IMPORTANT POINTS

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

Chris Maurice, CEO of Yellow Card Crypto Exchange, said the use of cryptocurrency in Africa has grown rapidly lately.

Maurice said crypto adoption is increasing in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. However, the data from the crypto exchange does not reflect actual interest in the continent. The CEO of the Lagos-based company argued that the region is more focused on over-the-counter and peer-to-peer trading, whose transaction data is not reflected in exchanges. “The crypto asset volume runs either via WhatsApp or Telegram or via informal OTC,” Maurice told Cointelegraph.

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

Since the data from exchanges would be incorrect, Maurice’s estimates could be checked for volume on peer-to-peer trading sites like Paxful and LocalBitcoin. The UsefulTulips.org website recorded the volume and percentage of volume change in sub-Saharan Africa from both websites. Based on their findings, the region had a historic transaction volume of $ 16 million over the past seven days. Transactions in the Nigerian naira (NGN) totaled around USD 10 million, while the South African rand (ZAR), Kenyan shilling (KES) and Ghanaian cedi (GhS) also recorded transaction volumes of more than USD 1 million .

The use case of Bitcoin was evident in South Africa, Maurice said. Because of the difficulty in accessing traditional finance, Bitcoin has become an alternative for transactions and for storing wealth. It can be used to facilitate cross-border transactions minus the high fees.

It can also be a source of income. Paxful noticed last year how unbanked users in Africa used gift cards to get Bitcoin. If there is any evidence of the increasing prevalence of crypto 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 alongside its #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative, which aims to provide grassroots crypto education in Africa.