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Choosing Bitcoin Over the Dollar in Africa

by Alan Daniel

Would it surprise you to hear that there are countries in Africa that are choosing Bitcoin over the dollar? The following article relays some of the critical points for Bitcoin adoption and why this technology is enabling under-served people the ability to connect to each other and grow financially.

Bitcoin as a Global Hedge

The promise of bitcoin is peer to peer value transfer without third parties such as banks. Peer to peer value transfer is happening daily on the bitcoin network. Individuals can send value in seconds to people all over the world without fear of frozen funds (via Paypal) or excess fees to a large corporation. Bitcoin and its network represent a significant improvement over current methods in a few ways, and more are coming to realize its importance.

The leading digital asset and the ecosystem are abuzz with the potential of the blockchain of digital assets and trust technology in general. Experts think that bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of reasons. The leading digital asset can be used as collateral, as currency, and its payment network and base level protocol can support further creation and development. One critical point related to bitcoin is that it is open source, and anyone can run a node and join the network. Interested parties can participate in the bitcoin revolution with a few simple items. They simply need a reliable internet connection, a computer, and continuous electricity.

These simple requirements open up access to everyone across the world that have the proper infrastructure to participate in the financial arena in a simple and accessible manner. Individuals in developing and emerging markets can adopt the concept and immediately have access to a way to send and collect value. This phenomenon brings about many different opportunities in building up wealth and storing it in non-traditional assets and financial instruments.

Bitcoin in Nairobi

Bitcoin and its overall technology can enable people in under-served communities to connect and do more with their lives financially. Young entrepreneurs in places such as Nairobi believe this to be true, such as Rossiello from the AZA Group. The entrepreneur spoke at the recent Fortune conference and commented on how the firm has used “digital currency to lower the costs of fund transfers and payments in Sub-Saharan Africa” according to Fortune. AZA came about because of currency liquidity issues associated with dollarization in various local banks in the region.

Rossiello thought that there could be a solution to tedious process banks were engaged when conducting transfers and funds. The entrepreneur thought that there had to be a better way than acquiring USD or euros before eventually converting to local currencies.

She has found substantial success with her solution and is now in about 17 or 18 countries.

Digital assets helped, “cryptocurrency became a solution, for example, for AZA’s Nigerian customers with businesses that import from China—they wanted a naira-renminbi currency pair, which a lot of banks would first route them through the U.S. dollar to do” according to Fortune.

Use cases are present, and entrepreneurs all over the world are tinkering with ways to use digital assets to solve real problems.

A vital boon to the cryptocurrency system will be looking at ways to use existing networks such as bitcoin, build on top of it and find ways to unlock hidden value.

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