Cryptocurrency intermediation in Africa: towards a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency intermediaries
Gomachas, Roswitha Mildred Melina
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There is a lot of speculation regarding potential benefits that the adoption of cryptocurrency use and cryptocurrency intermediation may have for the African continent due to the macro-economic instability of African financial markets caused by hyperinflation; high rate of unbanked populations; and the need for an alternative currency to the weak; and sometimes unavailable and unreliable African fiat money. Preiss notes that the intangible nature of cryptocurrency means that governments have no access to such cryptocurrency and cannot physically remove wealth from the citizens. He further notes that cryptocurrency not only provides a solution to the unbanked but is also a method of allowing economically and politically subjugated populations to control their wealth. Cryptocurrency intermediation in the form of cryptocurrency remittance services have been established in Africa as an alternative to Western Union, MoneyGram and many others. Examples include cryptocurrency remittance and transfer services provided by cryptocurrency-based intermediaries, which are third parties facilitating cryptocurrency related transactions, and in some cases provide storage of cryptocurrency to their users. In Africa, examples of such cryptocurrency-based intermediaries include, such as BTCGhana; BitPesa and Belfrics.