1. When it comes to Africa, in fact, many small partners will have misunderstandings. Can you first introduce Africa in your eyes and help you eliminate stereotypes.
Disease, war, gold and diamonds, animal world prairie, we often mention Africa to new friends, and our key words are these. In fact, Africa is far from being summed up by these words.
I think the most important points are:
1) First of all, Africa is not a country, but a continent composed of 54 countries (China’s diplomatic definition). Most of the ruling systems and judicial mechanisms of various countries continue the rules of the Commonwealth or the French colonial period, but they are greatly different in many details due to the influence of local history and culture. Historically speaking, the formation of the territory of African countries today is entirely left over by the Western colonial period. There are great differences between countries in the African continent, which can never be understood by the federalism of the United States or the difference of China’s “provinces”. It might be more appropriate to take Europe as an example. The official languages of African countries are mainly English, French and Portuguese. The local language is Bantu language, with countless branches. Most of the ruling and legal systems are based on the Commonwealth and France. Of course, there are countries like Nigeria that inherit the United States Federal garment bowl.
2) Africa is too big, and there are great differences in hydrology and geomorphology. The maps we see every day visually underestimate the vastness of the African continent due to the Mercator projection deviation. The land area of Africa is about 3.145 China. In such a vast continent, there are naturally hot places, deserts, lakes and snow mountains. But don’t always think it’s hot and Tan when you go to Africa.
3) Africa is the continent with the fastest population growth today. As of December 2019, according to the United Nations, the current population of Africa is 1.323 billion, and the average age of the whole continent is 19.4!! 19.4 years old!! (Japan’s average age this year is 46.7 years old and China’s average age is 37 years old) the United Nations predicts that the population of the African continent will reach 2.5 billion by 2050. This is a vibrant continent!
4) Generally, if Africa is to be classified, it is divided into northern Africa and sub Saharan Africa (Black Africa) with the Sahara Desert as the boundary in terms of culture, religion and race. North Africa is mostly Muslim, Arabic, culturally and ethnically belonging to MENA (Middle East and North Africa); Sub Saharan Africa is mostly black and more religious. Today’s sharing will mainly focus on Sub Saharan Black Africa.
5) Africa is indeed backward and the Gini coefficient is indeed high. But compared with the rendering in the film, it may not be as poor as you think. I suggest you read Hans Rosling’s factfullness to understand the real world we live in.
2. Is the blockchain market in Africa active? What kind of political, economic and social environment caused this?
The problem is very big. Give a general answer: in Africa, the technology development related to “blockchain” stays in the application area, and will always stay in the storytelling stage. Encrypted digital currency (mainly BTC) based on blockchain technology is just needed. On the whole, it is not active, but there is an increasingly active trend. Individual markets such as Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe are already very active.
As I said before, Africa is composed of many independent countries, so answering this question must fall to the countries to explain. Take several countries as examples:
With a population of 200 million, Nigeria is currently the country with the highest GDP in Africa. According to the estimation of our company (cryptography), the average daily trading volume of OTC is about 300-500btc. Many local exchanges, binance and other large institutions have already opened the legal currency channel. At the same time, companies focusing on cross-border payment such as bitpesa (please Google) are strong.
As an old economic power in Africa, South Africa has the second largest GDP in Africa and the first per capita GDP in Africa. It has strong purchasing power. Due to foreign exchange control, South Africa has a high demand for digital currency. The largest Institute in Africa, luno, comes from South Africa. At the same time, international institutes such as Huobi also have desks in South Africa.
Kenya has the best economy in East Africa and is also the most open and westernized country in East Africa (the landing station for African entrepreneurs). The central bank has repeatedly warned that BTC is listed as a high-risk investment and taken measures to prohibit many companies related to digital currency. However, due to large population mobility, large talent precipitation and relatively loose foreign exchange, it has become the most active area of blockchain ecology in East Africa and one of the few countries in Africa with developer ecology. ADA, EOS, Eth and many other small currencies often come to preach meet up. If you remember correctly, EOS Nairobi also killed the 23rd in the world.
Uganda is a small bully in East Africa (mainly fighting capacity), with open economy, open foreign exchange and small economic volume. At the beginning of 2018, under the leadership of binnace CZ boss, the government obtained the first non objective letter (which can be understood as a license) on digital currency exchange. Uganda became another government willing to endorse binance after Malta. In May of the same year, the first Africa blockchain summit was held in Kampala, the capital. The president and the governor of the central bank made an opening speech.
Zimbabwe’s economy is weak all the year round, foreign exchange is blocked (it is said that the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves are only US $1 billion), and the central bank has abandoned banknotes for many times. All kinds of legends about BTC’s amazing premium have been circulating all the time..
As for the environmental background of this trend, I list several key points:
1) The demand for cross-border payment is extremely high: there is a large population flow between countries, but the central banks of various countries settle independently, and the foreign exchange accommodation capacity is poor.
2) Traditional banks can’t meet the demand: banking service bureaucrats (many rural people can’t even complete KYC) and high handling fees. According to the data of 2014, 66% of people in sub Saharan Africa don’t have bank accounts.
3) The inflation rate of most national currencies is high, and people need relatively stable means to preserve assets.
