How is Bitcoin Used in Africa?
Decentralized currency like Bitcoin can do much good for people of Africa. Bitcoin could provide a reasonable way for Africans to trade outside their traditional ways and outside their countries. Also, it could encourage people to invest money in countries of Africa through fast and simple channels like cryptocurrency networks.
So, how is Bitcoin used in Africa continent? There are more than few ways. In some countries there are already established network of Bitcoin users, mostly in more developed South Africa, but also Nigeria and Kenya. By now, there has been couple of frequently used online exchanges. Some of them are BitX (now Luno) and ICE3X mainly in South Africa, also BitPesa in some other countries where people can trade cryptocurrency for local currencies.
Africans mostly use cryptocurrencies as a method of online payment, but besides that, many of them are using it to create online wallets and money transfer without many restrictions by central banks of their countries. Network of cryptocurrency applications for mobile devices is also on the rise. M-Pesa is a service that offers mobile payments in cryptocurrencies via standard devices. It is operating in South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, but also in India and Afghanistan outside of African continent. It’s very often case for Africans to use Bitcoin in order to place bets via online sports bet websites.
South Africa’s Bidorbuy is the biggest online marketplace that accepted cryptocurrency as a viable method of payment and the number of users is increasing. First African Bitcoin mining is established recently by Ghana Dot Com (GDC). Many Africans live and work abroad, so the potential of money transfer back home to the family and relatives is recognized.
Of course, as it is a case with every new thing, this as well has it’s drawbacks. Very few people adapted, since many of Africans still do not have confidence in cryptocurrencies. Many doubts arose around questions considering security, anonimity, but also, fluctuation of prices in cryptocurrencies that are often.
That as well tend to change, since like some estimations made by World Bank tell, Africans outside of their native continent send back around 32 billion dollars per year. Kipochi and M-Pesa already established programs focused on that group of people sending money back home in affiliation with Western Union (in case of M-Pesa), but big issue for users became the question of transaction fees which were relatively high.
Nevertheless, for people in Africa and Africans in other countries, Bitcoin became reality which will soon be the integrated part of their financial management. There are already more than few useful methods of use and with rise of Bitcoin in Africa, there are many other, new and interesting platforms to come.