Twitter CEO Heads to Africa
Dorsey is currently in Ghana after spending a few days in Nigeria meeting with tech entrepreneurs. Part of his visit has included mini bitcoin meetups with developers and startup founders pushing Bitcoin utilization in both countries.
If Google searches are anything to go by, then Africa is where it’s at. Data from Google Trends, shows Nigeria as having the highest BTC searches worldwide, over the past 12 months.
In fact, two other African countries — South Africa and Ghana also make up the top five. This high level of interest hasn’t, however, translated to concrete bitcoin adoption outside of the African cypherpunk scene just yet.
For Dorsey, this gap between interest and real-word utilization presents an opportunity for Square’s CashApp to penetrate the continent. Speaking during a town hall meeting at Techpoint in Lagos, the Square chief remarked,
I want to understand the challenges of starting a company here and figure out a way I can support. I want to live here for three to six months next year, full time, no travelling.
Some commentators say Dorsey’s approach highlights what constitutes the important aspects of mainstream adoption rather than the pursuit of ETFs and worthless blockchain applications.
.@jack is showing us where the puck is going:
1. He’s in Africa at local BTC meetups
2. His #CashApp is ‘banking the unbanked’ all over
3. He’s hiring cypherpunks & core devs
He’s not yelling about ETFs or lettuce on the block https://t.co/QJXNrN28kX
— Jacob Kostecki (@jacobkostecki) November 11, 2019
African Mobile Money Market is Ripe for Bitcoin Adoption
According to World Bank figures, the majority of Sub-Saharan Africa remains unbanked. However, the continent has seen a massive penetration of mobile telecommunications technology.
Startups have also been able to leverage this telecoms boom to provide mobile money services even in rural areas without access to brick-and-mortar banking infrastructure. With such a buoyant mobile digital money market, bitcoin payment adoption seems like the next logical step.
Unlike officials in Asia and the West, governments in Sub-Saharan Africa haven’t created administrative roadblocks for crypto adoption. Save for the usual talk of risks, startups operating in the industry have a much clearer field.
Some crypto companies seem to be alive to this reality and are already seeking ways to leverage the potential in the African digital market. As previously reported by Bitcoinist, Binance added the Nigerian Naira as its first ever fiat trading pair.
Do you think Africa can take the lead in global bitcoin adoption? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Google Trends and Twitter @jacobkostecki.