The emerging markets are hurry to embracing opportunities of the digital economy. After El Salvador becoming the first country has given a legal tender status to Bitcoin, a number of countries want to follow, writes Paul Opoku for Bitcoin Magazine.
Latin American neighbors to El Salvador, such as Panama, Argentina, and Paraguay, have started a discussion over the prospects of passing crypto legislation, as they don’t want their nations to be left behind.
Latin America is not the only one feeling pressure to move forward with crypto-friendly legislation. Kal Kassa wrote a fantastic article about Bitcoin in Ethiopia. The new Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan shows an abrupt turnaround to crypto.
As well as, Russell Okung, an American football player and Nigerian descendant, wrote an open letter to the president of Nigeria calling him to embrace a Bitcoin standard.
Paul Opoku of Ghana wrote a piece to make the case for an African nation to embrace Bitcoin as soon as possible.
According to data from usefultulips.org, sub-Saharan Africa leads the world in peer-to-peer Bitcoin transactions in 2021. As well Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region to send money to, where sending $200 costs an average of 8.2% percent as of the fourth quarter of 2020. It has a history that might lead to favorable conditions for a non-global-power-aligned monetary option.
As the lasting imperialism legacy in Africa, the French-backed and controlled CFA Franc, created in 1945, is a colonial relic in 15 African countries. From 1945 to 2002, as France changed the Franc to the Euro, CFA Franc lost 17,000% of its value due 52 years.
Bitcoin could solve the problem of control and manipulation of money from the outside.
There are about 40 different currencies within Africa. For many decades, this has presented challenges in cross-border payments, business and economic development, currency instability, devaluation and inflation.
Unique properties of Bitcoin make it a digital store of value, a savings technology, a quasi bank account for the unbanked, a bank account in cyberspace, and an alternative to Western Union for remittance payments around the world.
The rise of China has meant an increase in its economic influence and ambition on the continent. The IMF, World Bank, and China’s institutions load African countries with debt and dictating the way they spend money.
With Bitcoin and decentralized money, African countries would be able to control their own development without permission, foreign intervention, and manipulation of money.
The implications of such a move will be massive. With China currently cracking down on Bitcoin miners, imagine those miners migrating to other countries, setting up mining hubs in rural and remote places in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana. That could transform whole economies and change hundreds of millions of lives. Bitcoin could break long decades (or even centuries) of underdevelopment.