The African continent is considered an important market for cryptocurrency adoption due to its young population, deficient government economic management, and insufficient financial infrastructure for internal and global connectivity.
in episode 28 discussHost Elisha Owusu Akyaw joins Fonbnk founder Christian Duffus to discuss the complexities of user onboarding on the African continent. Duffus shared his thoughts on the diverse and innovative ways to introduce new cryptocurrency users in developing markets, and explained how other factors such as education and regulation have influenced the Web3 introduction process in Africa.
Duffus founded Fonbnk to provide a set of entry and exit channels for people in developing countries who want to enter the Web3 industry. His fascination with digital payments is linked to the growth of mobile money on the continent. Davers observed people transferring balances and exchanging them for other things of digital value in Facebook and WhatsApp groups. This experience led to the creation of Fonbnk, a company with a primary focus on cash-first economies in Africa.
Owusu Akyaw points out how companies like Fonbnk are deploying on-ramps with interesting digital assets such as airtime, and how this differs significantly from how others trade on a global scale. Apps such as Fonbnk allow users to convert airtime (digital credits used to make phone calls and access the internet) into cryptocurrencies such as U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC). With many people unbanked, it makes more sense to build the next wave of financial technology on Web3, Duffus explained.
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Regarding regulation and the future of the African cryptocurrency ecosystem, the Fonbnk founder believes that favorable regulation will come, but it may take a while, and more decentralized applications native to the African continent will be launched in the next few months.
“From a product standpoint, I definitely think you’re going to see more on-chain activity, whether it’s bringing in native protocols and DApps and other projects that take into account specific characteristics, opportunities in their respective countries or regions. Across the continent market, a behavior unique to Africa.”
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