Business 28 January 2019Dennis Wafula
Crypto predictions: Kenya to lead in East Africa region
As the governments watch to see how far cryptocurrencies will go, some countries in Africa are marking great milestones. According to a recent prediction, Kenya will soon be a leader in the cryptocurrency market around the East African region.
Paxful CEO and co-founder Ray Youssef made predictions on Kenya’s crypto market. He said:
“We expect more activity in the policy development space in the next few years in line with digital currency acceptance. From a Kenyan point of view, technology and productivity intertwine, and this offers the convenience that the underbanked seek in digital banking.”
Youssef stated that Africa emerged as a leader in the crypto space last year. This, he said, was due to increases acceptance among African communities. Many cryptocurrencies have yet to recover from last year’s bear market, that saw to the closure of many crypto-based companies. Despite the fluctuation, one company in Africa has continued to thrive in the industry. Paxful, one of the leading peer-to-peer Bitcoin Core (BTC) marketplaces saw an increase in activity, especially from its customers in Africa. Reportedly, Paxful conducted 6.5 million trades in 2018 with an average of 17000 trades per day.
Kenya is working to create a strong crypto environment. There are many crypto and blockchain based startups across the country and more expected to launch in the coming months. Some have dubbed Kenya the Silicon Savannah for its growing cryptocurrency community. Start-ups like Chamapesa and Blockchain Association of Kenya have seen significant adoption by the communities. There is also a working crypto ATM in Westland, Nairobi and a peer-to-peer crypto exchange, Pesamill.
A good number of people in the country have heard about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Some already have crypto in their wallets, either for trading or for saving them as an instrument of investment.
The government and its agencies are also accepting this new technology. The electron body in the country, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), plans to use blockchain for its next election process. Last year, the government also tasked the Cabinet Secretary of National Treasury, Henry K. Rotich, with the duty to investigate more on cryptocurrencies.
According to Youssef’s prediction, Africa stands to surpass Western countries in crypto adoption. Reportedly, Africa accounted for the highest number of new subscribers on Paxful’s portal per month. Paxful stated that it collected about KSh7 billion per month from Africa consumers.
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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