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Why Africa should embrace cryptocurrency

By Oscar  Nwokeji

To think that decentralised digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum won’t fundamentally change how the world views and uses money would be rather absurd.

CRYPTOCURRENCY

Interest in cryptocurrency is growing steadily in Africa, with some blockchain enthusiasts coming up with different modules that could incorporate cryptocurrency into the economy.

Sequel to this, Global Wissen Consult has established an avenue for Nigerians to join this digital currency trend by instituting the first trading academy in Nigeria. It is a futuristic strategy to impart knowledge on how to trade cryptocurrency and other financial commodities in the financial market alongside international partnerships. Global Wissen Consult is actively creating a new source of income for Nigerians.

Cryptocurrency is not bound by geography or governed by any financial institution as its transactions are stored in a database called blockchain, which is decentralized, and distributed.

The future of money would be characterised by affordability, speed, security, integrity and most importantly, equality.

This can be actualized by giving everyone in the world access to the same financial system, irrespective of where they are from. Now,   I possibly can’t think of a better way to achieve this aside through cryptocurrency. Anyone who uses cryptocurrencies such as b Bitcoin, Litecoin and many others, understands the convenience of transferring value at a distance without large commissions, relative anonymity and without restrictions from governing bodies such as financial institutions.

The future appeal of cryptocurrencies lies in allowing you supremacy over your money, with fast

and secure transactions together with lower transaction charges, when compared to all existing currencies. When used properly and fully understood, it would be the initiator of many emerging systems that will fundamentally change our global economic system.

“Africa is rarely mentioned among the largest markets for cryptocurrency, but it may be set to steal a         march over other markets,” says Rakesh Sharma, a business and technology journalist.

Mr Sharma says that citizens of countries battling high inflation are likely to opt for cryptocurrency, because “with their paradigm of decentralization, cryptocurrencies offer an alternative to disastrous central bank policies.” Countries with double-digit inflation rates include Egypt, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe and it is no surprise that some of these countries are among the main Bitcoin economies in Africa. The main Bitcoin countries are Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe, according to gobitcoin.io, a website dedicated to Bitcoin news in Africa.

African governments are currently not regulating cryptocurrency. This might be a contributing factor to cryptocurrency growth on the continent. It is not that they do not want to regulate it governments might be powerless to regulate cryptocurrency.

Fearing a collapse of the banking industry or arbitrary appropriation of money by the government, Africans without access to banks and who live in politically unstable countries could be attracted to cryptocurrency.

“Bitcoin transactions help to eliminate the procedural bottlenecks that plague traditional banking and financial services,” Mr Darko explains.

Cryptocurrencies have opened up a new world for several people in parts of Africa, Asia, and South America, who until now, remain unbanked or underbanked. Moving forward, not-for-profit organisations working in places of turmoil can turn to blockchain-based smart contracts to bring complete transparency surrounding the use of funds collected through their international aid campaigns.

The advantages that come with cryptocurrency cut across various factors that could contribute to the growth and development of a country.

As at today, cryptocurrency is already accepted as a mode of payment in several countries around the world. The possibility of Bitcoin being treated as a globally accepted currency might be arms-length away. What might also work in favour of this happening is the fact that Bitcoin is not tied to any particular country’s banking system or economy. With the value of most cryptocurrencies experiencing an upswing since early this year, it would be unfair to think that interest in them is going to fade anytime soon. Can cryptocurrency become a dominant currency? The answer to that will only reveal itself in the near future.

*Nwokeji, CEO of Global Wissen Consult, writes from Lagos

 

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