It was an honor to take part in this year’s Bitcoin 2022 Conference in Miami. The inspiring conversations that took place at the convention center are what fuels the work we do. The discussions that really spoke to me were those centered around education and global Bitcoin adoption. I emphasized this point during the panel on “Building Lightning-Focused Companies:” Everything we do has to be focused on global adoption and it’s imperative that we shift our focus to build products for real people and products that have real use cases. Several panels during the conference echoed this same sentiment. A few of my favorite moments:
The First Africa Bitcoin Conference In Ghana
- Fodé Diop announced on the Nakamoto Stage that the first Africa Bitcoin Conference will take place in Ghana in December 2022.
- Diop also spoke on creating a “United States of Africa.” Currently, there are several challenges that prevent individuals from trading and doing business with other countries within Africa, from high transaction fees to transfer delays — Bitcoin can solve this.
Francis Ngannou On How Bitcoin Can Save Africa
- Francis Ngannou is a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter originally from Cameroon. He spoke about the financial obstacles and complexities within Africa, discussing how Bitcoin can allow for financial freedom in a country where the French have financial control over the CFA franc.
- Ngannou also shared that 70% of people don’t have a bank account in Africa. There are too many barriers that exist, so the 70% gets left behind — again, Bitcoin can solve this.
Activists Share How Bitcoin Can Provide Financial Freedom
- Alex Gladstein’s session, “Bitcoin Is Freedom,” shined a light on three human rights activists, Yeonmi Park, Farida Nabourema and Fadi Elsalameen, who spoke about the intersection of money and human rights in North Korea, Togo, and Palestine and how Bitcoin can lead to a brighter future.
- Each ended the session by sharing the need for these countries to combat limitations on remittance and government control — Bitcoin can solve this, too.
There is a lot happening in the emerging markets, and countries like Nigeria and El Salvador have already begun to show the world Bitcoin’s true use cases. A few examples include the panel “Building Bitcoin Communities,” where several changemakers took the stage to share how they are on the ground, in places like Bitcoin Beach and beyond, putting Bitcoin to work for the people. Off-stage at the Renaissance Art Gallery, a Bitcoin NFT project, Built With NFT, showcased how Bitcoin can be used for social good. It’s these initiatives that help show the world Bitcoin’s true power.
Bitcoin has real value that can drive financial freedom for 100% of people. While the Bitcoin Conference is evidence that the Bitcoin community is growing, there is still a lot of work to be done. We need to move faster to get Bitcoin to the streets — specifically to the communities that need it most. Education about Bitcoin is what will get us there. I hope that next year there can be even more content around how Bitcoin is making an impact around the world. We are just beginning to scratch the surface — Bitcoin will change the world, and I’m honored to be witness to this movement.
This is a guest post by Ray Youssef. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.