While the rapid emergence of cryptocurrency as a mainstream currency has changed the view and understanding of money in most parts of the world, cryptocurrency remain shrouded in much mystery in Africa.
Various reasons ranging from an informal sector that is full of cash to lack of internet access (only about 15 % of the African population has Internet access) and a low standard of living, seemingly make Africans to appear being in their of world.
Of course, many Africans, wake up in the middle of the night to use relatively cheaper internet, provided by my mobile network operator only in the wee hours of the night. However, I believe the African continent should not be left out!
For the African people to understand the “inherent value” of cryptocurrency there should be a move to bring on board the youth, who constitute a large and rapidly growing proportion of the elite population, so that information about this new medium of exchange can trickle-down to non-elites. It’s natural that if this young population is convinced to adopt an innovation, the rest will exhibit excitement and readiness to learn and adopt it.
In this way, young people can help the cryptocurrencies to gain enough critical mass, and increase their acceptance as methods of payments across the African continent. Cryptocurrency is a new revolutionary type of currency. Like any other currency or unit of account, they only have value because people think it has value. It is worth noting that more people understanding how cryptocurrency works implies more people who are willing to use this new medium of exchange, which offers Africans an opportunity to unlock the benefits of using cryptocurrency.
Most African elites I have interacted with are 100% sure for use of cryptocurrencies in buying and selling. They say, “Central banks have stolen from us and brought inflation and depressions for too long with fiat money”. One young African had this to say, “For me, what I want is the cardinal characteristics of money: Is it a medium of exchange? Once any cryptocurrency passes that test, I support it”
The only closest technology to cryptocurrency that Africans have adopted massively is mobile money and mainly because, about 30% lack access to traditional financial services such as bank accounts and credit cards.
This sets a good precedent for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency in Africa—and the only thing the African people need is information—the reason why the youth is the answer.
We would like to know how young people could make cryptocurrency a household name in Africa. Share your thoughts!