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Bitcoin enters West Africa thanks to an education campaign

Adoption of Bitcoin (bitcoin) in West Africa predominant in Nigeria, crypto adoption hub and economic engine of the region. But in the current anti-French climate, Bitcoin education efforts are also spreading in French-speaking West Africa.
Senegal has recently opened its first physical Bitcoin exchange and education center called Bitique. The country of 17 million will host another Bitcoin Forum in December in the capital, Dakar. Here, a local Bitcoin advocate known as Nourou runs an independent Bitcoin Forum. space broadcast Bitcoin node.
In Benin, a country of 13 million people in western Nigeria, Bitcoin Mastermind conference to be held next monthis reserved for Bitcoin only. The first of its kind in the country, the Bitcoin Mastermind conference brings together entrepreneurs and enthusiasts from local groups and companies such as Izichange, GoesPay, and Flash, offering local people the opportunity to learn about Bitcoin.
To better understand the evolution (or revolution) of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in West Africa, Cointelegraph interviewed Nourou, founder of Dakar Bitcoin Days and Bitcoin Senegal, and Loïc Kassamoto, founder of Bitcoin Mastermind.

Anti-French climate encourages alternatives to the CFA franc

Francophone West African countries are pegged to the West African CFA currency. has been described It is considered a “colonial legacy” by the Economist. Some Bitcoin advocates, such as entrepreneur and local cryptocurrency enthusiast Mama Bitcoin, argue that this is normal. I’m complaining about the currencyAs a veiled critique of post-colonial French policy in the region.
The anti-French climate has traditionally been prevalent in the region, but has also been manifested in various public demonstrations recently. As known, Neighboring Mali recently abandoned French being the nation’s official languageIt’s a law that has been in effect since the country gained independence in 1960.
A recent military coup in Niger in eastern Mali and northern Nigeria represented a significant setback for French President Emmanuel Macron and France’s military strategy in the region. Well-known French newspaper Le Monde commented that the coup was a “new blow” to France’s military strategy in the Nigerian Sahel region.

A number of alternative currency initiatives are taking place in French-speaking West Africa. Increasing numbers of Senegalese Investing in Bitcoin as a savings and exchangeAs Kassamoto of Bitcoin Mastermind told Cointelegraph, the number of Beninites approaching Bitcoin is increasing in Benin.
Much debate and financial education in the West they tend to happen online. However, physical encounters and real-life interactions are at the forefront in West African countries. Nourou reported that during the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions about Bitcoin and money moved and were limited to online platforms such as ClubHouse and X (formerly Twitter), but after the pandemic, more and more physical spaces began to emerge.

Nourou opens Bitique in the commercial district of Dakar. Source: Nourou

Indeed, as Kassamoto explains, the cornerstone of unlocking deeper levels of financial education and showing how West Africans can use a decentralized currency like Bitcoin is real-world interaction:

“Bitcoin conferences, meetups and outlets provide opportunities for education, awareness and hands-on interaction. Conferences and meetups bring the community together to share expertise and exchange experiences.”

Norou opened Bitique, Dakar’s first physical Bitcoin store for cryptocurrency trading. In addition to its trading services, it also announced: There will also be educational programs to learn how to understand Bitcoin first hand: “Training courses will cost about 10,000 francs [16$] for two or even three hours of training”.
The face-to-face education goes hand in hand with a series of classroom sessions called “Baol Digital Kids” that Bitcoin Senegal is running around the country that teaches kids how to use Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.

@SeckIdrissa, an active member of our community, held a Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency awareness session for the little ones at the “Baol Digital Kids” event organized by @xaralatech.
An initiative that should be encouraged and supported

The guys in the video receiving and sending their first satoshi over the network Lightning Network they can spend the money on a growing number of vendors listed on the open source Bitcoin tool In just 18 months, Dakar has evolved from a small Bitcoin office to dozens of shopkeepers, restaurants and cafes willing to accept cryptocurrency.
Nourou recently received a Blockstream Satellite kit that, when configured, will allow it to run a Bitcoin node protected from network disruptions. Internet service in West Africa can be intermittent and unreliable at times. According to Blockstream, the satellite kit provides a continuous stream of blocks for node verification, ensuring that any connected full Bitcoin nodes are not “isolated or partitioned”.
Beyond the borders of Benin, Kassamoto and his colleagues operate what he believes to be one of Benin’s first Bitcoin nodes.

We were probably one of the first to operate a Bitcoin node in Benin using 8GB of RAM and Umbrel and bim’s Ubuntu process.
We will be sharing more experiences on this topic soon.

He states that while the adoption of Bitcoin is increasing, it carries risks due to its association with cryptocurrencies:

“It greatly aids the adoption of Bitcoin in West Africa but is also hindered by cryptocurrencies.”

Kassamoto said: Cryptocurrency’s earning potential is attracting more and more people in the “crypto universe”, but fraud, losses and corruption undermine the attractiveness of Bitcoin’s true foundations.. It is clear that the promise of wealth from cryptocurrencies that attract newbies is not necessarily positive.
“It’s toxic to Bitcoin because these people are so quickly disappointed with their losses and associate them with Bitcoin because they don’t even have time to tell the difference.”says Kassamoto.
Kassamoto said: “Bitcoin, not cryptocurrencies”This is what West African society needs to understand.
The number of Bitcoin meetups is increasing and therefore, There are more opportunities to demonstrate what many Bitcoin exchanges and thought leaders have long preached.: Difference between Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market.

Related: Worldcoin project suspended in Kenya

The Central African Republic, which made headlines in 2022 with its adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender, glorified and then abandoned By most of the Bitcoin community. After adopting Bitcoin, the country announced its own cryptocurrency. Sango Coincurrently testing asset tokenization real world like farmland.
Another major Bitcoin education conference will be held in Ghana, east of Benin, this year. Jack Mallers, Strike Chief Executive Officer, and Alex Gladstein, Head of Strategy for the Human Rights Foundation, will speak A Bitcoin education startup in West Africa.

Translation of Walter Rizzo

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