Executives say that crypto offers Africans a way to escape inflation and corruption.

Executives from the cryptocurrency industry in Africa have highlighted the practical applications of blockchain technology in addressing real-world problems such as hyperinflation and corruption. Chris Maurice, founder and CEO of Yellow Card, Africa’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, stated that crypto in Africa is growing rapidly because it allows many Africans to circumvent the failures of the traditional financial system and transact more freely. He emphasized that crypto in Africa is not merely a speculative casino, but a solution to banking and currency issues on the continent. The most common use cases for crypto in Africa include international payments, sending money to friends and family, and protecting against inflation. Maurice also mentioned that Africa has more crypto users than North America or Europe, with six African countries being among the top 20 in the world for crypto adoption.

Kevin Imani, founder and CEO of Sankore 2.0, an affiliate of Near Protocol, highlighted the human rights aspect of blockchain-based payments, particularly for people in underdeveloped nations. In many developing countries, citizens have limited options due to hyperinflation and corruption. Cryptocurrencies offer financial inclusion and control over money, serving as a lifeline for individuals in such circumstances.

The high inflation rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching an estimated 14.5% in 2022, underscore the need for alternatives to weak national currencies. Imani believes that peer-to-peer crypto transactions are an obvious choice for many Africans, as they counter weak currencies and corruption while promoting financial inclusion.

Okoye Kevin Chibuoyim, founder and CEO of crypto education platform GIDA in Nigeria, sees crypto as Africa’s next opportunity for progress. He views it as a chance for Africans to participate in something great, contrasting it with the internet revolution of the 2000s, when many Africans were not as exposed. Chibuoyim pointed out that the blockchain’s transparent nature builds trust in a region accustomed to unaccountable and non-transparent governments.

In terms of partnerships and adoption, Block, a U.S. digital payments firm led by Jack Dorsey, partnered with Yellow Card to facilitate cross-border payments in Africa. The region also experienced a significant increase in venture capital funding in 2022, following a 2,500% growth in cryptocurrency users in 2021. While Nigeria leads in crypto adoption, Maurice noted that Botswana has the most legal and regulatory clarity in the region, while some countries, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Guyana, Lesotho, Libya, and Zimbabwe, have reportedly banned cryptocurrency.

Overall, Africa is emerging as a powerhouse of tech innovation, and blockchain technology is playing a significant role in addressing economic challenges and promoting financial inclusion in the region.