Interest in Bitcoin is Increasing in West Africa: Physical Exchange and Education Center Opened!

  • Bitcoin adoption in West Africa is dominated by Nigeria, a crypto-powered country, and is the economic engine of the region.
  • Recently, Senegal opened the first physical Bitcoin exchange and education center called Bitique. This country of 17 million people will host a Bitcoin Forum in the capital city of Dakar in December.
  • Alternative currency initiatives are becoming widespread in French-speaking West Africa. The people of Senegal are turning to Bitcoin as a store of value and medium of exchange.

Bitcoin adoption and the search for an alternative currency are increasing in West Africa: Bitcoin exchange opens in Senegal.

Bitcoin Adoption is Increasing in West Africa

Bitcoin adoption in West Africa is dominated by Nigeria, a crypto-powered country, and is the economic engine of the region. However, Bitcoin education efforts are also rising in French-speaking West Africa, with an underlying backdrop of anti-French sentiments.

Recently, Senegal opened the first physical Bitcoin exchange and education center called Bitique. This country of 17 million people will host a Bitcoin Forum in the capital city of Dakar in December. A self-proclaimed local Bitcoin advocate known as Nourou operates an independent Bitcoin node broadcasted into space.

In Benin, a country with a population of 13 million located west of Nigeria, a Bitcoin Mastermind conference focused solely on Bitcoin will be held next month. The first event of its kind in the country, Bitcoin Mastermind brings together Bitcoin entrepreneurs and crypto enthusiasts with local groups and businesses such as Izichange, GoesPay, and Flash, providing an opportunity for the local population to learn about Bitcoin.

COINOTAG spoke with Nourou, the founder of Dakar Bitcoin Days and Bitcoin Senegal, and Loïc Kassamoto, the founder of Bitcoin Mastermind, to better understand Bitcoin and the crypto evolution or revolution in West Africa.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

French-speaking West African countries are subject to a currency called West African CFA franc. Senegalese people openly express their criticisms of the currency, along with some Bitcoin advocates like Mama Bitcoin, a local crypto enthusiast and entrepreneur. Explaining that it is quite normal to complain about the currency is a veiled criticism of post-colonial French policies in the region.

Although anti-French sentiments have existed in the region throughout history, they have recently manifested themselves in the form of public demonstrations. Mali, a neighboring country, recently decided not to use French as an official language – a law that has been in effect since the country gained independence in 1960.

In Niger, located east of Mali and north of Nigeria, a recent military coup represented a significant setback for French President Emmanuel Macron and France’s military strategy in the region. The famous French newspaper Le Monde stated that the coup was a heavy blow to France’s military strategy in Niger’s Sahel region.

Alternative currency initiatives are becoming widespread in French-speaking West Africa. The people of Senegal are turning to Bitcoin as a store of value and medium of exchange. According to Kassamoto of Bitcoin Mastermind in Benin, the number of Beninese people turning to Bitcoin is also increasing.

In the West, financial discussions and education generally take place online. However, emphasis in West African countries is on physical gatherings and real-life interactions. Nourou stated that during the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions about Bitcoin and money moved to online platforms such as ClubHouse and X (formerly known as Twitter), but after the pandemic, more physical spaces have opened up.

As Kassamoto explained, the key to helping West Africans better understand a decentralized currency like Bitcoin is through real-world interactions:

“Bitcoin conferences, meetups, and shops provide opportunities for education, dissemination, and direct interaction. Conferences and meetups bring the community together, share knowledge, and transfer experiences.”

Nourou opened Bitique, the first physical Bitcoin store to buy and sell Bitcoin in Dakar. In addition to transaction services, Nourou mentioned that there will also be educational programs where people can learn about Bitcoin firsthand: “The educational courses will be two or three hours long for 10,000 francs ($16).”

This face-to-face education is part of the “Baol Digital Kids” program organized nationwide by Bitcoin Senegal. This program teaches children how to use Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.

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Lucien Renard
Lucien Renardhttps://en.coinotag.com/
Lucien Renard is a 24-year-old writer specializing in cryptocurrency analysis and price action. With a focus on technical analysis, Lucien provides valuable insights into market trends and potential opportunities for investors.
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