Bitcoin and stablecoins in favor of mass adoption of cryptocurrencies in Africa
The African continent is considered by many to be the sleeping giant of cryptocurrency. This assertion was confirmed last week, during the Blockchain Africa conference organized in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Indeed, during this conference, bitcoin and stablecoins have been named as the two main drivers of mass adoption of cryptocurrency on the continent.
A few countries have already adopted cryptocurrencies on the African continent. This is the case of the Central African Republic (CAR) which adopted, last year, bitcoin as legal tender. In this regard, Marius Reitz, Managing Director for Africa at Luno, a cryptocurrency platform, said bitcoin adoption in Africa is likely to accelerate over the next decade.
Reitz also said:
“In about ten years, we could find ourselves in a situation where the neighboring countries of the CAR could also adopt bitcoin as a legal means of payment. “Bitcoin could become a regional currency, or even a common currency for the whole of the African Union.
Remember that the Luno platform is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Groupthe parent company of CoinDesk.
Bullish Sentiment for Cryptocurrency Adoption in Africa in the Near Future
Several experts are optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency on the African continent. This is particularly the case of Jonathan Ovadia, the CEO and co-founder ofOvex, a South African crypto platform. Indeed, for the latter, the adoption of stablecoins will be faster than that of bitcoin.
Jonathan Ovadia maintains his words despite the american banking crisis occurred a short time ago. Indeed, this bank failure saw the collapse of major stablecoins like the USDC of Circle. The intervention of the US government to save failing banks and reassure the public has allowed the stablecoin to stabilize.
To support his optimistic wordsJonathan Ovadia asserted that:
“Bitcoin is a good thing, it does not necessarily require authorization, it is free to transfer. However, an African wage earner on the minimum wage cannot store all of his net worth in it”. “In general, I think stablecoins are arguably the biggest revolution within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”
At the Blockchain Africa conference, there was more emphasis on the usefulness of stablecoins. During this conference, 45 speakers addressed several topics that brought together hundreds of participants from Africa and elsewhere. Reitz and Ovadia took part in several panels, the most powerful of which were: “The Future of Stablecoins” and “Cryptocurrency Adoption in Africa”.
The proliferation of stablecoins in Africa by 2050
As mentioned above, Africa really is the sleeping giant of cryptocurrency. The continent could be considered the sleeping giant in several areas, not just crypto.
Indeed, according to Maya Caddell, the chief of staff of the Web3 startup Nestcoin, who reported estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the population of Africa will have doubled by 2050. The IMF thus expects the population in Africa to increase from the current 1.3 billion to 2.6 billion. This demographic boom contrasts with that of Western populations, which is in constant decline.
To this effect, Maya Caddell said:
“In two years, one in six global Internet users will be African“, “By 2050, one in three young people in the world, especially those between the ages of 15 and 35, will be African.
For many experts, there will be an explosion of a multitude of stablecoins backed by various fiat currencies around 2050 or some other future date.
In addition to the proliferation of these stablecoins, experts also predict the growth of hybrid tokens based on stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (MNBC). This monetary revolutionary could be happening in the background. Thus, the African population could continue their lifestyle without realizing the presence of all these digital tokens.
Cryptocurrencies are already present in Africa, but they remain timid
It should be remembered that Africa has already welcomed crypto-currencies in the past and that a massive adoption of these cryptos would not be a new event on the continent. Indeed, since 2007, two Kenyan mobile platform providers set up M-Pesa. It is a means of payment, credit and savings that works on the basis of a simple smartphone and does not require a bank account, let alone an internet connection.
In common parlance practiced in Africa, M-Pesa is a “mobile money” service. Today, almost a third of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have a mobile money account.
The trouble with a mobile money service is its lack of global interoperability, what bitcoin and stablecoins matter tier.
On this subject, Maya Caddell explains :
“There are a lot of nuances in the African financial system.” “Not only between the West and Africa, but also between African markets. In Nigeria, for example, bank transfers are more common. In contrast, in Kenya, M-Pesa is king and dominates, while it is Momo, MTN’s mobile money, which is taking the lion’s share in Ghana.
Theoretically, stablecoins and bitcoin could benefit from the fragmentation of the African financial system. For Ovadia, stablecoins should benefit the most from a proliferation in Africa. For the latter, stablecoins are also called upon, in the future, to completely replace the traditional banking system.
The services offered by bitcoin and stablecoins will have to adapt to the African continent
Whether crypto-currencies wish to establish and proliferate in Africa, they will first have to meet certain technical and certainly legislative obstacles. Indeed, internet coverage in sub-Saharan Africa is not at its peak, not to mention the recurrent power cuts. To this, it should be added that most Africans use old smartphones which must be updated to support crypto technologies.
Machankura’s bitcoin wallet seems to have solved some of the problems mentioned above. Indeed, this wallet has been specially designed for Africans who still use old smartphones and who do not have Internet access.
Thus, through this wallet, users from nine African countries will be able to easily access the Bitcoin Lightning platform using their base phones. Kgothatso Ngako said, “Anyone interested in using bitcoins and living in bitcoins should be able to do so easily.”
Among the nine African countries concerned by this service, one counts Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, as well as five other countries. The inhabitants of these countries will now be able carry out transactions involving bitcoin (BTC) without the need to use a smartphone or an internet connection. All they will need is a basic phone and SMS code.