Although Africa’s most popular word for Google Trends search is “bitcoin,” most of Africa has yet to adopt cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. This lag is due to a lack of awareness, opaque regulations, and already widespread use of African mobile money throughout the continent.
Google Trends Shows Interest
Based on Google Trends data, there are big potential investors of bitcoin coming from Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. These three are the largest markets in the continent when it comes to cryptocurrency due to population. However, most cryptocurrency activity in this region remains concentrated on exchanges and in payments made abroad, rather than transactional use within the continent.
African Mobile Money
Africa’s mobile money plays a large part in the lack of cryptocurrency adoption. The more than 1.2 billion people in Africa can easily avail of so many mobile money services through their smartphones. In fact, they have 50 percent of the mobile money services of the world. Despite the absence of a good Internet connection in many areas, many Africans can still send or receive money through their basic telephone handset.
Another obstacle to cryptocurrency adoption in Africa is the erratic power supply in a number of countries, which leads to Africa only making 10% of the total Internet users in the world despite their large population. A slow or faulty Internet access naturally delays bitcoin and other crypto transactions, compromising user experience.
Overall, many Africans are still not familiar with bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general due to the lack of crypto evangelism seen in other areas of the world.