676 people in Africa who have access to the internet. Out of this number, around 11% have a high-speed internet connection at their disposal. However, the fact that so many people are connected to the internet yet do not have access to traditional banking services shows that Bitcoin can potentially infiltrate and take over this market in a big way.
If that wasn't enough, the aforementioned tweet also clearly shows that a number of African nations are currently suffering from high inflation rates. In this regard, since crypto assets such as BTC, ETH are primarily deflationary in nature, they can help individuals across the globe by allowing them “not use their national currencies” — that are often governed by the whims and fancies of lobby groups and other special interest entities— instead make use of these novel digital tokens for daily purchases and transactions.
Is Africa Really Looking To Adopt Bitcoin?
As per recent statistical data released by CoinDance, more than 1,380 BTC has been exchanged within certain African regions that are actively tracked by the aforementioned analytics provider.
Key contributors to the list include:
- Nigeria — 903
- South Africa — 288
- Kenya — 88.
While the above-mentioned numbers might not seem like much, it is worth noting that the whole of Europe transacted a total of 803 BTC on LocalBitcoins over the past week— a number that is actually smaller than that of Nigeria’s.
These numbers clearly allude to the fact that there is a lot of potentials for Bitcoin to be used within Africa. Not only that, according to the folks over at Elixrr, the African masses at large do not trust private banking institutions— thus making the region all the more receptive to a decentralized technology like crypto.
In closing out this piece, it is worth remembering that over the course of the past couple of years, a number of African nations have been making increasing use of mobile-money service providers/portals. For example, ‘M-Pesa’ currently boasts of a customer base that exceeds 30 million users and spans across seven different African nations.