Africa has one of the fastest-growing crypto spaces in the world, with Africans sending about $8.0 billion worth of crypto, while receiving about $8.1 billion worth of crypto in 2019.
The increased usage by many young, educated Africans is a result of the economic instability and high bureaucratic processes by African banks for transfers. Bitcoin offers low-fee remittances and an alternative way to preserve and grow wealth.
Bitcoin is attracting many African millennials, as a report coming from the World Bank revealed that the global average cost of sending $200 remains as high as 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020, only slightly below the previous year. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to have the highest average cost at about 9 percent, yet intra-regional migrants in Sub-Saharan Africa comprises over two-thirds of all international migration from the region.
These high transactional costs have been countered with the usage of Bitcoin, where transaction cost can be as little as $5 to move over $10,000 worth of Bitcoins.
In an explanatory note, Adebayo Juwon, FTX Country Manager, spoke exclusively to Nairametrics on why Bitcoin is fast gaining traction among Africans. He said:
“Bitcoin serves as a store of value, speculative asset, and means of payment, among other things. Bitcoin is personally owned by holders, which no government has authority over. Africans are getting the idea of Bitcoin, and using it more for transactions across borders with no third party involved, no long processing period, and low fees.
“Using Bitcoin also gives direct exposure to USD, EUR, GBP etc. without stepping into the banking hall. This means bitcoin users in Africa can convert their crypto assets to a more stable currency. This makes local and international transfers seamless for bitcoin users from their mobile devices.”
Africans are using Bitcoin to avoid expensive and heavily bureaucratic money transfer systems currently available. Many of them now rely on remittances for their daily activities, so any way of making the process more effective and cheaper would be of great benefit to them, and this is where Bitcoin comes in.
Ray Youssef, CEO and founder of crypto-exchange Paxful, emphasized the role that Bitcoin remittances play for African users on Paxful. He said:
“Some of our users in Africa are even building their own remittance businesses on top of Paxful. One man I spoke to who lives in South Africa but is originally from Nigeria saw how hard it was to send money back home, and started a business where he would take cash from other Nigerian expatriates, convert it into Bitcoin, send it to someone in Nigeria via Paxful, and have that person convert it into naira and deliver it to the person’s family.’’
Youssef cited some examples of how some Paxful users skipped bank transfers. He stated:
“In one instance, a user ran a business importing video games from China to sell in Nigeria. His bank wouldn’t let him wire money to China, so historically he had to get U.S. dollars on the black market and somehow get it to China, usually via Hong Kong. But with cryptocurrency, he can sell bitcoin to receive CNY (Chinese Yen) in any major Chinese digital wallet and send it directly to his counterparty in China.”
Moreso, Africans use Bitcoin as preservation for wealth and to hedge against inflation. For instance, Nigeria having an inflation rate of 12.58% shows that the value of the naira depreciates by that much every year, thereby eroding the purchasing power of many Nigerians.
Crypto investors lose $530 million within a day
The Crypto futures became overheated and record sell-offs began leading traders to lose more than $527 million in a single day.
These are surely bad times for many crypto investors on the account that roughly $530 million worth of Crypto positions disappeared into thin air within a day.
The mass liquidation of such trading positions, according to data retrieved from Bybt.com, showed such occurred before the flagship crypto dipped around $34,000 today.
What this means
Over the past day, Bitcoin, with the highest dominance rate in the crypto market gained 7% when it moved from $35,500 to nearly $38,000, taking into consideration future demand for the crypto asset could skyrocket.
- However high sell-offs gained momentum immediately Bitcoin touched $38,000 value amid several large sell orders placed around that price.
- The Crypto futures became overheated and record sell-offs began leading traders to lose more than $527 million in 24 hours.
What they are saying
A highly respected crypto expert, Ki-Young Ju, disclosed the ongoing activity in the ever-volatile Crypto market on his Twitter feed, by critically hinting that buying pressure has paused in recent days.
- “People trade $BTC with low leverage, open interest is skyrocketing, and the long-short ratio looks neutral. Strong on-chain buying signals that have driven this bull market hasn’t come up so far. Bitcoin might retest 30k, so I don’t have any position now in this uncertain market.”
People trade $BTC with low leverage, open interest is skyrocketing, and the long-short ratio looks neutral.
