One of the incredible things about the promise of blockchain is its accessibility. Anyone in the world with access to the internet can benefit from crypto services, such as sending and receiving money with ease and without third-party interference. This financial infrastructure is exceptionally beneficial in areas where there is depleted trust in traditional financial institutions. Our next inspiring feature in our Women in Crypto series is influencing decentralized services in Botswana. Let’s take a look at the impact Alakanani Itireleng is making in the blockchain industry.
Alakanani Itireleng is the founder and CEO of an educational blockchain hub in Botswana, Satoshicentre. Dubbed a “center for blockchain startup acceleration and innovation,” Satoshicentre acts as an incubator for blockchain-based startups and facilitates interaction between these fledgling companies and investors. This hub provides startups with access to funding, educational resources, and pitch opportunities where innovators can further promote their ideas.
An educator in religious studies for over 17 years and a crypto educator since 2013, Alakanani holds a degree in Education from the University of Botswana, and a Masters in Business Administration. Known as “Botswana’s Bitcoin Lady,” she’s featured in “Banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution,” a documentary that explores how Bitcoin pioneers in Southern Africa are addressing the continent’s widespread challenges — poor infrastructure, mishandled economies, and widespread poverty — with crypto.
Alakanani Itireleng is a pioneering Bitcoin educator in her country and actively works to educate Botswana on the benefits of blockchain technology. Her contributions to Bitcoin and blockchain have landed her on several top 10 lists of influential crypto leaders, and her commitment to pushing innovation in the industry is why we’re proud to highlight her in Cred’s Women In Crypto series.
The Adoption of Crypto Across Africa
Cryptocurrency adoption is gaining popularity among African countries. A report on the State of Crypto in Africa by Arcane Research estimated 13% of South Africans under the age of 60 with internet access own cryptocurrency, compared to the 7% global average. Data shows South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana are home to the fastest-growing communities of bitcoin users on the continent. Many factors play into the widespread adoption of crypto, a few of which are evident across the African continent, the most notable being inflation and lack of access to traditional financial institutions.
The majority of African nations suffer from high inflation rates, a number historically much higher than the global average. These factors dramatically affect the continent’s purchasing power and the potential for wealth-gain. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies address these issues by combining wealth preservation, digital portability, and refrain from third-party interference.
The World Data Bank notes traditional banking services underserve the majority of Africa. The number of accessible commercial banks for communities is 61% lower across Sub-Saharan Africa than the global average. As of 2018, 66% of those living in Sub-Saharan Africa didn’t have access to a traditional bank account.
In addition to her work with Satoshicentre, Alakanani is the Vice President of Token Innovation at AfroDEXLabs, an African decentralized exchange lab focused on building technologies to facilitate mass crypto adoption. A well-known Bitcoin “evangelist,” Alakanani actively works with the community to increase the understanding of Bitcoin and blockchain technology to bring solutions to the problems that are faced by Africans in everyday life.