Not only are digital currencies volatile in the market, but also in regional legality. While almost everyone in the digital world is keen to learn more about using them, some countries deem otherwise.
The vast continent of Africa is recently dubbed as a crypto frontier by many news articles and market experts. It may not be as advanced as Western Europe and East Asia, but trends show it to be on the verge of surpassing others. After all, it has long been using mobile money, so digital assets are the perfect fit for the young and tech-savvy population. Now, the question here is, which African countries are crypto-friendly?
Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa were included in Chainanalysis’ 2020 Global Crypto Adoption Index as world giants in peer-to-peer crypto trading. Kenya — known as one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa — had a record of peer-to-peer volumes between $1 million and $2 million weekly. From fintech and farming to the best Bitcoin casino in Kenya, here is how its various sectors are contributing to the adoption and growing trade rates.
The popularity of crypto in Kenya
The Kenyan government doesn’t view crypto as a legal tender, but they are allowed as intangible assets used for online payments, trade, and investment.
Back in January 2018, its Bitcoin (BTC) holding represented more than 2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It was impressive, given how an estimate of over 4.5 million people (8.5% of the country’s total population) own digital currencies. Plus, it leads the world as a top Bitcoin maximalist country, having an average Bitcoin search interest at 94.70%.
Kenya’s active approach to its broad crypto regulations is among the many reasons why it leads crypto and blockchain statistics. To ensure digital currencies’ inevitable use towards safety and security, it oversees fintech companies through the following laws:
- The National Payments Systems (NPS) Act
- The Banking Act
- Central Bank Kenya (CBK) regulations for money remittances
- Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2009 (the AML Act)
Crypto in the countryside: Emerging fame among Kenyan farmers
Fintech companies and tech-savvy youths are the expected populations that use digital currencies and blockchain tech. Whereas in Kenya, farmers are recently tapping into their uses and benefits.
American economist Will Ruddick created a community inclusion currency (CIC) called Sarafu. Its coins are like vouchers that can be exchanged for goods and services of other users of the currency. Anyone could join so long as they have a Kenyan mobile phone line, so giving or taking credit won’t require having to deposit Kenyan shillings or other fiat currencies.
Ruddick introduced Sarafu to the rural areas due to the lack of the national currency. ‘People say look, the national ledger system, the national currency it is not available for us. We can’t measure our trade in this thing’, he said.
Kenyan farmers are positive about how Sarafu is helping their harvest and efficiency. Emmanuel Kahindi, a 26-year-old farmer, said that he uses the said asset to sell his vegetables and save more money to buy supplies without using any cash.
Bitange Ndemo, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi, is onboard with Sarafu. He believes that digital currencies give those kinds of communities the chance to monetise their resources in a manner that they weren’t able to do with cash before.
While Sarafu is currently the main crypto priority in the rural areas, you can use other digital currencies, such as BTC, Ether (ETH), and Ripple (XRP), when buying online items or playing at the best Bitcoin casino in Kenya.