South Africa’s Payfast Payment Company Stops Accepting Bitcoin (BTC) Due to Fees and Speed

In an unfortunate turn of events, PayFast, the first- online payment gateway accepting Bitcoin (BTC) in , called time on BTC payments citing fundamental technical issues in the blockchain and a hitch in user-friendliness. PayFast set to stop Bitcoin (BTC) payment channel on 20th 2019. High transaction fees and slow confirmation times reasons […]
Source: bitcoinexchangeguide
South Africa’s Payfast Payment Company Stops Accepting Bitcoin (BTC) Due to Fees and Speed

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: coindesk
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Africa’s Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the ‘Eco’ Currency

By 2020, a large group of West plan to adopt a single fiat currency the eco. After a meeting in Abuja held on June 29 between the 15 member-country regional bloc, the implementation of a new single currency, after debating the mon
: devcoins
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Africa’s Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the ‘Eco’ Currency

Africa's Interest in Bitcoin Remains High While 15 States Plan to Adopt the 'Eco' Currency

By 2020, a large group of West African countries plan to adopt a single fiat currency called the eco. After a meeting in Abuja held on 29 between the 15 member-country regional bloc, the implementation of a new single currency, after debating the monetary unit for years, was agreed. Despite the eco discussion and economic uncertainty within the massive continent, Africans still have a deep interest in digital currencies.

Also Read: Iranians Defy Warning and Share Pictures of Bitcoin Mining in Mosque

15 West African Countries Plan to Introduce the Eco in 2020

Right now a number of countries within the great continent of Africa are facing economic uncertainty and have issues with their sovereign issued currencies. This can be seen in regions that are suffering from hyperinflation like South Sudan and Zimbabwe but also in countries dealing with wavering monetary unpredictability. Some nations are having troubles with their sovereign issued tender and citizens tend to use multiple currencies like the CFA franc, euro or U.S. dollar for trade. On Saturday, the 15 member-country regional bloc called the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to issue a new fiat currency called the eco. The single currency has been discussed for a number of years and was supposed to be launched in 2000.

Africa's Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the 'Eco' Currency
There are currently 15 member countries in the Economic Community of West African States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Local media reports “a real firm political will” for the member countries to adopt a single monetary unit this time around. Some of the West African States use the CFA franc and six of the member countries, including Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana, have been having multiple currency issues for quite some time. The ECOWAS leaders will collaborate with the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) and the region’s central banks in order to speed things up for 2020 adoption. Eco is not going to be a digital currency nor will it use blockchain technology and the new fiat reserve aims to bolster cross border trade.

“The single currency if properly implemented will improve trade by allowing specific countries to specialize at what they are good at, and exchange it for other goods that other countries in the bloc produce more efficiently,” economic analyst,Tokunbo Afikuyomi told the press on Monday.

Africa's Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the 'Eco' Currency
ECOWAS leaders’ 55th session meeting in Abuja. Eze Onyekpere, head of the Centre for Social Justice in Abuja has detailed that common Nigerians do not discuss the eco currency. “Nigerians don’t discuss it. Occasionally you hear it being mentioned among elites,” Onyekpere explained in an interview this week.

Cryptocurrencies Continue to Prosper in Africa But Lack of Education Makes Adoption Difficult

Meanwhile, digital assets are still trending in Africa compared to the rest of the world. As cryptocurrency prices have gained considerable value, Google Trends now a new upswing of interest for people searching the term “.” The top three countries in the world reside within the African continent: Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana respectively.

Africa's Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the 'Eco' Currency
The three areas in the world where the word “bitcoin” is trending the most are Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana. Two of these countries are ECOWAS member states.

When it comes to the term “buy bitcoin,” Nigeria and Ghana are the top two countries in the world as well. Moreover, last week Zimbabwe banned foreign currencies in the country and since then BTC prices in the region reportedly saw significant premiums on various trading platforms. Local.Bitcoin.com, the peer-to-peer marketplace that allows traders to swap fiat currencies for bitcoin cash, also has a slew of people buying and selling BCH in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Benin, Liberia, South Africa, and Burkina Faso.

Africa's Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the 'Eco' Currency
Local.Bitcoin.com has a bunch of sellers and buyers from Nigeria looking to trade BCH.

