Invest cautiously in cryptocurrency - Bitcoin expert

Technology > IT

Llew Claasen, head of the Bitcoin Foundation, cautions people in investing no more than they can afford in cryptocurrency during his talk at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania regarding the potential for Bitcoin in Africa, according to BBC.

“A lot of people in Zimbabwe are interested in it as an alternative financial system, but that is not an easy thing to do formally as we don’t want to be perceived as wanting to disrupt economies,” Claasen told BBC.

According to Jane Wakefield in her article for BBC, many people do not have access to formal banking and they are willingly accepting alternatives, such as the Bitcoin. Claasen said that the Bitcoin has reached Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. He added that mobile money gives people a chance to protect their saving from the abuse of government when it comes to monetary policy.

Moreover, the Bitcoin is connected to a digital technology, the blockchain. It is a digital ledger that can record all transactions. Also, Claasen said that the Bitcoin may have a big impact on Africa. “It means a small business owner can tokenize shares in his business so investors do not have to go through a central intermediary or register their shares,” he stressed.

However, the head of the Bitcoin Foundation emphasized that the Bitcoin is not yet an alternative to cash. He said that the network can hold three to four transactions per second, but when the network gets an upgrade in the next 6 to 12 months, “there will be no limit to the transactions the network can handle.”

“To be honest Bitcoin is not a great form of cash right now. Don’t think of it as cash, think of it as a digital form of gold that enables you to save outside the current financial climate,” clarified Claasen.

At present, the equivalent of one Bitcoin is about $4,500 or £3,470

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