It’s the incredible news of this late summer: Africa has just overtaken North America in terms of Bitcoin (BTC) exchange volume. But how far will the African continent go?
A volume of bitcoin exchange that has exploded
First of all, it is important to specify that this is the largest volume of peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin exchange. This is necessary because peer-to-peer defines a peer-to-peer network model, which distributes and receives data (in our case, BTC), without the need for a central authority.
In short, Africa is the number one continent to use Bitcoin for its initial function of transferring value, without going through a centralized exchange. For example, according to data from analytics platform UsefulTulips, in the last seven days, $18 million was exchanged on P2P platforms LocalBitcoins and Paxful.
While the majority of investors continue to focus on developed countries for investment and often reject the use of bitcoin as a currency or view it solely as a store of value, this data confirms how much bitcoin adoption is growing in emerging markets.
Indeed, less privileged regions typically face a sharp deterioration in their currencies: such as Turkey, which has seen its Turkish lira plummet against the dollar and a bitcoin temporarily reach $100,000 (at local, necessarily exaggerated, exchange rates). This shows how useful Bitcoin can be in bad situations.
Looking at the numbers in more detail, we see that there are 3 African countries in the Top 10: Kenya, Nigeria and Togo. Africans use bitcoin for many purposes, including storing and exchanging value on a daily basis.
As more and more people realize Bitcoin’s scarcity, decentralization, non-discrimination and resistance to censorship, it’s safe to predict that the king of cryptos will be used even more around the world, and no longer just as a speculation tool. Today, for example, PayPal wants to democratize BTC and has landed in the UK.