IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson said the Cardano ecosystem would benefit greatly from Africa’s accelerating infrastructure development. By implementing a blockchain backbone, Hoskinson sees the continent leapfrogging other nations in the coming decade.
Why is Cardano focusing on Africa?
When asked why Cardano is targeting Africa, Hoskinson said the region represents a promising prospect. Especially now in 2021, which wasn’t the case ten years ago and before.
He explained that Africa is rising in terms of technological development. First is the expansion of internet infrastructure in the region, and more importantly, the rate at which internet adoption is occurring.
Hoskinson spoke about how this fits with a young demographic of digital natives who are tech-savvy. As well as a younger, more in-tune leadership that’s cognizant of blockchain technology’s potential benefits.
“If you look at Starlink, if you look at the rate of people coming online, if you look at the demographics of the governments, it used to be all the leaders were in their 70s to 80s, and they were kind of leftovers from bad eras, now they are younger, they are in their 40s and 50s, they are western educated…”
But the biggest driver of change in Africa is the need to overhaul every major administrative, legislative, and financial system over the next decade or so.
Giving the example of Pakistan’s phone network, Hoskinson said officials in the country did not go down the copper cable route. Instead, Pakistan jumped straight to 4G towers. This gave better coverage at a fraction of the cost and reduced installation time.
Much the same is happening in Africa right now, but concerning blockchain technology.
“In the next five to ten years, all the governance tools, how they vote, how the property ledgers work, how payment systems work, how the identity systems work, how the supply chain system work, etc., etc., are going to be updated, this is like a leapfrog effect.”
Blockchain technology is a luxury the western world doesn’t need
For better or worse, developed nations already have legacy infrastructures in place. These “copper cables” greatly reduce the need for blockchain technology.
Critics often point out that crypto use cases are like looking for solutions to problems that don’t exist in the western world. And to some extent, that is true, especially when it comes to payments.
Research by Chainalysis in 2019 showed that speculation makes up the primary use case for cryptocurrency.
With that in mind, Cardano’s foray into Africa is somewhat of a genius move. No doubt, the coming weeks and months will reveal the extent of the brilliance.