Existing payment solutions in Africa has been a source of frustration. This has forced many residents on the continent to turn to crypto. For instance, a 2019 report indicated that about 10% of all South Africans owned some form of crypto. In Ghana and Nigeria, 7-8% of the population owns Bitcoin or other altcoins.
Crypto Popularity Africa
One of the biggest markets for crypto is Zimbabwe. Many citizens have turned to crypto amidst the instability of their national currency and the economy. In a recent Bitcoin Magazine podcast, the CEO of Paxful discussed the state of crypto on the continent. He talked about why the world’s second-largest content accounted for most of the trading volumes on the exchange.
The CEO noted that one of the main reasons why Africans are turning to crypto was due to how complex it was to send money abroad. He noted that even sending money to a neighboring country was sometimes almost impossible or overly expensive. He said that sometimes it would be much easier to move cash on tracks across borders even when both parties lived just a few miles apart.
Zimbabwe Currency Measures
This assessment appears to be quite accurate. Recently, sending money outside Africa has become even harder. For instance, Zimbabwe banned the use of the British pound and the US dollar in its economy. Various other currencies have been banned as well. Nigerians are also facing this problem. Their government recently placed major restrictions on citizens trying to send funds outside the country.
Bitcoin Volume History
The Paxful CEO went on to state that weekly; the Bitcoin volumes between Nigeria and China were worth about $50 million. Youssef also cited the example of car dealerships. He noted that these companies, which had previously been making profits of up to 300% from cars imported from the US, were no longer able to do so. As a result, many of them were turning to alternative methods to make payments. As a result, many had turned to Bitcoin.
Africa Remittance and Future of Crypto
This issue does not just afflict Africa’s poorest nations. Recently, South Africa imposed a limit of $80,000 on remittances. Many people have found a workaround. They sell iTunes gift cards from the US and Europe in exchange for Bitcoin. This way, they can beat the tough restrictions imposed by their government.
Youssef is not the only one who believes Africa is the future of crypto. On a recent trip to Africa, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Square and Twitter declared that the future of Bitcoin was in Africa. During his trip, the CEO met with some Bitcoin enthusiasts in Ghana. As reported by Visionary Financial in January, Paxful crypto exchange was also planning to build 100 schools in Africa through Bitcoin donations.
One crypto expert noted that given the nature of digital payments in Africa, crypto could make a huge impact. The nonexistent payments infrastructure means that the introduction of crypto will be widely embraced by Africans looking for a cheap and convenient means of sending and receiving money. Thus far, people in the continent, which comprises a huge youthful population, have been quite accepting of crypto.
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