Why should you be paying attention to Bitcoin usage in Africa?
To put it simply, the continent of Africa is going through a technological boom. In particular, countries like Nigeria are seeing exploding technological growth. A very large number of startups are based in Nigeria, operating through Nigeria, and are serving Nigerians.
As a result, Nigerians are becoming incredibly tech savvy as consumers. They are going from very primitive technology to the most modern technology in a matter of months and years, instead of decades. They’re leap-frogging the tech improvements seen in other more developed countries.
What Is Leapfrogging?
In an emerging market, a population will adopt the most modern technology, and leapfrog over all the intermediary technologies that led to its rise.
For example, in America we had generations of large, clunky cell phones that finally led to the advent of the smartphone. In developing countries, people are going from no phone straight to smartphone, skipping the decades of tech improvements that Americans needed to perfect the smartphone.
What Does This Have To Do With Bitcoin?
One of the technologies that is really growing fast in Nigeria is Bitcoin.
Looking at the world’s top P2P bitcoin exchanges (LocalBitcoins and Paxful), we are seeing exploding growth in Bitcoin transaction volume. And it’s important to pay attention to these usage spikes in emerging markets for two reasons.
Bitcoin adoption may happen much faster in Africa than adoption in more developed areas of the world with entrenched payment standards
Bitcoin may completely leapfrog the payment rails that people know in America and quickly become the standard way of paying people without bank accounts
The low fees of Bitcoin also make it far more attractive for people being paid in places with a lower cost of living.
While we don’t know yet how Africa will use Bitcoin, when you see a country like Nigeria rapidly adopting technology alongside modern payment networks like Bitcoin, it’s worth paying attention to.