Africans rank atop global cryptocurrency ownership rates, according to a new report by Arcade Research. South Africa ranks third globally with 13% of its internet users owning or using cryptocurrencies, while 11% of connected Nigerians own cryptocurrencies in the fifth-placed populous West African country.
Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana are listed in the report among the top 10 countries where “cryptocurrency” is most searched on Google. Economic challenges work both ways, as the digital divide slows the adoption of cryptocurrency while high financial fees make virtual currencies an attractive alternative.
Africa also has some of the world’s most inflationary economies where fiscal indiscipline and controversial monetary policies sometimes erode citizens’ savings overnight. Apart from governments’ heavy hand, external factors such as sanctions and conflict also threaten savings, making cryptocurrency a less exposed investment.
Sub-Saharan Africa records $48 billion remittances annually but transaction fees go as…