Crypto in Africa: Domestic crypto market shows great prospects
Despite the myriad of challenges, cryptocurrencies are doing quite well in Africa as crypto-related activities start to become a norm in most countries in the region.
Binance opens new office in Africa
Binance, one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges in the globe, is planning to open an office in Uganda. Binance, through their CEO Changpeng Zhao, announced the news at The Africa Blockchain Conference 2018 held in Kampala last week. According to Zhao, Africa shows great potential to become a leading continent when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption.
Opening Binance offices will help grow the financial economy of Uganda. The move will attract various cryptocurrency related big wigs and investors to the country. Increased crypto activities will create the much-needed job opportunities to bridge the employment gap in the country.
Binance is actively involved in various cryptocurrency-related businesses. They have already formed partnerships with Crypto Savannah, an African blockchain innovation hub, and Msingi, an organization working to build the East African industries of the future. They have also created a partnership with ‘Made in Africa’ initiatives.
According to Binance, the venture into the African market is aimed at supporting the small crypto startups that have been crushed by banks from Europe, the United State,and China. This will provide a platform for other African countries wishing to dive into the cryptocurrency market. Uganda is just the starting point, as Binance plans to expand to all nations across the African continent.
The success of crypto business in Africa
Constant fluctuation of fiat in many countries, unemployment, illiteracy, regulations and political instability are a few of the many forces setting back crypto business.Despite facing these challenges, crypto businesses in the region continue to march forward with unwavering determination.
One thriving business is BitPesa. BitPesa is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Nairobi, Kenya. The exchange has offices in different countries including London, Uganda, Lagos, Luxembourg,and Dakar. It offers employment to more than 60 individuals. The exchange helps customers carry out crypto transaction in the said cities.
Also making outstanding difference in Africa is Bitland. Bitland, a startup in Ghana, uses blockchain technology to enable citizens register land. Mr. Narigamba Mwinsuubo founded Bitland, which is currently based in Kumasi, back in 2016. The company offers land registration services, particularly to the Ghanaian community—investigating issued land titles, conducting land survey, confirming land-title validity, recording property GPS coordination, submitting the collected data to the Bitshare blockchain ledger and issuing a paper certificate to the rightful owner.
Bitland has helped resolve land disputes among the communities in Ghana. The startup looks to extend their technology to other African countries in the next five years.
African countries with their national-based cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies have largely been accepted all over the globe. Different countries are looking to create their own cryptocurrencies. Japan, Dubai, Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan, Russia,and Sweden are still in the development process of creating a national cryptocurrency. Others like Venezuela have taken the leap into the dream with its government-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro.
African countries also share in this dream. Compared to other continents, Africa has fewer countries interested in creating their own cryptocurrency, but this hasn’t stopped their governments from working towards the actualization of their crypto dreams.
The Tunisian government, in particular, has made great milestones in the cryptocurrency world. Tunisia used blockchain technology to create a digital version of their currency in 2015, which they named eDinar. The digital coin is being used to pay bills and make money transfers.
Another African country with a national based cryptocurrency is Senegal. The Senegalese nation created its digital currency in 2016. To create the digital token, the government of Senegal worked together with local banks, Banque Regionale de Marches and eCurrency Mint Limited, to create the CFA Franc. The blockchain that powers eCFA is pegged to the fiat currency value and is stored in emoney wallets.
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