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A cryptocurrency, or crypto for short, is digital money designed to function as a means of trade (like conventional assets) but via a computer network. Cryptocurrencies are not dependent on any central authority, such as a government, a bank, or anything else, for their maintenance. As a large number of individuals possess these currencies as individual assets, the records of ownership are preserved in a digital ledger. The ledger is automated and employs robust cryptography to ensure the safety and security of all transactions. It is essential to recognize that cryptocurrencies need not be ‘currency’ in the conventional sense. These are entirely digital and have no physical form. Unlike CBDC, these currencies are decentralized in terms of control. We must comprehend how this operates. Most cryptocurrencies utilize a blockchain mechanism. Computer networks have two primary purposes: the first is to execute all types of transactions, and the second is to manage the database that holds all of these data. Transactions are typically grouped into ‘blocks,’ which are then connected in a continuous ‘chain’ in chronological order. When a cryptocurrency is produced or created before being released, it is regarded as centralized. Then, a decentralized control mechanism is developed, allowing each crypto to operate via distributed ledger technology. Cryptocurrency in Africa Tokenization of financial flows that, as the African continent indicates, can drive the expansion of real assets. Africa is the third-fastest growing cryptocurrency economy in the world, with a digital asset market that has surged in value by more than 1,200 percent over the past year. Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa are the leading countries in the crypto revolution sweeping Africa. According to Usefultulips, the group’s total bitcoin P2P trade volume in 2020 exceeded half a billion dollars ($500.4 million). More than 1.3 billion people reside on the African continent, making it the second most populous in the world, but only 43 percent of its population has a bank account. This lack of access to financial institutions is a direct result of colonialism, civil wars, and the hard terrain. According to the most recent Chainalysis analysis, despite all of these obstacles, Africa has managed to turn them into an advantage, becoming the ideal vector for the adoption of digital assets that can be accessed by anybody with a mobile phone. Africa leads all regions in peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platform transaction volume, with a total transfer volume of over 7 percent, compared to the world average of 5.5 percent. Due to the high cost of international money transfers, 96 percent of the continent’s cryptocurrency market consists of interregional transactions. Similarly, Africans have chosen this alternate method of transferring funds to the detriment of cryptocurrency trading sites such as Binance, which have been banned and prohibited in some nations. South Africa, for instance, announced in September that Binance was not permitted to operate in the nation. Unlike stocks and bonds, governments do not regulate cryptocurrencies; so, people and institutions are free to use and trade them. The availability of crypto exchanges on numerous platforms has increased the popularity of cryptocurrencies. Additionally, companies such as Tesla, PayPal, and Mastercard have contributed to the spread of cryptocurrencies. Their crypto-tolerant strategy appears to resonate with the general public. The cryptocurrency market in Africa is not yet extremely large, but it is expanding despite worries and harsh laws in several nations. These nations outlined below have the most active local cryptocurrency networks and the highest demand for virtual currencies. Moreover, according to bitcoin.com, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya are among the top 10 countries for cryptocurrency adoption worldwide. However, does this demonstrate how African nations have adopted this new technology? The 10 African countries that have top cryptocurrencies are listed and explained below
  1. Nigeria
Nigeria tops the list of 74 nations in the Statista Global Consumer Survey with a population share of 32%. The exorbitant cost of sending money across borders conventionally has prompted many (Nigerians) to turn to local cryptocurrency exchanges. This is the highest number in the world, with 32 percent of the country’s population holding bitcoins. Other facts include that 2020 remittances to Nigeria exceeded 17 billion dollars (14.4 billion euros) and a major portion of this sum was transferred in cryptocurrencies, which demonstrates the popularity of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria. Triple-A reports that Nigeria has more cryptocurrency owners than any other African nation. Despite the ban by the country’s central bank, more than 10 million Nigerians possess virtual currencies. Nigeria ranks first globally in terms of the amount of Google searches for the keywords “Bitcoin” and “Crypto.” Nigeria is a country that has had to contend with a weak economy that has experienced severe levels of inflation since 2018 and has impacted the purchasing power of its citizens. Motivated by past and present events, a significant portion of the country’s qualified labor population has emigrated, creating a natural bridge of significant remittances between their destinations and the African nation, which were formerly sources of income significant to the nation Due to the high transaction costs for international bank transfers and the long release times of money sent in the form of remittances to relatives within the African country, many Nigerians sought alternatives to this antiquated system, resulting in the widespread adoption of platforms of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Paxful. According to the BBC, there are 1,100,000 monthly bitcoin transactions on the Paxful platform in Nigeria, with an average transaction value of $100. This is roughly fifty percent of the amount recorded in the United States. As the value of the Nigerian naira declines, Bitcoin becomes a lifeline for the populace.
