Continuing to share the results of our efforts to understand how Bitcoin is seen and used by LocalBitcoins users around the world, we now turn our eyes to one of the global hotspots for cryptocurrencies: Africa. The results mentioned in this article were collected in a series of surveys during September 2020 from LocalBitcoins users in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
To have a clearer picture of the degree of active involvement in the Bitcoin community, we asked our users if they currently own any Bitcoin. All countries have a fairly high percentage of Bitcoin owners, especially Kenya and Nigeria.
However, the number of respondents who indicated they do not currently possess Bitcoin is compatible with our other findings (see “What are people buying Bitcoin for?” section). Many LocalBitcoiners are interested in learning more about Bitcoin and trading for a profit, which does not necessarily require holding an amount of Bitcoin constantly.
What are people buying Bitcoin for?
We also asked our users in the African continent to tell us why they have bought Bitcoin. In addition to the alternatives listed below, the respondents could choose “Other” and write an explanation. Investing and trading for a profit were the most common reasons for buying Bitcoin given by LocalBitcoins users in all countries.
While Zimbabwe has the most HODLers, Kenya and Nigeria seem to have the most traders. In all countries, a significant percentage of users declared to be interested in learning about Bitcoin. A bit more than 3% of users from Zimbabwe also mentioned that they use Bitcoin to pay for work and services (salaries) and to gamble online.
The case for Bitcoin in Remittance and Payments
As shown by the numbers above and the results found from other countries as well, the majority of people see Bitcoin as a way to make more money, but there are also many using it for so-called practical reasons. We decided to investigate further the usage cases of Bitcoin that move beyond speculation and investing, and we asked the users to specifically tell us if they have ever used Bitcoin for remittances and for payments.
Surprisingly, we found that sending and receiving Bitcoin from abroad were more common than expected, based on the results from the previous section. While remittance and payments may not be seen by people as the number one reason for acquiring Bitcoin, Bitcoin-facilitated transactions are still happening at a healthy rate. This might also indicate that users are interacting with other Bitcoiners, so not all coins used are purchased personally.
What do you think will be the reasons for buying Bitcoin in the future? Do you think Bitcoin is a tool for making money or is Bitcoin money itself? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments!