Fonbnk’s Michael Kimani sorts out facts on crypto adoption in Africa


The African continent has been tipped as an important market for crypto adoption due to its young population, lousy economic management by governments and lack of efficient financial infrastructure to connect the continent internally and globally. 

Adoption is becoming so widespread that celebrities do not want to get left out, with several big names in the entertainment and media space working with crypto brands.

In the first episode of Cointelegraph’s new podcast Hashing It Out, hosted by Cointelegraph social media specialist Elisha Owusu Akyaw, Fonbnk co-founder Michael Kimani answers questions about what crypto adoption really looks like in the face of rising hype about the continent in the media and reports.

One of the continent’s “OGs,” Kimani began working with one of the first Bitcoin (BTC) startups in Kenya, BitPesa, in 2014. The growing crypto community in the East African country resulted in the establishment of the Blockchain Association of Kenya, which he oversaw in its earliest days.

With his years of experience, Kimani pointed out that understanding the scope of adoption is extremely difficult because there is a data problem on the continent:

“I think, generally, in Africa, there is a problem of data. We don’t have enough data. We don’t have data we can rely on. And this is not just true for the crypto ecosystem, it is true for the whole tech ecosystem.”

Regardless of the data collection issues, Kimani is bullish about crypto adoption in Africa, not from the perspective of the reports but from traveling around the continent to witness the growth himself.

The Fonbnk co-founder identified the opportunity to make money, high inflation and the devaluation of local currencies, and the ability to transact business globally as leading reasons for the uptick in crypto usage.

Regarding the future of crypto on the continent, Kimani is optimistic that while economies may experience further downturns, crypto will gain more users. One of the biggest beneficiaries, according to Kimani, will be stablecoins:

“I am expecting stablecoins to feature prominently in Africa’s cross-border payments landscape. I do think there is a big issue in sending value across borders.”

In the episode, Elisha and Kimani also cover:

  • A deep dive into the reasons behind crypto adoption in Africa.
  • The unfavorable regulatory environment on the continent and other blockades making adoption difficult.
  • Projections for the crypto landscape in Africa in the next five years.