African cryptocurrencies have sprang up throughout the continent; as the continent’s contribution to the crypto revolution. Those who are familiar with the cryptoverse can attest to the fact that most crypto projects nowadays are tied to specific projects. they could be good causes, or charities. Simply put, crypto is trying to solve problems.
Africa has no shortage of problems; drought, food shortages, economic problems, water scarcity, insecurity, lack of education, poverty, crime, prevalence of disease, infant mortality, etcetera etcetera.
The traditional banking institutions have not solved these problems; rather they have only facilitated corruption. Perhaps crypto can do better. These are African cryptocurrencies making an impact so far.
African Cryptocurrencies To Solve African Problems
BitPesa is one the most cited examples of an African indigenous crypto project which is doing some good in Africa. This cryptocurrency was developed in Nairobi, Kenya, and it solves the problem of an inefficient financial system.
BitPesa makes it easy for businesses to make and receive payments with multiple African currencies. This means they can do business with partners and customers both local and international, without any hitches.
The payments are instant, and the fees minimal. This is good for business, and has the potential to help businesses grow, and employ more people.
Kora Network is a peer to peer, and business to business payment processing company established by Africans. This company uses blockchain technology to facilitate the payments, making it easier for African businesses to send and receive money.
Kora Network is accepted in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, The UK, and Canada. This is not a cryptocurrency per se, but it is a payment platform built around blockchain technology.
Kora Network’s key people are Africans passionate about growing the financial structure on the continent; their earliest interest was helping NGOs helping the poor, ensuring that these NGOs are able to receive money quickly.
Akoin is an African cryptocurrency; one that solves two problems. Akoin is designed to provide a currency for African entrepreneurs and small business owners, to give them a platform to exchange value, thus growing their businesses, and bringing their ideas to life.
Akoin is also going to solve the problem of housing. A planned city is in the works; it is located in Senegal, West Africa, and has the potential to be the continent’s hub for innovation, creativity and sustainable development. The city is called Akon City.
Akoin is going to be the major currency of Akon City; it is still a dream, but a very good dream.
DPAT means Direct Property Africa Token, and it is another cryptocurrency that is built on the dream of improving the real estate scenario on the continent. DPAT makes it possible for people all over the world to find attractive real estate development projects to invest in. The investors can thus earn passive income, while the developers have funds to work with.
DPAT is a win-win for everyone concerned, although, like every other investment vehicle there are some risks associated with it.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of potential here, especially as the demand for real estate seems insatiable in Africa. DPAT is something that can bring about a lot of change, if it can be implemented as advertised.
Cardano is a crypto currency that is changing the face of Africa. The beginnings of this crypto has little to do with Africa; it was developed by the same Americans who created Ethereum. The crypto was created in Zug, Switzerland, but has been most impactful in Africa.
In Africa, Cardano has seen multiple use cases. It is used as a means of settlement, especially between digital creatives, and most interestingly as a means of storing identification documents. Cardano is also used in Ethiopia as a way of tracking student performance, and in other parts of the continent as a way of eradicating property fraud.
One source describes Cardano as the most loved crypto in East Africa. It has really helped to make a difference.
Other African Cryptocurrencies
There are many other African cryptocurrencies being launched, or in various stages of development. These coins have the advantage of being developed by Africans who understand the continent and its challenges.
These cryptos include:
Most Important Cryptocurrency In Africa
Without a doubt, the most important cryptocurrency in Africa has been bitcoin; it has opened up the international market for Africans. Before bitcoin, Africans suffered many hindrances which made it difficult to make even the simplest purchases from abroad.
Popular payment solutions such as PayPal, googlepay, and so on often locked out Africans. Where credit cards were available, they were often difficult to get, and expensive to use. Even today, many African countries restrict the use of credit cards for international business, thus killing off many businesses.
With bitcoin, Africans are able to buy and sell but on the continent and internationally. Everything from computer software to used mobile phones is bought and sold using bitcoin. Bitcoin is even used to ship container loads of used phones into the continent. This is a major boost for businesses, and it also empowers poor communities.
Challenges To Development Of Cryptocurrencies Among Africans
Resistance From Governments
Lack Of Technology Among Africans
Lack Of Knowledge
Perception Of Fraud
The points above are some of the most serious challenges facing the crypto community in Africa. They will be addressed in detail in the paragraphs below.
Resistance From Government
Except for the few African governments who have adopted crypto, most governments have a negative attitude towards it. The most common reasons for the resistance are: the possible facilitation of corruption, dumping of the existing currencies, and possible effects on the economy.
Most African governments know that they have mismanaged their economies and that the people are looking for alternatives. Because they are looking for alternatives, many Africans would have jumped into bitcoin, if not for the challenge described below.
Lack Of Availability Of Technology
There is not enough depth in terms of the availability of technology in Africa. Mostly, people need access to the internet via computers and mobile phones, so as to buy and store crypto. While these are available on the continent, there is not nearly enough.
Smartphones are still too expensive for many people in sub Saharan Africa, and that is further worsened by the fact that the people suffer from poverty.
What is poverty? simply put, it is the inability to meet ones’ needs. Poverty is an irony because those who desperately need to escape it are those who find themselves unable to afford a way out. In the context of cryptocurrency, many types of crypto offer a way out from poverty through deflation. This means if you buy crypto now and hold it for X number of years you would have made some gains.
The emphasis is “if you buy.” Sadly, many Africans find themselves in the situation where they cannot afford to eat two good meals in a day. Spending money on a speculative asset is just unthinkable.
Many Africans do not even have access to smartphones or computers, with which they can buy and hold these assets.
Lack Of Knowledge
Many Africans lack the knowledge of the potential benefits of crypto. Even when there are many African cryptocurrencies which can have possible real world applications, and solve problems facing Africa.
There is just not enough sensitization of the people going on, and not enough interest has been shown by crypto developers to bring the people on board.
Perception Of Fraud
The perception of fraud is when people look at crypto and think that it is a scam, or that they will lose their money. It is not unique to Africa, but it is one of the major hindrances facing the adoption of crypto on the continent.
To understand why this is such a problem in Africa, one has to understand that there is very little regulation of the market. As such, many Ponzi schemes have successfully defrauded Africans. Furthermore, there are many “cryptocurrencies” which have turned out to be nothing more than cleverly designed frauds. All these have cast a dark cloud over cryptocurrency in Africa; many Africans just do not trust it.
African cryptocurrencies are still few and far between. They face more challenges than those developed in other parts of the world, and they have smaller chances of adoption outside the continent.
One thing to emphasize is that many Africans have refused to adopt these coins which can potentially bring development to the continent. If Africans refuse to adopt African crypto, no one else will.