In my last piece, I talked about the similarities between internet adoption and crypto adoption. You can read more about it here.
In this new one, I highlighted the valid use cases for blockchain and crypto adoption in Africa.
According to the World Bank, over 100 million people are unbanked in Africa.
These are people without an account with a financial institution or a mobile money provider.
The most commonly cited barriers are lack of money and high costs of maintaining bank accounts.
Other reasons include distrust in the financial system and the complexities of the current banking system.
Statistics also show that many of the unbanked have access to the internet. So even though they don’t have bank accounts, they can have access to cryptocurrencies online.
The blockchain’s potential is huge — Defi represents the 31st biggest US investment bank and GoldFinch is expanding access to capital using crypto.
Africa has the same potential.
Blockchain will become more than a financial technology, but a social, financial, and cultural innovation.
Here are a couple of use cases where blockchain technology will easily come in handy;
Many finance houses in Africa have no way of determining the creditworthiness of an individual.
Instead, what we have is an unsustainable system where the collateral has to match up or be more than the amount you intend to borrow.
Elite countries run on credit systems. A lending system that works by apportioning individuals a credit score.
We can develop a better credit score with the open nature of the blockchain. The blockchain can solve that problem and give ready access to capital.
2. Payments for the digital economy
Most traditional economies weren’t designed with the internet in mind. As a result, modern economies have several issues:
What our traditional economy looks like.
- Lack of access: Globally, about 1.7 billion adults are unbanked. This limits the ability of people to start businesses, fund projects, and take entrepreneurial risks.
- Superficial charges: High fees on credit card transactions and remittances, as well as high-interest loans, make it difficult for low-income communities to participate in the economy.
- Opacity: Banks operate under complex structures that make it difficult to understand their financial health and the risks of underwriting. Citizens are relegated to trusting that the government will preserve economic value through monetary policy, capital controls, and FDIC insurance; we’ve seen how this hasn’t always worked for us in the past.
These limitations reduce economic growth and amplify inequality. As more economic activity moves online, we need internet-native tools for building productive economies.
What’s your role in all these you wonder? Let’s see some action points in the next chapter.
Change the world from your corner
When thinking about crypto, I often think of this quote by Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum:
“To me, the goal of crypto is to give people access to cryptographic and economic building blocks that give people more choice in whom to trust.”
Here’s how you can play your part regardless of what you do:
As a founder, one of the ways we’ve tried to get the crypto adoption going is to get developers to build use cases with our Open-Sourced documentation.
When you join this community, you get to play your part by building blockchain solutions around lending, savings, payment, and even wealth management.
Open-sourcing our developer documentation is only the first step towards ensuring genuine decentralization in our approach to building blockchain-powered products.
More business owners need to accept payment in stablecoins. The more people embrace it, the more people see it as the norm.
An average person sees cryptocurrencies as a form of investment. An increase in the number of businesses receiving stablecoins payments will change the narrative.
Since stablecoins are a digital version of the dollar, accepting them is also beneficial to you as it keeps your local currency from being devalued.
We all have a part to play
Africa is a continent with a fast-growing population of internet natives, yet, there is a gap in commerce between countries.
For example, if I’m in Europe, I can spend my Euro. Even with Ghana being a neighboring country to Nigeria, I can’t travel to Ghana without getting some Cedis first.
We need a solution to that, a way to move money easily and fast.
The demand for stable cryptocurrencies in decentralized finance has increased in the past couple of months.
Its availability and adoption will increase interoperability between African countries. This will increase economic transactions and give everyone access to financial inclusion.
Blockchain technology has valid use cases across different pain points.
Lazerpay started by solving the payment problem because we believe if payment is broken, commerce is broken, logistics are broken, and the economic infrastructure is broken.
The friction in payment affects the economy and takes us far away from the interoperability we are looking for. A new decentralized, blockchain-based financial system could help open the financial system to people who are currently excluded.
Now is the time to leverage blockchain technology and create better economic opportunities and collaboration between countries.