Africa, China Mobile Tech Market and Cryptocurrency Revolution

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Africa may have contributed a great deal to Bitcoin transactions, according to peer-to-peer crypto exchange Paxful. This has been partly due to the increased inflation rate in some countries and the fact that cryptocurrencies appeal to a large number of underbanked and unbanked individuals on the continent.

The quest to venture into cryptocurrency related business relation as the opportunity in this niche currently presents, may not appeal as much to the Chinese tech investors at the moment says Stephany Zoo, head of marketing at BitPesa. She also was of the opinion that cryptocurrency activity for cross-border payments on the continent is not as pronounced as advertised, stating that if it were so, China having a large number of cryptocurrency owners would have influenced its use in Africa since it’s a major trade partner.

Over the years, the African continent has been favorable to the Chinese tech market. As reported by media outlet the Financial Times, Huawei and ZTE played an important role in building the continent’s mobile network.

The tech potential on the continent is yet to be fully optimized though, as new companies onboarding the ecosystem have also taken advantages of the latent opportunities. Last year, Quartz Africa reported on how a low profile Chinese handset maker Transsion rose to limelight due to Africa’s mobile market. However, there is fierce competition between Western and the Chinese tech companies for a larger share of the African market.

According to Zoo, Chinese tech investors are still wary about crypto investments because of the associated risks, saying that they prefer to stick to solar, ed-tech, e-commerce and IoT. The emerging market opportunity for cryptocurrency in the continent is currently not fully explored, although Zoo added that as time goes on, there’s a possibility that more Chinese investors will trust the market as they work with Africans.

Leading global smartphone vendor Samsung will reportedly include a native cryptocurrency wallet feature in its upcoming Galaxy S10, which will go a long way to facilitate adoption on the side of smartphone users. However, it would be remarkable for the brand in relation to the African market since it holds a huge stake there.

Although Samsung came in second place to Transsion in terms of smartphone shipments to Africa during Q2 2018, it remains unknown how the alleged cryptocurrency wallet feature will improve its market share, especially in South Africa which accounts for the largest share of shipments (17.4%) in the continent. Moreover, South Africa may be considering a regulatory framework for the industry, however, in December 2018, it did say it was considering crypto as part of its National Payment System (NPS).

A recent ongoing survey by the Financial Times is attempting to gauge the level of awareness and possible adoption potential of cryptocurrency and Africa happens to be one of the focal points. BitcoinNews will keep tabs on the outcome of the survey to understand what Africans with internet enable devices want from digital currencies.


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