Four months ago, Abolaji Odunjo made a fundamental change to his business selling mobile phones in a bustling street market in Lagos: He started paying his suppliers in bitcoin. Odunjo sources handsets and accessories from China and the United Arab Emirates. His Chinese suppliers asked to be paid in the cryptocurrency, he said, for speed and convenience.
The shift has boosted his profits, as he no longer has to buy dollars using the Nigerian naira or shell out fees to money-transfer firms. It is also one example of how, in Africa, bitcoin — the original and biggest cryptocurrency — is finding the practical use that it has largely failed to elsewhere. “Bitcoin helped to protect my business against the currency devaluation, and enabled me to grow at the same time,” Odunjo said from his two-by-eight metre shop.
One can easily see the need for global easy to use currencies whether via Bitcoin, Ethereum, PayPal, or whatever. They are seamless and work but countries are caught up in their boundary based currency controls and need for tax collections etc. One just wonders if businesses and citizens have transformed to become global, do the financial systems of countries not also need a total overhaul in terms of how they operate?
If I can give cash to any individual in my country or even when I'm travelling, why can I not do that virtually? It's a given that such a system is not going to be controlled by my own country - many services are rising above individual countries to become global. Can one become a global citizen of the world?
See A quiet bitcoin boom is unfolding in Africa - TechCentral
It's being driven by payments from small businesses as well as remittances sent home from migrant workers, according to new data.