“Many Africans are now turning to crypto-assets”: interview with the director of Binance Afrique Francofone

After a brilliant career in traditional finance in France and the United States for companies such as Société Générale or American Express, Carine Dikambi chose to live in Africa to help revive the continent’s local economy. She has been the director of Binance Frankofone Africa for almost 2 years. We were able to interview him to get the pulse of DeFi in the country and to know his vision for the future of the blockchain ecosystem in Africa.

Do you think Africa expects from DeFi what banks and some governments have always failed to deliver?

Without any doubt. Although the field of decentralized finance (Challenges) is relatively recent, I believe people on the continent are starting to see the positive effects of DeFi. Currently, a large majority of Africans are not so financially connected globally, a large proportion are unbanked and therefore have limited access to these financial systems in general.

Thus, Africans are willing to turn to DeFi to make financing more transparent and accessible. These technologies make it possible to facilitate the transfer of value and more convenient resources without the need to turn to an intermediary.

Basically, DeFi represents an opportunity for the people of the region to have access to a non-bureaucratic, faster, more profitable and ultimately more transparent system.

CZ (Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance) has made several trips to Africa recently. Who did you meet? What were the reasons for these visits?

Above all, CZ visits are a big part of our mission to connect directly with Binancians in Africa and around the world. During his trips to Africa, he usually meets with various heads of state and regulatory bodies to discuss regulatory frameworks and/or crypto education and philanthropic efforts in the respective countries.

Binance has experience working with various governments around the world to help those governments actively stay abreast of ever-changing developments in the crypto industry, and using that to shape industry regulation. Additionally, our educational initiatives account for a large part of the growth in crypto adoption and understanding of the space.

Thus, we discuss the educational efforts that Binance can make in these countries, in cooperation with the relevant universities, to promote financial education.

The main objective is to discuss and promote the creation of systems that increase money freedom, drive blockchain adoption and enable greater financial access for Africans.

Two Africans have been appointed to the Binance Global Advisory Board. Why is this decision important for the continent?

The Binance Global Advisory Board (GAB) is comprised of leading experts in public policy, government, finance, economics and corporate governance. The two African board members, Ibukun Awosika and Leslie Maasdrop, have extensive experience and expertise in the financial sector that can benefit from the sustainable development of the industry in Africa, providing much more focused input on regulatory issues and the most challenging issues and compliance issues facing crypto. , blockchain and Web3 in Africa.

Do you think Africans welcome DeFi?

Absolutely. Africans are beginning to understand and embrace these technologies because limited access to traditional financial systems means there are many untapped resources that they may not have had before and can now access. Take the example of cryptocurrencies: one of the main advantages of the decentralized model of cryptocurrencies is putting the power back in the hands of the users. Millions of people in the region live below the poverty line and so it is only natural that more people seek innovative and non-traditional ways to create wealth. Many Africans are now turning to crypto-assets to build wealth and gain financial freedom.

However, as a young industry, there is still much room for learning and growth. This is why educating locals about the incredible benefits of these technologies is essential to us at Binance. I am confident that with the right education, the people of the region will continue to welcome these technologies.

What are examples of use cases that citizens in Africa have created with blockchain in general and Binance in particular?

Africa is a unique continent with unique challenges and there are many cases of deep use of these technologies on the continent.

Today’s traditional banking services can be limited in terms of transaction time, cost and difficulty of currency exchange. Blockchain has gained widespread acceptance due to its ability to simplify these processes for Africans, be it remittances, cross-border transfers or settlements. We have also seen these technologies being adopted recently by some traditional banking institutions.

Moreover, as more and more people invest in the digital currency, it is rapidly becoming a widely accepted payment method in the region. Marketers are beginning to accept bitcoins for paying for goods and services, revolutionizing the payment process for locals.

Earlier this month, Binance Pay integrated with an online marketplace, DigitalFlyer®, to allow businesses to sell their products, goods or services and get paid instantly with ZERO% fees. Thus, member companies can accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.

Surprisingly, we’ve also seen African creators take huge advantage of the market NFT (Non-fungible Token) and their technology. People are starting to see the potential of NFTs because they not only enable ownership but also wealth creation, with artists able to make a living selling their works as NFTs. Binance has been able to use the power of this technology to support and promote innovative creators by showcasing African talent on the Binance NFT Marketplace.

In 2021, Djimon Hounsou, the Beninese-American Hollywood star and model, and LÁOLÚ, the famous Nigerian painter, exhibited their digital art series, “Time To Heal”, on the Binance NFT Marketplace. The purpose of this campaign was not only to showcase the beauty of art, but also to transform their art and creativity into a meaningful global action aimed at social and humanitarian issues.

NFTs are transforming the digital art landscape. It is exciting for us to welcome creators from Africa as we see the profound opportunity that NFTs and blockchain bring across the continent.

Overall, the ability to build wealth through blockchain has been an important use case for people in the region. As the most open and inclusive system, cryptocurrencies and blockchain allow people to access it without any prerequisites or qualifications. Thus, more and more people who would not have had such opportunities are empowered to create wealth.

  • What are Binance’s ambitions in French-speaking Africa in particular?

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a whole are well positioned to address a number of economic challenges in Francophone Africa. Binance has focused its efforts on Francophone Africa to bridge this gap and increase cryptocurrency adoption thanks in particular to:

Binance is committed to equipping crypto beginners in the region with resources for lifelong financial and professional development. Binance has educated over 600,000 Africans about cryptocurrencies, ensuring that crypto enthusiasts are well equipped with all the right information and don’t fall prey to bad actors.

We recently opened a first-of-its-kind cryptocurrency education center in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to provide resources and training to youth across Francophone Africa.

We intend to host numerous events and training sessions to educate enthusiasts about the opportunities within the crypto space and how to make a living from it. We want to provide the people of the region with the resources they need to thrive within the ecosystem.

  • Financial opportunities

Through regular training and services provided, Binance is creating new employment opportunities for French-speaking Africans. Many of them are rising out of poverty and acquiring new skills to remain employable in the world.

For example, users who have registered and been accepted into the Binance P2P Trading Program are now able to bid cash for buyers or sellers on the platform, and thus earn a living from the comfort of their home. Traders make multiple transactions per day and earn profit on each transaction.

  • User security and protection

Binance has a strong history of working with regulators and policymakers to shape policies that protect consumers, encourage innovation and advance the blockchain industry. While these technologies continue to be adopted, Binance’s top priority is the safety of its French-speaking users, as evidenced by all of their activities and interactions with the community.

From September to October, the Blockchain Meet up tour was held in Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. What were the results?

The dating tour across Francophone African countries was an important step in promoting crypto adoption in the region. For example, they have helped create a sense of community for crypto beginners and enthusiasts. Community is an essential component of the blockchain industry, and through these meetings, we are able to create and foster opportunities for offline connection, learning and sharing of experiences in the space. cryptography.

Most importantly, education was a huge benefit of the dating tour. The tour not only helped democratize and deepen the adoption and access of cryptocurrencies in Francophone Africa, but also allowed participants to better understand the basics of cryptocurrencies, identify scams and protect their journey in the crypto ecosystem.

Overall, the results of the meetings were a big step forward in adoption, promoting blockchain education and fostering a sense of community and understanding of crypto in the region.

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