Dash adoption and awareness has made progress across Africa, with particular success stories in Ghana and Nigeria.
Cryptocurrency has the ability to offer financial services, in many cases superior to those offered by the banking system, to the unbanked. Dash in particular has a focus on being a cheap and easy-to-use digital cash, which can have serious implications to alleviate issues affecting the third world. In Africa in particular, this message is catching on thanks to a series of meetups organized by motivated activists.
Dash is catching on in the poor upper-west region of Ghana
Dash activists have organized a series of meetups around Ghana, including a recent meetup on the 17th of September in Wa, the capital of the upper-west region of the country, which drew over 40 participants. According to meetup organizer Abdul Kudus Mutaru, this region has seen interest in leveraging Dash as a payment system:
“The upper west of Ghana is the poorest part of Ghana. For now I will say Dash is gaining more attention in the Ghanaian economy, I just finished meeting with one of the entrepreneurs in the Upper West, I explained to him what Dash can do. He has his own store where he sell things and he indeed developed interest in it.”
Mutaru sees education as the biggest barrier to adoption, as many are unfamiliar with digital currency and generally wary of new projects involving money online. However, he sees meetups like the ones he has been hosting as key to bridging this information gap:
“With the adoption to Dash in the Upper West of Ghana, there seems to be challenges initially but with the education we given them. Many are seeing the reality in it, many are afraid because of the manner in which it is done that is actually the Internet based. They are a lot of scams in the system but what we always advise them is Dash is real and there shouldn’t worry at all. I think we have been talking to them for some time and the results are so great.”
While being interviewed for this article, Mutaru was contacted by a prospective Dash buyer:
“As we speak now, someone just called me to buy Dash and it was impressive. So initially that adoption was difficult but is getting better as time passes.”
A short video from the meetup on the 17th can be seen below:
Dash’s Nigeria outreach going strong
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, Nathaniel Luz has organized several Dash meetups as well. At a meetup in Warri on the 16th, 22 people attended, including 15 installing a Dash wallet and the first 8 participants given $10 worth of Dash. Luz believes that online scams have made many in Nigeria wary of cryptocurrencies, but believes he can help turn around that perception:
“A number of persons have heard about Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but most persons mistake cryptocurrencies for ponzi schemes. Most people got involved in ponzis and lost a lot of money in it in Nigeria, hence anything “online” is perceived as fraud. But that’s where we come in. I begin by discussing with students of tertiary institutions. Since they are educated, it’s easier to communicate such issues with them.”
Luz sees inflation and lack of access to banking services as problems affecting the region, problems that Dash can help alleviate:
“African nations are peculiar in their structure. This peculiarity can also be seen in their potentials and challenges. 30% of Africans lack access to traditional financial services such as bank accounts and credit cards. Some countries such as Zimbabwe are cash strapped. Others are suffering from inflation and the high cost of international transactions. They need to adopt Dash as an urgent means of rescue.”
According to Luz, a few challenges still remain before Dash adoption in Nigeria can truly prosper:
“The challenges of Dash adoption in Nigeria are:
1. Ignorance: several individuals until now haven’t heard about Dash. The level of awareness of Dash, it’s numerous potentials and benefits is still low.
2. No official Dash exchanges and Merchants yet: People would be more confident in Dash when merchants across the country begin accepting Dash for payment of goods and services. Also exchanges would be a great boost to the acceptance of Dash in Nigeria.”
Finally, Luz excitedly reported on a second meetup, which had a higher turnout than expected:
“We had 24 participants!! This made me get a bigger hall to accommodate the participants. All the participants were new to DASH and I took them through a lecture of 23 minutes, then we had questions and answers session, this was followed by a practical session on how to backup a wallet, send and receive money, etc, then the participants did a shout out saying “DASH IS GOOD”. They all downloaded wallets and I sent $10 to 7 participants, and $5 to 9 of them. I didn’t have enough to go round as I emptied my wallet while tipping them and I promised to send the rest some few dollars as they dropped their addresses with me.
I believe in #DASH4Africa and #Africa4DASH.”
A video from a Dash meetup in Nigeria can be seen below:
I help but feel happy to see Dash helping to improve lives. Especially in africa where there are so many things that are hard for africans to trust. Building that trust in them could make for a very concrete adoption of dash, and likely an improvement of lives. I very much hopes it works out that way!