4) There is no compliant and stable securities market for people to invest.
5) Bribery, arms, gold resources and other fund transfer needs that are inconvenient to pass through formal channels.
3. Can you describe the current ecological picture of African blockchain? What are the links in the industrial chain?
In fact, Africa does not have a complete “blockchain ecology”, which is mainly aimed at the investment and use of digital currency.
Technology and technology application really don’t see any actual cases at present. There is a project called bitland, which records various parameters in land property rights on the chain. Participation in activities is often mentioned as a positive case. In fact, this project has not really run. There are many reasons. If you are interested, you can start another topic, “black entrepreneurship projects I saw in those years.”
The ecology of the currency circle is relatively complete, from mining to OTC, from ICO to exchange. Each expansion is a big story. Give one example each.
The core of mining is electricity price. Everyone thinks that Africa is short of electricity. In fact, hydropower in some African countries is very developed. In other words, the backward power transmission infrastructure (power transmission and transformation) in most African countries leads to a surplus of power generation capacity. This makes it possible for large hydropower countries such as Ethiopia to have lower electricity prices. At present (through unspeakable special channels), the lowest electricity price available in Ethiopia is 2 cents. It is also true that some small mining stations with Chinese background operate in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is located in the plateau, and the temperature near the target power station is about 12-20 degrees all year round. After solving the security problem, Ethiopia is indeed a suitable mining development place.
There are also some small-scale mining stations (and personal mining stations) in the vast land of Africa, all of which are based on the premise of obtaining cheap power through special channels.
OTC. Because the information is opaque, most BTC / usdt transactions are OTC. Our “cryptography” is currently one of the largest OTC Companies in East Africa. OTC mainly addresses two practical needs: one is its role as a bank between similar African countries; The second is to help local digital currency investors integrate legal currency with digital currency.
ICO, base’s KORA in Nigeria is the largest African local team background ICO project I have seen so far. It is disclosed that public offering and private placement completed a total of US $12 million in early 2018. Then they immediately voted for quidax, the local Nigerian exchange. Two years later, KORA has just launched a new mobile payment product KORA pay, and the transaction volume of quidax is also slowly increasing in Nigeria. This wave of operation is very coquettish and smooth, and it is also one of the few projects I have seen landing in Africa (it is inconvenient to disclose the data).
On the other hand, pure Ponzi air projects such as one coin are also common on the African continent. Miraculously, most of the victims I knew knew knew it was a hoax and just regretted taking the last set.
Local bitctoin should be the largest exchange in Africa. In addition, luno is the oldest exchange in Africa, but there are only two trading pairs; Binance has many transactions and good reputation; Many people in other universities such as okex, Huobi and bitfinex also know, but there are not many users because they do not have bank cards and are unwilling to do KYC and cash transactions.
Wallet, which is very interesting, “blockchain” is the absolute mainstream in Africa. It has obvious advantages, fast certification and small price fluctuation (in fact, it is a delay in fluctuation, which is often 10 $lower than that of Dazuo), which is used by 90% of African currency circle practitioners. As for the reasons for the rise of this wallet, the locals explained to me, because the most heard ranking by the locals is blockqian and bitcoin, so they think this “blockqian” is the “blockqian” on which BTC is based! Therefore, it is very important to choose a straightforward name to start a business in the African market!
4. What are the traditional financial markets in Africa? What can blockchain do in the financial field?
The traditional financial markets of most African countries, or understood as the banking industry, are extremely bureaucratic and have a large number of unbanked people, which is also the reason why the world bank and the United Nations have repeatedly stressed the importance of financial inclusion in the 2030 goal.
There are many reasons for persistent poverty in Africa, and I think banks are one of the main reasons. Imagine that your second aunt doing business in the countryside sells papaya on the village street every day. No matter how many papaya she sells, she gets cash, and the cash will be stored in every corner of her house. Banks are very unfriendly to many middle and lower class people. There are few online stores and high account opening fees. Some bank deposits have fees (above a certain amount), account maintenance fees, withdrawal handling fees, inter-bank settlement, transfer and other fees, so that the meager surplus of the working public is eaten by the bank. There are too many similar articles, so I won’t repeat them.
Fortunately, under the oppression of many African countries, there are two types of financial service providers. One is the mobile wallet service based on operators; One is the community credit system.
Operators don’t talk much about mobile wallets, such as mpesa, Airtel money and MTN money, which are similar to the SP business in China in the early years. A separate storage and settlement system shall be opened in addition to the telephone charges. It is simply understood as giving money to the operator to help you save and settle accounts. At present, Kenya and Tanzania, two East African countries, have mobile payment penetration rates higher than 80%.
The community credit system in Africa is not well understood by Chinese people. According to the scale and assembly mode, it can be roughly divided into Sacco (the name of East Africa) trade union / community, with thousands of people; Group finance, several to dozens of people. Mutual insurance consensus is reached within the community, and individuals uniformly hand over their money to the elected person in charge for asset management. It can save and loan (some group finance can only loan).
What problems can “blockchain” solve in such an environment. I believe all the spectators are excellent entrepreneurs, practitioners, or gold owners. You must have your own views and answers. I’ll stop teaching.
Responsible editor: CT