Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey believes Africa has great potential when it comes to adopting innovative technologies like Bitcoin and crypto.
After a whirlwind trip to Africa last month, Dorsey is planning to move there for three to six months in 2020.
The continent has a large unbanked population and is still heavily dependent on cash, representing an opportunity for the company’s Cash App to develop hardware and software solutions for crypto and digital payments, as well as financial inclusion.
Dorsey, who believes Bitcoin is well-positioned to become the native currency of the internet, tweeted “Bitcoin Africa” to his 4.3 million followers during his recent trip.
In an interview with Quartz, the tech billionaire remarked,
“I haven’t seen any other currency that would challenge [Bitcoin] across the dimensions that I think are really important. First, I think it has an amazing brand. The other thing that I think makes it probably the strongest candidate is that the principles behind it are very pure. The creation of it was very pure, and focused on a public good, rather than any other particular agenda. The fact that it’s meant to be deflationary, meant to incentivize savings instead of spending, I think is a net positive for the world and how we think about consuming…
It’s 10 years old now, so it’s been tested over those 10 years, across every dimension from security threats, to governments, to forks, to agendas from miners, to nefarious nation states, and it’s been resilient to all those threats and challenges. And resilience is very valuable. There could be an upstart cryptocurrency that could challenge it, but it doesn’t have those tests and that memory of those challenges built into it.”
During his stay in Nigeria, Dorsey visited Ventures Park, a platform for co-working spaces and various community activities for small business owners, in order to explore emerging businesses and to meet the people behind them. He also joined a Bitcoin support group in Ghana, where he held meetings with crypto entrepreneurs, and traveled to Ethiopia and South Africa.
Africa’s fintech economy is experiencing steady growth with Nigeria and South Africa reportedly hosting the largest number of tech hubs. According to GSMA Intelligence, there are currently 618 “active technology hubs” in Africa, up around 40% from last year. Google Trends data also shows Nigeria and South Africa consistently leading “Bitcoin” searches with Ghana in fourth place.