In yesterday’s post I suggested that crypto could reduce the cost of utility bills for the poor and in earlier posts I have suggested that the UK Government should work with developing nations to implement crypto solutions. I was satisfied therefore when Cardano announced yesterday that it was partnering with the government of Ethiopia. They hope to deliver suite of blockchain solutions including the payment of utility bills.
This proposal might come off or it might not but it will offer interesting governance challenges that a start-up will be poorly placed to manage. The economic history of Africa after decolonisation has not been a happy one.
Crypto-libertarians see crypto as a way to return to the people the power over their lives and property that has been usurped by the state. In China the internet has been used as a tool of repression not liberation. Will we see the same with crypto in Africa? Will crypto companies sell them the tools to suppress their citizens?
There are already over 100 crypto businesses in Africa and others like Cardano are keen to move in.
The UK Government, NGOs and the UN have the opportunity to work with crypto start-ups and regional governments to provide them with the governance skills they need to ensure that crypto works for all the citizens of Africa.