Reviewing the market for blockchain projects in Africa

Crypton Studio
4 min readMay 17, 2023

Experts call Africa “the hotspot of the cryptotech world”. Over the past few years, the field of fintech and blockchain adoption has emerged on this continent.

Some Facts on blockchain and crypto in African countries

Today, Africa is the third fastest-growing cryptocurrency market in the world, steadily attracting large investments. According to Chainalysis, between July 2020 and June 2021, crypto adoption in Africa increased by more than 1,200 percent.

Adoption rates are high in countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria, where the lack of financial services infrastructure has been a driver of crypto ownership.

Another highlight was when Bitcoin became an official currency in the Central African Republic in 2022.

Blockchain startups on the continent raised $91 million in the first quarter of 2022, a staggering 1,668 percent increase in cash flow compared to the 149 percent growth in the first quarter of 2021, according to “The African Blockchain Report 2021” by CV VC.

Why does Africa choose blockchain?

For African countries, digital transformation using alternative payments is about improving institutions.

With many people lacking access to the most basic financial services, cryptocurrencies can help create a more inclusive and equitable economic and social environment and address everyday financial challenges.

Let’s discover another reasons:

— Tight financial policies in a number of countries that limit the amount of money transferred both within the continent and abroad.

— In the face of harsh economic conditions, many African users are turning to cryptocurrencies to preserve their savings.

— Sub-Saharan Africa is also reported to have the second highest number of unbanked adults in the world, at around 350 million, or 17% of the global total, according to the Baker McKenzie report. But people still need to make some transactions, so they turn to cryptocurrency.

All these mean that Africa will become a more crypto and web3 implemented region in the next few years with the rise of various blockchain projects.

African blockchain startups

Now let’s take a closer look at some nowadays African blockchain-startups and companies and explore their solutions for the different fields.

MARA is a pan-African crypto exchange that provides users with the entire digital ecosystem. Platform has its own wallet and app to easily buy, sell, earn, withdraw, and protect users’ assets.

It also has a referral program to reward customers with Mara Token for their activities in community building. MARA describes itself as a “platform for 1 billion Africans to learn through while leveraging blockchain technology to build digital wealth”.

Interstellar is a technology company that is the powerhouse behind critical blockchain infrastructure for digital payments and financial institutions across Africa.

It has been pivotal in the development and launch of the Bantu blockchain, the first African-led blockchain infrastructure and protocol. Interstellar builds and manages best-of-breed DeFi solutions, cross-border and P2P applications.

Adanian Labs is an Africa-wide web3 incubator with offices in Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya and other, launched in 2020, with the aim of nurturing businesses and entrepreneurs working on solving the key challenges of the region. It aims to build 300 impact-driven tech companies in Africa by 2025, using blockchain and AI to create one million jobs for African youth.

Yellow Card is a pan-African crypto exchange with different tools for trading. As well as it provides a payment solution for users to buy and sell cryptocurrency with a wallet powered by Yellow Card.

It also has another product named Yellow Pay allowing customers a seamless and secure way to send and receive money across African borders instantly and without additional fees.

BeefLedger SA is the pioneering company that integrated blockchain solutions for the agriculture sector. The company uses a blockchain-enabled provenance platform to verify and trace the authenticity of beef products, addressing food safety and fraud concerns plaguing the South African market.

Tracrs is the world’s first blockchain network dedicated to monitoring the origin and quality of diamonds across the value chain. It was launched by African diamond mining giant De Beers. Platform provides an immutable record of the diamonds provenance.

HouseAfrica, a Nigerian startup offering digital land registry services. Platforms provides companies with blockchain solutions to manage real estate and receive payments in real-time from anywhere.

What’s next?

Africa’s crypto market is growing rapidly, and it looks like it will continue to do so in the near future.

For many African countries, the use of blockchain technology is both an opportunity to create an alternative economic model and solve everyday problems caused by the inaccessibility of conventional financial services, as well as a profitable business and investment vehicle.

While governments in African countries have different attitudes towards crypto, ranging from banning it at the legislative level to taking an advanced view and making some cryptocurrencies national, it is already clear that the potential for this continent to become a major web3 hub is incredible.

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