Back in September, I visited Tanzania and spent some time with the bitcoin community in that country: enthusiasts, startups and merchants. Having spent a considerable amount of time in this Eastern African country, I was awed by the potential of this market and the African continent in general. It is a big market. This is interesting because of all the growth we have seen in Africa in the last few years.
Africa is Making Strides, Big Strides
It is no secret that Africa is a mobile-centric market. According to an Erickson mobility report of 2015, more than 40% of Africans have a mobile phone. Majority of the people in Africa access the internt from their mobile phones. This provides a great opportunity for the bitcoin payment technology.
At the moment, the number of bitcoin users in Africa is expanding at an unprecedented rate. This shows that Afirca is a good market for bitcoin growth. The top markets in Africa when it comes to bitcoin usage are Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. Developers are also working on creating secure applications that can be accessed across all mobile platforms-from feature phones to smart phones. On Android phones, there are thousands of installations of bitcoin wallets on a monthly basis. This rate of growth will continue to grow sharply as more Africans can afford to buy smart phones.
With thousands of monthly visits to bitcoins news sites such as Newsbtc.com, and an increased interest on the potential of bitcoins, Africa is definitely a key market for bitcoin growth. We have seen an increase in the number of bitcoin startups targeted at Africa.
Traffic to bitcoin sites from Africa is at the tens of thousands of visitors every month. These news sites continue to develop products targeted at the African market. Bitcoin exchange sites across Africa are also receiving traffic to their sites as more people are interested in transacting with bitcoins. This focus on the local market is one of the key things that helps drive growth in this industry .
Some of the bitcoin Startups in Africa
- African Bitcoin Centre
It is exciting to see Bitcoin startups in the continent expanding their initiatives across Africa. Firms like Bitpesa have partnered with Mpesa in Kenya (Kenya’s largest Mobile Payment platform) to enable Kenyans buy or sell bitcoins as simply as they send a message.
We are also seeing firms like ABC launching startups in Africa in close conjunction with African enterprises; the ultimate aim is to drive bitcoin usage in Africa.
As we start 2016,the bitcoin community is excited about startups that will launch and partner with financial providers, thus even further catapult bitcoin into prominence within the continent.
The online industry in Africa is one of the fastest growing in the world. This presents one of the best opportunities for entrepreneurs. This market is characterized by a growing middle class, growth in mobile phone usage and improved economies. Although most of the economies in Africa are yet to achieve middle income growth, they are nevertheless viewed as countries that present the best opportunities for sustained growth. Big brands are flooding these markets and forging alliances with local enterprises. This shows that there is indeed great potential for growth in Africa.
What companies in the bitcoin industry should focus on are ways in which they can create services that add value to their target market. By doing this, Africa will be on its ways to becoming the bitcontinent of the world.
Cynthia is an enthusiast from Kenya. When she isn’t writing about bitcoins, you will find her in the wild sampling what Africa has to offer.