Ethio Telecom vouchers (image via The Reporter Ethiopia)

The fact that a handful of VISPs (Virtual Internet Service Providers) are allowed to operate in the country doesn’t mean the telecom sector is liberalized already. However there is possibility of liberalization.

In August 2011 a Value Added Services (VAS) License Directive was issued by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).

This was a minor (yet important) improvement over the monopoly of Ethio Telecom, the state-owned telecommunications corporation.

Taking advantage of the VAS license directive, a few VISPs have recently began their operations (in collaboration with MCIT and Ethio Telecom).

Hopefully the emergence of VISPs will soon…

African Hut Vector Art (

The Ministry of Science and Technology of Ethiopia appears to be optimistic about Bitcoin and blockchain technology. This is exciting news!

The below text is from the official government website.

እንደ Bitcoin የመሳሰሉ ፈር ቀዳጅና የዓለምን ኢኮኖሚ በእጅጉ መለወጥ የሚችሉ ቴክኖሎጂዎችም መሠረት ያደረጉት ይህንኑ Blockchain ነው።

(“Blockchain, the technology underpinning crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, is one of the technologies that could revolutionize the world economy.”)

Yesterday I learned about Ethiopia’s (latest) venture into blockchain tech via Philip Wadler (of Haskell fame) who retweeted a post from IOHK.

As an Ethiopian ‘blockchain expert’ and entrepreneur, I thought I’d say a few…

Yesterday I received my copy of The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking, Saifedean Ammous’s new book, and started reading it right away. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s foreword to the book includes a comforting statement:

[Bitcoin’s] mere existence… is an insurance policy against an Orwellian future.

Next up in my reading queue is Taleb’s own book (Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life). I’m hoping to publish a philosophical piece on Bitcoin (and its much-hyped ‘blockchain technology’) after I finish reading these two books.

Satoshi Nakamoto gave us the fascinating game that is Bitcoin. Over the years I’ve learned a lot through Bitcoin (it really is a microcosm of the world!); and I’m expecting Taleb’s and Ammous’s books will teach me more.

Naol Duga Jebessa

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