Why African Nations Interest Me Most For Cryptocurrency Like Bitcoin & Steem

in #steem6 years ago (edited)

By now, it’s pretty clear that Bitcoin is revolutionary. It went from being magic Internet money that no one knew about to being discussed as a true store of value, providing seamless transfers of money, and potentially providing financial access to those that are unable to get a bank account. 

It’s that last point that has always excited me about cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Let’s explain ...

I am of the belief that when capitalism is raring, there is more economic activity, thus increasing prosperity for everyone. We can talk about income inequality and things of that nature, but if we look at poverty, it has dropped significantly at the same time that the world has become more globalized. The more economic activity, the better it is for the world. 

Africa is comprised of 61 different individual nations with a total population of over 1.132 billion people. By and large, this population is low income and doesn’t have access to significant infrastructure like those of us fortunate to live in Europe, the United States, etc. 

I was reading the piece that @infovore wrote about living on $1 per day with 3 hours of electricity and one thing jumped out to me: 

While it was true that he was living on only a dollar a day, he still had access to a Nokia phone. It might not have been as flashy as the iPhone in my pocket, but he was connected to the Internet. 

As if by fate, I saw a tweet sent by Michael Kimani, CEO of Umati Blockchain Ltd, which as his website says is “a company bridging the gap between East Africans and Bitcoin blockchain technology.” 

His tweet said: “Every smartphone shipped into Africa is a potential Bitcoin wallet. Just a single download required. African CBs can’t afford to mess up.”

You pause for a second and realize that, by downloading a single application, these individuals could join the global economy, transacting with anyone around the world. Further, rather than having to trust a centralized entity with their funds—and there’s no saying what level of corruption that centralized entity could exhibit—these people would have completely control of those funds. 

Then you think about the retweet that Alan shared (the other tweet in that image) and he says: “By 2020, ~$25 smart phones should be available in most developing nations. That will be a game changer #bitcoin.”

So now you have a phone that is, for all intents and purposes, very inexpensive. Add on that adding a bitcoin wallet to these devices is as simple as downloading one application. Suddenly, with very little effort, people that have otherwise been marginalized now have the capability to join the global economy in a far more powerful way. 

Where Steemit fits in

As I have repeatedly said, I remain skeptical on Steemit’s long-term viability because there are so many unanswered economic & technological questions. 

But let’s say that Steemit does continue taking off with more people creating content, new people participating, and the overall community economy growing. These people are sitting on thousands of dollars that, with a simple doorway, they can turn into legitimately tangible assets. That doorway to Steem is bitcoin; therefore, as people learn about creating content, they can allocate some of their earned funds to bitcoin, allowing them to invest in other ways. 

We’ve already seen it with Afghan girls and bitcoin. The Women’s Annex Foundation, as CoinDesk reported, encourages girls to write, code, create videos, and do social media. They then can receive bitcoin as payment, allowing them to completely bypass the patriarchal society they’re living in. 

As people continue to earn from putting out quality content, the ability for people to innovate and build out new opportunities is immense. I have been a member of Kiva for years and seeing the projects people around the world are working on is inspiring. I complain about my job and you’ve got someone looking to borrow $1,000 so they can get new tires for their taxi. 

What I have learned over the years of being a part of the crypto-community is that there is a real belief that this technology could improve the lives of hundreds of millions, if not billions of people. And as their lives improve, their economic standing in the world grows, which will, in turn, produce greater outcomes for everyone. 

If Steem can help contribute to that, all the better. But even if it can’t, just imagine a world where everyone buying a $25 phone can easily add a bitcoin wallet. Suddenly, they have a secure bank account that they, themselves, control. That’s a future worth building toward. 

Image taken from FreeImage.com

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Jackie Boy
Heard there was a fellow steamian in here. Knock Knock @jaycodon!

One of the real interesting aspect of products like steemit and the future of bitcoins is we don't know where it is going and how it will change the future of our realities. I am also really interested to see what it does to businesses and business opportunities in the developing world. Let's see what comes out of it. EXCITEDLY looking.

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