  1. Kenya 
Kenya is second on the list, with an estimated 4.5 million cryptocurrency owners. Google also lists Kenya among the top 10 countries worldwide for “cryptocurrency.” It is estimated that around 4.5 million Kenyans, or 8.5% of the country’s population, presently possess cryptocurrencies. Kenya is ranked first for peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading volume and sixth for total cryptocurrency activity worldwide. Kenya is the leading African nation in terms of cryptocurrency holdings and blockchain-related transactions among the top 10 nations worldwide. As of January 2018, Kenya’s Bitcoin holdings are more than 2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a sizeable proportion given that ten countries have invested a comparable proportion of their GDP in cryptocurrencies. According to a Citizen newspaper story, Kenyans conducted more than 99,810 searches for cryptocurrency in the past year. Alternatively, there was the equivalent of 18 searches per 10,000 individuals over this period. Kenya’s ranking as the country with the fourth-highest number of cryptocurrency searches worldwide indicates that the East African state is more popular per capita than Nigeria and South Africa as well. Furthermore, the survey indicates that there are around 4,580,760 bitcoin owners in Kenya. In terms of crypto awareness, Kenya received a score of 5.5 out of a possible 10. Despite the increased interest of Kenyan citizens in cryptocurrencies, Kenyan authorities and the Central Bank of Kenya have thus far declined to acknowledge cryptocurrencies. As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, this denial and the ensuing uncertainties are impeding the development of digital assets in Kenya.
  1. South Africa
South Africa ranks third on the list, with more than 4.2 million bitcoin owners. According to Triple-A, 17 percent of South Africans reported using or owning at least one kind of cryptocurrency, which is favored over banks due to its higher payouts. In addition, the demographics of cryptocurrency holders in this country are disproportionately male and young. 60% of crypto investors are men, and 42% of crypto investors are between the ages of 18 and 30. Approximately 22 percent of the adult population of South Africa, or 7.6 million people, are cryptocurrency investors, according to a study conducted by the Kucoin cryptocurrency exchange. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents obtain this information via social media, according to the conclusions of a study that explains how South Africans obtain information about crypto projects in which they choose to invest. In addition to social media, media celebrities and influencers were identified as the primary opinion leaders in the crypto marketing field. A new Kucoin study reveals that approximately 22 percent of South Africa’s adult population aged 18 to 60 (or approximately 7.6 million people) are cryptocurrency investors. In addition, the study indicated that 65% of crypto investors “believe crypto to be the future of finance.” According to the report, a high proportion of users appear to select digital assets as their preferred way of investment for reliable returns.
  1. Egypt
More than 1.7 million Egyptians have invested more than half of their wealth in Bitcoin and other crypto-assets, driving up the demand for bitcoin. Egyptian crypto traders are seeking extra sources of income (either by trading or holding bitcoin) as one of the primary reasons for this high rate of adoption. As the country’s fiat currency is devalued, it is anticipated that the number of Egyptian crypto users will increase as investors seek higher-profit currencies. It is believed that more than 1.7 million Egyptians, or 1.8% of the country’s entire population, presently possess cryptocurrencies. The demand for bitcoin in Egypt has skyrocketed and reached a new all-time high. In 2020, Egypt set a new peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading volume record of over 2.2 million Egyptian pounds. How Do Egyptians See Cryptocurrency? Wael al-Nahhas, an Egyptian economist, stated that young Egyptians “began investing in tiny quantities despite the rise in bitcoin’s value” and that bitcoin mining and trading attract thousands of Egyptians. In the meantime, a video report produced by a P2P platform attempts to explain why crypto trading has gained popularity in Egypt. According to the survey, many Egyptian crypto traders “are searching for extra sources of income (via trading or keeping bitcoin)”. In addition, the paper states that with 67 percent of the adult population now unbanked, cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly become a viable option for those that are financially excluded.
  1. Ethiopia
Ethiopia has made headlines for its crackdowns on cryptocurrency trading, despite having over 1.1 million crypto holders in the country. The Ethiopian central bank issued a statement labeling Bitcoin “illegal” and barring the use of any currency other than the Birr for all transactions. It has taken this position because it believes that virtual currency is used in the country for illicit financial activity and money laundering. Background of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Bitcoin in Ethiopia Bitcoin in Ethiopia, which utilizes Blockchain technology, was founded in 2009, and its global popularity has exploded since then. Simply, this virtual money is generated through a costly and complex computer process known as mining. More people are investing in Bitcoin networks and clubs, such as Bit Club and AWS Mining, which are increasingly widespread in Ethiopia. Recent criticism has surrounded the authenticity of the business strategies utilized to sell and purchase Bitcoins in Ethiopia.
