While many Western investors may turn to crypto to speculate on the next big trend, blockchain technology is actually solving "real world problems" in Africa such as hyperinflation and "corruption", they said. leaders at Cointelegraph.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Chris Maurice, Founder and CEO of Yellow Card - Africa's largest cryptocurrency exchange - said that crypto in Africa is "growing at the speed of light" as it enables many Africans to escape the failures of the traditional financial system and transact more freely.
"Crypto solves real-world problems with banks and currencies on the continent, and it's not the casino you can sometimes look like in the West."
Mauritius said the most common use cases in Africa are making international payments, sending money to friends and family, and “saving money against inflation.”
"Crypto in Africa lives closer than any other part of the world to the technology's original mission," he added.
Kevin Imani, founder and CEO of Sankore 2.0 - a subsidiary of Layer 1 Near Protocol - believes that blockchain-based payments can act as a human rights technology:
“It is important to recognize the human rights protections it offers to people in underdeveloped countries. In many developing countries, hyperinflationary pressure and corruption have left citizens with few options.
“Cryptocurrencies provide a lifeline for these people, providing greater financial inclusion and control over their money,” he added.
According to Statistica, inflation rates in sub-Saharan Africa reached around 14.5% in 2022, marking the region's largest annual change since the 2008 recession.
Imani said the “ability to counter weak national currencies and corruption” and increase financial inclusion makes peer-to-peer crypto transactions a no-brainer for many Africans.
"I personally see Crypto as Africa's next chance, another opportunity to be part of something big, as opposed to the internet revolution of the 2000s when most Africans weren't as exposed as they were. today," added Okoye Kevin Chibuoyim, the founder. and CEO of Nigeria-based crypto education platform GIDA.
“Africans are used to bad governments that are not accountable and transparent, but here blockchain here shows its transparent nature and makes everyone trust the system,” he said.
Related: Africa: The Next Hub for Bitcoin, Crypto Adoption and Venture Capital?
In April, Block - an American digital payments company led by Jack Dorsey - partnered with Yellow Card to facilitate cross-border payments in Africa based on Block's infrastructure.
After the number of cryptocurrency users increased by 2,500% in 2021, the region saw an 11-fold increase in venture capital funding in 2022.
Maurice said Nigerians have embraced cryptocurrency “like no one else” in the region – with a local publication reporting in May that 47% of Nigerians own or transact with crypto daily.
While Mauritius said Botswana had "the greatest legal and regulatory clarity", cryptocurrency would now be illegal in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Guyana, Lesotho, Libya and Zimbabwe, according to Investopedia .
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