- South Africa leading the rest of Africa in cryptocurrency adoption.
- Kenya and Ghana are in the consultation phase.
- Nigeria considered hostile but the population won’t hear any of that.
The anticipation of a crypto-revolution in Africa has been intensifying since late 2017 with governments showing a lack of uniformity in their attitude and approach. The underlying sentiment towards blockchain and cryptocurrencies is that they are ripe for mainstream adoption in Africa, and the tech-savvy population is well poised to embrace the innovative technologies.
South Africa Leads the Way
According to World Payments Report of 2018, South Africa has trailed the blaze for the rest of Africa by warming up to the digital payment platforms, cryptocurrencies-this is per Kenya’s The Star newspaper of October 18, 2018.
The publication reports that Kenya and Ghana have entered the consultation phase, which is like what the Asian nations of Singapore and The Philippines experienced while Nigeria is still regarded as hostile to cryptocurrencies. The report reads in part:
“The central bank of Nigeria has also imposed a complete ban on Bitcoin and the likes, while Brazil also has banned cryptos.”
The Nigerian Central Bank barred financial institutions in the country from dealing with digital currencies like the Bitcoin, Swisscoin, and OneCoin. Analysts believed the January 17, 2018 initiative was the first step towards regulating digital currencies which are popular in the country.
The government did not curtail the use of Bitcoin by individuals but warned on its safety. However, earlier this month, in what was called “a first in Africa,” a Nigerian company installed a Point of Sale (POS) system that allows purchasing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
In Kenya, there has been a push for the authorities to draft laws to regulate cryptocurrencies with the Central Bank of Kenya Governor showing support for the technology. The governor stated in May 2018 the regulator was open to considering cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as alternative payment to reduce fraud. The Kenyan government is already using. He stated:
“A number of banks are currently working on products hinged on blockchain technology and we think they offer a lot of promise.”
The Kenyan government is already using blockchain technology to prevent corruption in its plan to provide affordable housing to its workforce.
In South Africa, the merchant payment system and Fintech firm Centbee launched a Bitcoin Cash Wallet App on October 3, 2018. The App will allow users to transact BCH with others via their smartphones in a single tap.
Developing Markets Catching Up
The world payments report 2018 analyses emerging technologies like blockchain and real-time payment solutions that assist banks to become better anchors of the new payment ecosystem. The Star Newspaper states:
“While developing markets are driving growth in global payments, the e-wallet market also presents market share opportunity for big tech firms to thrive through offering unique value propositions to customers.”