• Friday, December 08, 2023
businessday logo


Why crypto, blockchain are key to addressing cross-border transaction challenges – Expert

Why crypto, blockchain are key to addressing cross-border transaction challenges – Expert

The use of Blockchain and cryptocurrency is needed in addressing the challenges of cross-border payments as well as simplifying transactions in different currencies across the world and in Africa.

Africa, with its population exceeding 1.3 billion and a payment industry valued at over $400 billion, has been at the forefront of payment innovation, attracting investments and regulatory changes, yet currency instability, inflation, underdeveloped financial services, and high rates of unbanked and underbanked individuals still persist.

According to the World Bank, approximately 43 percent of African adults lack access to essential financial services.

Etienne Okeke, the Chief Executive Officer of Bitbarter said these challenges make it exceedingly difficult for businesses to make long-term plans, attract investments, and engage in international trade and have prompted both businesses and individuals to explore alternative solutions, with Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies emerging as a reliable payment rail.

Read also: Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology- adoption within the AfCFTA

He said the 21st century is witnessing a monumental shift in financial transactions, with blockchain and cryptocurrency leading the way.

Okeke noted, “With the advent of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, we can say that the 21st century is witnessing a remarkable 1,000X transformation in the way people conduct financial transactions, and Bitbarter is one of such key payment providers building the rails to simplify global payments from Africa.”

One of the key benefits of blockchain technology, as highlighted by Okeke, is the capacity to facilitate instant payments. BitBarter is leveraging blockchain and cryptocurrency to enable nearly instant payments, eliminating the delays inherent in traditional financial transactions.

Transparency and accessibility are other notable advantages of blockchain technology.

Read also: Africa’s investment in Blockchain technology increased by 1668% – report

Etienne Okeke noted, “For the first time in man’s history, 100 percent trusted transaction data is available to everyone in real time. This has fostered accountability and acts as a deterrent for potential bad actors. This decentralized nature, which has made it accessible for everyone, has levelled the playing field for individuals, businesses, and governments across different geographic and political boundaries.

The security provided by blockchain technology was also emphasized by Mr. Okeke. The blockchain’s ledger, shared across a network of computers, eliminates single points of failure risk and is highly resistant to hacking, thanks to its use of cryptographic concepts and game theories.

He stressed that blockchain and cryptocurrency are especially powerful in addressing the challenges of cross-border payments and simplifying transactions in different currencies and regions.

Read also: Explainer: What blockchain policy approval means for Nigeria

According to him, BitBarter’s innovative solution combines the power of the blockchain, cryptocurrency, stablecoins, and Fiat currencies to create an efficient and accessible payment ecosystem for individuals and institutions alike.

Okeke also highlighted the immense opportunities presented by Africa’s evolving payment system, stating, “As Africa’s payment system is undergoing a significant transformation, from the Pan-African payment settlement layer to CBDCs and Cryptocurrency, its challenges present opportunities for African-centric payment businesses to thrive.

“Embracing these technologies and creating supportive regulations can drive financial inclusion and economic growth while addressing ease of cross-country payment in the different African nations.”