Truth be told, the minds of African leaders are still being puzzled on how to handle cryptocurrencies. Up to some extent, we can say that African governments don’t know what to do with digital currencies. In case of doubt, just have a look at Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy. The Nigerian Central Bank has flip-flopped going from severely warning local banks against doing business in digital currencies to purportedly researching potential policy proposals. As if this was not enough for the African continent, the Kenyan authorities went from comparing cryptocurrencies to pyramid schemes to setting up a task-force to detailly study all potential benefits surrounding blockchain technology.
A recent report delivered by Ecobank on the state of cryptocurrency regulation in Sub-Saharan Africa revealed shocking information. Out of the 39 countries which were analyzed, only two being South Africa and Swaziland showed a favorable stand on the regulations surrounding digital currencies. In their report, Namibia was the only country to have banned the use of digital currencies. As for the remaining 37 countries, cryptocurrencies are stuck in a regulation limbo. This clearly tells us that most of the African governments have adopted the “Wait and See” approach when it comes to regulating digital currencies on the continent. Perhaps African countries are waiting on their neighbors to regulate and innovate first so that they can learn from their mistakes.
Although most African governments are still to make up their minds on the legitimacy of digital currencies, citizens across several countries have already embraced and are actively using them. The Zimbabwean economic crisis led to a boom in the cryptocurrency trading market. During the crisis, most Zimbabwean citizens turned to Cryptocurrency trading as a means of storing value. While the crisis was at max, Zimbabwe had the highest Bitcoin prices in the World. Even in Nigeria, digital currency trading is very popular. Reports made some few years backward revealed that peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading in Nigeria had increased by almost 1,500%. This amazing increase was surpassed only by China.