Bitcoin and Stablecoins Will Drive Crypto Usage in Africa, According to Analysts

‘Blockchain’ dominated the presentations and roundtable discussions during the 2023 Blockchain Africa Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Many presenters at this week’s Blockchain Africa Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, identified bitcoin and stablecoins as the two most significant drivers of mainstream crypto adoption on the continent.

Last year, the Central African Republic (CAR) accepted bitcoin as a legal tender. Marius Reitz, the general manager for Africa at the cryptocurrency exchange Luno, predicts that bitcoin acceptance will rise over the next decade.

Reitz said that neighboring nations might also recognize bitcoin as legal cash over the next decade or two. Bitcoin can potentially become a regional currency or a single currency for the African Union.

Jonathan Ovadia, CEO and co-founder of South African cryptocurrency exchange Ovex, is slightly more bullish on stablecoins than bitcoin, despite three U.S. banks collapsing just over a week ago, causing significant stablecoins such as Circle’s USDC to temporarily depeg as billions of dollars hung in limbo before federal regulators swooped in to “protect depositors.”

Throughout the conference, the usefulness of stablecoins was a recurring subject. Reitz and Ovadia participated in panels titled “The Future of Stablecoins” and “The Adoption of Cryptocurrencies Throughout Africa,” which were attended by hundreds of people from Africa and beyond.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Africa’s population will double from 1.3 billion to 2.6 billion by 2050, said Maya Caddell, head of staff at Web3 company Nestcoin. In contrast, Western people are declining steadily.

Some researchers anticipate a proliferation of stablecoins tied to numerous fiat currencies or hybrids of stablecoins and central bank digital currencies by 2050. These assets and the rules controlling them will likely operate in the background, unnoticed by most users.

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