Against all odds?

Central African Republic Remains Upbeat On Crypto Despite Market Shrink

By  |  June 17, 2022

The cryptocurrency market is currently bullocks, thanks to the meltdown of some of the most popular digital assets on display. Described as an usual weather which brings winter to crypto, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), majorly, are in the middle of a hemorrhage presumably harbingered by the Terra and Luna crisis

What’s more, in almost immediate response to the dreary look of things, crypto owners are pulling out what is left of their investments. 

Per a report by CoinShares (a digital asset management firm) funds in the crypto market experienced withdrawals worth USD 102 M in only the past week. As a result of the outrush, the cryptocurrency market, in generality, is now downsized to a worth of USD 900 B; in November last year, it was at a high of USD 2.97 T.

Though these unwonted events, like Jack Dorsey’s coveted Web5 foreplay, are sending shockwaves across the crypto ecosystem, the leadership of an outlier, poor, and economically challenged country in the world’s last frontier market is sticking to its guns as per its stance on crypto.

The Central African Republic (CAR), now the only country known to be outrightly pro-crypto in Africa, in April disclosed its plans to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender supplementary to its fiat currency, the CFA Franc. 

In a move supposedly intended to open CAR to seamless international investments, the government passed into law a bill that legalized the use of cryptocurrencies. Only after El Salvador globally, the development made CAR the first in Africa to adopt crypto. 

As one would expect, the country’s all-of-no-sudden stance on such assets was overly questioned and equally criticized, especially when it comes to the lack of a tech infrastructure needed to support the cause. It has met many setbacks, much of which stems from CAR being a third-world country; low internet penetration, inflation and poor socio economics.

But, regardless of a strong reprimand from the World Bank (as well as its regional apex bank) in combo with the mounting overturn of the crypto market, the Central African Republic shows signs of a bullish newcomer on the block. 

“Understanding #Bitcoin is crucial to acknowledge its disruptive power to bring long term prosperity. Mathematics doesn’t account for human emotions. Future generations will look behind [at] these very moments to [celebrate] our strength & unity in choosing the right path during hard times,” President Faustin-Archange Touadéra shared in a late evening tweet this week.

In a separate tweet from last May, the president divulged national plans for a project known as Sango, which according to him, is an initiative likely to reshape the financial system for CAR and serve as a model for other African economies to follow. Prior to its completion, Sango is, expectedly, a legal crypto hub for businesses and enthusiasts. 

Seemingly named after a primary and second official language [after French] of the country, the Sango project is the digital currency infrastructure the country intends as the foundation of its crypto ambitions. In Touadéra’s view, the initiative positions CAR as “a legal crypto hub in the heart of Africa”. 

“The crypto hub: Bitcoin and crypto are the tools that will redesign the future of our country. Sango can usher in a new economic era with enormous potential, which neither Africa nor the rest of the world have imagined,” he expatiated. 

CAR is one of the world’s poorest countries, with a GDP of USD 2.3 B, according to the World Bank. The nation has, for many years, been embroiled and challenged by political instability and social violence.

Due to these economic implications of these realities, there is a large unbanked and underbanked population on the lookout for alternative solutions to their financial predicaments.

Image Courtesy: Payments Journal

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