Food for Thought
Africa and its banking sector have always had its issues. Infrastructure for brick and mortar banks struggle due to the remote nature of the continent, but mass adoption of cryptocurrency could see many marginalized people empowered through digital currency.
Cryptocurrency is being hailed in the developed world as the next step in money, but it is locked in a fight with a well established and powerful financial sector. In the developing world, however, that sector is broken and ripe for mutiny.
Leapfrogging the obsolete
Traditional banking sectors have been implemented across the African continent in the same mould as in the developed European banks due to colonization. However, Africa’s infrastructure and inner workings do not make this system efficient in any way.
Thus, banks have been forced upon Africans as a necessity; however, they are difficult to use and unsuited to the continent.
This leapfrogging of technology has happened before in Africa as many citizens of the continent simply skipped the part of owning a landline as they were cumbersome, expensive and difficult to set up in rural areas. Mobile phones suited Africa much more, as would cryptocurrencies.
The signs are there
Africa’s Bitcoin and cryptocurrency market in general is slowly taking root. South Africa’s finance minister has said the country will take a balanced approach to the currency as many use it as a store of wealth.
The benefit of African exchanges and cryptocurrency businesses are being noted, especially when it comes to cross border trade and payment. Additionally, since the uptick in mobile phones, the Internet and telecommunication infrastructure is very advanced across the continents - far more advanced and accessible than banking.
Lack of legacy
Because the banking legacy in Africa is minute and heavily flawed, Africa is at a huge advantage when it comes to picking up a replacement technology, especially one as disruptive as cryptocurrencies.
Many African adults do not have access to bank accounts and as such, their economic freedom is severely hampered. Bureaucratic tenors and economic exclusion, amongst others, have paved the way for this situation.