Few countries need crypto as direly as Central African nations.
Most countries use the CFA franc, which now stands for Franc of the Financial Community of Africa, but is in reality nothing more than the Franc of the French Colonies in Africa, its original name.
Yes, the colonial money is still being used in Central and some of the West African countries, which must still keep 65% of their reserves in France. Moreover, the CFA franc can be exchanged only against euro, its banknotes are printed in France, and French officials still sit on the boards of the regional central banks, holding de facto veto power.
The region also counts one of the highest rates of unbanked people – over 70%.
Taking this into account, the recent news of the three Central African countries announcing their intentions to adopt cryptocurrencies is a good news.
Cameroon, Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) decided to build blockchain-based solutions to serve as pillars to the future development of their economies. The DRC also considers creating a national stablecoin (DRC is the only country which used to be a Belgian colony and therefore not using the CFA franc, but the Congolese franc too has its share of disadvantages).
The network most likely to be chosen for this endeavour is TON (The Open Network), a layer-1 PoS blockchain allowing fast and cheap transactions. TON was originally launched by Telegram, which has since stepped away from the project, now managed by the TON Foundation. The important thing here is that TON can be easily integrated into the Telegram messaging app, and in a region where owing a mobile phone is 4 times more common than holding a bank account that can be a game changer.
TON is a decentralized network, and whatever qualities the future cryptocurrencies will have, it is safe to say that people will be able to really own and transfer their money freely. And with more people being able to interact with both national and international economies, many social and economic issues could improve.
Moreover, this would also increase people’s exposure to other cryptocurrencies and the worldwide crypto economy, and possibly contribute to developing national crypto ventures.
We do wish these countries to leapfrog into the crypto economy.