Bringing More Bitcoin to Africa: A New Era for Lightning Network-Based Payments
Bitcoin is a global phenomenon, and Africa has been a hot spot for people looking to opt out of weak currency and adopt digital assets like cryptocurrency. The African continent has been grappling with financial exclusion, high remittance fees, slow payment processors, and poor banking infrastructure for decades. These factors are among the reasons that have hindered economic growth across the continent.
However, a new dawn is upon us as US-based payments platform Strike recently partnered with Nigerian-based Bitnob to pioneer the adoption of Bitcoin and Lightning Network-based payments on the continent. This partnership offers affordable, fast, and reliable cross-border payments between the US and some African countries. We’ll delve into the details of the partnership and its potential impact on cross-border payments in Africa.
The price of Bitcoin has been surging over the last few weeks, and the dynamic duo that is Strike and Bitnob have been hard at work facilitating that Bitcoin reaches people across the globe. Strike is a payments company that leverages Bitcoin technology to offer faster, cheaper, and more reliable payment mechanisms. Bitnob, a Nigerian Bitcoin exchange run by Bernard Parah, allows seamless transfers from the United States to multiple African countries. This partnership enables US-based Strike users to send payments to recipients from a growing list of African countries that did not have access to Bitcoin. Senegal, Benin, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, and Togo have been added to the list, which is a big deal.
One of the benefits of the Strike and Bitnob partnership is the use of Lightning Network technology. This technology enables Strike to process payments off-chain and at a low cost. The Lightning Network enhances Strike’s ability to deliver fast, low-cost, and reliable cross-border payments to Bitnob, which then processes the payment in the recipient country’s local currency. This innovative technology could change the landscape of cross-border payments in Africa.
Apart from facilitating affordable payments, the Strike- Bitnob partnership could also lead to increased adoption of Bitcoin and the Lightning Network in Africa. With approximately 57%of the continent’s population unbanked, Bitcoin provides an opportunity to enable financial inclusion, bypass traditional banking infrastructure, and offer low-cost payment options for millions. Furthermore, the Lightning Network’s ability to process small transactions at low fees provides an ideal opportunity for Africa’s massive informal sector to transition to formal business structures.
the partnership between Strike and Bitnob is revolutionary from the perspective of international remittances. Despite Africa receiving huge remittances from the diaspora, the cost of sending these remittances has high fees and sluggish confirmation. This partnership could reduce costs drastically by enabling recipient countries’ citizens to withdraw payments via Bitnob in their local currencies at fair exchange rates.
Lastly, Strike’s partnership with Bitnob marks a new milestone in adopting Bitcoin and Lightning Network in Africa. The innovative payment system provides an opportunity to reduce transaction costs, speed up payment processing, and boost financial inclusion on the continent.
With a population of over 1.4 billion people, Africa is a prime market for Bitcoin as the best digital reserve asset. This partnership is significant as it creates a new wave of crypto adoption in Africa and ushers in the much-anticipated financial revolution for the continent. We hope that other payment companies follow suit so that we can witness an era in which affordable, fast, and reliable cross-border payments become the norm in Africa.