The African continent is quickly warming up to investing in the cryptocurrency industry. But the reasons are perhaps a bit different than those in places like Silicon Valley: The problem of unemployment is so acute, in fact, that educated youths picked up cryptocurrency trading to make a living.
A Change of Heart, a Change of Currency
“I check my Bitcoin every day and any chance I can get. Any minute, any hour, anytime, as often as I can,” said Peace Akware, a resident of Uganda who began trading cryptocurrencies when she could neither find a job nor success in her other side hustles. This change of heart is not a lone story either as the same situation can be observed across multiple African cities.
The failure of some fiat currencies has aided the belief among the masses that cryptocurrencies are the currency of the future. Take the example of Nigeria, where retailers have started accepting payments in bitcoin because their confidence in the local currency is dwindling.
Politically unstable countries have been at the forefront of adopting decentralized cryptocurrencies. As such, bitcoin has become popular both, as a currency and also an investment tool, in the politically and economically tumultuous Zimbabwe.
South Africa, the most developed nation of the continent, has also seen a dramatic increase in the number of people getting acquainted with the pioneer digital currency. Bitcoin prices in the region have thus traded at a premium when compared to the prevailing global price.
When there is a shortage of sellers in the market, some brokers purposely quote higher prices, sometimes at a premium of 40 to 50 percent. Some experienced traders have made money like this, while the masses tend to lose their hard earned savings.
Informing the Masses
There is a clear need for investor education in the continent. Thus, Ugandan bitcoin miner Godfrey Kabaka decided to lecture fellow citizens on cryptocurrency trading.
It is becoming a common sight to see these kinds of crypto investor education sessions spread across African cities. Most people who share their knowledge and experience with budding cryptocurrency enthusiasts are also the ones who jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon years before bitcoin hit African shores.
Bagorogo, who hosts such seminars has been nicknamed “the gospel of bitcoin.”
He described how his lifestyle had changed positively and how the money he made by trading cryptocurrencies was now helping him send his daughter to a better school, something he simply couldn’t afford earlier.
“At this point, I think a wise government in Africa that cares about FDI and overall economic growth should just adopt crypto and let it work in their respective countries,” said Adewale Bankole, President of the Bastiat Society and Humaniq Ambassador of Nigeria when asked about his views on cryptocurrency regulation.
“I believe adoption will rise steadily once the crypto companies spend more in sensitizing Africa business people and Africans in general. It is obvious that people want an alternative to fiat money. People are tired of working hard for money and working harder to transact with it which is the current situation with fiat money in Africa. This is what I see on a daily basis.”