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The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 23, 2022 • Issue 22:05:02

Readers Speak: CAR a visionary country for embracing Bitcoin

We received the following commentary on the Central African Republic's adoption of Bitcoin as its legal currency from Anthony Oduu, co-founder and CTO of Verto, www.vertofx.com, a cross-border payment platform:

"The Central African Republic's adoption of Bitcoin as its legal currency, becoming the second country in the world to do so after El Salvador, places the country on the map of the world's most visionary countries. The implementation adds greater legitimacy to cryptocurrencies as they become increasingly intertwined with the financial system.

"However, country-wide adoption will be very much dependent upon the performance of infrastructure and locals' attitudes towards the currency. The Central African Republic does not have the best standard of telecommunications and digital infrastructure. In 2021, internet penetration was around 10 percent, and mobile connections were available to just 30 percent of the population. Significant investments will need to be made if we're to see digital currencies accessible and successfully implemented for the entire population, especially for those who're unbanked. Ultimately, it will be challenging to see country-wide use of the new legal tender until infrastructure issues and locals' education around the currency are addressed.

"This decision comes at a time when the African continent is particularly divided; Egypt and Morocco have banned the usage of cryptocurrencies completely, whilst others have partial restrictions. The adoption of Bitcoin as the CAR's legal tender might not move the needle completely, but it may encourage other countries to be more open-minded to digital currencies, such as stablecoins and Central Bank Digital Currencies."

CBDC, stablecoins, bitcoins—where do you stand?

Where do you stand in terms of cryptocurrency acceptance? How about your merchant customers and partners? Do you see enthusiasm, cautious optimism, concerns about volatility, or even a lack of relevance to day-to-day business activities? Fill us in on this or other developing topics in the payments sphere at greensheet@greensheet.com. And if you want to address a relevant topic on this page, we accept commentary of up to 300 words. end of article

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