Over the past year, transactions on the Paxful platform from South Africa has grown by 25 percent. Photo: Reuters

DURBAN - While much of the recent crypto-related news headlines have focused on the fluctuating Bitcoin price, the interest in Bitcoin in Africa has continued to grow at a rapid pace. 

Paxful, a global cryptocurrency-marketplace, reports that its total number of transactions from African consumers has risen to around R948 million per month. 

Africa now has the highest number of new subscribers to the portal per month. 

The appetite for cryptocurrency is widespread. Over the past year, transactions on the Paxful platform from South Africa has grown by 25 percent, there has been a 60 percent growth in Nigeria and by up to 100 percent in other parts of the continent. For Africa as a whole, Paxful has seen a 225 percent increase in users in the last 12 months.

Millennials drive the future

The demand for cryptocurrency is notably characterised by a marked increase in the 18-30 age group. The average Bitcoin purchase is R871, while the average Paxful wallet transaction is currently under R435.

African millennials are finding that cryptocurrencies offer alternative convenient and cost-effective access to the global financial system.

A peer to peer revolution

Africans are using cryptocurrency to satisfy both personal finance needs and entrepreneurial ventures; transferring goods, services, and money domestically as well as globally. 

Consumers tend to use virtual currencies to buy goods, and in return, merchants may double their profit as the price of Bitcoin tends to fluctuate. There is also an emerging generation of Africans buying crypto as investment vehicles into promising blockchain start-ups.

Further investment in Africa

Paxful has always believed in the potential of Bitcoin to benefit people across Africa. In addition to supporting blockchain entrepreneurs across the continent, in 2017 Paxful launched #BuiltWithBitcoin, a campaign encouraging the cryptocurrency sector to contribute funds for humanitarian projects. 

Bitcoin for good

As part of its #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative, Paxful recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise R1.3million required to build a primary school in Rwanda, following its initial investment in a nursery school in the country. 

"The adoption of Bitcoin across the globe re-affirms our belief that crypto will take its place as a mainstream financial system. As has been the case with other disruptive financial tech innovations like mobile money, Africa is leading the peer-to-peer financial revolution. Our aim is to continue to partner with consumers to expand access the global financial system," said Ray Youssef, Chief Executive Officer of Paxful.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE