By ANEROBI Chimezie Lotachi

Towards the end of 2017, the trending digital currency; Bitcoin was successfully able to hit the $14,000 exchange mark on the exchange rate conversions scale to a Dollar and everyone who had a computer as well as constant access to the internet began searching for new and interesting ways to gain more of this digital coin which would increase their monthly earnings. According to Google trends, the word “bitcoin” was the second most searched word in 2017, the statistics also recorded that a good part of the number of people that carried out these searches were either into investments or budding startups looking for funds to launch their businesses. The revolution that came with the influx of digital currencies caused a new directive for most businesses and showed them the different paths which were available for them to explore.

In that same year, we also witnessed the rise-up of various peer-to-peer platforms which utilized the transfer of bitcoins instead of the regular national currencies simply because it was easy to transfer and had more value. It was obvious that the new line of crypto-currencies was setting the stage to take over the financial industry and wealth-enthusiasts began to stock up on as many coins as they could gather.

Some of these enthusiasts who had been gifted with foresight at the emergence of the new crypto-currency made good use of the opportunity to join the league of the world’s list of billionaires with the sale of these coins as soon as it had hit quite a series of high exchange value through the years. Since 2009 when the first block of coins was made popular by Satoshi Nakamoto, the crypto-currency trend has continued to gain value and slowly integrate into the world’s financial market to experience an astonishing level of acceptance.

Now, since Africa is aiming towards becoming a formidable force in the digital sector, Africans are not left out of the craze to hunt for the astronomical currency that could skyrocket their finances into the “millionaire or billionaire status”.

It is no longer news that some businesses across the continent have accepted the various kinds of crypto-currency as a legal tender in terms of exchange. While the crypto-currency allows for economic flexibility, it is also highly secure with the special kind of cryptography that is embedded with each payment. The level of security associated with the digital money cannot be compared with the conventional banking system as it provides more confidence and safety for most business to transact without fear of any losses.

Its flexibility, safety and ease are some of the many features why the crypto-currency era is fast becoming a norm in this century.

South African online marketplace, Bidorbuy has embraced the use of crypto-currency to make purchases which has led to it growth and standardization of ease of purchase. Most cutting edge and innovative businesses in South Africa have also accepted the trend of crypto-currency, a few others asides Bidorbuy are ICE3X, Bankymoon, Custos Media Technologies, Geopay, Chankura and Bitsure.

Other countries in Africa are also grabbing hold of the opportunity to use this currency to make financial exchange easier; in the Gold Coast, Ghana Dot Com (GDC) is changing the face of bitcoin acquisition since it began the first African Bitcoin mining system. Kenya is also not left out of the whole crypto-currency craze with Bitpesa, which is a remittance service provider for bitcoin here in Africa and also Bitbond, a platform that provides lending services which are bitcoin-based. Even Zimbabwe; home of the former president, Robert Mugabe who had always advocated against Africa’s excess dependence on technology has joined in the crypto-currency parade with the rise of BitFundi and Bitmari. There are quite a number of cryptocurrency-based platforms across Africa which make it easy to conduct transactions and also provide businesses with funds.

Crypto-currency is fast becoming the main form of monetary transaction and with good reason. The uniqueness of the currency allows for it to become the symbol of a Unified Global Economy and that fact is being embraced mostly by Africans. In a statement, Business and Technology journalist, Rakesh Sharma has said that whilst Africa is rarely ever mentioned when it comes to being amongst the largest crypto-currency markets, it would eventually overshadow other markets to become the leading crypto-currency market as long as the current trends continue to grow.

Considering this, Chief Executive Officer of South African crypto-currency consulting firm, Liquid Crypto-Money, Shireen Ramjoo has predicted that in the near future, most governments in Africa would have launched their own government-based crypto-currencies to keep in tune with the age of the digital money and all its benefits.

To show that the crypto-currency has gained so much ground in Africa, South Africa has launched its first crypto-currency ATM in Johannesburg in early May 2018. The ATM provides a system for users with stakes in the crypto-currency market especially bitcoin to make transactions without a bank account. This shows the South African government’s attempt at domesticating crypto-currency with the formulation of policies to help regulate the use of the currency.

While Ghana’s government is taking a wholly different approach to the introduction, acceptance and use of crypto-currency as a national legal currency in businesses, it still shows the government’s interest in developing the digital currency market of the nation. Early in 2018, the government of Ghana launched its first official digital currency simply known as Finchcoin. Due to this development, operators in the financial industry of Ghana are looking to expand the coverage of the country’s official crypto-currency and create they call “an Enterprise Territory”. In continuance, they are aiming to build a Finchcoin-based bank as well as a crypto exchange, crypto bonds and crypto mining station.

There are so many examples of how Africa is gaining ground in the world of crypto currency; each of these examples show that Africa is placing a huge stake in becoming the leading investor and beneficiary of the growing trail of digital currencies.

Crypto-currency is fast becoming the main source of currency across the world and while it is developing, it would be wise to amass as much as you can mine at your own convenience.

Interestingly, there are different ways you can acquire your own good stack of coins; it just takes a bit of patience and maybe the right know-how to make sure you do not loose your savings trying to gain another, that would just be wrong investment.

Africa is home to most of the world’s crypto-currency users and therefore gives us the chance to spearhead the coming of the new digital age. This is why building the right crypto-currency portfolio is important if we want to lead the world to a new financial age.