  1. Zimbabwe
Zimbabweans find cryptocurrency particularly appealing due to inflation and mistrust in the banking establishment. However, many are unaware of the dangers. According to data from the U.S.-based research firm Chainalysis, fraudsters gained $7.7 billion in cryptocurrencies from investors worldwide in 2021, an increase of 81 percent compared to 2020. Over the past decade, inflation in Zimbabwe has decimated savings and pensions, and a confusing influx of new currencies has damaged confidence in the financial system. As a result, cryptocurrencies are particularly appealing in the country, although a large portion of the populace is unfamiliar with the accompanying hazards. According to Prosper Mwedzi, a Zimbabwean financial attorney working in the UK, Bitcoin provides a mechanism for Zimbabweans to protect their money from government meddling. “Knowing how the system has performed in the past, it’s an opportunity for bank balances to be transferred into local currency when people wake up.” His remark pertains to the 2018 Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe directive that converted U.S. currency bank accounts to Zimbabwean dollar amounts. Before it, the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Zimbabwean dollar was fixed at 1:1. During a September trip to Dubai, Zimbabwe’s minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube, praised the potential of blockchain technology to reduce the cost of remittances, which, according to World Bank data accounted for 7 percent of Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product in 2020. But when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued a policy to foster innovations in the financial industry in February 2021, crypto and digital currencies were excluded. Another certain report has it that crypto was banned in Zimbabwe because “crypto assets and digital currencies are innovative technologies in the realm of finance whose hazards to the financial system are not yet completely understood.” Currently, the bank has adopted a “conservative approach” to “research and comprehend crypto assets and digital currency,” according to Shirichena. Moreover, he suggests that scams and fraud “should be addressed individually by the relevant regulations.” Instead of commenting, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development sent all inquiries to the Reserve Bank.
  1. Morocco
It is projected that over 0.9 million Moroccans, or 2.4% of the country’s entire population, presently possess cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin trade volume in Morocco was $6 million, the largest in North Africa. Moroccans are receptive to cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin peer-to-peer trade volumes reaching record highs of 2,18,000,000 Moroccan Dirham in 2020. According to Coindesk, Bitcoin sales are increasing. Although cryptocurrencies are prohibited in Morocco, the peer-to-peer bitcoin (BTC, -1.49 percent) trading platform LocalBitcoins has reported record-breaking trade volumes this year. February 2021 was the “biggest month ever” for trading volumes on the platform in Morocco, according to LocalBitcoins Chief Marketing Officer Jukka Blomberg. During the month, approximately $900,000 worth of bitcoin was traded on the site. Blomberg stated that LocalBitcoins’ user registrations increased by 30 percent between 2019 and 2020, with over 700 new accounts registered and 2.4 percent of Moroccans use Crypto.
  1. Ghana
It is projected that more than 900 thousand Ghanaians, or 3.01 percent of the country’s entire population, presently possess cryptocurrency. More than 80 percent of landowners in Ghana lack legal title deeds from the Land Commission of Ghana, and the majority of the land is held customarily through oral agreements. Bitland, a Ghanaian startup, is employing blockchain technology to replicate official title deeds, thereby enhancing the accuracy of the Land Commission of Ghana’s land records. Bitland believes landowners would be able to apply for loans and mortgages with banks if their land is properly listed on the blockchain. Ghana is on the same list, with 17 percent of adults possessing cryptocurrency. Ghana is placed only behind countries such as Australia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Malaysia, and Russia, but ahead of Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, Norway, Canada, the United States of America, New Zealand, Germany, the United Kingdom, and others.Specifically, 17.3% of adults in Ghana own at least a small amount of cryptocurrencies. In terms of population, there are 3.1 million adults. This exceeds the global average of 15% of adult bitcoin owners. Let’s dig a bit deeper. We are aware that there are numerous forms of cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin being the most prominent. In addition, there are Dogecoin, Ethereum, Solana, and many others. 52.1 percent of the 3.1 million people who possess cryptocurrencies own Bitcoin as a form of cryptocurrency. 18.1% of these individuals own Ethereum as a cryptocurrency. Approximately 19.7 percent of adults possess Dogecoin as a form of cryptocurrency. Ripple, the second type of cryptocurrency, is owned by 13.4 percent of cryptocurrency owners. The study indicates that young people are the most interested in bitcoin ownership. 56.1 percent of all owners worldwide are between the ages of 18 and 34, 29.5 percent are between the ages of 34 and 54, and 14.4 percent are 55 or older. 70.4% of Ghana’s owners are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to the country’s demographics. 16.6 percent are between the ages of 34 and 54, and the remaining 13 percent are 55 and older. Africa is sometimes overlooked as a potential market for cryptocurrencies. They are oblivious to the fact that Africa is a relatively large market due to its high inflation rate in comparison to other regions of the world. Due to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, those facing inflations are more likely to choose them over fiat currency. This is likely one of the reasons why Ghana’s inflation rate has been declining for the past few years!
