Africa is often a forgotten continent in the tech world. However, blockchain is set to boom in a big way across the landscape; in fact, it has already begun to.
There are an increasing number of examples like this–NewsBTC reported that at least fifteen new trading ventures have sprouted up in South Africa across the past year. Additionally, the Kenya-based payment platform and money transfer service bitPesa has developed working relationships with at least 60 banks, and operates seven mobile wallets.
BitHub Africa, an organization based in Nairobi, is seeking to fund local startups to boost blockchain adoption. The Capetown-based Blockchain Academy has engaged in community initiatives to educate local business owners and residents about the advantages of using blockchain in financial procedures.
There have also been a rising number of blockchain firms who have taken social responsibility very seriously as their presence has grown stronger in the continent. Just last week, mobile blockchain financial services platform Wala formed a strategic partnership with several other blockchain firms to lend $10 million worth of crypto tokens to sub-Saharan farmers.
A growing number of other firms, including Consensys, Ripple, Rightmesh, and Bloc, have also set up shop in parts of Africa, and are bullish on their business there.
It’s Time to “Leapfrog”
In order to understand why blockchain technology is positioned to impact societies across Africa in a big way, we must first understand exactly what it is that blockchain can offer, and why it is so particularly suited to the needs of African people.
In a piece for CoinTelegraph entitled “Cryptocurrency Can Leapfrog Africa Into Future,” writer Darryn Pollock explains that the progression of blockchain technology in Africa can be compared with the evolution of the telecom industry on the continent.
Before the era of mobile phones, constructing the necessary infrastructure to create a continent-wide landline network was extremely inefficient in terms of time and expenses; it was also very impractical to install telephone poles and cables in rural areas that were not easily accessible by road.
However, the mobile phone industry brought a new era of accessibility to areas of rural Africa. While the landline industry struggled from start to end, the mobile phone industry have flourished across the continent, providing millions of people with myriad services, connectivity, and intelligence.