Bitcoin for the Unbanked: How Mesh and Microfinance Could End Poverty as We Know It

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Image courtesy of Barak Bruerd

For cryptocurrencies (specifically Bitcoin) to be a viable solution in sub-Saharan Africa, we will have to deal with two glaring problems: power and internet. A quick look at the World Bank’s chart of nations with access to electricity shows the severity of the need.

In 1990, 0% of the nation of Chad had access to power. In 2016, that number had risen to just 9%. The Democratic Republic of the Congo isn’t much better off, seeing just 17% of all their citizens with power in 2016. Ethiopia, by contrast, has 43%. For the entirety of sub-Saharan Africa, only 16% had access to electricity in 1990, with that number growing to just 43% by 2016.

While there


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