Crypto Week In Review: Jack Dorsey Wants to Bring Bitcoin to Africa

JD Lasica / Flickr

This guest post is written by Voyager, a crypto brokerage firm with a commission-free trading app.

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square, has become an avid Bitcoin supporter and has even pledged to integrate the digital currency into both the Twitter and Square platforms. In March, he told CNBC that he buys $10,000 of Bitcoin per week.

But, his latest announcement may be his biggest bet on Bitcoin yet. Last week, Dorsey tweeted that he’s moving to Africa next year. While he didn’t give much of an explanation as to why he’s leaving the U.S., he did say that “Africa will define the future,” adding in parenthesis, “especially the Bitcoin one!”

His cryptic tweet comes after a month-long trip through Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. During this visit, Dorsey is reported to have connected with several crypto business owners in Ghana and attended local Bitcoin meetups in Nigeria.

Why Africa?

Africa is on the brink of a tech explosion. According to the World Bank, four of the globe’s fastest-growing economies are in Africa – Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Rwanda. Not just that, only 400 million of Africa’s 1.25 billion people are using the internet, leaving more than 800 million potential new users.

Despite limited access to the web, Africans are avid crypto users. In April, Google Trends revealed that Lagos, Nigeria had the world’s highest volume of online searches for “Bitcoin.” In the West African country, 7.8% of people own cryptocurrencies, compared to the global 5.5% average.

In many countries in Africa, people have turned to cryptocurrencies over their national currencies because of inflation and volatility. In Zimbabwe, for example, there’s been a surge in peer-to-peer Bitcoin transactions following a ban on foreign currencies.

The South African rand has been named the most volatile currency in the world, which is likely why 10.7% of its citizens own cryptocurrencies (the highest rate in the world).

In addition to currency instability, 2 out of 3 adults in sub-Saharan African don’t have a bank account, making it extremely difficult for them to transact on a global scale. With cryptocurrencies, there is no need for intermediaries like banks – all that’s needed is an internet connection.

The challenges in Africa have created the perfect storm for crypto adoption. With the support of local governments and investments from tech giants like Twitter and Square, the continent is primed for a Bitcoin revolution.

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The original Voyager post can be found here.

Image: JD Lasica / Flickr

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