Cryptocurrency Use In Africa ‘Growing Very Rapidly’, Says Exchange CEO

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  • Crypto adoption in Africa is lead by Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana
  • Crypto volume in Africa reached $16 million last week
  • Because of difficulties accessing traditional finance, Bitcoin has become an alternative for transactions and storing of wealth

Yellow Card crypto exchange CEO Chris Maurice said the use of cryptocurrency in Africa has been growing at a rapid phase recently.

Maurice said there is growth in crypto adoption in the countries of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. But the data from crypto exchanges do not reflect the actual interest in the continent. The Lagos-based company’s CEO argued that the region is more into over-the-counter and peer-to-peer trading, transaction data of which do not reflect in exchanges. “Crypto asset volume is running through either WhatsApp or Telegram, or informal OTC,” Maurice told Cointelegraph.

Maurice estimated that the actual volume in Africa is up to eight times higher than the reported volume.

Because data from exchanges would not be accurate, Maurice’s estimates could be checked on peer-to-peer trading sites like Paxful and LocalBitcoin for volume. The website recorded volume and the percentage of volume changes in Sub-Saharan Africa from both websites. Based on its findings, the region recorded historic transaction volume of $16 million in the last seven days. Transactions in Nigerian naira (NGN) led at around $10 million, while South African rand (ZAR), Kenyan shilling (KES), and Ghanaian cedi (GhS) also recorded more than $1 million transaction volume.

Bitcoin’s use case has been obvious in South Africa, Maurice said. Because of difficulties in accessing traditional finance, Bitcoin has become an alternative for transactions and wealth storing. It can be used to facilitate cross-border transactions minus the large fees.

It can also be a source of income. Paxful noted last year how unbanked users in Africa used gift cards to obtain Bitcoin. If there’s one testament of the growing crypto adoption in Africa, it is Paxful, which confirmed in February that 45% of its wallets are from the region. Paxful continues to run marketing campaigns in the region, side by side its #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative, which aims to provide crypto education at the grassroots level in Africa.


While Nigeria is known for economic growth, Kenyan startups have been making an major impression. Photo: Ernst & Young.

– Ibtimes.

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