The economy of Africa has been severely buffeted by many factors over the years. However, P2P finance platforms like Paxful recognize the opportunity cryptocurrency offers Africa.
The history of the African continent over the last few centuries hasn’t been exactly ebullient. Colonialism, massive food shortages, the spread of a number of virulent diseases, armed conflict, and unstable economies have all been elements that have shaped the ongoing development of Africa.
Yet a new economic and technological force is offering an unprecedented opportunity for those living in the so-called Dark Continent: cryptocurrency. The growing popularity and use of Bitcoin in Africa is allowing people to take their economic destiny into their own hands, and P2P finance platforms like Paxful are an integral part of this ongoing revolution.
The vast natural resources of Africa were long exploited by numerous colonial powers. Eventually, those powers were forced to leave, but they left behind countries with very little in the way of infrastructure, a stable economy, and sound financial and educational systems. Civil strife between rival factions and natural disasters, such as crop failures, have only served to heighten the uncertainty that swirls across the continent.
Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges in Africa understand that there many challenges facing Africans today. While inflation is manageable in a number of African countries, such as 2.71% in Zimbabwe and 3.6% in Namibia, inflation is rampant in many others, such as 12.48% in Nigeria, 18.7% in Libya, and an astounding 161.2% in South Sudan.
The result is that the average African is left helpless against economic, political, and military forces beyond their control. Fiat currency that is worth a set amount one day could be rendered worthless due to a change in regime. Banking institutions may curtail access to their services due to new laws being passed on the whim of a fickle central government. Yet such factors are actually conducive to the use of cryptocurrency being readily accepted and adopted by the average person. This is evident by the explosive growth in the popularity of Bitcoin in Africa.
At its heart, cryptocurrency represents freedom for the average African. For far too long, many people across the continent have been subjugated politically or economically by some form of centralized authority. Exchanges like Paxful, however, realize that the P2P finance element of cryptocurrency is sweeping away this subjugation and allowing individuals to forge their own economic destiny.
Cryptocurrency only requires a few elements that allow people to be an active participant in its ecosystem – a smartphone, a Bitcoin wallet, and an internet connection. As the infrastructure of many African countries leave a lot to be desired, the use of smartphones has exploded.
The use of such devices has doubled over the last few years, and half of the continent’s population has an active mobile phone subscription. People are now realizing that they no longer need access to a bank to be economically active. The millions of unbanked individuals in Africa can just pull out their smartphone to begin buying and selling in the crypto sphere.
The expanding use of Bitcoin in Nigeria and other nations highlights how people are realizing that cryptocurrency is a tremendous opportunity for the entire continent of Africa. It is true that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have a degree of volatility, but they are often far less than what the fiat of the various African nations undergo. Cryptocurrency is proving to be a stable store of value for many Africans.
Not to mention that they can use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to transact business across national borders (as well as across the entire world) for extremely low costs and in a near-instantaneous manner. Instead of waiting days or weeks for a payment to go through via traditional financial institutions, with governments and banks slapping fees on every step of the journey, a person can use Bitcoin and their phone to complete the same process in a few minutes instead and for far cheaper.
The use of Bitcoin in Africa offers the opportunity of freedom. For one, it allows people to become part of the global cryptocurrency ecosystem. Individuals are no longer bound to their physical location’s socio-economic features (as well as any attendant red tape) when it comes to making financial decisions. In another use, cryptocurrency helps provide physical freedom to Africans. If a person feels oppressed and has the ability to flee somewhere else, they can easily take their financial wealth with them if it’s in the form of cryptocurrency. No longer is there the fear of a central bank closing its doors, not allowing account holders to gain access to their funds. A person can move across a border into a neighboring country and still be able to access their Bitcoin wallet.
Overall, cryptocurrency is a tremendous opportunity for Africa. People can use their mobile phone, Bitcoin wallet, and internet connection to instantly join the global P2P finance marketplace of cryptocurrency. Lack of institutional financial access, rampant inflation, and political instability are all muted through the use of cryptocurrency.
Whether one lives in Nigeria, Kenya, or Ethiopia, virtual currencies represent economic freedom to a region that has known far too little of said commodity. Virtual currency exchanges like Paxful understand the transformative power of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is having upon the continent.
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