— Ki Young Ju 주기영 (@ki_young_ju) January 17, 2021
At the time of drafting this report, Bitcoin’s volatility ensured that no firm market direction was in control, as Bitcoin fluctuated around $34,800.
Sequel to the sudden correction seen in the Bitcoin market lately, it had been in on a bullish run relatively.
Some days ago, leading the United Kingdom’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, recently issued a piece of stern advice on crypto investments
The statement highlighted the risks associated with investing in Bitcoin and other leading crypto assets and warned the public there were high chances all their funds could be lost;
“The FCA is aware that some firms are offering investments in crypto assets or lending or investments linked to crypto assets, that promise high returns.
Investing in crypto assets, or investments and lending linked to them generally involves taking very high risks with investors’ money. If consumers invest in these types of products, they should be prepared to lose all their money.”
$128 million worth of Bitcoin exchange hands, Bitcoin drops to $36,100
Bitcoin traded at $36,262.41 with a daily trading volume of $56.4 billion, down 0.49% for the day.
Large crypto entities are definitely up to something with the prevailing bullish trend at the world’s flagship crypto. Before dropping to $36,100, an unknown Bitcoin whale moved about $128 million worth of cryptos.
Data retrieved from Whale alert, an advanced crypto tracker, revealed recently, that a large entity transferred 3,510 BTC valued at $128.3 million from an unknown wallet to an unknown wallet.
🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 3,510 #BTC (128,266,672 USD) transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) January 16, 2021
At the time of writing this report, Bitcoin traded at $36,262.41 with a daily trading volume of $56.4 billion. Bitcoin is down 0.49% for the day.
- While it is difficult to predict market movements, large owners of Bitcoins have shown historically that they often determine the BTC trend.
- The timing of this movement suggests that such activity could be linked to an institutional investor amid the bias that of late, a lot of institutional players are flocking into the world’s flagship crypto market at unprecedented levels.
What you should know
- In the Bitcoin market, investors or traders who own large amounts of bitcoins are typically known as Bitcoin whales. This means that a BTC whale would be an individual or business entity (with a single Bitcoin address), that owns around 1000 coins or more.
- The flagship cryptocurrency is mainly decentralized, the first of its kind, and created by Satoshi Nakamoto. It was launched around January 2009.
Very few nations permitted to issue their Crypto – IMF
The IMF says close to 80% of the world’s central banks are not allowed to issue a digital currency under their existing laws.
While many countries are already planning to or already developing fiat-crypto, the International Monetary Fund’s most recent report has indicated that only a few nations are permitted legally to carry such actions.
“Countries are moving fast toward creating digital currencies. Or, so we hear from various surveys showing an increasing number of central banks making substantial progress towards having an official digital currency.
“But, in fact, close to 80% of the world’s central banks are either not allowed to issue a digital currency under their existing laws, or the legal framework is not clear,” the IMF stated.
In the recent post, seen by Nairametrics, the global financial body disclosed various reports suggested a large number of central banks are examining the possibility of having a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
“Still, a majority of such countries have legal structures that do not support the establishment of cryptocurrencies, or in some cases do not permit the development of them
“Any money issuance is a form of debt for the central bank, so it must have a solid basis to avoid legal, financial, and reputational risks for the institutions.
“Ultimately, it is about ensuring that significant and potentially contentious innovation is in line with a central bank’s mandate. Otherwise, the door is opened to potential political and legal challenges.”
What you should know: A digital currency is a cash balance recorded electronically on a store value card or other physical devices, which could someday replace the physical notes.
- Digital currencies can be decentralized, that is where the control over the cash supply can come from diverse sources. Digital currencies can also be centralized, where there is a midway point of control over cash supply, just like the way central banks work.
Recall some months ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a video illustrating what cryptocurrency is.
Besides suggesting that cryptocurrency could “completely change the way we sell, buy, save, invest, and pay our bills,” IMF went on by saying that it “could be the next step in the evolution of money.”
The IMF tweeted the video giving vital details on what cryptocurrency is. Referring to cryptocurrency as “a special currency,” the two-minute video attempts to outline its benefits in payments, such as by removing middlemen, lowering costs, and increasing transaction speed.
— IMF (@IMFNews) August 23, 2020