Business 3 January 2019Dennis Wafula
Crypto in Africa: Separatists offer crypto, Paxful reports 17k trades
The cryptocurrency community saw tremendous growth all through last year. Even with the bear market causing many to pull out from the crypto space, many Africans continued transactions with digital currencies. The technology, which many spoke highly against, has created positive changes in different economies across Africa.
Cameroonian separatists offer their crypto to the public
A separatist group in Cameroon, fighting for the independence of the self-declared state of Ambazonia, recently started selling their cryptocurrency to the public. Reportedly, the newly launched currency, the AmbaCoin aims at providing humanitarian relief to peoples who have been affected by the conflict in the Anglophone region.
The Cameroonian separatists hope to raise $250 million USD for the cause. The group also hope that the new currency will help support efforts to have the breakaway country gain its independence. The currency is also aimed at enabling separatists to stop using the CFA franc as their currency.
While commentating on the issue, Frank, one of the members of the AmbaCoin project stated that:
“The idea of AmbaCoin was to get away from the CFA – we do not see the CFA franc as a legitimate currency for Ambazonia. If we want to be independent, we cannot pursue a French colonial currency.”
A group of anonymous Anglophone separatist scholars, developers and technocrats, created the cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency has received backing from various individuals. However, the Cameroon government has not endorsed it.
Members of the public officially started buying the AmbaCoin last year on 28 December. One AmbaCoin token is being sold for $25. Users can purchase these tokens using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, dash litecoin and ethereum. As per January 1, 2019, 30,000 AmbaCoins had been issued according to their website.
AmbaCoin is built on the Ethereum blockchain. It makes use of the Ethereum system of smart contracts and is based on proof-of-stake eliminating the need for mining.
According to the whitepaper, the token will eventually be used to get access to national services, traded to get returns. The token is not pegged on any traditional currency. Once the funding is raised, the AmbaCoin board of directors will make decisions and Anglophone regions will receive humanitarian relief.
Paxful reports 17,000 peer-to-peer transactions from African markets
Paxful, a peer-to-peer trading platform recently reported that Africans make over 17,000 peer-to-peer trades every day using their platform.
In their report, Paxful stated that these trades take place with Amazon and iTunes gift cards. The increased use of gift cards on their platform is because Africans can buy cryptocurrencies by using gift cards they purchase using their local fiats.
Paxful has a strong presence in Africa. In 2018, iTune gift cards became Paxful’s top trading pair with close to $300 million in transactions from the African market. Amazon followed in second with around $165 million worth of transactions. National bank transfers fell behind with just under $50 million.
The use of cryptocurrencies continues to grow across the continent. More Africans have experienced the benefits of transacting in cryptocurrencies and blockchain related activities. Despite being a bad year for most crypto related business, Paxful trade volume was not affected by the bear market. The crypto community in Africa showed a positive growth throughout last year.
Africans seem to like digital currencies as they provide solutions to financial problems on the continent. For instance, despite a ban against use of cryptocurrencies, many in Zimbabwe opt to use digital currency rather than the local fiats due to the increasing levels of inflation. Others love the idea of spending less while making transactions both locally and internationally. Some like how cryptocurrencies are connecting them to international markets enabling them to get different services abroad.
In addition to spreading use of cryptocurrencies, Paxful also has been engaging in humanitarian activities in Africa. The company recently started building its second school in Rwanda to help less fortunate children. It has already built a nursery school in 2016. Paxful has also provided scholarships to African refugees.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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