However, despite the fact that people are interested in digital currencies, Africans are still seeing a lack of progress. According to the Blockchain Association of Kenya, there’s been $1.5 million worth of digital assets traded in the country but “lack of education” is making adoption difficult. After Kaspersky released its Cryptocurrency Report 2019, Bethwel Opil, spokesperson at Kaspersky Africa, stated that the latest consumer survey in Africa agreed with the Blockchain Association of Kenya’s assessment. “The survey that there is a desire amongst many consumers to use cryptocurrency, but a knowledge gap is getting in the way of taking the plunge,” the Kaspersky Africa correspondent wrote. “In addition, many people who thought they knew what they are dealing with, later decided against using cryptocurrency.”

Africa's Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the 'Eco' Currency
South Africa has quite a few buyers and sellers looking to swap bitcoin cash peer-to-peer at our BCH marketplace.

Over the Last Year, Certain African Regions Have Seen Exponential Cryptocurrency Growth

According to the report, a fifth of South African respondents (14%) explained that they stopped using digital currencies because they were “technically complicated.” Opil also said the lack of education brings scammers who prey on individuals who just recently learned about cryptocurrencies. The fraudsters, coupled with price volatility, are some of the biggest reasons Africans are so suspicious of digital currencies. “This lack of understanding could be leading to mistrust in cryptocurrencies’ ability to keep consumers’ money safe,” Opil added. Regardless, there’s still been massive interest stemming from the African continent as the staff columnist at Born 2 Invest explains, “there’s been an astronomical increase with regards to new users from Africa over the last year or so.”

“It’s been estimated that transactions from South Africa have risen by 25%, and a 60% increase where Nigeria is concerned, whilst in other areas there were climbs of up to 100%,” the author reported.

With Ghana and Nigeria being members of the ECOWAS bloc and introducing the new fiat currency eco, it will be interesting to how the government deals with all the cryptocurrency action taking place in those countries. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), leaders who attended the 55th session in Abuja believe they finally made considerable progress on the single currency front. Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Suleiman, instructed the ECOWAS commission to work with various entities to accelerate the implementation of the eco currency. When governments usher in new fiat currency, they typically are opposed to foreign currencies much like the Venezuelan petro and the example in Zimbabwe last week. It’s quite possible that the introduction of the eco in 2020 could put a damper on some of the thriving cryptocurrency regions in Africa if they feel that their new eco money will be threatened.

What do you think about the 15 countries that will adopt a single fiat currency by 2020? Do you think this new multi-nation state issued currency will be threatened by cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Local.Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper ? Check our tools section. You can also enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely.

The post Africa’s Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the ‘Eco’ Currency appeared first on Bitcoin News.


Source: bitcoin.com
Africa’s Interest in Bitcoin Remains High as 15 States Plan to Adopt the ‘Eco’ Currency

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Bitcoin Mining in Africa: What Can Be Done to Encourage Mining?

The next gold rush will be in . Solar and wind energy can promote sustainable mining in Africa.

These statements ooze of optimism. However, optimism is often only on paper. In the real , Africa is far from being a bitcoin mining hub.

Strict regulations, costly electricity prices and the high cost of setting up a mining rig are some of the major reasons why the mining community is spread so thin.

The Mining Community in Africa

Africa contributes less than 10 percent of the total bitcoin hash rate. Mining communities mainly exist in Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda.

Each of these has specific demographics that either encourage or discourage mining.

Egypt

Bitcoin mining in Egypt is shrouded in secrecy. Egyptian authorities have historically held a tough approach toward digital coins. Although cryptocurrencies are technically not illegal, authorities often associate them with illegal activities, and any person found mining or in possession of cryptocurrencies can be arrested.

Despite the risk, the Egyptian mining community continues to grow. Egypt has a network of underground Bitcoin and Ethereum miners spread across Cairo, although most of them operate under the radar.

The low electricity fees that Egyptians pay is the main reason why the mining community is growing. Egyptians pay somewhat lower electricity fees compared to other Africans. These low electricity fees translate to higher profit margins.

Kenya

Kenyans are among the top Bitcoin users in Africa. The country has no crypto regulations set in place. Unlike Egypt, mining is done openly. However, the government has openly warned its citizens against dealing with Bitcoin.

In 2017, Eugene Mutai became an internet sensation after CNN aired a story about his cryptomining venture inside his Nairobi apartment. Mutai is among the few Kenyans who earn a living from mining cryptocurrencies.

