Skip to content

The Growth of the Crypto Industry in Africa

In Sub-Saharan African countries, as the Chainalysis team report showed, the volume of cryptocurrency transactions is growing. A rise in popularity of the Peer-to-peer (P2P) method is also seen. Bank of Namibia (BON), in turn, has approved virtual assets as a payment.

Chainalysis is a company that collects data on the use of blockchain. The company collects data in more than 70 countries. Also, Chainalysis provides software, conducts various studies for government agencies, exchanges and other organizations.

At the end of September, Chainalysis released a report with data on the use of cryptocurrencies in Sub-Saharan African countries. In comparison with other countries around the world, the indicators for the use of cryptocurrencies in Sub-Saharan African countries increased by 16% compared to the previous year.

Share of all cryptocurrency transaction value received by region, March 2019 - June 2022. Source: Chainalysis report

In Sub-Saharan African countries, retail transfers up to $10,000 USD account for 6.4% of total transactions. And the share of retail transfers up to $1000 is more than 80%, which, according to Chainalysis, is more than in other regions.

Small retail share of all transfers by region, July 2021 - June 2022. Source: Chainalysis report
“Our interviews suggest that this reflects the trend of many young people in Sub-Saharan Africa turning to cryptocurrency as a way to preserve and build wealth in spite of low economic opportunity, as opposed to other countries where we see many using cryptocurrency as a way to multiply their existing wealth.”

The Chainalysis research team also noticed an interesting trend. “The number of small retail transfers actually grew starting at the onset of the bear market in May, while the number of transfers of other sizes fell.”

Index: Growth in number of transfer size in Sub-Saharan Africa, January 2022 - June 2022. Source: Chainalysis report

Also, in Sub-Saharan African countries, there is an increase in the popularity of P2P exchange. 6% of the total volume of P2P transactions are P2P exchanges in Sub-Saharan Africa countries. This is twice as much as in another regions on the Chainalysis list – Central & Southern Asia and Oceania.

P2P exchanges’ share of all cryptocurrency transaction volume by region, July 2021 - June 2022. Source: Chainalysis report

Over the past three years, there has also been an active growth in visits to cryptocurrency sites. In general, the number of users visiting cryptocurrency sites is growing across Africa. Cameroon, Kenya and Ghana occupy the leading positions in the chart.

Index: Growth in quarterly visits to cryptocurrency sites by country, Q1 2019 - Q2 2022. Source: Chainalysis report

An analytical report on Sub-Saharan African countries from Chainalysis highlights the active development of cryptocurrencies in Africa. Not so long ago, another important event for the African crypto industry occurred – the central Bank of Namibia announced that virtual assets are allowed to be used as a payment.

“During the event, the Bank also announced its updated position on Virtual Assets (VAs) and Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs). In this regard the Bank noted that VAs in Namibia remain without legal tender status. As such, the acceptance of VAs for the payment of goods and services remains at the discretion of any merchant and buyer willing to participate in such an exchange or trade.”

The growth of the crypto industry in Africa is in full swing and is already beginning to overtake the growth in other parts of the world. We congratulate our African readers and continue to observe.