[Photo: Stellar Coin and a View of The City of Nairobi From Nairobi National Park]
According to their website, Stellar (XLM) is a distributed, hybrid blockchain that is fully open-source. It is infrastructure that exists to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value, including payments. With just one integration into the Stellar Network, you will join an open, global financial network where all actors – be they people, payment networks, or banks – have equal access & economic participation.
In simple terms, these are the good guys of blockchain out to change the world. They are the crusaders of Blockchain.
From my point of view, XLM is the perfect coin to facilitate payments in Africa and boost economic participation in the ever growing continent as I shall explain. It has been noted on so many platforms that XLM is a non-profit version of Ripple (XRP). As Ripple focuses on the big banks, XLM is geared towards making the regular farmer or boda-boda rider in Africa, having equal access to fast, cheap, secure and user friendly payment options.
To begin with, Africa has a budding population of over 1.2 Billion people. This is approximately 16% of the world’s population. This population is predicted to reach 2.5 Billion by 2050. The current median age on the continent is 19.4 years. This means that the 1.2 Billion mentioned above is very youthful. Also, 40% of the population of the continent lives in Urban areas. This means that they have access to the internet via internet cafes and mobile phones. The actual ownership of smartphones is estimated to be around 40% on the continent. This means approximately 480 Million Africans can access any of the four XLM cryptocurrency wallets in the market.
The smartphone penetration has been as quick as greased lightning in Africa. The continent has bypassed the traditional DSL and Fiber Optic Telecommunication connection and embraced 3G, 4G and LTE at a speed that was never expected. Many of the mobile telecommunication companies on the continent are making Millions in profits per year.
Secondly, the notable success of cross-border money transfer services such as Worldremit, Moneygram, Western Union, MPesa and Wave, just to name a few, makes XLM ripe to disrupt the mobile payment industry in Africa. Moneygram has over 25,000 locations in Africa and this is one of the main reasons that XRP has partnered with the giant money remitting company. Worldremit on the other hand eliminates the need of physical pick up locations by depositing money directly to the owners mobile wallet such as MPesa that is the darling of Kenya.
Thirdly, Africans are constantly buying up cryptocurrencies on the various cryptocurrency exchanges and even doing peer-to-peer trading via services such as remitano and localbitcoins.com. This means that we, in Africa, are as excited about cryptocurrencies as the rest of the world is. Nowadays, you cannot attend an occasion or be a member of a whatsapp or telegram group without hearing about Bitcoin or Ethereum. As a matter of fact, some bold man in my country Kenya, recently paid for his wife’s bride price using Bitcoin.
It is such a fusion of traditional African cultural norms and technology that makes the market ripe for an entry by XLM into the untapped beautiful continent.
I’d like to also mention that the first meetup of blockchain that I attended in Nairobi was on Stellar (XLM) and its limitless possibilities. Back then, an XLM coin was worth around $0.023 and I was too dumb to even notice that it would go anywhere. I was more concerned with the quick bucks that Bitcoin promised. If I’d have a chance at time travelling, I’d go back to that moment and slap myself.
In summary, the African market is untapped and ripe for an XLM entry. The news of Bitcoin and Blockchain is very well known in the continent due to the ever increasing access to the internet by Africans. Many on the continent have cryptocurrency wallets and are actively trading in the big 4 currencies of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash.
Stellar is slowly gaining ground due to increased popularity and can surpass the Big 4 mentioned above.
Africa could be the golden goose for XLM! The moon is not too far for Stellar!
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