Can blockchain make a difference? Africa sees vast monetary potential

As access to crypto spreads across Africa, blockchain could be crucial in improving cross-border payments and settlement systems.
As technological innovations continue to spread across Africa, the continent could provide some unique use cases for blockchain technology. African has been continually driving innovation in a number of spaces, with mobile payments a prime example of the potential for technology to drastically improve the lives of everyday Africans.While many countries in Africa are still considered to be developing economies, some of its most prominent states have been at the forefront of technological innovation. The use of blockchain technology is becoming part of the equation as it permeates different industries and institutions.Michelle Chivunga, CEO and founder of digital economy and blockchain solutions group Global Policy House, as well as an advisor to the governments of Bermuda, the African Union and the United Kingdom, told Cointelegraph:“Countries in Africa including Ghana are looking into using blockchain for land registry and many countries at digital identity, provenance in supply chains, healthcare and financing. E-commerce and fintech are major drivers of the digital economy in Africa. I see this growing and paving the way for more blockchain activity.”Victor Mapunga, a Zimbabwean blockchain entrepreneur who co-founded FlexID — a blockchain-based digital identity solution wallet running on the Algorand protocol — told Cointelegraph that infrastructure powering the use and trade of cryptocurrencies has been a major driver of blockchain technology across the continent, but a plethora of use cases are already being explored: “There is still a lot of work to be done, so far peer-to-peer and centralized crypto exchanges have been the predominant flavor.”Cape Town-based software developer and smart contract engineer Stephen Young, the founder and CEO of decentralized finance platform NFTfi — a peer-to-peer marketplace for nonfungible token collateralized loans — told Cointelegraph that cryptocurrency onboarding infrastructure like centralized and P2P exchanges have rolled out efficiently in different African countries and is the most prominent use of blockchain technology on the continent. He added that the potential uptake of DeFi platforms could be on the cards in the next year:“Over the last few years, the infrastructure that allows people to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies have come a long way. This, combined with informal peer-to-peer trading, makes it possible for many more Africans to get hold of cryptocurrencies.”Potential for the biggest impactPeter Munnings, a former ConsenSys engineer who co-founded decentralized liquidity management and international payments firm Adhara in 2018, pointed out to Cointelegraph the potential of improved cross-border settlement through blockchain solutions on the back of his experience working in the South African banking sector, “Across Africa, settlement is slow and complicated because of the lack of liquidity.” According to him, most intra-African settlements are still undertaken through the United States, adding, “Going from Kenyan shillings to Tanzanian shillings through USD is always going to be slow and complicated.”Munnings highlighted that a couple of projects are looking to overhaul this space, such as the Pan-Africa Payment and Settlement System and Fnality, which are actively collaborating with

Post written by our friend Gareth Jenkinson and Syndicated from Cointelegraph
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