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Barclays is using the Blockchain to help people in Africa

“The Blockchain could be the most significant innovation for Africa”, said Barclays.
Some days ago the well-known worldwide legacy bank Barclays stated that the blockchain could be the most useful technology innovation for the African continent.
“Blockchain could be the most significant social and political innovation to impact Africa in 100 years”, said Arian Lewis, head of Open Innovation at Barclays. “People in Africa do banking on their mobile phones, but our talent base is all built on bricks and mortar banking”, she continued.

Bitcoin is very popular in Africa

Also, on February 19th, Quartz Africa, a news website based in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, released a new report in which they revealed that bitcoin is very popular in Africa because it provides more accessility than banking services, even if this country has been “late to the fintech party”.
“I think the banking sector in Africa is going to be disrupted faster than anywhere else in the world”, said Lingham. “What you have with bitcoin and blockchain is a trustless method of operating. You don’t need third parties like banks operating as trust brokers anymore. It’s all built into the code. The way mobile leapfrogged fixed lines communications in Africa; blockchain will leapfrog a lot of the financial infrastructure that exists today”, commented Vinny Lingham of Civic startup in the report.
For this reason Barclays decided to start financing a blockchain startup based in Cape Town called Consent, a platform that uses the blockchain to store medical records.

Dream Bitcoin Foundation

Among the several startups who work in Africa, the nonprofit Dream Bitcoin Foundation (DBF) is one of the most important as it aims at facilitating the use and “acceptance of cryptocurrencies as an alternative form of payment by providing an online cryptocurrency exchange platform and merchant solutions”.
Its founder, Philip Agyei Asare, wants to raise “Bitcoin funds for projects that will build a bright future for Africa [in particular Ghana] by bringing together all young, ambitious and self-determining entrepreneurs and enabling them to achieve their dreams, without the need for government assistance”.
To do so, in March, 2015, DBF also organized a Bitcoin-focused event called Coinfest.

Bitcoin in Kenya

To prove the Bitcoin huge potential in Africa, we want to quote a short documentary, shoot in Kenya by filmmaker Tomer Kantor.
In 2014 he filmed Bitcoin in Kenya with his own IamSatoshi Production.
This video tells the story of MPesa, a service launched in 2006 that allows people to transfer value using their mobile phones in a peer-to-peer way.


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Amelia Tomasicchio