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African blockchain investments surpass 2021’s total of $127M

Over the first quarter of 2022, $91M worth of capital entered the African blockchain ecosystem, followed by another $213M during Q2, $304M.

VC investments continue to pour into Africa

In May, Seychelles-based cryptocurrency trading platform KUCOIN raised $150 million as part of its pre-Series B funding round, bringing the company’s total valuation to $10 billion US dollars. Subsequently, Mara, a Pan-African crypto exchange, raised $23 million, while Congolese and Nigerian startups Jambo and Afriex raised $30M and $10M, respectively.

The African Blockchain Report 2021, released as a joint project by Crypto Valley Venture Capital and Standard Bank, shows that between Q1 2021 and 2022, funding grew by 1,668% – rising from $5.1 million to $91 million.

Crypto-centric payments too have been growing, surging by 1,200 percent between July 2020 and June 2021. Despite these striking numbers, Africa accounts for a measly 0.5% of the world’s total blockchain funding.

Inflows dominated by just four countries

Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa,  three of the ‘big four’ startup ecosystems in Africa, joined by the island nation of Seychelles, accounted for $122M of the total VC inflows. Nigerian crypto firms raised $49.6M followed by Seychelles at 33.8M.  Kenya and S.African crypto companies were able to accrue $20M ad $18.8M, respectively. The report added:

“The lack of common legacy financial systems and an enormous population, primarily unbanked, all contribute to the popularity and growth of cryptocurrencies on the continent,”

Lastly, countries like Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Egypt, and Ghana were able to attract investments worth $4.1M, $300k, $200k, and $125k, respectively.

P2P payments are on the rise 

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments among small businesses and crypto investors are on the rise, indicating that the African masses are embracing blockchain tech en masse. Ian Putter, Standard Bank’s Blockchain Research Institute Africa Regional Director pointed out:

“Countries like South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana have seen a rapid uptake of crypto assets to access more efficient payment trails provided by blockchain networks and yield returns on income with assets like Bitcoin or stablecoins pegged to the value of the US dollar,”

Another report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Bitget, and Foresight Ventures suggests Africa’s crypto adoption will witness a lot of short-term growth, largely due to the rise of crypto derivatives trading.

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 8/4/2022

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