The current winter of cryptocurrencies does not prevent the sector from boosting its adoption and accessibility on a global scale. A new partnership between CoinCorner and Bitnob allows users on all continents to transact cross-border with various fiat currencies.
Usually, transferring funds between Europe and Africa requires an external facilitator such as Western Union, which relies on centralized entities. These transactions often have multiple party processing times before approval and are notorious for their costly outages. The World Bank estimates that remittances to sub-Saharan Africa amounted to more than $40 billion annually in 2020, with Nigeria alone receiving almost half that amount.
Users can now transfer funds via the Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network from the UK and Europe to select countries in Africa. The app, Send Globally, allows you to transfer British Pounds Sterling (GBP) or Euros (EUR) to the local currencies of Nigeria (NGN), Kenya (KES) and Ghana (GHS).
Through the Lightning Network, lFunds are automatically converted to BTC, then instantly converted to local currency and deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account or mobile money wallet.
Danny Scott, CEO of CoinCorner, said that the remittance market is a great opportunity to highlight the utility of BTC.
“The borderless nature of Bitcoin has always made it a great tool for sending money around the world, but now with the Lightning Network, sending Bitcoin is instant and very low cost.”
In 2021, Statista data ranked Nigeria in the top 10 countries for remittance payments. Also, the World Bank reported that sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 14.1% of global remittances in the past year.
However, almost 80% of African countries restrict the type of institutions that can offer remittance-related services to local banks. This exclusivity creates entry barriers and, therefore, access to financing for the people who need it most.
The prevalence of cryptocurrencies in Africa has been a hot topic in this space, as the continent is littered with emerging economies and practical use cases.
Especially in North Africa, The growth of the cryptocurrency sector continues to increase. A Chainalysis report revealed that the Middle East and North Africa region is the fastest growing region in the world.
In September, the Nigerian government held meetings with Binance to potentially negotiate a proposed special economic zone to support cryptocurrency and blockchain-related businesses in the region.
A later report from Chainalysis also highlighted Ghana’s rise to prominence in the crypto space. He claimed that the country could catch up with Nigeria and Kenya in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.
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