Whether cryptocurrencies or central bank digital currencies, Africa is seeing an “explosion” in the adoption of electronic money.
According to a report by KuCoin, African crypto transactions will grow by 2,670% in 2022, accounting for approximately 2.8% of global transactions. More than 88.5% of cryptocurrency transactions made by Africans are cross-border transfers. African countries have the highest cryptocurrency adoption rate in the world, surpassing even regions like the US, Europe and Asia.
According to Triple A’s latest cryptocurrency ownership data, there are approximately 53 million cryptocurrency owners on the African continent, representing approximately 16.5% of the estimated 320 million cryptocurrency owners worldwide.
Of all cryptocurrency holders in Africa, Nigeria accounts for more than a third of the total, over 22 million. Globally, Nigeria ranks fourth in the number of cryptocurrency holders. Citing a study by price tracker CoinGecko, Bloomberg ranked Nigeria first in interest in cryptocurrencies higher than any other English-speaking country. Kenya and South Africa also have a high percentage of cryptocurrency holders, coming in behind Nigeria in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) policy brief.
Nigeria is not only the English-speaking country most interested in cryptocurrencies globally, it is also the only country in the world to have officially launched a CBDC. On October 25th 2021, Nigeria officially launched its central bank digital currency, eNaira, making it the second country in the world to do so. In a recent IMF study, nearly half of the world’s countries are working on CBDCs, but only two have officially launched, and Nigeria is one of them.
Africa’s leadership in e-money adoption has been driven by the increased use of smartphones and the fact that the continent has the youngest population in the world. A young population with a keen interest and awareness of cryptocurrencies. Earlier in 2022, McKinsey released a study stating that revenues for African fintech companies will soar to $30.3 USD billion by 2025, eight times higher than in 2020, as more young and underbanked populations increasingly use Internet-based financial services. KuCoin predicts that the adoption of digital assets in Africa will continue to grow exponentially.
However, this optimistic situation does not belong to all African countries. Due to chronic poverty and lack of infrastructure, there are still many countries in Africa that have spent little research on cryptocurrencies, CBDC, etc. According to IMF statistics, more than 2/3 of countries in Africa have yet to launch CBDC. According to IMF statistics, in Africa, there are still over 2/3 of countries have yet to launch a CBDC. Among the 13 countries that have been studied, Nigeria has officially launched eNaira; CBDC in two countries, South Africa and Ghana, are in the pilot stage; CBDC in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Madagascar are in the research phase.
As African countries are rich in FinTech, global fintech companies are flocking to this “oasis” of electronic money to enhance the level of FinTech in African countries. After successfully developing the Southeast Asian market, ACU Group started to set up the African market in 2022 to bring the benefits of financial technology to the central banks of African countries and the African people.
At the beginning of the year, ACU Group officially launched the Cross-Border Support Program to support developing nations. The Cross-Border Support Program advocates the use of technology to change lives, starting with the use of new electronic money. In the middle of the year, ACU Group appointed ambassadors from Central Africa and the Middle East to help promote the ACU Group’s Cross-Border Support Program. As a result of this program, countries such as Angola, Zambia and Madagascar joined the ACU Group’s cross-border support program. In the second half of the year, ACU Group entered Africa, providing differentiated services according to the different levels of e-money development in African countries.
Currently, the ACU Group will provide assistance in the direction of e-money promotion for countries that have developed or researched CBDC. With the ACU PAY global e-money payment program, the ACU Group will directly access the CBDC issued by the country to the system, realize the global flow of CBDC in the country, expand the advantages of e-money in cross-border payment, and solve the difficulties encountered by Nigeria in launching its eNaira. For countries that have not yet started working on CBDCs, the ACU Group will work with the central bank to provide a full suite of technical support on e-money based on the needs of the central bank, either by helping the central bank issue CBDCs or by generating a new e-money pegged to the country’s legal tender for circulation and providing technical support based on the needs of the central bank.
The ACU Group successfully launched projects such as the digital currency ACU in 2019. Within three years of stable operation, the ACU Group has been successful in regions such as Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Malaysia. In the near future, the ACU Group will provide professional financial technology services to African countries and improve the financial technology level in the region comprehensively.