The African Cup of Nations (CAN) has been in full swing since January 9. This meeting is not immune to the sponsorship that accompanies any major sporting competition. For this 33rd edition, it is the cryptocurrency companies that are closely interested in the CAN.
For its 33rd edition, the Africa Cup of Nations is entering the world of cryptocurrencies. Indeed, detailed Quartz Africa, the main global bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange has decided to sponsor this popular football competition.
Binance has indeed announced an agreement with the CAN in order to become “The official and exclusive cryptocurrency and blockchain sponsor for this year’s tournament, which takes place in Cameroon”, details the site. It is a heavy sponsorship for the CAN since Binance, registered since 2017 in the Cayman Islands, is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world in terms of transaction volume.
Binance thus finds the opportunity to gain a foothold in the African market. In a press release repeated by Quartz Africa, Yi He, co-founder and marketing director of the company, clarifies his intentions:
With a population of 1.2 billion Africans and the prevalence of blockchain technology and its uses, we believe the African continent could lead the future of the blockchain business. ”
Binance, which is not at its first attempt, had already launched in 2018 a crypto sales platform in Uganda.
A potentially huge market
The CAN remains the largest sports tournament on the continent, broadcast in more than 160 countries around the world and accumulating an estimated audience of more than 300 million people. Through this targeted sponsorship, Binance wishes “Promote the adoption of crypto and blockchain and allow better access to financial services for unbanked people on the continent”, to analyse Quartz Africa.
The market is immense and its potential for growth just as much: the continent has experienced growth of more than 1,200% in the value of bitcoins received between July 2020 and June 2021, according to figures cited by Quartz Africa.
In addition, due to the still sometimes low banking availability of certain African countries, Africa is the world leader in the use of Peer-To-Peer (P2P). This monetary modality, where users trade directly with each other, accounts for 1.2% of all African transaction volumes and 2.6% of all Bitcoin volumes. According to Quartz Africa, “Africans use this type of trade to protect remittances and cross-border businesses from high transfer fees and the risk of weakening currencies.” However, in addition to its exchange platform, Binance also has a platform P2P.
To establish a lasting foothold in Africa, Binance also relies on the young and ultra-connected population of the continent. Sport is therefore an ideal lever for the cryptocurrency market because many sports fans already use their smartphones for sports betting.
But this cryptocurrency El Dorado that Africa seems to have become has not escaped the attention of competitors, since note Quartz Africa, other platforms, less important than Binance, are already established on the continent.
Another flip side of this bitcoin madness, although crypto is gaining in popularity, most African countries still have not regulated it. Some, including Nigeria, have even banned its use. This lack of regulation has created a breeding ground for various scams, risking millions of dollars lost each year by Africans.