Although the use of cryptocurrency is common all over the world these days, Africa has shown a special edge towards it. Nigeria is known to be the second most popular bitcoin market in the world after the US. Some reports also say that cryptocurrency in black markets are thriving in Africa. Applications like the immediate edge are widely used for cryptocurrency investment and trading.
Recent research conducted by Arcane Research (2020) shows that African countries like Nigeria, Uganda, and South Africa are listed among top ten countries that search for bitcoin the most on Google.
Let’s explore why Africa in particular is the thriving bitcoin market these days.
No Access to Banks
Banking facilities in Africa are available to a limited number of people. Many adults are deprived of using the bank so they seek cryptocurrency wallets and platforms as a source of storing money. Furthermore, banks are scarce in the larger areas of Africa which leads to unavailability.
It further drives Africans to use cryptocurrency which can be accessed anytime and anywhere just on the phone. Arcane Research (2020) also included the fact that 1 out of 5 Africans are aware and prefer online banking. Thus, they also find cryptocurrency preferable because it is online.
Influence by Celebrities
Celebrities act as influencers for the public and they lead the audience into believing their viewpoint. A similar situation occurred in Africa where the famous singer Akon announced that he would build his city inside Africa where the residents can only use cryptocurrency.
He further went ahead to introduce his cryptocurrency which he called ‘Akoin’. The coin is already launched in Mwale Medical College, which is a large medical and technological complex. This new coin introduced by the famous singer can also be converted to phone minutes instantly.
Use in Difficult Times
Cryptocurrency proved to be helpful to the public when their government cut down the supply of regular paper money due to unrest in the country. Lately, when there was a protest in the country, police, and protestors had a brutal rivalry. The whole protest was running on funds that were being collected from all over Africa.
Thus, the government acted immediately and cut down the transferring of funds by banning local payment platforms. People found another way to continue their support for the protest by transferring funds through cryptocurrency platforms.
A Safe Haven
The most important point that drove Africans towards the use of cryptocurrency is the fact that their economic currency is highly unstable. There is an ongoing money crisis and the country is moving in the phase of inflation.
There are over 40 currencies in Africa but, each is striving hard against economic problems. The constant instability and unreliability of paper money have made people lose their interest in their national currency. Africans are looking for other stable currencies which they can rely on with complete confidence.
Many Africans have lost so much faith in their currency that they use phone minutes and credits to trade and buy stuff instead of paper money. Thus, the cryptocurrency appears to be a haven for the people of Africa. It is said that until the African currency reaches some stability, Africans are going to continue promoting the use of cryptocurrency even for regular purchase or bill payments.
The weakness of national currency leads to the evident growth of the digital currency in Africa. Unless we see stability in any of the cryptocurrencies, we will probably see the rise of crypto in Africa. It may not be surprising if Africa becomes the number one holder of crypto in near future, which is quite possible.