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The Bitcoin Boom in Africa

U.S. blockchain research firm Chainalysis  reports that monthly cryptocurrency transfers to and from Africa of under $10,000 – typically made by individuals and small businesses – jumped more than 55% in the last 12 months to reach $316 million in June. The number of monthly transfers also rose by almost half, surpassing 600,700. Nigeria, SA and Kenya lead this increase. This represents a healthy development for Bitcoin which has mainly been used for speculation by financial traders over the last few years rather than for commerce. Young, tech-savvy populations appreciate that Bitcoin responds better to weaker local currencies. Weaker currencies make it harder to get dollars and central bank rules complicate money transfers. Bitcoin users said the cryptocurrency was helping people make their businesses nimbler and more profitable, and also ensured that the diaspora working Europe and North America  were able to remit the earnings they send home without punitive bank commissions.

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Alastair Tempest

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