• The blockchain: finance 2.0 in Africa, is it possible?

The blockchain: finance 2.0 in Africa, is it possible?

According to the reference site blockchain.info: 300,000 digital financial transactions have been carried out every day in the world since the beginning of 2017 thanks to blockchain… What is its impact on the continent’s development? Rudy Casbi. Inquiry

 

Global finance is undergoing a revolution and Africa is no exception the rule. Species disappear to make room for the digital whole. According to a report published by the National Bank of Kenya: 50% of GDP, between 2016 and 2017, was due to digital financial transactions. The country has a few giants. in this sector, such as Safaricom. Launched in 2007, it now has 30 million users in 10 countries though the continent. The key to success lies in the development of mobile-money. This operates through a digital system for making, tracking and recording mobile phone financial transactions. Other countries ended up emulating Kenya, such as Zimbabwe, where inflation last year wiped out the local currency from international financial markets. Faced with this situation, some entrepreneurs have mobilized to propose an alternative. An example is personified in Tawenda Kembo, CEO of BitFinance in Harare. “Many SMEs were struggling to pay their running costs. When I approached them, I introduced them to my product, “he explains before adding,” We have a system that allows them to buy the e-money they need for their transaction.“Thanks to this alternative, they can continue to pay benefits from their supplier. The latter just has to accept and validate the encryption transaction. The ethers are then debited to the supplier’s account. Then the supplier can transfer his ethers to his traditional bank account through an automatic conversion system. “This process appeals to our customers as we record an average of $100,000 in transactions per month through our platform”, told Tawenda.

Banks are reacting

In the French-speaking part of Africa , the emergence of crypto-finance, which emanates from the Blockchain, could also have an impact on the debate surrounding the CFA Franc. Lamine Diallo, an engineer specialising in crypto-money engineering at Société Générale, believes that an alternative is possible by relying on telecommunications networks. “This is already necessary to create national networks because this system works through the Internet. Then, each of them could buy digital money from several decentralized servers in specialized secure sites”, told Lamine. State structures will then manage these server networks producing these digital currencies. According to Lamine Diallo, the real economy can benefit from these provisions thanks to applications created for this purpose hosting virtual bank accounts. Thus, it will now be possible to pay in bitcoins or etherums after converting them. By adopting this system, this virtual currency would not be indexed or regulated by any foreign central bank, he explains. Finally, these cryptomonnaies would also offer the possibility of being adjusted directly on the price of commodities such as gold.

Does crypto currency adapt to the needs of the continent?

According to the data published by tradingwiew. com, 1 bitcoin is worth 10,000 dollars and 1 ether was equivalent to 1,000 dollars. If we transpose these figures with the average of the continent’s gross national products in 2017, which was estimated at 45 billion dollars according to the AfDB, it would be necessary to generate nearly 15 million bitcoins and 130 million ethers for each of the States via servers. As a result, the creation of these virtual currencies would also have a strong energy impact. Given the intense cryptographic calculations used to create and then secure money and its transactions, its design requires a lot of electricity. “Engineers are currently working on ways to reduce the energy costs of their manufacturing processes”, explains Lamine.

Faced with these current complexities, some states are trying to show a spirit of synthesis. Tunisia recently launched e-dinar in partnership with the Swiss company Monetas. La Poste Tunisienne is thus experimenting with the payment of its services by the blockchain without however still passing through crypto-currencies. This system is based on the existing national currency. Users only need to go to a post office to open a virtual account. Then they are given a rechargeable prepaid card with which they carry out all types of transactions on the Internet or in stores. Such initiatives are multiplying on the African continent


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