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The Central African Republic’s Path To Bitcoin Adoption

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The report from the Bitcoin Delegation in the Central African Republic (CAR) highlighted the country’s current access to electricity, internet, and digital money as key features for successful Bitcoin adoption. 

Limitations

The report states that the lack of energy in many of the country’s villages must be addressed so that rural areas may benefit from the Bitcoin network.

Additionally, the lack of internet access may create opportunities for bad actors to take advantage of local citizens. The Bitcoin Delegation noted that a national ID is required for purchasing a SIM card within the CAR. However, this requirement may be problematic due to the fact that a significant portion of the population do not have a government issued ID.  

Recommendations

Despite the currently known limitations, the report suggests eight recommendations that may help further Bitcoin adoption within the country.

Focus On Bitcoin To Facilitate Adoption

Focusing on multiple cryptocurrencies may add a substantial layer of complexity for citizens. The report recommends that CAR should only focus on adopting Bitcoin. A lack of focus may possibly slow or even endanger the spread of adoption.

Buying and Selling Bitcoin

Buying and selling Bitcoin should be as convenient as possible. Mobile credit retailers, which are very common in the country, will play a key role in adoption. Additionally, Bitcoin ATMs will help spread Bitcoin use and must be placed in secure locations like hotels.

Integrate Lightning Network

Lightning Network payments will enable fast and cheap transactions for citizens as well as tourists within the country. Additionally, the deployment of Lightning nodes within the country will ensure sovereign payments that will lead to uncensored network use.

Mining in the CAR

Mining Bitcoin was recommended to the president of the Economic and Social Council of the Central African Republic. The report states that improving the electricity infrastructure is essential for the country. Hydroelectric power within the country could have an installed capacity of 700 to 2,000 MW, compared to the currently available 40 MW.

Education Programs

Sébastien Gouspillou, the spokesperson of the Bitcoin Delegation, suggested three different educational programs for the country.

First, the Government Program will educate civil servants and companies about the benefits of Bitcoin when compared to fiat along with how to use Bitcoin wallets. 

Second, the Civil Society Program will include education for the country’s citizens. A Bitcoin house or embassy will be established in Bangui and be a hub for Bitcoin education. 

Lastly, the University Program will offer a Master’s degree in Bitcoin and the Lightning Network in order to incentivize the youth to stay and develop infrastructure within the country.

Sango Wallet

The Sango Wallet will enable users to send and receive Bitcoin through on-chain and Lightning Network transactions. The wallet will convert CFA Franc to BTC and vice versa as well as implement a robust security system to prevent the misuse or theft of funds within the wallet.

Taxation

A clear and attractive tax system in combination with reduced taxation on smartphones is proposed to encourage the development of economic activity and adoption for CAR. No specific details were recommended.

Issuance of Government Bonds

Bitcoin bonds issued on Bitcoin’s Liquid network will help with the construction of solar and hydropower energy infrastructure as well as Bitcoin mining. 

Though not present in the Central African Republic the week of May 20, members of the Bitcoin Delegation's newly formed think tank include Samson Mow, CEO of JAN3, Jeff Gallas, CEO of Fulmo, Alex Gladstein, Head of Strategy at the Human Rights Foundation, and Fodé Diop, CEO of the Bitcoin Developers Academy.

You may find the full report here.

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