Blockchain Could Provide the Solution to Many of Africa’s Problems
In January, we discussed how Africa might lead the case for implementing Bitcoin as a global reserve currency. The fact that a lot of African countries are totally reliant on the US dollar for their reserve currency opens up the chance for Bitcoin to be adopted as a replacement, lending a chance for Africa to build a borderless group. This may not be an easy task or something that could be implemented overnight. Nonetheless, the popularity and rising adoption of Bitcoin in African countries such as Sudan, Kenya, and South Africa remain undeniable.
On a broader level, the technology behind Bitcoin – blockchain – is what could provide the solution to many of Africa’s problems. From corruption to land registration to inflation to employment, blockchain could provide the solution to each of Africa’s social and political issues.
Being decentralized and transparent, blockchain technology is useful in combating corrupt political and voting systems. Recent elections in Sierra Leone bear testimony to the technology being tested for use in voting systems.
A project called Bitland in Ghana has been helping settle land disputes since 2016 using its own blockchain. The Bitland network stores land registrations and intends to reduce illegal displacement and corruption in the area, by allowing citizens to record their land titles in a way that cannot be deleted or changed by a third party.
Blockchain’s most popular offering, Bitcoin, is helping the citizens of Zimbabwe combat inflation by offering a way for them to preserve their savings before their values deteriorate. Moreover, tech-savvy users in Kenya are now increasingly using crypto wallets to keep their funds safe.
New Employment Opportunities
The advent of cryptocurrency mining has the potential to open up new jobs and new sources of income in Africa. And Africa, being well-endowed with solar power, could find itself in a sweet spot. And with countries such as Morocco, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya having large-scale solar farms reaching completion, the continent shouldn’t see electricity supply as being an issue. In fact, Africa could use a good share of this additional power supply towards blockchain use cases while avoiding any potential energy problem that could have arisen on account of large-scale crypto mining. Moreover, resource-sharing models could help local governments and the African crypto-mining community at large. The relatively cheap cost of electricity definitely opens up new (crypto mining) job and income opportunities for those that are tech-savvy in Africa.