How Crypto Currency is Impacting Personal Finance in Africa
The benefits of crypto currency for the African continent cannot be understated. Digital currency thrives in an environment where there are constraints to access to financial assistance as is the case in Africa. Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and Botswana are among the countries that have a strong presence and use of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Blockchain technology is seen by many industry pundits as the push that could propel the continent’s exponential economic growth. So, there was a lot of enthusiasm meeting last year’s announcement of an African crypto currency by the end of the year. The African crypto-currency Afri-Union coin (AUC) launched in December of 2018 and was met with a flurry of activity as industries like healthcare, hospitality, education and even retail redefined their financial ecosystems to accommodate the currency.
Personal Finance in Africa in Light of Crypto Currency
Personal finance in Africa is mostly dictated by retirement plans. Education is a close second and health comes in further down the line. We are driven by how life will look like when we cannot work anymore.
On the African continent where, unfortunately, situations of hyperinflation and volatility in the financial markets and political sphere are common, crypto currency has the potential to enable businesses to continue with their processes undisturbed. This ensures that financial plans and investments are not interfered with regardless of the political/economic situation in the country.
The AUC is expected to become a common digital currency on the African continent. The currency can be bought and used freely since its launch. The ANT (African Nation Token) can be exchanged with the AUC and it can also traded at crypto currency exchanges (Bitcoin trading platforms). It is already listed trading on platforms like Bitmari, CM trading, Cryptoexchange, and Bitpesa among others.
The currency may be African born but it is also intended for use on the international market. Before its launch the Afri-union coin creators launched a world tour that saw them give presentations in the Middle East and Asia. It is geared towards being used as everyday currency by regular people across borders and continents and growing the continent economically.
How Are African Business Owners Preparing for a World of Crypto Currency?
Bill Gates referred to Africa as “the youngest continent” in the world. This is because there are more young people with 60% being under the age of 25. You name it young Africans are getting innovative with the natural resources that their parents and grandparents have previously exported with little to limited economic gain. From Agriculture and sports to wildlife conservancy, young Africans are looking for ways to grow and make themselves (and the continent by extension) financially stable.
The digital currency wave is the inevitable way to ensure that their businesses and growth processes continue unhindered and benefit their communities and countries. As a result, young people are transacting with other businesses that use crypto currencies, trading on crypto currency exchange platforms and following crypto currency trends on saving.
In Zimbabwe, despite the economic and political state more businesses run by the youth and women are transacting using crypto currency. The country is using crypto currency to solve their cash shortage problem caused by failing dollarization.
According to a report by the BBC, businesses in Nairobi are accepting bitcoin payments in their day to day transactions. The Blockchain Association of Kenya estimates these transactions to be worth over $1.5 million even with the country’s Central Bank having barred banks from dealing with virtual currency.
Next door in Uganda, the presence of Binance Uganda is allowing Ugandans to trade in crypto currency. However, crypto currency is shrouded in mystery with calls on the government to help the regular person understand how it can benefit them and regulate the players.
In West Africa, Nigeria’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, promises support for blockchain technology and crypto currency if elected which goes to show how much sway this debate and industry has on the presidency.
South Africa allows crypto currency to be used in trading and transactions with the government looking to regulate the use of the currencies. This is a great space and win for crypto currency enthusiasts.
The uphill task of African countries embracing and accepting crypto currency is far from won. However, the clear benefits are there for business owners in the countries who are ready to embrace the currencies. Does this mean crypto currencies are doomed on the continent? Not by long shot. But, a long fight is ahead of everyone who throws their weight behind them.