Africa is one of the regions where Bitcoin and cryptocurrency can make a significant impact over the coming years. Even though Bitcoin adoption is relatively small in the region, things are slowly starting to improve thanks to services such as BitPesa. But Visa is eyeing the African continent as well, as they want to host a fintech bootcamp in Nairobi
Visa Opens The Door For Bitcoin And Blockchain
The plan to host a four-day fintech bootcamp in Nairobi is quite an interesting decision by Visa. The credit card giant is known for its willingness to innovate, and they have been keeping an eye on blockchain technology as well. Thanks to the collaboration with Nest, a Hong Kong-based VC firm and incubator, this bootcamp will attract innovative startups on the African continent.
In doing so, Visa inadvertently opens the doors for Bitcoin and blockchain companies looking to make an impact on the African market. Traditional finance will always be the primary choice for the bootcamp’s mentors, but it is equally important to pay attention to new technologies as well. Moreover, it seems impossible to deny the success blockchain will have in the coming years.
Fostering financial inclusion is the primary requirement for startups participating in the fintech bootcamp itself. Traditional finance sometimes falls short of providing just that, due to banking requirements and regulatory aspects. Not all Africans have easy access to a bank account and its accompanying services, after all.
Peer-to-peer payment solutions are also an important factor for Visa and Nest. Bitcoin fits this category perfectly, as it offers both financial inclusion and P2P capabilities without relying on governmental approval or bank participation. Firms such as BitPesa try to bring cryptocurrency to the masses in Africa, and have been quite successful in select countries so far.
Visa is a technology company at its core, and the team is enthusiastic to provide new solutions and technologies to its customers whenever possible. It is unlikely that they will ever embrace bitcoin or even incorporate cryptocurrency, though. But blockchain technology is certainly on their radar, and it will be interesting to see if any bootcamp participants leverage DLT.
Competition in the African market is direly needed. Consumers rely on cash for most of their daily lives, and new solutions are direly needed. Traditional solutions may not have much success either, and multiple banks have halted their services in Africa over the years. Visa clearly has a plan in mind for the future, and it may very well hinge on blockchain technology.
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