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In the face of difficult challenges, the African continent is determined to make a significant impact in the cryptocurreny ecosystem, especially with Bitcoin.
The African continent is determined to make a significant impact in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, especially with Bitcoin
There is no surprise in the popular assumption that the “dark continent” is largely ignorant of the developments within the world of Bitcoin. This impression extends from the general poor level of infrastructure which cuts across most nations within the African continent, and the unstable policy making systems obtained from various government levels and their financial institutions.
Darin Stanchfield is the founder of Keepkey, a Bitcoin cold storage device that is available across the globe. Darin expressed his surprise at the response his company is getting from within the African continent.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, he says;
“We have actually been surprised by the demand from Africa. I can’t speak of specific numbers right now, but internationally Africa has countries higher on the demand list than countries with larger populations. It is an interesting phenomenon, one that I haven’t heard a lot of people speak about.”
Specifically, Mr. Stanchfield identified South Africa as the largest patron of Keepkey among the African countries followed by the Northern African countries.”Kenya and Nigeria has shown a lot of demand too,” continued Mr. Stanchfield. According to him, heat wise the demand for Keepkey in Africa is similar per population as it is in Asia and Australia.
About the near future of Bitcoin in Africa, Darin believes that similar to every other continent, usage will grow.
Alena Vranova, Co Founder and Director at SatoshiLabs, the producers of the Bitcoin cold storage; Trezor also expressed surprise at the response of the African Continent towards their product. Speaking, she says;
“I’ve been surprised by having more and more African countries on the map of Trezor owners although the volume is still rather small. Nevertheless, this keeps rising if you compare our map of usage between late 2014 and 2015.”
Alena is hoping for even further usage of Bitcoins in Africa, especially as there are some startups with the goal of spreading the cryptocurrency within the continent.
“Bitnation has contributors in Ghana, Kenya, Botswana and South Africa at the moment and is hoping to get into Nigeria soon” says Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof the Founder and CEO of Bitnation.
Susanne holds a more reserved opinion towards the popularity of Bitcoin in Africa but not without her reasons and a measure of hope. In her words:
“Bitcoin adoption has come across as quite slow in Africa in comparison to the rest of the world, which is counter-intuitive, considering unstable currencies, bad governance and large adoption of mobile payments like M-Pesa, etc. I hope and believe that will change soon.”
Africa may be facing her peculiar challenges and may have taken backstage within the Bitcoin market, but the enormous potential of the dark-continent as a major player within the industry cannot be over-emphasized. The early signs are already obvious and the environment holds a lot of promise. It is no gainsay that in the near future Bitcoin usage in Africa will be in competition with other parts of the world.
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