The price of the best digital currency is way beyond the means of many, especially in Africa. A Bitcoin in Nigeria, for example, is now worth more than N3 mln. It's far away in a country where half of its some 200 million people live with less than N800 (about $ 2) a day.
UNDP places 50.9% of Nigeria's population in multidimensional poverty. Another 18.4% of the population is considered close. Nigeria's current minimum wage rises to 18,000 N (about $ 60) a month
These figures from Nigeria reflect the reality of many other African countries. Ghana has recently introduced a new minimum daily wage of 9.68 cedis (about US $ 2.20) against 8.80 cedis. In Kenya, the minimum wage has recently been raised from 10,955 to 12,926 Kenyan shillings (about $ 125).
In the United Kingdom, where the minimum wage per hour is £ 6.50 (about $ 8.50), it is clear that few Africans would be able to acquire a whole bitcoin. Rising money may discourage more new people from jumping on the train. Yet the urge to participate in the growing crypto ecosystem is growing among many Africans.
The Call of the OICs
Some of them are turning to the initial offerings, which offer Africans a unique opportunity. Although the crowdfunding model requires caution because of the growing number of scams, its benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages of many Africans. Basically, ICOs allow Africans to start and invest in global projects that are significantly cheaper than Bitcoin. In addition, ICOs help Africans to ensure their relevance in a global financial evolution led by crypto
The founders speak
Bashir Aminu, the founder of Cryptogene, writes :
"I think the ICOs are crucial to the success of start-ups, especially in countries like Africa where access to traditional financing is extremely difficult, ICO give startups the right length of time to build and implement their products. "
Aminu believes that ICOs are relatively unknown in Nigeria and are often confused with fraudulent schemes. He points out that it would be difficult to start a Blockchain start-up in the country without an ICO, because getting financing from banks is almost impossible.
Marcus Adetola, co-founder of Potentiam, shares a similar point of view. He believes that the ICO method presents a more user-friendly and easy-to-use public participation mechanism for fundraising. However, as a new global phenomenon with a still stammering awareness, Adetola notes that it takes longer for people to understand the function and purpose of ICOs:
"So the advice would be that people educate about ICOs and how they can use this new method to raise money like never before, especially in Africa. "
Mounir Belaid, co-author founder of Sandfox studio in Casablanca, was encouraged by the interest The ICO won in Morocco, which facilitated the search for funding for local projects, although related to certain regulations, this new method of fundraising is most needed to promote innovative projects on the continent, says Belaid. He explained that country offices are the best possible promoter of Blockchain-based projects, as they help attract global investors to Africa to improve local communities. He adds that successful country offices will attract people to Africa. Government attention on Blockchain and Chnology and they will also motivate more Africans to innovate in space to solve local problems.
"ICOs will help us get things done faster, but with or without ICO, we'll do it, it may take longer."