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What Does Africa’s Growing Appetite for Bitcoin Mean for the Rest of the World?

In recent years, Africa has shown that it is ready to advance into the new world; a world of bitcoin. Although the country isn't the most technologically advanced, the cryptocurrency industry is booming.

Posted: 19th December 2018 by Finance Monthly
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In Africa, the want for cryptocurrency is growing, and according to Iggi Vargas at Paxful, this could affect the wider markets.

The interest in bitcoin has continued to grow at a rapid pace. Exchanges are reporting that a lot of Africans, especially millennials, are taking over the platforms.

The “Cheetah generation”

The term “Cheetah generation” was coined by Ghanaian economist and author George Ayittey. It refers to the young and hungry generation of African graduates and professionals. This is the generation that is trying to change the status quo for the better.

“The Cheetahs do not look for excuses for government failure by wailing over the legacies of the slave trade, Western colonialism, imperialism, the World Bank or an unjust international economic system… To the Cheetahs, this ‘colonialism-imperialism” paradigm, in which every African problem is analyzed, is obsolete and kaput. Unencumbered by the old shibboleths, Cheetahs can analyze issues with remarkable clarity and objectivity.” (Ayittey, 2010)

The Cheetahs offer the people of Africa a new way of thinking. Ayittey says that their outlooks and perspectives are “refreshingly different” from past African leaders, intellectuals, and/or elites.

Ayittey compares them to what he calls the “Hippo generation”. This refers to the generation before the Cheetahs.

“ [The Hippo generation] lacks vision - hippos are near-sighted - and sit tight in their air-conditioned government offices, comfortable in their belief that the state can solve all of Africa’s problems.” (Ayittey, 2010)

According to Ayittey, the Hippos are the ones that “are lazily stuck complaining about colonialism, yet not doing anything to change the status quo.”

With that being said, how does the Cheetah generation translate to the Africans’ new-found passion for crypto?

Hunger for crypto

When it comes to cryptocurrency, Africa is a shining star. This is because of one major factor: peer-to-peer finance. Africans have joined the peer-to-peer revolution. It is doing wonders not only for their economy but also their culture. The Cheetahs seem to be embracing this as a good number of African millennials have been joining peer-to-peer marketplaces. This is important for many reasons.

First, it shows that peer-to-peer platforms have an amazing reach. Africa does not have, by any means, cutting-edge technology but they find a way to make a living off of cryptocurrency. Being able to send money around the world without the bank’s high fees are a big deal. Whether it be to a sibling halfway around the world or to your neighbor, being able to send money anywhere is an advantage for Africans.

Second, it shows that peer-to-peer platforms are easy to use. Many non-users will find bitcoin intimidating at first and give up on learning. This shows not only that everyone can use peer-to-peer platforms, but also that it's easy to learn if you’re willing.

Third, it shows that the underbanked aren’t a lost cause. With Africa being so underbanked, bitcoin serves multiple purposes for them. It serves as both a way to hold your money and a way to send out money.

Fourth, it shows that everyone has the power to take control of their own finances. Some Africans actually make a living by trading cryptocurrency, and you can too.

Lastly, it shows that a revolution is in the works; a peer-to-peer revolution. The benefits of peer-to-peer exchanges are being seen all over Africa. The idea of fast transactions and innovation flawlessly aligns with the Cheetah Generation. Clearly cryptocurrency and peer-to-peer finance are the right tools for the new generation of Africans to get ahead and prosper. But it doesn’t just have to be Africa. All over the world, peer-to-peer platforms are showing significant amounts of growth. They are also becoming a popular method to buy bitcoin.

The time is now

It seems like we can learn a lot from the Cheetah generation, including how to make money with bitcoin. If they can have the right set of mind, the world can follow suit. The drive of these young prodigies is something to look up to. They have the attitude that can conquer and inspire the world. Taking control over your own finances is a big deal, and it seems the Cheetahs have figured it out. The peer-to-peer revolution is here and it’s time to get in on it.

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