#SLBNET: MAKE BITCOIN GREAT AGAIN ?
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THIS WEEK ON ADMP: We introduce you to a new guest blogger, Madiou Bah from Guinea (Conakry), a 31 years old, ‘Iron Man of the Blockchain’, currently based in Tunisia !
He is the Co-founder and CTO of SLBNet (Sierra Leone Bitcoin Network) in Freetown. Let’s put it that way: If you are based in Tunisia, hailing from Guinea and operating in Sierra Leone, you must be an ADMPer!
An ‘interesting ADMPer’, a realist, with a pan-african outlook and its analytic sight firmly grounded into reality whilst understanding its complexity. If you like what you read, and vote with your LIKES, comments and SHARES, Madiou will be back with regular updates on ADMP!! – You know what to do now…
Electronic Punch by Madiou Bah,
Edited by: Hermann Djoumessi, ICO Social Media Consultant
1.MONEY, MONEY, MONEY…
The continent of Africa makes up 6% of the earth’s land surface, with 30 islands. Its area covers 30.221.000 square kilometers. If you believe the latest ‘discoveries‘, you could actually fit the entire China, the USA, India, western Europe and some changes inside the continent! – It seems that most 20th century maps being deployed on 2D paper, were wrong. – No surprise there…
With over 1.1 billion inhabitants in 2014, the 55 countries of Africa represented 16% of the world’s population. Africa’s population is the youngest in the world. In 2012, the median age was 19.7, compared to a worldwide median of 30.4. According to the World Bank, the youth represent 60% of the continent’s unemployed.
The global financial crisis and the population explosion are reasons for this, but also the lack of vision by local decision makers.
Although you have to say, that the population boom is still relative to a continental land mass, vastly under-populated with huge swath of empty lands, mountains, forest, desert and bushes.
The decision-makers were unable to overcome the fiscally conservative management of slow growth models, inherited from the era of structural adjustment programs.
2. HOW MUCH MONEY DOES THE DIASPORA SEND TO AFRICA EACH YEAR?
Before the financial crisis of 2008–2009, remittances to Africa were recorded at around at $22 billion per year. In 2010, they grew to $29 billion. Estimates by the World Bank for the following years amounts to $31 billion for 2011 and 2012, increasing to $33 billion in 2013, $36 billion in 2014, and $39 billion in 2015.
And it will probably carry on growing, for a while.
African migrants are key players in the development of the African continent, if not THE MAIN player at some point.
However, the cost of such remittances is high and represents over 12% of the average amount.
Africa loses $1.8 billion in remittance fees paid by the diaspora sending money to their relatives. These charges are imposed by among others, MoneyGram and Western Union.
If this amount was not lost in money transfer fees, it could fund the education of 14 million children, or almost half of the school children in Africa, and provide drinking water to 21 million peoples.
21 millions ?
Yeah…21 millions !!
Those remittance fees are purely and simply the biggest financial issue faced by the continent in the 21st century. ‘ (#ADMP)
Yes indeed! Let us repeat it again and again: Remittance fees are purely and simply the biggest financial issue faced by the continent in the 21st century‘.
Please, just stare at our graphic below. Read how the growing stake of remittances relative to GDP, to understand that the fastest growing income, also known as ‘Love Money’, of those emerging economies, is coming from overseas diasporas remittances.
Why should ‘Love‘ ever been associated to such waste, wouldn’t you say? Communities up and down the continent rely on those cash ‘remittances’, sent with ‘zero strings’ attached from their loved ones working hard, two or three jobs in Europe, the US, etc….
It still baffles the so-called ‘Diaspora’, today to see that their ‘Love Money’ is still not yet at the top of the agenda of financial meetings in Africa! Be it private or public by the way!
it still baffles the diaspora, that the cost and access to the internet, or mobile networks, on the continent are still way too high to really enable the ‘Digital Renaissance’ promised to the ‘android generation’ on the ground → In both case, it is merely taken for granted and never facilitated, encouraged or even applauded! -:((
3. THE ‘PROCEDURES’ TO TRANSFER MONEY IN AFRICA
The procedure for transferring money in Africa is very complex, and it takes time and high cost.
It’s a ‘Mug’s game’ as they say in the UK! Or a ‘Mugu’ setup in west Africa →
- Picture the SENDER somewhere in Europe, who is given a transfer code by the transfer agency (Western Union, Ria, Moneygram, etc..). The code will also serve as key to the removal of the money somewhere on the African continent (Kenya, Tunisia, Lesotho,..).
