Agence France-Presse

Plans are in place for a large group of African countries to have adopted a single fiat currency by the year 2020. The currency, known as eco, is set to be implemented following discussions held in Abuja at the end of June. The group which plan on adopting the single fiat currency is 15 strong. And while they’re determined for this to go ahead, Africa also retains a strong interest in Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

The economic uncertainty in many African countries is what has driven nations towards other options, with both the eco currency and Bitcoin proving to be viable alternatives to unstable local currencies. With hyperinflation and monetary unpredictability on the rise in countries such as Zimbabwe, both the eco and Bitcoin can extinguish worries in a heartbeat. The former, unlike the latter, won’t be a digital currency and it won’t make use of blockchain technology either, but there is a hope that it will strengthen cross border trade activity.

Speaking to CNN, economic analyst, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, said, “The single currency if properly implemented will improve trade by allowing specific countries to specialise at what they are good at, and exchange it for other good that other countries in the block produce more efficiently.”

Africa’s interest in Bitcoin continues to soar too, even considering the revelations surrounding a new single currency. Both Nigeria and Africa on the whole are ranked as the top two when it comes to Bitcoin trending on the web, and for good reason. In fact, the technology has already proven itself to be a solution to many of the problems experienced in Africa.

This has resulted in a 25% climb in transactions taking place in South Africa, while transactions in Nigeria have risen by 60%. Other nations have experienced exceptional growth too, with some seeing jumps up to 100%, which shows just how popular Bitcoin is in Africa, and that its growth isn’t about to stop any time soon. This has been underlined by the growing demand of residents looking to find out what is a bitcoin wallet from Luno and other trusted operators.

Like the eco, Bitcoin comes with many advantages, and these have helped to transform the lives of Africans. Nations such as Nigeria have a somewhat bad reputation when it comes to internet fraud, and therefore the ability for Nigerians and those living in other African countries to send and receive money globally is restricted heavily. Services such as PayPal will not allow their members to receive payments in Nigeria for example, and this has meant that genuine citizens and businesses are adversely affected.

Using Bitcoin, entrepreneurs and businesses can trade on a global scale, regardless of being based in an African nation, resting assured that as there are no third parties involved, transactions will be processed without a hitch. It will be interesting to see how effective the eco is if it meets its scheduled implantation date of 2020, and how it performs alongside Bitcoin. Until then, Bitcoin’s popularity will no doubt continue to skyrocket.

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