A crypto renaissance in Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution on Amazon Prime

Magna Numeris
5 min readMay 27, 2020

Transaction volumes higher than expected

It deserves a documentary

A virtual currency and several blockchain projects for the continent

Banking on Africa, The Bitcoin Revolution

The documentary banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution, which traces the history and social impacts of cryptography in Africa, is available in streaming since May 22 on Amazon Prime.

Transaction volumes higher than expected

The week after Bitcoin’s halving was one of the explosive records in terms of trading volumes on peer-to-peer platforms around the world. Let’s talk about what’s happening in Africa. It’s more than incredible because research volumes for Bitcoin are exploding on the African continent. The specific reasons for focusing on the number one cryptos vary from nation to nation, but what is certain is that Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya are in the forefront.

The volume continues to grow despite the fact that many African countries are still experiencing major economic development problems. Africa even seems to be a better ground for the development of cryptos and blockchain projects, and some economists believe that this revolutionary innovation has every chance on the continent. Moreover, Bitcoin very often proves to be a solution quickly envisaged by populations seeking to safeguard their heritage.

In 2018, according to gobitcoin.io, the information site on Bitcoin in Africa, the main users of Bitcoin in Africa are Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This is due to inflation rates which for example in South Sudan was 102% between September 2016 and September 2017, according to the World Bank. Other countries, such as Egypt, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe, have double-digit inflation rates.

Subsaharan Africa Historical Volume

It is now 2020 and according to data from the analysis site Useful Tulips, Paxful and LocalBitcoins total more than USD 14 million on trade between BTC and 18 African currencies. In the case of Nigeria, peer-to-peer trade reaches USD 9.2 million in combined weekly trade.

According to another January 2020 report by the market research firm DataReportal, it is estimated that 11% of Nigerians and 13% of South Africans under the age of 64 with Internet access have a cryptocurrency, compared to 7% on average in the world.

It deserves a documentary

Arcane Research and Luno recently published a report that revealed that Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya are frequently among the top 10 countries for which Google searches for the word “Bitcoin”. The report, entitled “The state of Crypto: Africa” for the year 2020, also noted that Africa is a continent where traditional financial services are struggling to develop under good conditions. 66% of people do not have access to a bank account.

Luno financed a documentary on the history, evolution and social impacts of Bitcoin in Africa. The documentary has been available since May 22nd on Amazon Prime and is called “Banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution”.

Banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution is directed by South African filmmaker Tamarin Gerriety. It features Riccardo Spagni, Monero’s lead developer. Essentially, the documentary features some of the most prominent local actors who are promoting the adoption of Bitcoin in Africa and explores how crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and the blockchain could help Africa.

It also features Alakanani Itireleng aka Bitcoin Lady, founder of the Botswana startup incubator Satoshicentre.

The documentary can be seen on Luno’s YouTube channel:

“As the world struggles to lead the way in blockbuster technology, could Africa have an advantage? The documentary follows the journey of the Bitcoin pioneers as the continent seeks to make the most of cryptography to get ahead of the world’s economic powers. ”

For the founder of Square and Twitter, Jack Dorsey, the future of Bitcoin is taking shape on the continent in Africa.

A virtual currency and several blockchain projects for the continent

There are many projects in Africa based on Blockchain technology, such as the Blockchain Academy offering training on crypto-currency and Blockchain technology to local entrepreneurs, or the Blockchain and AI working group to explore the potential of these technologies in Kenyan utilities, or BitHub Africa providing consulting services to organizations interested in deploying Blockchain solutions in Africa.

In Africa, as in other continents, blockchain is a technology that has revolutionized all sectors. For example, in March 2017, let us recall the meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was instructed to discuss the adoption of Blockchain technology, which is revolutionizing practices in several sectors including education.

Let us also talk about AFRO, created in 2017, whose objective is to become Africa’s currency, in a pan-African perspective. In fact, the Swiss-based AFRO Foundation announced in 2018 the launch of the first pan-African cryptocurrency, which would be an “important innovation” for the development and growth of the African continent. On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the foundation explained in a press release:

“It will reduce transaction and remittance costs, facilitate trade between countries and regions of the continent and contribute to the financial inclusion of African individuals and SMEs”.

750 billion AFROS were issued on 19 June 2018 in correlation with the continent’s GDP and money supply for the launch of AFRO. The new cryptocurrency is 100% Proof of Stake (POS), to consume very little energy, “thus taking into account the latest technological developments of the blockchain”.

And finally, we cannot fail to mention the famous Akoin, the crypto designed for Africans by rapper Akon. In 2018, Akon unveiled his new Akoin crypto project. In March 2019, the Akoin Whitepaper was unveiled. It was learned that Akoin will use the Stellar network, a decentralized platform for financial applications.

Written by Laetisia Harson, Project Manager at Magna Numeris

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Magna Numeris

Magna Numeris is a startup developing solutions for cryptocurrency users, pushing the boundaries of conventional platforms to help grow the peer-to-peer economy