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According to multiple reports this week the decentralized currency bitcoin is still booming in many African countries. From South Africa to the Sub-Saharan region, citizens from all walks of life are finding bitcoin beneficial. This is making domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and peer-to-peer trading platforms’ volumes climb while digital currencies are also selling at a premium.
Bitcoin Interest and Adoption is Trending Among African Millennials
The digital currency bitcoin is trending in Africa according to many reports and Google’s aggregated trend data. One particular group bitcoin is appealing to is African millennials, the columnist Catherine Byaruhanga from Uganda reports. For instance, a young resident from Kampala, Peace Akware, hopes her investment in bitcoin will grow enough for her to purchase a vehicle, and possibly even buy land some day. Another individual from Kampala, Martin Serugga, is teaching young millennials about cryptocurrencies in his weekly class that over 50 people attend. Serugga teaches the class how to trade cryptocurrencies against fiat used in the region.
Other reports detail that since the economic and political turmoil in South Africa residents from the area started looking to bitcoin. The exchange, Etoro saw a spike in users back in March when the region’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan lost his position.
“In South Africa, the number of new users trading bitcoin through eToro rose by 671% from January to the end of November last year over the same period in 2016, more than the 574% overall growth,” explains Mati Greenspan, an analyst for Etoro.
Thousands of Trades Taking Place Every Week and BTC Exchanges for a Premium
More populated areas like Sudan, South Africa, and Kenya continue to see adoption levels rise. The head of marketing for digital asset platform Luno, Werner van Rooyen, details that “thousands of trades are being made by South Africans every week.” Further, as news.Bitcoin.com reported a few weeks ago, the recent resignation of Robert Mugabe has caused BTC prices in Zimbabwe to spike exponentially higher than the global average. The tumultuous economy in Zimbabwe has caused the price of bitcoin to exceed global averages multiple times over the past year.
The digital security expert, Neil Blazevic, believes these emerging technologies can transform Africa just like the telecom system.
“With the right support for innovation, and collaboration Africa could once again leapfrog over the digital divide and become a market leader just like it did in the move from landline communications infrastructure to the mobile phone ecosystem,” Blazevic explains.
Localbitcoins Volumes in Africa Skyrocket Despite Warnings from Central Banks
The trend of citizens from multiple African countries has concerned the East African Community (EAC), an intergovernmental central bank organization composed of six countries in eastern Africa. The group is hoping to create a solitary currency for all six countries similar to the euro, but members believe “bitcoin interest” in Africa is hindering the process. Warnings about bitcoin have also stemmed from central banks like the Bank of Tanzania, Kenya, and other areas over the past few months.
In addition to these developments, the peer-to-peer platform Localbitcoins is recording all-time volume highs in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. Since the summer the Localbitcoins trading in these three areas has grown significantly week after week.
What do you think about the growing interest and rising adoption levels in Africa? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Fotogrin, Shutterstock, Coin Dance Volumes, Google Trends, and the Etoro platform.