- The sender, must now make a follow-up phone call or send the code to the recipient via the Internet (e-mail or social networks), which also demands more costs and time, on top of the sending fees paid to the agency, by the way!
Picture now, the person who is to receive the money, or ‘RECIPIENT’, who now has a full day of proceedings and hassles, to collect his or her money, as the optics on the whole proceeding start getting more and more..
… cumbersome, bloated, slow, repetitive, dinosaure, unsafe, analog, instead of digital, quaint, paper-heavy, dinosaure-like, over-convoluted, slow, repetitive again and again, and altogether… ‘20th century !:((
- In Fintech terms, we call it ‘Customer path frictions’ –> Friction is whatever variable, user habits or behavior trend, that is slowing down (or entirely blocking) the progression of
your startup’s sales cycle.
- Frictions will lead customers to seek out another technological solutions, than yours.
Frictions will ultimately lead your startup to loose customers and therefore, loose MONEY!
–> Our job in E+commerce optimization is to ALWAYS bring those friction closer to ZERO!
The use of paper for transactions, being the first cause of friction in the 21st century! (#ADMP)
4. SURVIVING SUN-TZU (THE ART of WAR) ?
To start with, that ‘RECIPIENT’, he or she must travel from his home or place of work to the agency in town, for withdrawal.
Sometimes because of traffic, security, bad weather, power shortage, or any other frictions, he will find the agency has closed its gates, or she will find so many people queuing and sweating before her, that you’d have to lose an entire afternoon in stress and smells …
….providing that you did not get lost on your way there !:((
→ If this isn’t enough, you will have to show your paper ID (in good conditions) and the transfer code, and, and, and…provide the full address of the sender, nonetheless, to an overwhelmed staff.
In many ways, to collect what is rightly yours, you will get literally ‘SUN-TZUED’ by taxis, animals, peoples, traffic, cars, the weather, power shortages, bad staff, buses, bandits, etc..before getting to your OWN pile of ca$h!
We can definitely do better in the 21st century! → Mobile operators could help by setting-up transfers accounts between regular trusted senders and recipients, for example.
As our dear Chernoh Sow Saeed narrated in his latest article:
‘Banks are a Poor Solution for Monetary Transactions,’ (CSS)
5. THE CRYPTO SOLUTION ?
What is THE solution for these problems?
Especially considering the Fintech explosion of the latest years…Which solution would be best for Africa?
We propose nothing other than Bitcoin ; the Satoshi’s Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is both a payment network and a currency unit, managed solely by its users, hence the name “peer-to-peer network.” With bitcoin there is no need to go anywhere to send or receive money with next to no fees, in its early iteration.
Only with this technology can we save Africa from its various ailments.
We can now save money with bitcoin, and plan for our future.
And if you do not like Bitcoin, there’s still Yuscoin, Africacoin, Leocoin, Ethereum, and any of the Jackson#5 of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dashcoin, Monero, Litecoin) coming up soon to a laptop near you!
6. BITCOIN UNITES AFRICA
I would like to use this article, to congratulate and encourage the various organizations looking after the #Bitcoin ecosystem in Africa. These organisations bring together Sierra Leone, Ghana, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, etc.
The blockchain ecosystem is all about unity: through the BitUnit Foundation, BTC Ghana, Dream Bitcoin Foundation, BitBrand in Botswana, and so many others. Let’s not forget the Sierra Leone Bitcoin Network (SLBNet), of which I am a founding member.
Those organizations are characterized by dynamic groups of young people who care about the future of the continent as a whole. Those ‘cryptos’ contribute not only to poverty-reduction, but also to unity between the different ‘Smart communities’.
These young people have literally woken themselves up, and lit the conscience of many others via bitcoin and the many cryptocurrencies born out of the #Bitcoin revolution:
‘Which has enabled them to lift up those unemployed, mainly via the freelance route’
So many opportunities are here today. Hundreds of thousands of people are making money through bitcoin.
In the words of NBA Legend Jalen Rose, ‘Bitcoin gives the people, what they want, what they want…’
As a consequence, we have to say that nowadays, we are in a chillax mode and just think : “Relax and make money” as THIS is the new system, we enjoy and…
#END of PART 1/3 .
Many Thanks ! You are far too Kind !!.))
- JOIN US NEXT WEEK, for the follow-up to that awesome BLOG POST by :
Electronic Punch by Madiou Bah,
Edited by: Hermann Djoumessi, ICO/CTO Social Media Consultant
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