For many years, Paypal has been the most dominant player in e-commerce transactions on the Internet. If you set up your account in a country, where Paypal allows its members to receive funds, you receive the funds instantly. I used to enjoy this service a great deal when I was living in Japan.

Prior to going to Japan, I was using a UK-based friend’s account to receive payments because at that time, my home countyr, Malawi, was not on the list of nations where one could receive funds via Paypal. The irony was that the same Paypal was allowing Malawi-based members to send money to others. That one-way traffic scenario used to really make me angry with Paypal.

Paypal has been sidelining Africa for many years. When I was staying in Japan, I had an opportunity to own a Paypal account, with which I was able to receive funds. But that was possible only for the four and a half years, while I was still in the land of the rising sun. When I moved to Namibia, I was back to square one. No receiving, just sending!

I have now resorted to my old ways. I get my paypal payments through my friend who is still based in Japan. He is my good friend from our days at Rumphi Secondary School.

As of now, I cannot even use the Paypal account that I created when I was in Japan. Paypal advised me to create a new account because the Japan account is tied to Japan’s laws and regulations. I find this to be very funny! If I move to another country, I will have to create a new Paypal account. I will run out of email addresses!!!

Even though Paypal is now allowing more African countries to receive funds, there are a lot more African countries that are still in the send-only mode. The issue of tying users’ accounts to nations where they used to stay makes it even worse.

Currently, the world is undergoing a swift cryptocurrency revolution. For those who are not yet familiar with the concept of cryptocurrencies, you may wish to learn more from this link.

In a nutshell, a cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency.

There are currently many cryptocurrencies, but the mother of them all and the most valuable is the Bitcoin. Other notable cryptocurrencies are Litecoin and Ethereum. With these so called virtual currencies, it is very possible to be able to send and get money anywhere in the world at any given time. There is no central authority figure in these networks.

Furthermore, the fees per transaction are much lower. All these advantages are good for Africa-based e-commerce enthusiasts.

These cryptocurrencies also have their own disadvantages. There has been a concern of lack of awareness and understanding of these technology. I really do not consider this to be a big issue.

Anyone who wants to be serious about any technology has to take time to study and acquire the much needed knowledge. That knowledge can actually be a source of money by itself as he or she begins to teach others. It may also lead to discovery of new of putting cryptocurrencies to better use.

Another disadvantage that has been raised is that of volatility. This too is being addressed by a number of players, who are providing flex-accounts in order to shield their customers from bitcoin price volatility against fiat currencies such as US dollar and Euro. Should you be interested in exploring some of these flex-account providers, please give me a shout.

In general, the pros are just too many to be ignored just like that. It is in light of this, that I strongly encourage Africa-based e-commerce enthusiasts to embrace cryptocurrencies.