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The State of Cryptocurrencies in Africa

Africa will define the future of Bitcoin. With its various use cases and suitability for the demographic and economic trends on the continent, there has been a growing buzz for its potential to upgrade Africa’s financial system. Due to its decentralized nature, Bitcoin can address many of Africa’s inefficiencies around payments, cross-border transactions and financial inclusion. However, it is not the only coin which could have a transformative impact on Africa. There are currently over 5,000 alternative cryptocurrencies, known as altcoins, and whilst not all of them have sustainable use cases, there are a few that Africans should be aware of. One area in which XRP could benefit many Africans is remittances. According to the 2020 State of Crypto in Africa Report, in 2019 more than $48 billion was sent in remittance payments in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. However, despite being an important source of income to many families, traditional money transfer services charge very high fees, with an average of 9% for $200 worth of remittances sent to Africa. With intra-African payments also struggling with both high costs and low speed, XRP’s near-instant processing time and reduced transaction fees could provide a much-needed solution to the weaknesses of Africa’s current remittances system.