Digital currencies remain a trending topic in Africa as compared to the rest of the world. According to the latest report by google trends, the top three countries in the world actively searching ‘bitcoin’ are Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana respectively. When it comes to the term ‘buy bitcoin’ Nigeria and Ghana top the list.
In Zimbabwe, bitcoin prices are experiencing significant premiums on various trading platforms after the country banned foreign currencies. Cryptocurrency marketplace local.bitcoin.com that allows swapping of fiat currencies for bitcoin cash is also experiencing a rise in number of people buying BCH in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Benin, South Africa and Burkina Faso.
Despite the encouraging numbers in regards to cryptocurrency interest, there is still inadequate progress. According to the Blockchain Association of Kenya, $1.5 million worth of digital assets have been traded, but a lack of education makes adoption difficult., Bethwel Opil, a spokesperson at Kaspersky Africa agreed with the assessment by the Blockchain Association of Kenya.
Latest consumer trends findings also collaborate that there is indeed a desire for cryptocurrency by its users but the knowledge gap is getting in the way.
The Eco Currency Of West Africa
15 countries in Africa plan to adopt ‘eco’ as a single fiat currency. The 15 member of the West African regional bloc held a meeting on June 29th that agreed on the implementation of the single currency. The agreement was reached after years of debate over the monetary unit. It is a sign of Africa’s continued interest in blockchain in the midst of economic uncertainty grappling the massive continent.
At the moment, a number of countries in Africa are struggling economically and have issues with their own currencies. Countries like Zimbabwe and South Sudan are struggling with hyperinflation while others are dealing with wavering monetary unpredictability.
Citizens in some countries have had to use foreign and multiple currencies like the Euro, US dollar and the CFA Franc due to issues pertaining local currencies. These were some of the issues that led the ECOWAS bloc to issue a new fiat called the ‘eco’
Some Regions Experiencing Exponential Growth
According to the Kaspersky cryptocurrency report 2019 a fifth of South Africans experienced technical complications while using cryptocurrencies. Opil adds that the lack of education has paved way for scammers to prey on individuals. The lack of knowledge on matters blockchain, in addition to price volatility are the biggest hurdles towards Blockchain’s acceptance in Africa
According to Opil, the lack of understanding leads to mistrust in crypto’s ability to keep safe, consumer’s money. However, regardless of this, there are still massive interests in cryptocurrencies stemming from the continent.
A staff columnist at Born 2 Invest asserts that the number of new users from Africa within the last year or so is increasing in astronomical proportions. Blockchain transactions have risen by 25% while Nigeria is registering a 60% upsurge.
Eco Vs Cryptocurrencies
It will be interesting, noting how the governments of Ghana and Nigeria approach the issue with cryptocurrency with the launch of the new fiat currency, eco. Reports from local media suggest that the leaders at the 55th session are making considerable progress on eco.
The ushering of new fiats is often opposed to foreign currency growth, much like the situation in Zimbabwe. The thriving state of crypto could be dampened if they feel that crypto is a threat to eco money.