Although the digital asset market seems to be witnessing a bit of a lull at the moment, the adoption of cryptocurrency-focused technology is continuing to thrive around the world. Africa in particular is a continent where a growing list of major financial actors continues to feel their presence as they begin to realize that the economic opportunities offered by the region are enormous.
To put things in perspective, a recent report released by Singapore-based crypto data provider Triple A shows that the North African country of Morocco is currently behaves one of the largest crypto populations in the region with almost 2.5%. The Kingdom currently leads a number of reputable countries in terms of daily bitcoin trading (BTC) and lags only behind Saudi Arabia in the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which is an impressive feat, to say the least.
Even more interesting is that it is in Morocco existing the legislative framework is largely anti-crypto, with the State Foreign Exchange Office not indicating that it would soften its stance in the near future. Despite these strict regulations, people across the region continued to look for means, such as peer-to-peer (P2P) and windowless trade, to break into this rapidly evolving ecosystem.
Crypto companies are entering Africa with incredible speed
Emmanuel Babalola, African director of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, told Cointelegraph that the number of cross-collaborations between local blockchain / crypto companies and various mainstream entities continues to increase every month. Babalola said most future-oriented technology companies are vying for exposure in the region, while trying to help people across the continent accept and realize the true usefulness of the blockchain.
He went on to point out that Binance recently worked with the African Football Confederation (AFCON) to sponsor the TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations, a move he sees as a small step towards a bigger scheme, adding:
“AFCON’s sponsorship has been very exciting. Football is the most popular sport in Africa, one that unites the whole continent, so sponsoring the biggest football tournament in Africa has been really easy. This confirms our mission to drive the crypto mainstream across the continent. “
In line with his company’s ideal of widespread use of cryptocurrencies across the African province, he also stressed that Binance has recently cooperated with some of the stars participating in this year’s rerun of Big Brother Nai (Nigeria) – the biggest reality show on the continent – to help bring crypto education closer to a wider ordinary audience. “We are [even] sponsoring the Nigerian Idol – a Nigerian version of a popular singing competition, ”he added.
Finally, Babalola noted that many unprecedented events have taken place in the global crypto-ecosystem in recent months, such as countries such as El Salvador, which have accepted Bitcoin as legal tender – something he believes was entirely a few years ago. incomprehensible – and therefore would not be the case. it is surprising that African nations follow in their footsteps:
“I think this is just the beginning of things to come. In general, as institutional interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow, it is inevitable that more major players will break into the region.
Crypto can help redefine business across Africa
Asked about the continued growth of cryptocurrency across Africa, especially in the northern part of the continent, Adedayo Adebajo, African director for Jelurida, a blockchain software company that develops and maintains the Nxt and Ardor blockchains, told Cointelegraph that the vast majority of Africans countries tend to be treated as one bloc rather than divided into regional categories.
In this regard, he noted that one of the aspects that brought together most people living in Africa was the lack of tangible business opportunities, as well as the apparent lack of access to high-quality banking alternatives that could be used to send and receive funds from all over the world. globe. Adebajo added:
“African nations believed they were omitted from the first three industrial revolutions. 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) technology, including blockchain and cryptocurrencies, enabled them to participate in making history for the first time in history. Most governments on the continent are open, among other things, to capacity building and localization of solution development. At the same time, their doors remain wide open to foreign offers that will bring them closer to their goal. “
Asked about the challenges that may arise from the fact that most nations on the continent (especially those located in North Africa) adhere to the Islamic way of life, Adebayo noted that a key issue is preventing banking services from , based on cryptocurrencies, reached the masses. not religion, but an obvious lack of understanding of what technology brings to the table.
“As Muslims, we have learned from the religious scholars they cite that we are not excluded from using cryptocurrency or participating in its offerings, although this position may still be controversial,” he added.
Related: The Indonesian National Islamic Council is said to have declared Bitcoin haram
Blockchain-based banking solution
Africa’s vast geographical size, together with the presence of many small economies across the continent, has led many nations to face systematic infrastructure development, especially when it comes to financial services, leaving 57% of the continent’s population remaining. without banks.
RJ Katunda, co-founder of the African project World Mobile, a mobile network based on Cardano, told Cointelegraph that over the years, Africans have gradually become accustomed to using innovative payment systems such as Kenyan M-Pesa.
However, he noted that newer blockchain-based alternatives are now beginning to emerge, setting the context for crypto and digital currencies that offer a more convenient and direct P2P channel for remittance payments, international trade and savings. He added:
“As many economies grow rapidly, cryptocurrency and bloc-based projects will continue to enter Africa, where their proposal is important and where they can form partnerships with local actors. While many individuals use cryptocurrencies in Africa, legislation is lagging behind in many countries. As in other jurisdictions, cryptocurrencies do not comply with current regulatory frameworks. “
In essence, Katunda believes that the main problem preventing the widespread adoption of cryptotechnology (especially from a financial point of view) across the region is the lack of perceived central control by many governments, which makes it difficult for authorities to control and mitigate bad practices. “However, many governments have announced that they are working on regulatory frameworks that are expected to emerge in the near future,” he concluded.
Africa can no longer be ignored
Akin Jones, a partner at Gluwa Capital, an African-based investment fund that focuses exclusively on fintech lenders using blockchain technology, told Cointelegraph that the growing African population and the adoption of cryptocurrencies mean companies ignoring the continent either they don’t think seriously about technology in the long run. mandate or have failed to realize the huge financial offer currently ahead of them.
According to Jones, Bitcoin could very well become a legal tender in many African countries, as most of these countries are already quite difficult to trade with each other due to constant currency fluctuations. Speaking in particular about North Africa, he went on to say that it would make sense for fintech companies, as this region serves as a bridge between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, to consider penetrating there, adding:
“Identity management, land ownership and insurance are three key areas that could be improved across North Africa, which could help change perceptions in the region. CBDCs [central bank digital currencies] could also facilitate the adoption of cryptocurrency in this regard. “
So it will be interesting to see how things will shape the continent from here on out, especially since many nations in the region are known to to suffer due to extremely high bureaucracy. As many governments are quickly realizing the potential of crypto and blockchain, it would not be surprising for countries to withdraw more foreign investment from established companies operating in this fast-growing sector.