The real work must begin now – Bitcoin News Editorial

The sudden decision to adopt bitcoin in the Central African Republic (CAR) once again shows that the best cryptocurrency can be an alternative to fiat currency. However, the African country still needs to invest heavily in telecommunication infrastructure. CAR also needs to prioritize education that helps residents become familiar with the basics of cryptocurrency.

Internet is expensive in Central African Republic

There is no doubt about the Central African Republic’s decision to set Bitcoin (BTC) The legal tender also surprised many. Few people expected the Central African Republic – one of the poorest countries in Africa whose economy was devastated by civil war – to be the first to adopt bitcoin.

For critics still trying to understand why another country joined El Salvador in legal tender for bitcoin, the Central African Republic movement is baffling. First of all, they cannot understand how a country with a low Internet penetration rate – less than 12% – chose the best cryptocurrency as a transaction currency.

The reported infrastructure deficit in the Central African Republic and the fact that mobile phone connections are only available to 30% of the population seem to make the case for bitcoin adoption less compelling. Also, according to 2018 ICT Glimpse In the Central African Republic, the then-“uncertain institutional setting” of the country was said to hamper investment in broadband networks and access to cross-border submarine cables.

As a result of this and many other factors, the Central African Republic, according to its ICT profile, has had to rely on expensive satellite connections for most of the international Internet bandwidth, and this translates to higher Internet prices. The expensive internet is one of the many barriers to adoption efforts.

Despite these seemingly intractable challenges, proponents of bitcoin and proponents of an alternative financial system insist that the CAR’s decision proves that digital currencies have a role to play. This is especially true for countries that are isolated from the global financial system.

Private funds can still be legal tender

To the followers of Friedrich Hayek, a famous Austrian economist and private money supporterHowever, the adoption of bitcoin by El Salvador and now the Central African Republic proves he was right – there is indeed a place for private money.

Despite strong opposition from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), some believe that more countries will continue to legally bid for bitcoin. In fact, reports that around 44 countries were represented at the recent Bitcoin fair in El Salvador suggest that more countries may follow the lead of these two countries.

While it is reasonable to assume that the Central African Republic plans to invest heavily in the development of communications infrastructure, the mere increase in the total funds allocated to this does not guarantee that this will also change attitudes towards Bitcoin.

The Central African Republic must therefore ensure that it has funds earmarked for efforts aimed at enhancing the population’s understanding of bitcoin and how to buy bitcoin for the first time. Indeed, education remains the key to eradicating ignorance, not only in the Central African Republic but throughout much of the developing world.

Learn the basics

The majority of CAR’s population of over 5 million should familiarize themselves with the basics such as a bitcoin wallet, redemption phrases or a public address of the wallet. When this is achieved, the chances of the Central African Republic succeeding in becoming a country where bitcoin is both legal and transactional currency will be greatly enhanced.

On top of educating its residents, CAR needs to work with players in the crypto space such as crypto exchanges, payment processors, and wallet providers. Just like El Salvador’s first Bitcoin adoption, which has since sought out cryptocurrency exchange services, the African country also needs to partner with a reputable player in the industry.

If the Central African Republic decides to follow the recommendations suggested in this article, it can achieve its goal of seeing bitcoin become the country’s reference currency much sooner. The same is true for any other country that wants to make bitcoin an alternative legal tender.

What do you think of this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimoara

Terence Zimoara is a Zimbabwean award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic problems of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

photo credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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