Bitcoin in Africa: Financial Freedom and Resilience
This opinion editorial is by Alexandria, a citizen from Zimbabwe. She is a second-year business administration student at Liaoning Shuhua University, China. Or “Have many Africans made wealth from the above-mentioned public companies?” For the majority of Africans, the answer is a resounding no. Many Africans are unable to participate in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This is due to the fact that banking systems must be interoperable with American ones. Individuals can only deal with American brokers or American banks within this American system. These financial institutions and organs often require large amounts of money from foreigners to open accounts or maintain balances. In recent years, another crippling condition imposed on non-American applicants is the requirement that their country of citizenship must have good bilateral relations with America. If you were born in a sanctioned nation, you will be subject to unilateral illegal sanctions imposed on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), which will prevent you from accessing the NYSE or other financial markets and services. “I was born in 1930, so the odds of me being born in the United States were probably 40/1. I won the ovarian lottery that first day, and I was male. If I had been a female, my life would have been very different. It’s a 50/50 chance. The odds of me being born in the USA as a male are 80/1. This was incredibly important in my entire life. Warren BuffettWarren Buffett stated that it was extremely important that he was born and raised in the USA. If you Google search Warren Buffett’s annual report, you will see that his returns over the past 57 years have averaged 20% on compound interest. Warren Buffett achieved a compounded 3,641,613% return for his investments. Warren Buffett illustrates the numerical importance and importance of financial markets participation, especially in liquid markets like the NYSE. This, for the most part, excludes Africans.Accessibility To Wealth Through Credit For Africans And African AmericansThe Great Depression may have started because of a stock market crash, but what hit the general economy was a disruption of credit — every citizen was unable to borrow money, rendering them incapable of doing anything. Access to Credit for African Americans Access to Credit for African Americans:Redlining: This term was created when the government created color-coded maps which showed banks where they could lend housing loans. Red sections were considered too risky, while green sections were allowed. Redlining prevented entire black neighborhoods from having access to private and public investment. These maps were used by banks and insurance companies for decades to deny black residents access to loans and other services that were not based on their race. Wealth is primarily driven by home ownership, but African Americans living in their communities paid higher insurance premiums and higher interest rates, and were denied mortgages more often. “You can’t get loans, you can not own a house, and you can’t start your business. This means that you can’t create wealth. You are excluded from the American dream. Why is it so important for you to exclude an entire racial group from the American dream? African Access To Credit: In 1930, the land apportionment of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) made it illegal to buy land in Africa other than the existing native lands. The native African population was over 1 million, while the Europeans had less than 50,000. This left the European population at 5%, but they had more land than 51%. 95% of the population got only 28% of the dry rocky lands, which were called “reserves”. After a long war, Zimbabwe became independent in 1980. The Lancaster House Agreement was the result of negotiations between the two sides. The Lancaster House Agreement stipulated that the new government could not create legislation to force the taking of land for the next ten years. Only landless blacks could be resettled if they bought from whites who wanted to sell. Only a few white farmers sold. Only a few white farmers sold more than one million hectares of land up until the 1990s. “Only 19% were considered prime or agriculturalable of the nearly 3.5 million hectares resettled land. About 4500 white farmers accounted for 75% of the best land. Human Rights Watch — In 2000, land reform programs were initiated. White farmers were forced to leave their farms and were replaced with black farmers. This was a huge deal both internationally and historically. This was a first. By joining the fight to end apartheid in South Africa, Zimbabwe also challenged imperialistic power. Zimbabwe joined the fight against imperialism and war crimes in The Congo. The United States of America responded by enacting two types of sanction in 2001. The first was Congestional Sanctions: ZIDERA, Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act. This prevents Zimbabweans from obtaining loans from multilateral lending institutions. Restructure and development loans are particularly targeted. Executive Order sanctions are the second. Although the United States tried to call them targeted sanctions, if you look at the list you will see that there is a ban on any company doing business with Zimbabwe. These companies could face jail sentences or be penalized under the International Economic Emergency Powers Act. These unilateral sanctions were possible because the United States currency dominates all world’s payment systems. A large portion of global business is conducted in America. Anyone who wants to do business with America must do so with America and have to cooperate with America. They must have a bilateral relationship and agreement with America. They must have a bilateral agreement and relationship with America. International sanctions are often argued to be self-imposed. This is because Zimbabwe, prior to the ZIDERA sanctions in 2001, had not paid its debts to both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. This meant that Zimbabwe was denied credit from these multilateral institutions. Another misconception is that sanctions against Zimbabwe were not imposed in 2001, but began in 1980, when we gained independence. Zimbabwe was left with Rhodesia’s debt after independence. The Rhodesians also destroyed Zimbabwe, causing it to lose over a trillion dollars. Another example of self-imposed sanctions in Zimbabwe: The interest rate is 30% per calendar month. The principal would be paid in four months, but the interest on the loan will be higher than the principal. This is because Zimbabwe’s rates of interest have to be adjusted continuously to compensate for hyperinflation, which reached 600% in just four months. A sovereign credit rating has not been assigned to Zimbabwe by the three international credit rating agencies. The government has not yet requested a rating from any of the three major rating agencies. It is one of the African countries that has yet to apply for an international sovereign rating. A favorable rating allows companies and governments to raise capital on the international financial markets. Rating agencies are used by both developed and developing countries’ institutional investors to make investment decisions. Unrated ratings make it more difficult for governments to obtain funds for large debt projects or debt relief. It makes it more difficult for entrepreneurs who are struggling with their businesses to grow. Without funding, individuals cannot get a mortgage and cannot afford a home. These circumstances mean that wealth cannot be built. Can Bitcoin finally grant Africans fair and free access to wealth? For centuries, Africans and African Americans suffered from discriminatory policies regarding credit access. These policies included redlining and sanctions that either prohibited credit or increased its cost. Because Bitcoin allowed anyone to access it, it was a crucial breakthrough for Africa and African Americans. It’s not surprising that Sub-Saharan Africa is the leader in Bitcoin adoption. This means that Africans and African-Americans no longer have to worry about discrimination. This is the long-awaited innovation and crucial step towards Bitcoin utility and scaling in Africa, thanks to DeFi’s bitcoin innovation.