With 70% Population Unbanked, Future of Bitcoin in Ghana is Bright
With its smartphone penetration growing and many citizens unbanked, Bitcoin’s adoption in Ghana has a future.
Aside South Africa, Kenya and to some extent the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bitcoin doesn’t seem to be penetrating other African countries. Many have attributed it to lack of infrastructure and ignorance of the digital currency.
Godwin Bush, Director of Operations at PmCedis Capital, an Accra based Bitcoin Exchange, spoke to Cointelegraph about the future of Bitcoin in Ghana. He stated that Bitcoin adoption in Ghana is invigorating but it is most popular among the young generation. It is significant to mention that Bitcoin has an enormous power to lift the copious unemployed Ghanaian youth from squalor.
Recent World Bank Study revealed that, there are 26 universal banks and more than 110 rural and community banks across nationwide. In contrast, a whopping 70 percent of the adult population have no bank accounts. The study noted this stems from the concomitant cumbersome process and the punitive cost involved in opening a bank account. Apparently, the setting is ripe for Bitcoin to thrive.
However, Godwin noted, “Most people purchase Bitcoin for payment of goods and services online and also for Forex Trading purposes.” Arguably this is an indication of increasing cross-border trade as a result of access to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin exchanges not known
He disclosed that there are several Bitcoin Exchanges in Ghana but a few are actually known to the public. The exchanges are pushing adoption through their services to the Ghanaian public. “By making it easier for people to convert their Bitcoin to cash and vice versa adoption goes up,” Godwin says. His general observation is that there are few people who are investing in Bitcoin as a portfolio.
The Bitcoin Community in Kenya is currently under fire from their moribund government which claims Bitcoin has been aiding terrorist activities. When asked about Government interest in Bitcoin in Ghana, Godwin says: “I don’t even know if there is such interest in the first place.” Clearly there is no government interest in Bitcoin at the moment, however is such a circumstance helpful?
In Godwins opinion Bitcoin’s future in Ghana is bright. “In five years the adoption rate will have picked up,” Godwin stipulated. He is also not sure if there are Blockchain startups in his West African country of almost 30 million people. He also strongly believes his country can be the leader in the adoption in Africa. Bitcoin seems to be on the brighter side in the country that first won independence in Sub-Sahara Africa from Britain in 1956.
Ghana’s National Communication Authority reports that smartphone penetration has grown 128 percent compared to last year. With increasing improvement of internet infrastructures like the introduction of 4G, Ghana’s match to become a leader in Crytocurrency penetration in Africa cannot be underestimated.