  1. Togo
This is another African country that has Cryptocurrency which is 363,963 cryptocurrency owners. Togo has  4.21% age of the country’s population. Some of the crypto available in this country include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, e.t.c. However, it is uncertain whether Cryptocurrency is legal in Togo.
  1. Cameroon
Cameroon ranks the tenth country that adopts cryptocurrency in Africa. It has 3.12% age of the country’s population. It is projected that over 867,387 Cameroonians presently possess cryptocurrency. What Is the Status of the Other 44 African Countries? According to usefultulips, LocalBitcoins and Paxful combined P2P transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past year. According to thorough research, however, just ten (10) African countries are actively trading cryptocurrencies, representing approximately 20 percent of the continent’s 54 nations. Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Botswana, and Uganda account for the vast majority of crypto operations in Africa. Despite the enormous increase in crypto transactions across Africa, over 80% of the continent’s countries are not represented in the crypto trading and adoption landscape. Why is this question asked? And we have arrived at the following responses:
  1. Regulations
In some African nations, crypto operations have been severely hampered by stringent regulations. In nations such as Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, and Morocco, crypto trading is openly illegal. Authorities in Morocco specifically prohibited all cryptocurrencies in 2017, claiming that “virtual currency transactions represent a violation of the exchange regulations and are subject to the penalties and fines stipulated by [existing laws].” According to Algeria’s 2018 Finance Bill, the possession of any type of virtual money is prohibited and a violation of the law. The Bank of Tanzania prohibited the usage of crypto services in December 2019. As criminal conduct punishable by law, crypto transactions are prohibited in many nations due to their stringent rules.
  1. Low teen populations
Youth are the most technologically proficient demographic in every society. Consequently, they are more familiar with crypto transactions. They are the largest advocates of cryptocurrency platforms in Africa. Nevertheless, many African nations have a limited youth population. Youths are crucial to the acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Africa. Rwanda, for example, has a young population of only 4.1 million. Despite having the fourth-biggest population in Africa with 89 million people, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has approximately 16 million youngsters, 2 million fewer than South Africa, which has a far lower population of 59 million. There are only roughly 860,000 and 611,000 young people in Lesotho and Namibia, respectively. These youth populations are almost insignificant in comparison to those of Nigeria (34 million) and Ethiopia(31 million). As a result, the tiny number of young people in these nations, combined with their presumably terrible economic conditions, cannot significantly promote crypto adoption.
  1. Political Upheaval and Social Unrest
Several citizens have been displaced and the economy has been disrupted as a result of political unrest, military attacks, and tragic protests in nations such as Libya and Sudan. Post-Gaddafi Libya moves from one catastrophe to the next. After 8 years | Borneo Post After Gadaffi, online tensions in Libya remains elevated. Many of these individuals are merely attempting to survive amid the chaos, hence diminishing interest in digital technologies such as cryptocurrencies. Due to the lack of a source of income in the wake of national crises, the majority of residents in these African nations live hand-to-mouth and have no extra finances to explore crypto investments.
  1. Internet Filtering
With cryptocurrency exchanges executing transactions in the fastest time possible, unbroken high-speed internet is essential for a quality customer experience. However, repeated/prolonged internet shutdowns in nations like Benin Republic, Malawi, and Chad discourage cryptocurrency exchanges from operating in these regions. There are valid reasons why top cryptocurrency systems, such as Luno, are only available in politically stable nations, such as South Africa and Nigeria. It is non-negotiable for crypto operators to safeguard their economic interests, and internet censorship in several African nations poses a significant threat to investments. Africa loses $5.3 billion to internet shutdowns in 2019, with no end in sight according to experts. Conclusion Cryptocurrency has exploded in Africa. Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, is now the second-largest market on the top worldwide P2P crypto exchange Paxful, trailing only the United States in terms of total transaction volume since 2015. A global spike in crypto operations has sent the price of Bitcoin, the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency, to an all-time high of $35,000 in the early hours of today. However, it is important to note that this Cryptocurrency has been banned in some African countries. Some of these countries such as Nigeria have found an alternative way of buying and selling Cryptocurrency. In terms of adoption and trading, crypto services are anticipated to continue their upward trend in Africa. Due to the aforementioned factors, however, it may not gain much traction in many African nations. While nations such as Algeria and Morocco have maintained a strong legislative stance against crypto offers, countries such as Rwanda and Sudan are gradually adopting digital assets despite regulatory and economic restraints. Source: The CryptoHub

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