by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – CRYPTOCURRENCIES have gained an impressive foothold in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is in line with global trends, according to a policy brief released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
There are currently more than 19 000 cryptocurrencies, up from 1 500 in 2018.
Some 450 crypto-exchanges achieved a combined value of $500 billion in daily trades in May 2021.
The African countries currently leading the cryptocurrency charge are Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, with one of the largest hubs on the continent sitting in South Africa.
As recently as June 2022, the Central African Republic (CAR) adopted bitcoin as legal tender, and a Chainalysis report revealed a 1 200 percent increase in cryptocurrency payments from 2020 to 2021 in Africa.
KnowBe4 Africa attributed the growth in Africa to soaring interest rates, ravaged local currencies and the barriers that the unbanked usually have to overcome.
Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy and Evangelist at the company, said people need to become familiar with the threats of social engineering as well as common scams so they can protect themselves, their digital assets, wallets and ultimately their money.
“The cryptocurrency ecosystem is still very much the proverbial Wild West with criminals making immense profits off of people who are not sure of the rules. It’s essential that anyone playing in the crypto ecosystem understands the risks involved.”
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that does not rely on any central authority to uphold or maintain.
– CAJ News