Africa has recently been recognized for its acceptance of cryptocurrencies, as the continent’s nations face economic difficulties and currency depreciation. Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Togo are among the top cryptocurrency adopters. In the absence of traditional banking systems, cryptocurrency is being used for international and commercial transactions, as well as a store of value.
Surprisingly, blockchain is being used in the continent for purposes other than personal finance. Public spending and governance, electricity trading, land registration, and other applications are examples of use cases. It is also used in healthcare to increase transparency and provide faster access to data and materials.
IOHK, the development team behind the Cardano network, announced plans in April to build an Ethiopian national ID blockchain system. IOHK and the Ethiopian government are collaborating to create a blockchain-based universal student credentialing system in the East African country.
The first deployment of Cardano blockchain-based IDs for 5 million students across 3,500 schools is expected to take place later this year. The plan is to keep track of their academic performance by keeping records.
While many have hailed this as a game-changing step toward global blockchain adoption, IOHK appears to have no plans to stop there. In a recent podcast, James O’Connor, the director of IOHK’s African operations, discussed the company’s plans to showcase Cardano’s technological capabilities in Africa in the future.
He revealed that the team was already in discussions with several African countries. Hoskinson will meet with a number of officials and presidents from various countries who are also interested in identity solutions. CBDCs, as well as remittance and micro-finance opportunities, were also of interest. IOHK’s goal is to “assemble a toolbox of what blockchain can do for you as a nation-state.”
When asked about future plans, the executive stated that IOHK would like to pass the torch to future developers all over the world in order to transform Cardano to increase scalability and assist the world’s unbanked population. He then went on to say,
“We have these lofty goals – we want 100 million people to use Atala prism. We want a large number of nation-states to use our system. We want to create a Cardano nation in which all infrastructure is built on Cardano in one country.”
As far-fetched as it may sound, Africa is known to have great potential when it comes to the adoption of new technologies, including blockchain. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are commonly used for remittance payments and storing savings. Furthermore, blockchain-enabled financial technology options are actively being developed and used by institutions across the continent.