Bitcoin Doc Focuses On Important African Use Cases
Individuals in some African countries lack the necessary financial tools to send and receive money. Although banks operate in these countries, it is expensive and transactions take days to settle. But a new documentary presented by CNBC explores this issue as it relates to cryptocurrencies. The documentary is titled ‘Bitcoin: Boom or Bust,’ and features Melissa Lee and Ran NeuNer.
African Bitcoin Gold Mine
The South African town of Khayelitsha is showing what may be Bitcoin’s most important use case. Bitcoin is usually attacked as being a very speculative asset with no real value, but the reality is that it can make life easier for unbanked individuals around the world.
Bitcoin: Boom or Bust tells the story of an Uber driver in Zimbabwe that lives in Cape Town. It shows and describes the experience this user has every time it wants to transfer funds.
The driver, Kuda Kwashe, and has just three ways to send money back to his family. The first, and most common method is a bank transfer. But there are some issues with it. A transaction takes days or even weeks to complete.
As a second option, he mentions a wire service. Which is able to transfer money quickly. However, the service takes a commission of 10 percent, something that Kuda cannot accept.
The third option is quite different from the others. He gives the money to a bus driver that goes from Cape Town to Zimbabwe. But of course, this is very risky. What happens if the bus gets robbed? And what if the driver is not an honest man? Just if he is lucky, the family would receive the money.
“I wish there was another option that is safe and cheap to send money,” he says.
Such situations expose the necessity of a new method to transfer funds. In countries with poor communities, Bitcoin would be very efficient for sending and receiving money. Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin offer fast and low-fee transactions. There are no third parties and the technology works fine with just a telephone.
NeuNer talked about why Blockchain should land in Africa:
“My view is that this is where the blockchain should start. In the US or in sophisticated countries… blockchain is kind of like a fun thing. It’s a movement against centralization, and it’s a fun technology game that everyone is playing. But it’s not a necessity. You certainly don’t need it. In Africa, you actually need it.”
And that’s the truth. Africa should embrace blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The fourth industrial revolution should reach all the planet, and mostly the poorest places.
Khayelitsha is just one of the towns that could be benefited with this technology. But around the world there are thousands of these communities. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, we find Venezuela. Its population has embraced virtual currencies in order to survive and avoid extreme economic conditions.
Bitcoin has real and valuable use cases that can help to make this world a better one.