Bitcoin can transform, accelerate African trade
Farida Nabourema, Convener, Africa Bitcoin Conference, addressing the media

Bitcoin can transform, accelerate African trade

Bitcoin, a digital currency platform, has the potential to accelerate e-commerce, drive financial inclusion, accelerate trade and empower the youth on the African continent, an expert has said.


In an interview with some selected media at the 2nd edition of the African Bitcoin Conference (ABC) in Accra, the convener of ABC, Farida Nabourema, said although many people have adopted the use of bitcoin, there were still scores of Africans who were still uninformed about the role of bitcoin on the digital economy.

ABC 23

The three-day conference brought together over 500 participants including policymakers, entrepreneurs, industry players and businessmen from across the globe to explore the potential of cryptocurrencies and block chain technology in shaping the future of finance on the African continent.

Some speakers at the conference included the founder of Ghana dot com, Prof. Nii Quaynor; Bitcoin Open Source Contributor, Ambition Uttawar; the Board member of Btrust and CEO of FEDI, Obi Nwosu and Executive Director for Bitcoin for Fairness, Anita Posch.

Cross-border trade

Ms Nabourema explained that the multiple currencies in Africa were complicating cross-border trade due to exchange rate fluctuations and transaction costs.

She said Bitcoin, being a decentralised digital currency, could potentially streamline international transactions by providing a unified and efficient medium of exchange.

According to her, the borderless nature of bitcoin helps to reduce reliance on traditional banking systems and simplify the complexities associated with multiple currencies, fostering smoother trade across African nations.

She explained that unlike the traditional payment system which was characterised by various intermediaries during business transactions, bitcoin technology operated on a technology that gave opportunities to individuals and businesses to access financial services.

“We operate on a colonial financial system that was built at a time when Africa was just about 200 million people, but today the continent has a population of 1.2 billion people; there is now a continent where trade is boosting but a lot of them operate on a black market,” she said.


Ms Nabourema said the lack of understanding about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading was creating an environment where some individuals were taking advantage of others.

Hence, it is crucial for individuals to be educated about the risks, market dynamics and best practices before engaging in Bitcoin trading.

She said awareness and caution would help mitigate the potential for fraud and scams in the cryptocurrency space.

Ms Nabourema further advised the public to use reputable platforms, stay informed about market trends, and approach cryptocurrency investments with a discerning mindset to avoid falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

She, therefore, advised Africans to embrace the digital currency considering its advantages in an era where businesses could be transacted in real time regardless of geographical location.

“The beautiful thing about bitcoin is that it is a bottom up technology, it is not a top bottom technology, and the adoption of bitcoin has been genuine at all levels.

People have adopted it because it has worked for them. Bitcoin is an open source technology that cannot be shut down, it is technology that does not belong to anybody, it cannot be confiscated as a technology that has others built on it,” she said.

She added bitcoin, and also had several trading platforms that offered different solutions such as digital foreign bureaus where currencies were exchanged on a digital platform without any difficulty.

Emerging technologies

Speaking on the role of bitcoin for economic development, Renowned Computer Scientist and Ghana Dot Com, Professor Nii Quaynor, called a meander for regulatory barriers of Bitcoin.

He said technologies were catalysts for development regardless of the perspectives that might arise on the global front.

According to him, such changes like bitcoin should have “open participation and open documents referring to them as “technoliberations” which require a critical mass of expertise.

He stated that it was therefore imperative for such a conference to be convened to help discuss current as well as emerging technologies.

The Chief Operating Officer of TBD, Emily Chiu, said given the vast patronage of bitcoin and the emergence of both legacy payment systems and government currencies as well as new, decentralised payment systems, currencies, and digital assets, tbDEX, as a decentralised bitcoin exchange, would help bridge these new technologies with established systems without requiring people to abandon the financial tools they use today.

For his part, the co-convener and Director of Operations for ABC, Wolali Ahlijah, explained that the African bitcoin conference served as a living proof that Africa was not just a participant in technological revolution but a catalyst to help drive change, challenge perceptions and pave the way for a future with limitless innovation.

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