New Blockchain Initiatives Driving Financial Innovation Across Africa

Leading blockchain networks are unveiling new initiatives on a daily basis. Here are a few of the most noteworthy activities.

By Staff

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Several fintech innovations that use blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and Web3 to revolutionize the way Africans interact with financial services are flourishing across Africa. Between July 2020 and June 2021, the value of Africa’s crypto market surged by more than 1,200 percent, owing to significant adoption rates in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Adoption rates are expected to rise as a result of new adoptions in other countries such as the Central African Republic.

Leading blockchain networks including Ethereum, Stellar, Celo, and Cardano are unveiling new initiatives on a daily basis, all in the race to create Africa’s emerging Web3 economy. Here are a few of the most noteworthy activities:

  1. Ethereum Foundation now covers 17,000 Kenyan farmers with blockchain-based crop insurance that would pay 6,000 farmers for crops adversely affected by climate change before the end of the current growing season.
  2. Stellar Development Foundation launched a blockchain Bootcamp with $20,000 investments, a Europe-African remittance program, and a cross-African payment app for Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda.
  3. Celo Foundation invested in a CFA franc stablecoin to ease payments across West Africa, a partnership with Mercy Corps Ventures to drive financial inclusion among Kenyan gig workers, equity-free grants to African projects, and 40% Africa-focused founders at its Founders in Residence program.
  4. Cardano outlined its vision for the continent, including investing $100 million in over 100 Kenyan pre-seed blockchain startups within three years.

Other businesses, in addition to blockchain networks, are investing in blockchain developments across the continent, including:

  • Carry1st, an African mobile gaming publisher, will be integrating game content with NFTs and cryptocurrencies for Web3 play-to-earn gaming.
  • Chipper Cash, an African fintech unicorn, took investment from global cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX to accelerate crypto adoption within Africa.
  • AZA Finance launched the continent’s first digital currency exchange, and also took funding from FTX to expand the adoption of Web3 and digital currencies throughout Africa.

All of these blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and Web3 projects are especially unexpected given that cryptocurrencies are unregulated in around half of all African countries.. On the flip side, a growing number of African governments are experimenting with digital currencies issued by central banks (CBDCs). We’ll have to wait and observe how governments across Africa investigate blockchain-based solutions and formulate policy for the Web3 economy. 

Regardless of explicit or implied limitations on cryptocurrency transactions, the growing number of blockchain initiatives demonstrate customers’ insatiable appetite for new blockchain networks and protocols in Africa.

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