Why Bitcoin Regulation Lags Where it’s Needed Most

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

International remittance is ostensibly one of the most compelling use cases for bitcoin and digital currencies.

Recorded remittances to Africa grew four-fold between 1990 and 2010 and have increased steadily since. The World Bank projects $39bn in remittances to sub-Saharan Africa this year.

Yet with the continent’s fast-growing middle class and tech-savvy youth population, the high cost of remitting to sub-Saharan Africa, particularly from within Africa, has brought the subject of financial inclusion under new light.

Africa has some serious market potential for bitcoin companies; remittance seems a logical way to enter. For all that goodwill and market opportunity, however, few bitcoin startups have emerged out of that region and many have had trouble gaining any significant foothold there.

Elizabeth Rossiello, chief executive of the Kenyan bitcoin remittance service BitPesa, told CoinDesk the opportunity is present because it’s hard to do business there.

“It’s not this low hanging fruit that’s meant to be snatched up,” she said, adding:

“Besides [South Africa] there’s nothing, there’s nobody else. Why? There’s millions and millions of dollars in bitcoin. People don’t come here to do business because it’s not easy. Sometimes it’s even impossible.”

Source: CoinDesk (link opens in a new window)

regulations, remittances