For years I’ve been saying, to anyone who will listen, that Africa will lead global Bitcoin adoption. And that has come to fruition. It was at the Bitcoin 2021 Conference where I shared that same statement on the Nakamoto stage. And here we are, almost one year later and Bitcoin adoption in Africa is still on the rise with reports showing that the market has grown over 1200% with Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria all leading the charge.
Having been born in Egypt and moved to the U.S. with my family at the age of two, I’ve always been passionate about my home continent of Africa. After all, home is home. But my belief that Africa will lead the way stems from more than just my roots. Nearly 60% of the population of Africa are unbanked. Africans are also battling rising inflation and high transaction fees for cross-border payments — so it’s clear that the continent has long been primed for an alternative solution like Bitcoin. It’s these challenges across the continent, coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit of the people, that have allowed Bitcoin to thrive.
At Paxful, we saw early on how Africa wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. We’ve seen the growth across the continent firsthand. While Nigeria has continued to lead the way as our largest market based on trade volume, countries like Kenya and Ghana are not far behind. Over the last year, we’ve seen a steady increase in trade volume across both countries, a strong indication that we are well on our way.
The people of Africa are the true leaders in this movement and the rest of the world is getting a front row seat. The continent is slowly breaking down stereotypes driven by false narratives and showing the world the true use cases of Bitcoin. But to onboard one billion Bitcoiners, there is more work to be done. For example, we still need to dispel myths and misconceptions at a mass level. Bitcoin education can fix this.
Paxful is doing our part — as of this month we’ve reached over nine million users and are on our way to onboarding 10 million. Other businesses and leaders in the space can also be a part of the solution. By staying connected to the streets, we can all help consumers understand how Bitcoin can solve their everyday financial problems.
Take Rachel for example, a restaurant employee in Nigeria. After talking to Rachel about Bitcoin, she was curious to learn more. Her phone was broken, so she left us her contact information on a piece of paper. After meeting Rachel and other community members who were eager to learn, we built our first education center in the country. This is how mainstream adoption will happen — it’s not about creating millionaires, but providing access to financial freedom to millions.
The Bitcoin Conference serves as an opportunity to continue to fuel Bitcoin education. Together with Mayor Francis Suarez, we are focused on increasing financial literacy across the city of Miami by donating 500 tickets to students and local organizations for this year’s Bitcoin 2022 Conference. Bitcoin is for everyone, and I’m honored to have a platform where I can speak my truth and carry out the mission for global adoption.
Bitcoin 2022 will be the biggest event in Bitcoin history, with an unprecedented range of technical, cultural and financial progress being made in the space. To secure your place at the event, use the discount code "MAGAZINE" for 10% off ticket prices at https://b.tc/conference/registration.
Bitcoin Magazine is operated by BTC Inc, which also hosts the Bitcoin Conference series.
This is a guest post by Ray Youssef. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.