Zimbabwean Crypto Enthusiast, Tadii Tendayi, is using blockchain and crypto to support his community
Meet Tadii Tendayi, a Zimbabwean crypto enthusiast on a mission to use cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure to enhance the lives of people in vulnerable communities.
By Anna B Kiwanuka
Africa has seen a significant rise in the adoption of cryptocurrencies in recent years. According to a survey by the American data company Chainalysis, Africa continues to experience a rise in cryptocurrency adoption because of the region’s inadequate financial and economic institutions and, most significantly, the need for financial inclusion.
Cryptocurrencies have become a quick way to make money and facilitate faster transactions, especially cross-border payments.
Intrigued by them and passionate about how they work and their benefits, Tadi Tendayi thinks cryptocurrencies are a great potential for Africa.
The cryptocurrency enthusiast from Zimbabwe is working to redefine cryptocurrencies and help the lives of many Zimbabweans by creating a blockchain infrastructure to change the lives of Zimbabweans in vulnerable communities.
“We support ten vulnerable women through crypto every day with a dollar a day, and we also support five kids through school for the next two years. And this is all through crypto,” he says.
Tendayi’s interest in blockchain technology fueled his desire for cryptocurrencies. Although he wasn’t interested in using cryptocurrencies to make money, he had to partake in cryptocurrency trading and other money-making crypto activities to better understand them.
Tendayi’s only interest was to understand the workings and uses of cryptocurrencies. He did not think of creating anything with blockchain until he met his Tunisian friend.
“At the time, I wasn’t thinking about building my blockchain. We were working with the available blockchain, not considering layer one or two. Then I met a friend from Tunisia who was running a pilot in Rwanda that had to do with Celo. I asked her about it, and then I started doing my research on Celo,” Tendayi added.
Tendayi did not know all the functionalities that came with blockchain. He discovered during his research that there was a mobile-first blockchain, meaning a person’s mobile phone number or email address could be their crypto address and that it could essentially create mobile money but for crypto.
At this point, Tendayi started coming up with ideas. He could see blockchain and unique crypto solving problems in Zimbabwe, so he built BitFlex as a layer two blockchain on Celo, and his journey of building a blockchain infrastructure began.
BitFlex is a fintech platform that bridges the gap between crypto and fiat, making crypto simple enough to use, a solution that was part of Tendayi’s mission which was to build a blockchain for vulnerable communities.
It is crucial to use blockchain as an alternative to existing financial systems, especially in Zimbabwe. Tendayi also emphasized that the nation had been subjected to sanctions and limitations that rendered traditional economic systems unreliable.
He says, “A country like Zimbabwe has sanctions imposed on it, so this automatically shuts out Zimbabweans from accessing basic things that everyone else should have. You might not be able to open a bank account or even register on an exchange like Coinbase with all these restrictions. But blockchain does not have these restrictions; Bitcoin does not have sanctions.”
While crypto does not need regulations and sanctions, it is harder to understand if one is not educated enough about it. Tendayi is bridging this gap with his blockchain infrastructure by providing a 30-minute webinar when one is onboarded on the platform.
This has been supported by its partner Good Dollar, whose collaboration with Bitflex started in 202, to facilitate financial revolution through crypto and promote Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Africa.
“What we are doing with GoodDollar is using crypto to support vulnerable communities by leveraging Decentralised Finance (DeFi). The onboarding process is a 30-minute webinar. The beneficiaries undergo a training program after downloading the app, transferring money, and cashing out to local currency.“
He explained that DeFi is a way to generate funds continuously when BitFlex or GoodDollar receives a donation. BitFlex uses Celo’s layer one tech, which means beneficiaries can easily use phone numbers as crypto wallets.
“So if someone gives us like $10,000, it will always remain $10,000. But, we use the proceeds to finance and fund our beneficiaries and communities.”
“We actually use platforms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), these platforms have $375 million guarantee insurance,” he emphasized.
Tendayi added that even with insurance and regulation, the risks that come with crypto are hard to manage.
Through crypto, Tendayi has so far been able to provide a dollar a day to ten women every day and pay the yearly tuition of five Zimbabwean kids.
Tendayi, however, believes that this is just the beginning and that he will continue to innovate and develop new strategies for Africans to utilize cryptocurrencies to their fullest potential.