It is fascinating to notice that despite cryptocurrencies having been conceived far from the Africa continent, they are swiftly following the trends of Europe’s Malta into becoming a significant part of key cryptocurrency exchanges, tokens, and wallets. For instance, we can look at what happened in the recent past in Uganda, South Africa, and Kenya.
Binance is a giant exchange which recently commenced a fiat-crypto exchange at the core of the country and registered more than 40,000 users within the first few months after launching. Before the exchange landed in the country, 70% of citizens in Uganda had difficult in banking the digital currencies because of the rigorous registration process. Now, excited cryptocurrency users in Uganda are thankful of Binance for making transactions of the system swift and easy to use.
Despite the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) hindering the legalization of cryptocurrency tenders, recent studies revealed the spike in the demand of digital currencies among citizens as more users invest in the same. The trend has been spearheading with the enthusiasts of the sector including the founder of the Civic coin, Vinny Lingham who introduced South Africans to the possible breakthrough of digital currency and blockchain.
Earlier this year, the Treasury Secretary in the country, Henry Rotich was issued with an ultimatum of two weeks to decide on the regulation of the cryptocurrencies. And despite not giving any updates to date, the finance CS acknowledged the increase of cryptocurrency activities in the country and indicated that the innovation had a significant impact on the financial sector.
During the first half of 2018, Sureremit which is an unregulated exchange raised $7 million through ICOs notwithstanding several other ATM bitcoin machines that have started operations in the country. More so, independent individuals such as the “roasted meat” trader in Nyeri, a town in Kenya reveals of currently using Bitcoin in the business.
Other countries currently running cryptocurrency ATMs include South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Djibouti. In Nigeria, the Central Bank has been reluctant in regulating cryptocurrencies, but key exchanges such as Luno have witnessed an increase of user base whereby more users are deciding to invest in the sector.
Bitcoin ATMs in Africa
Some time back, it was rare to find a cryptocurrency ATM in Africa, but currently, various countries have commenced making strides in establishing the facilities mainly for Bitcoin. The first ATM was set up in South Africa four years ago, and as of now, users of digital currencies across the continent particularly in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Djibouti can enjoy several Bitcoin ATMs in various Cities.
General Bytes and Genesis Coin which lead in Bitcoin ATMs in the globe have contributed significantly in setting similar facilities in Africa. The process involves more than 30 manufacturers of Bitcoin ATMs which are currently run by over 400 operators. The cryptocurrencies ATMs are increasing in demand, and it’s the matter of time before other countries such as Nigeria and Ghana follow suit.
African Bitcoin Exchanges
At present, Africa has several exchanges that offer users with the opportunity to trade in cryptocurrencies while using the local currencies. Luno, NairaEx, Ice3X, and Golix are the most established and the longest-standing exchanges in the continent, and since the beginning of 2017, other exchanges such as Remitano, CoinDirect, and Belfrics saw a fertile ground and launched activities in the continent.
Spreading of Cryptocurrency
The idea of governments in Africa not regulating cryptocurrencies may have spurred the growth of the same, but with the current trend, there is no guarantee that the authorities will not change their mind.
For instance, alarmed with the fall of the banking sector or arbitrary finance appropriation by the governments, citizens who cannot access to banks in the continent and who dwell in politically unstable countries have high chances of choosing cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency/Blockchain in Africa
Despite some progress in digital currency awareness and adoption in Africa, the majority of people in the continent still view it with anxiety. However, it might pick up with more user experience and awareness on the same. Social media is offering cryptocurrencies a huge shot with various articles and videos depicting flourishing users of the technology. There is also adequate information online about cryptocurrency and blockchain and how to invest and trade fruitfully in the field.
The Future of Blockchain/ Cryptocurrency in Africa
The cryptocurrency market in Africa is set to open up. The continent has big potential with the big number of users currently switching off from the traditional financial services to cryptocurrency sector which provides huge returns quickly.