When I first read about Bitcoin, the feeling of euphoria and my expectations for it were unimaginable. But alas, things are not going the way I thought they would.
I was happy because I thought Bitcoin was going to minimise the menace caused by Ghana’s central bank and also reduce unemployment levels, particularly among our youth. Those who have so much potential and could be using Bitcoin to turn their fortunes around but are instead putting their heads in the sand because of the challenges associated with Bitcoin in Ghana.
Bitcoin is not currently a reliable medium of exchange here. The nearest Bitcoin ATM is 3,000 miles away in Johannesburg, while Ghana’s first crypto-company launched as recently as 2014. As a result, the gap between those who solely depend on fiat money as medium of exchange and those who use Bitcoin in Ghana is awfully wide.
To help the youth open the doors of success, I’m calling on all ye’ members in Bitcoin communities across the world to read the three challenges I have highlighted below and to offer your warm assistance.
- The problem of exchange. You may have Bitcoin but changing it into fiat money is a big headache for all of us here in Ghana. The solution to this is the remittance center.
- Problem of trust. You want to work with us but you don’t trust us. Isn’t that crazy? A successful partnership is built on the foundation of trust.
- Problem of buyers. We have more than enough items to sell but there are no buyers. A healthy trade is built on the principles of exchange. We must begin to spend our own Bitcoins if we are ever to hope to be able to receive them. If we do, it will create a win-win situation for us all. A healthy Bitcoin exchange will also go a long way to suppressing the wicked machination of the central bank and enhance our people’s employability.
My organisation, Afriworks, was the first shop in Africa to accept Bitcoin. Four years on and we are still fighting for a brighter future.
Working closely with Africa Youth Peace Call, the people who first introduced me to Bitcoin at a Liberty Seminar, BitUnit Foundation and Common Sense Foundation, we hope that Ghana will not have to wait too much longer to break free of fiat money and its limitations. We are all ‘Bitcoiners’ in Ghana, and we should all be fighting to make our currency a nationally accepted medium of exchange.
Agyenim Boateng Boniface is the founder of Afriworks, an online shop dealing in African goods via Bitcoin.