South Africa’s first Bitcoin conference has been set for April, with the organisers encouraging entrepreneurs to attend and learn about the opportunities Bitcoin presents for startups.
The Bitcoin Africa conference is to take place in Cape Town, on April 16 and 17, with a lineup of industry experts from around the world who will share their views and experiences of the opportunities and challenges facing Bitcoin. The conference aims to consider how African companies could benefit from Bitcoin adoption.
Speaking to Disrupt Africa, co-host of the conference Theo Sauls said the conference presents a big opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain an insight into the potential benefits of adopting Bitcoin, with the organisers hoping to encourage a wave of Bitcoin-oriented startups in South Africa.
“Bitcoin offers entrepreneurs and businesses a way to allow their clients to pay for goods and services and thereby paying less in transaction fees. It is a quick, safe and efficient payment method whether it be via an online or retail environment,” Sauls said.
“We have a slow Bitcoin startup culture and adoption in South Africa. Bitcoin Africa would like to accelerate that process with our international speakers,” he said.
According to Sauls, the conference will also provide a networking opportunity for entrepreneurs looking into Bitcoin adoption, with a number of fellow startups, investors and VCs due to attend.
The organisers of the Bitcoin Africa conference point to Bitcoin as a possible solution to the low banking rates and financial inclusion across Africa; while they say the cryptocurrency can also revolutionise the remittance market.
“Africa is a continent where less than 30% of the population have bank accounts and even fewer own credit cards. However, the majority of people in Africa owns a mobile phone and individuals as well as businesses in Africa can therefore benefit from mobile money,” Sauls said.
“Sending remittances in Africa is a huge business and Bitcoin plays an important role in helping to lower the cost associated with sending and receiving money. Bitcoin can therefore potentially play a big role in solving the high cost of traditional remittance methods, especially where many people can not afford high transaction fees and only want to send small amounts of money.”
Topics covered at the conference will include the benefits of Bitcoin; the use of Bitcoin in emerging versus developed markets; merchant adoption of Bitcoin; security issues related to Bitcoin; regulation and compliance of Bitcoin; the possibilities of the Blockchain; how Bitcoin will impact the global and the African economy; and Investment opportunities in Bitcoin.
Tickets are available to purchase online.