A lot of analysts today consider Bitcoin as a solution to a lot of problems in Africa. According to Bitcoin Magazine, the solution covers mainly with remittances to Africa where charges by major money transfer operators such as MoneyGram and Western Union are overly expensive. Also, The Cointelegraph mentioned a number of problems including Nigeria’s economic difficulties which may be solved by international employment, expedited by Bitcoin wages. They also mentioned corruption which may be solved by using smart contracts, such as those implemented by Ethereum. With these areas which we may find Bitcoin useful, there will be a big jump in Bitcoin adoption in Africa.
United Nations: Supporting Bitcoin awareness in Africa
BitPesa: Offering fast B2B transactions across Africa
In addition, CNN reported in their article about the possibility of Africa being close to Chinese Investors through the digital currency Bitcoin. An African Bitcoin startup located in Kenya, BitPesa, allows companies in Africa to send Bitcoin payments to China. Users in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are now able to send money directly to bank accounts in the Asian country. 70% of money transfer transactions in Africa are made through independent MTOs and African companies will now have this fast and cheap way of sending payments to their Chinese suppliers. The swift transactions could cut traditional money transfer costs by up to 60%, according to BitPesa.
Users will have to register an account at BitPesa.co, providing IDs, address and date of birth for security purposes. These details should also match the details provided in their conventional bank accounts. Transaction fees are calculated depending on the amount and currencies involved. The money arrives depending on your location, just a few minutes or hours after the transaction.
According to CNN, BitPesa has raised $4 million in capital ever since it started in 2013. BitPesa is not the only startup that trades Bitcoin in Africa but there are also other operators which do the same and are based mostly in South Africa. What makes BitPesa unique from the rest is their ability to allows users to make online payments to clients in Asia through China. Also, CNN mentioned that the trade between Africa and China reached $220 billion in 2016 as Chinese investors spend heavily for small businesses in Africa.
Nigeria on leading Bitcoin adoption in Africa
Latest news from NewsBTC says that 2016 shows a growing improvement of Bitcoin adoption in Nigeria. With the Nigerian based Bitcoin exchange BitX announcing that their wallet was downloaded 100,000 times in Google Play, it only shows that Bitcoin transactions are rapidly increasing in volume and the price rate is very profitable as Nigerians pay as much as $1000 for Bitcoin price at $800. A lot of Bitcoin experts sees this drift, if keeps growing, as an opportunity for Nigeria to overtake countries like Ghana and Kenya in the industry.