Gaming Market Insights Series #9: Bangladesh — the canvas of contrasting colors

Bangladesh ushers an astounding canvas of contrasting colors — a developing country undergoing a number of challenges of overpopulation, poor infrastructure, corruption and political instability, albeit thriving economically as one of the top GDP growing countries in the world.

Chart: Bangladesh GDP Growth Rate

Source: | Bangladesh bank

In recent years, Bangladesh has achieved an average growth rate of 6% and just recently in 2016, for the first time since independence, it has already surpassed 7% growth rate in the first nine months of the current fiscal year. For a few recent years, Bangladesh has already been identified among The Next Eleven by Goldman Sachs investment bank with potentials to become one the world’s largest economies in the 21st century together with BRIC (Brazil, Russia, Indonesia and China).

Internet boom

Internet penetration in Bangladesh has been taking off dramatically since 1996 despite a very low starting point. Approximately at the end of July of 2016 the total number of Internet subscribers has reached almost 64 million, equivalent to nearly 40% of the whole population thanks to efforts by 6 network operators in Bangladesh. The government has decreased the price of bandwidth significantly over the last decade so that people have more access to data services and enjoy an average of 1.6 Mbps download and 1.10 Mbps upload speed across all devices. Undeniably Internet users in Bangladesh will increase steadily over the years to come.

Thriving mobile financial services

Mobile financial services finally got on board in the early of 2010 to provide mobile payment service to the unbanked citizens, particularly 70% of which live in rural area where banks rarely exist. Bangladesh has been enjoying one of the world’s fastest growing mobile sectors.

The epitome of mobile money transaction in Bangladesh is undoubtedly bKash which dominates over half of the market. The increasing internet penetration and mobile network has boosted mobile payment with more than 12 companies offering mobile money services on the market.

However, while the proportion of customers using registered mobile money services appears to be growing, the ugly truth is that the majority of users still prefer over-the-counter (OTC) transactions. It is not easy for a rural resident also a newbie to mobile money, equipped with basic numeracy skills to navigate the mobile money menus and figure out the way around mobile money web or app properly. However the opportunities always come with challenges. The mobile money sector, still at its nascent development stage in Bangladesh will soon find its way to unveil a mobile economy system, where other plugged in industries such as remittance, wealth management, cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based initiatives will undoubtedly flourish in the long run.

The report is prepared by CARDANO Labo — the leading blockchain research and development startup focusing on blockchain-empowered gaming and entertainment services. We are keen on bringing this technology to a broader audience where people will have better access and opportunities to enjoy their lives through unprecedented technical solutions.

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English Nicole Nguyen (
Japanese Muuto Morikawa(

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