Bitcoin trading in emerging markets: going “crypto native”

handshake between 2 people in Lagos Nigeria

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that emerging markets are more “bitcoin or crypto native“. And according to LocalBitcoins, 2018 was a great year for bitcoin trading especially in emerging economies – 4 out of the top 10 countries by bitcoin trading volume, were emerging markets. Here is a quick round-up of why Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) are going big: 4th Place Venezuela: Bitcoin and Dash go head-to-head Venezuela is not an emerging market but I wanted to highlight why this South American country embraced cryptocurrencies so well.…

Read More

Electric cars in Africa: this could happen sooner than we think

Coming back from a trip to East Africa two impressions and one conclusion stayed with me: for the first time in decades there will be a electricity surplus in East Africa and Kenyans are great innovators (Uber watch out!). The conclusion: There is a great opportunity for electric vehicles! Electricity Coming from a supposedly “green” Germany, that still generates around 40% of its power from coal – it struck me that East Africa is almost completely based on renewable power with a diversified base: hydro, geothermal, wind and solar resources.…

Read More

How China and Brazil are investing in Africa

After the economic slow-down, inflation and recession – and perhaps, some most pessimistic might say, the eminent down-fall of BRICS, all eyes turn to Africa as the new best thing regarding investments. Brazil and China have already been investing heavily in Africa, but how and where these two countries are investing in the African continent are strikingly different. China has been investing in infrastructural development such as, building highways in Tanzania, financing electricity projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and constructing whole towns in Angola. Most recently, Ethiopia made the headlines as the first African Sub-Saharan…

Read More

Blockchain-based land registries may help lift the poor out of poverty

Many developing countries don’t have a working system of tracking property rights, and what they do have can be fragile and incomplete. In Haiti, for instance, a large earthquake in 2010 destroyed all the municipal buildings that stored documents confirming many small farmers’ ownership of the land they worked. Even years later, many farmers didn’t have proof that they were landowners. People are still fighting over their land. This sort of problem – caused by natural disasters or not – is widespread, causing financial hardship for families in the developing…

Read More

How blockchain could stop data plunder in emerging markets

As studies emerge predicting that between 40% and 60% of western companies revenue growth will likely come from emerging economies over the next ten years, the interest to gather and analyze Big Data coming from these markets also grows. Companies in developed economies are starting to increase their budget spending on data analytics in these markets with the objective of getting a better understanding of this largely unknown consumer psyche. It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s total data will be coming from EM in the next few…

Read More

Why eCommerce in Africa hasn’t caught on and what webshops can do about that

I have attended several tech events where they invite so-called gurus and experts to explain the digital landscape in Africa, but I have never been satisfied with any of their answers as to why e-commerce has not caught on. It turns out the reason why a click on a user’s web browser doesn’t exactly translate into an actual sale is really simple — the shipping and billing information form. It seems to me that most African online shopping stores just Xerox existing templates that have worked in developed economies where the physical…

Read More

Emerging Markets Have a Lot to Teach Us About Entrepreneurship

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are legendary American entrepreneurs. These giants’ success stories might make it seem as if the United States owns the market when it comes to the secrets of commercial success. I would argue the opposite is true: Developing nations and emerging markets have important entrepreneurship lessons to teach more affluent counties. Programs within Chile, India and Brazil, for example, have encouraged economic growth and entrepreneurship. These same efforts and principles could be applied to advance the United States even further. Government initiatives Government initiatives in emerging markets have played…

Read More

Banking the unbanked in emerging markets

As countries progress, citizens migrate from remote villages to large cities and foreign countries. Their economic power rises and they participate in the global economy. People need to purchase food, pay electricity bills, top up transportation cards, arrange online services, buy overseas goods, repay loans, and send money to relatives. Unlike the U.S., however, where 93% of peoplehave banking options, many in developing markets do not. Globally, an estimated 2 billion adults lack access to formal financial services. The services that are available are typically cumbersome and expensive. To address this gap, fintech startups…

Read More

The Impact of “Big Tobacco” on Emerging Markets

Smoking has always been a divisive subject. While in developed countries, health awareness, high taxes and advertisement restriction might have been the factors contributing for the decrease in number of cigarette sales, in emerging economies, tobacco companies seem to be cashing in more and more. Economic development means more disposable income and more wiggle room in regulations, and tobacco companies are well aware of that. Smoking in Numbers In 2015, global cigarette sales closed the year with $685.5bn, which amounts to 5.6 trillion cigarettes consumed, and 20.4% of the world’s…

Read More

Rwanda: The Challenges of Social Innovation Delivery in Emerging Markets

Recently, I attended a startup accelerator pitch competition in Kigali where 10 teams pitched business solutions to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges faced by Rwandan youth. The top four teams received funding to further develop their ideas. In a country with a young population – 77% of the population is under 25 – and one of the highest fertility rates in Africa – 4.6 children born to every woman – youth SRH interventions are needed, and a pitch competition that encourages local youth to design these solutions is welcome.…

Read More