BitHub Africa, a blockchain accelerator program based in Kenya, also runs a mining operation. BitHub mines various coins including Ethereum, Ethereum classic and Ripple; it also runs two Bitcoin Lightning nodes.

South Africa

South Africa is Africa’s mining hub. The South African government has taken a relaxed approach to cryptocurrencies. The South African central bank has experimenting with blockchain technology itself and is in the process of assessing the feasibility of a central bank issued digital coin.

South Africans also pay relatively lower fees for electricity compared to other African countries. Affordable electricity prices and the favorable environment created by the government’s approach to blockchain technology has made South Africa a mining hub.

The South African economy is also among Africa’s strongest. This strong economy has made it easier for South Africans to buy mining equipment. The availability of Bitmart stores in the country also makes it easier for to buy mining equipment. In most African countries, miners are forced to import components when building their rigs. South Africans have it easier.

Ghana

A discussion on Bitcoin mining in Africa is not complete without the mention of Ghana. The West African country is home to the first mining facility in Africa. Ghana Dot Com, an IT solutions company, established its mining facility in 2016, in a bid to promote bitcoin adoption in Africa.

This mining facility set up despite the Ghanaian central bank prohibiting the use of bitcoin. Like other central banks, the Ghanaian central bank does not recognize bitcoin as a currency.  

Why Hasn’t Bitcoin Mining in Africa Taken Off?

In a continent with 54 nations, why is bitcoin mining only present in five?

One of the main contributing factors is the high capital required to set up a mining rig. A basic mining rig is made up of either six or eight 1080 TI graphics cards connected to a basic computer set up. Setting up this basic rig costs slightly above $5,000. Very few Africans can afford to build a basic bitcoin mining rig.

For the few who can afford the mining rigs, high electricity prices are another problem they must contend with. In some African countries, electric companies are very unreliable. Blackouts can last up to three days, which discourages mining.

If you are lucky enough to afford a mining rig and live in a country with reliable and cheap electricity, tough government regulations can be the next hindrance you must overcome before enjoying the profits of your mining operation. Such is the case in countries like Egypt.

Furthermore, the hot climate in some African countries makes bitcoin mining unsuitable. Mining generates a lot of heat. In hot climates, mining hardware faces the risk of overheating. Mining in hot environments is expensive as one must invest heavily in cooling activities.   

How to Promote Bitcoin Mining in Africa

Solar and Wind Energy Can Promote Sustainable Bitcoin Mining

Electricity prices are the main hindrance to bitcoin mining in Africa. Solar energy can provide an alternative source of electricity for cryptomining.

BitHub Africa has been working with a Zimbabwean company to establish a solar mining facility in Africa. BitHub has also been experimenting with using solar energy to mine in its Nairobi mining facility.

In Morocco, the African Development Bank, together with the EU and the World Bank, are working to establish an 800MW solar power plant. Other African countries, including Seychelles, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa are also in the process of constructing solar power plants.

The establishment of these solar power plants is likely to result in lower electricity costs, which may promote the establishment of mining pools in African countries.

Wind energy can also help to promote Bitcoin mining in Africa. Brookstone partners, a New York equity company, is planning to construct a 900MW wind farm in Morocco. The facility will power a data center and a bitcoin mining facility.

Wind and solar energy provide cheaper and more sustainable sources of electricity. African countries have both these natural resources in abundance. If they were to take advantage of these resources, it would be possible to establish sustainable Bitcoin mining pools across the continent.

Cloud Mining Provides an Affordable Alternative to Mining Rigs

Africans who can’t afford the initial cost of setting up a mining rig can earn bitcoin through cloud mining. Cloud mining entails sharing processing power.  

Cloud mining has several benefits. First, you don’t have to contend with high electricity costs. You also enjoy a cooler and quieter home. In case mining ceases to be profitable, you are also not left with equipment to sell.

Cloud mining facilities can promote Bitcoin mining in Africa, especially with the construction of solar and wind power facilities.

Conclusion

With Chinese authorities considering a ban on cryptomining in the country, Africa has a chance to break out and become the leading bitcoin exporter in the world.

However, for Africa to become a bitcoin mining hub, a lot needs to be done in terms of investment and regulations.

The post Bitcoin Mining in Africa: What Can Be Done to Encourage Mining? appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.


Source: bitcoinmagazine
Bitcoin Mining in Africa: What Can Be Done to Encourage Mining?

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