The Launch of Sango Coin: The African continent spans an impressive 30,37 square kilometers and is home to 54 countries. Currently, the top five African countries that hold the most cryptocurrency are as follows; Nigeria with 13 million people holding cryptocurrency, next is Kenya with 4.5 million, followed by South Africa with 4.2 million, then Egypt with 1.7 million and in fifth place is Ethiopia with 1.1 million. While these are some impressive numbers, there is still a big portion of the African population that are skeptical of cryptocurrency.
There is a big push to encourage the rest of the African continent to adopt the use of cryptocurrency. Authorities of the Central African Republic have disclosed their latest crypto venture which they have coined “Sango Coin”. President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has launched Sango Coin as the Central African Republic’s official national cryptocurrency. This was done in an effort to push for general acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency in the broader continent of Africa. The hope that the African continent would welcome the use of cryptocurrency following Sango Coin is met with the fear that the project could, in fact, negatively affect Africa’s increasing trust in cryptocurrency.
President Touadéra has explained that he has “always wanted to leave something precious as legacy to future generations” and that his vision remains “to educate the youth so that it embraces new technologies, and also cryptocurrencies”. It is important to place special focus on the youth when introducing the idea of cryptocurrency in Africa as they are essentially the future investors and adopters of cryptocurrency.
Africa is a unique case when it comes to the fintech industry. With an estimated 57% of its population not having access to banking services and an even lower 22% having access to an internet connection, one wonders whether cryptocurrency can successfully be adopted by the continent as a whole. On the flip side, it has also been noted that Africa has the largest potential for growth and progress when it comes to the issue of internet access which in turn gives hope to the vision.
Added to this, interest in automated cryptocurrency tools is growing, especially since these tools allow users who are inexperienced to trade all over the world. Tools like Bitindex AI have significantly lowered the barriers to entry for inexperienced users, making it possible to trade where they find themselves, and only needing one, working internet browser.
Another positive is that President Touadéra believes that cryptocurrency could be Africa’s answer to the banking access issue. He is of the opinion that cryptocurrencies could serve as “an alternative to liquid cash, and banks’ bureaucracy,”. He also added that he thinks that Sango Coin could be used to expedite cross-border investments and purchases across the African continent.
The World Bank has analysed the economic climate of the Central African Republic and has reported that it is “one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world”. This, despite the fact that it is incredibly resource-dense in terms of its natural resources available. The bank has also highlighted that there is an innate absence of transparency when it comes to the country’s economy. Despite this, however, the bank continues to aid the Central African Republic with financial support, approving a 30 million dollar project to achieve digital governance in the country’s public sector.
Whether the launch of Sango Coin will have a negative or positive effect on the adoption of cryptocurrency in broader Africa is still unknown but it shows that African countries and their leaders are slowly starting to realise the potential that lies in cryptocurrency.
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