Why CryptoCurrency Adoption is Slow in South Africa


I believe in the transformative power of cryptocurrency.

I think that it can fundamentally change our society for the better. Not only do I think it represents a leap forward in how we use money, but I also think it lays the foundations for a society that functions better.

However I’m constantly dismayed at how slowly we adopt technology here in South Africa – and this is particularly true for cryptocurrency.

South Africa, Africa and the World

There are different narratives that play out in the media.

Whenever I hear the media talking about Africa, they talk about banking the unbanked with cryptocurrency. They’ve been talking about this for years. Cryptocurrency is now more than a decade old and I’ve yet to see this come to fruition.

I also hear the narrative of east African countries significantly adopting mobile payments like M-Pesa. This technology isn’t even known here in South Africa.

I hear these stories of how Africa is going to massively benefit from these technologies but I’m still uncertain if we’ve derived maximum benefit from them.

Why Adoption is Slow in South Africa

South Africa is an odd set of conditions.

We certainly have first world infrastructure and lifestyles, but at the same time the vast majority of our country has developing status.

We have the highest wealth gap in the world, shockingly high unemployment, low economic growth, extremely high banking fees, well developed financial infrastructure but at the same time poor public sector infrastructure.

This odd mix has resulted in a state whereby our financial systems are developed well enough that we really don’t use anything else – even though we get massively ripped off with fees and charges.

Furthermore we’re not a particularly ambitious culture. The vast majority of Ghanians, Ugandans, Nigerians and Kenyans that I’ve met seem to have more of a hustle mindset. They’re driven to get success and hence figure technology out faster including cryptocurrency.

We here in South Africa could certainly learn a lot from our fellow Africans in other countries in this regard.

Africans Need Crypto more than the Rest of the World

As I mentioned with my opening statement, I believe that cryptocurrency can be truly transformative for Africa.

It will allow us to leap frog many of our challenges.

Right now in South Africa, we can’t even make micro purchases between citizens because bank card fees are too high.

COVID-19 has exacerbated this situation incredibly and highlighted that our banking system cannot address the demands of a crisis. Even keeping your money in a bank account eats your earnings and the savings rate on that account is a joke.

Imagine if our vast South African Developing Sector used cryptocurrency to transact to stimulate local business. A world of no fees, no charges, strong privacy and no hassles – just simply getting down to business without the government and banks hindering progress. The results could be Massive!!

DIVI Project

Cryptocurrency will continue to see massive gains in the future, but at the moment I think that the user experience is still too cumbersome.

I believe that every African should own Bitcoin as that will lead to prosperity – but it’s still hard for many people to grasp what it is and what it does.

Of all the cryptocurrency projects out there, I reckon DIVI could work brilliantly in Africa.

I am not shilling or punting this project, but I do want to explain why I think it could be easily adopted in Africa.

People in South Africa do not use Telegram, Discord or Signal – but everyone in here uses WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has DIVI integration which means you can pay someone and receive DIVI from someone using WhatsApp.

I think this is Huge – inside of a minute you can get started transacting with DIVI.

And the DIVI in your WhatsApp wallet can earn interest via staking too.

This is one project I believe can achieve mass adoption in Africa because the User Experience is there.

Sending crypto to someone is simple as this WhatsApp command :

DIVI [Recipient Account Number] [Amount to Send]

What could be simpler.


We need faster adoption of crypto in Africa lest we get left behind.

Cryptocurrency are typically scarce properties. In the case of Bitcoin there’s only 21 million – and the rich folk are gobbling them up faster than we learn about it. Soon there won’t be any left for us in Africa.

It’s imperative that we learn, understand and play with this technology so that we do not remain the poorest of the world.

This technology gives us the ability to break free, gain freedom and grow our wealth.

It will be a wonderful day indeed when Africa is a leader in cryptocurrency.

Photo by Damian Patkowski on Unsplash



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