The evolution of human economic development has taken different dimensions starting from the early stone age to the medieval period, to the barter exchange era, cowry’s usage, paper money/currency, and now bitcoin. For starters, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency; a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to control its creation and management, rather than relying on central authorities.
Market analysts, stakeholders, organizations, concerned individuals, and even naysayers over the years have pondered on the legibility and legality of bitcoin, especially when it comes to its uses, security, challenges, and fast adoption in Africa.
All these and more formed the idea behind the recently concluded Techpoint Africa event that was held on the 27th – 28th August 2020 on which we had an important conversation of the topic tagged “Secure Digital Currencies for the Future of Africa”. The event had in attendance the crème de la crème of cryptocurrency platforms in Africa, CEO of tech start-ups, and crypto enthusiasts.
The panel session which was moderated by Damilola Odufuwa, Head of PR Africa, Binance, and featured Marius Reits, CEO Luno, South Africa; Fejiro Hanu Agbodje, the Founder and CEO of Patricia Technologies Limited; Eric Anan, CEO Kubix, Ghana; Damilola Odufuwa (moderator) Head of PR, Africa, Binance; and Yele Bademosi, Founder, Microtraction and Bundle Africa, was one full of insights.
Speaking on current crypto barriers, Yele Bademosi posited that a lot of people are just getting into the digital space and do not understand what it is. For him, the way forward is repeated education.
Following up on early crypto adoption in Africa was the question of financial freedom for all and ways crypto can be used to achieve that, Hanu Fejiro Agbodje responded thus; “there is a lot you can do with crypto these days. Using Patricia as an example, all you need to do is sign up and you are good to go. With bitcoin, you can effortlessly fix your data subscription, buy airtime and data, and with the new invention of the Luxury bitcoin debit card, that enables you to withdraw cash directly from your bitcoin wallet”. He stated that in his bid to keep enthusiasts informed and reach a wider audience, he had conversions surrounding cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin) go up on one of the most viewed TV shows in Africa – Big Brother Naija. This was aimed at pushing the crypto boundaries and having the conversations revolve around the cryptocurrency ecosystem in Africa.
Finally, on their expectations of the growth of crypto in Africa, the panelists collectively affirmed that they expect to see more institutions go into crypto for cross-border payments, in addition to more people buying and storing bitcoin.
In conclusion, start-up companies in Africa need to build crypto/blockchain solutions that work for the context of Africa. A concept that is set to not only make Bitcoin known around the world but have it herald the future of digital currencies.