During the last years cryptocurrencies have become a news topic in many western countries and started “moving to be part of our day-to-day conversation.” While it makes sense to see this growth in such advanced countries where technology such as the internet is an everyday part of society, it might be a bit of surprise to find a growing community in an African country such as Sudan.
A quick search on Google about Bitcoin and Sudan will retrieve some interesting results. One result is a Reddit discussion explaining the details of the first workshop conducted by bitcoin enthusiasts in Sudan. Of course, this was more than three years ago and things have changed a great deal ever since.
Today, Sudan’s bitcoin meet-up group on Facebook is very active. Many are selling and buying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on a daily basis.
Omer Mohammed – one of the administrators of the meetup group – told WikiTribune that the growing interest in cryptocurrencies has resulted in some individuals or groups mining Ethereum, another popular cryptocurrency. He also added that bitcoin’s popularity is because money transfer to and from Sudan is much easier than other methods.
“Sudanese youth find cryptocurrencies as a source of income through buying and selling it,” Mohammed said via email exchanges.
The first company that adopted bitcoin in Sudan was Softwex. Mohammed Mahgoub, Sotfwex’s co-founder and manager, told WikiTribune that he was fascinated by its potential use case in a sanctioned country.
Mahgoub said that Softwex’s account was almost shut down by an online exchange which converts funds into fiat. Now Softwex relies on blockchain.info as an alternative.
Any new technology needs ambitious early adopters, and cryptocurrencies have found it in the unlikeliest of places in Sudan.