The US dollar is on the verge of losing its status as the world’s reserve currency. Bitcoin may be one solution to this problem, but it has a number of shortcomings that present challenges in developing countries like Mozambique. In order for bitcoin to compete with USD, other cryptocurrencies need to succeed in these markets. One such cryptocurrency is lightning Network (LN).
Bitcoin and Lightning in Mozambique is a story about how cryptocurrency is changing the lives of people living in Africa.
Bitcoin (BTC) is open to everyone. For you, Michael Saylor in Miami, and Jorge, a 38-year-old Mozambican family man who survives on the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
Jorge, who prefers to remain anonymous, lives in the little settlement of Bomba on Mozambique’s southeast coast. One of Jorge’s main sources of income has vanished when the Covid-19 outbreak wiped off tourists in the tranquil coastal hamlet.
Fortunately, Bitcoin usage is gradually increasing across Africa, from the Central African Republic to Senegal and beyond. Mozambique is also warming to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
Jorge was the town’s first Bitcoiner. Twitter (source)
Mozambique is a large nation in southern Africa that suffers from poverty and corruption. It is one of the poorest nations in the world, with a per capita GDP of $448. The epidemic, according to the World Bank, brought GDP per capita below $500 in 2020.
Fortunately for Jorge, one of the surf camp owners with whom he used to work is a dedicated Bitcoiner who, in 2021, took him under his wing.
Herman Vivier, the creator of Bitcoin Ekasi, a South African Bitcoin beach project, and Unravel Surf Travel, a crypto-friendly surf tour firm, has been assisting Jorge in protecting his money and diversifying his income with Bitcoin.
Jorge’s hometown in Mozambique’s southeast. Google is the source of this information.
Jorge does a variety of jobs to support himself, from surf instructor to arts and crafts vendor to SIM card salesperson. For the services he performs, he now “accepts Bitcoin,” he informed Cointelegraph.
He also utilizes the Lightning Network to instantaneously exchange South African and Mozambican currencies using the Bitrefill Bitcoin app.
While “very few people understand Bitcoin here,” Jorge says he buys and sells phone credit on Bitefill (an app that offers gift cards payment with Bitcoin on-chain via Lightning), effortlessly switching between ZAR and MZN currencies.
“It’s the simplest method to exchange ZAR into MZN.” It’s quick, and I’ve actually gained additional business as a result.”
Despite its poverty, Mozambique has almost half of its people with a phone subscription, according to Statista. Furthermore, internet use in Mozambique is rapidly increasing. Between 2020 and 2021, more over 1.4 million individuals (+25%) joined the internet, bringing the total to almost one-fifth of the population.
All you need to bank with Bitcoin is a phone and an internet connection. Mozambique is an unexpected potential hub for Bitcoin adoption due to high levels of corruption and monetary instability.
Nonetheless, education remains the most significant barrier. “Learning about Bitcoin was quite challenging in the beginning!” Jorge admits. Vivier assisted him with installing the essential apps on his phone and setting up a Lightning Network (LN) capable wallet; they went with MuunWallet, and Vivier took the time to explain Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention.
Here’s Hermann’s twitter thread, in which he explains how Jorge exchanges currencies with the LN:
#Bitcoin adoption is ripe in Africa.
In Mozambique, where only around 30% of the population has official bank accounts but 70% have mobile internet connectivity, here is my buddy (and former coworker) Jorge utilizing @bitrefill and @MuunWallet. pic.twitter.com/egU5V0xR8k
May 8, 2022 — vryfokkenou (@vryfokkenou)
Jorge now avoids exorbitant remittance costs for cross-border payments owing to Bitcoin; he can switch currencies immediately thanks to the Lightning Network; and he has essentially expanded his client base to the whole globe.
Central African banks chastise the CAR for adopting Bitcoin
Jorge wanted to thank Vivier for his help, appreciating the positive feedback he’s had so far from the Bitcoin community.
“I’m learning a lot, and Bitcoin is helping me sustain my family and four children.”
Jorge’s children are all surfers, and the oldest is a surf instructor, since they live near the world-famous surf point break Tofinho.
“As coisas sao bonitas,” he continued, referring to the fact that “things are lovely” owing to Bitcoin.
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