One Man’s Plan to Destroy a Nation: Bitcoin Senegal

Nourou is a 29-year-old Bitcoiner with a vision for his home country. As a former financial analyst for a French bank, he founded Bitcoin Senegal in late 2021.

After eight years in France, during which Nourou obtained his Masters degree, Bitcoin Chaincode qualifications and a deep understanding of the ancient financial markets thanks to his work in investment finance, he was ready for the orange-pill Senegal.

He returned to his home country disheartened to learn that Coinmap (a website that lists Bitcoin sellers and traders around the world) had zero locations in Senegal. That’s despite singer and influencer Akon’s plans to set up a crypto-esque Akon City.

Passionate about Bitcoin and equipped with the knowledge that a “Bitcoin Beach” idea in El Salvador eventually led to the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, the 29-year-old was inspired to try something similar in his hometown.

Nourou has made progress since he set foot in Dakar, Africa’s westernmost capital. In addition to founding Bitcoin Senegal, he has given more than 18 educational lectures about Bitcoin and has two restaurants, a game store, a surf camp and a few local vendors full of oranges. That’s all in a span of about six weeks.

The Current Status of Bitcoin Sellers in Dakar, According to Coinmap

He has his sights set on 20 restaurants accepting Bitcoin by July 2022, just before he finishes coding Senegal’s first proprietary Bitcoin exchange. The exchange would compete with Binance, which has an impressive footprint in Africa, Paxful, and a friend’s cryptocurrency exchange, which uses a third-party turnkey solution.

Nourou told Coin-Crypto that his exchange will be as decentralized as possible, knowing that while the competition can be tough:

“The demand for Bitcoin is so great in Senegal that it doesn’t matter how many exchanges you do.”

Indeed, although the sub-Saharan country of about 17 million people is familiar with Bitcoin, it is barely aware of the digital currency. In addition, Nourou says that “the literacy rate is very low, one of the biggest barriers to adoption.”

In addition, while the national language is officially French, the majority of Senegalese speak Wolof, a local language. There are scarce educational resources for Bitcoin in Wolof; well, so started a YouTube channel in Wolof to educate his compatriots about Bitcoin.

For sellers, the search for Bitcoin began in Les Almadies, an affluent, expatriate area of ​​Dakar, where foreign travelers are common and literacy rates are high. He has approached beach bars, restaurants and barber shops, he is happy to come “day or night” if there is ever a problem with BitPay or lightning terminals.

A restaurant that now accepts Bitcoin in Dakar, Senegal

In restaurant Praïnha (see photo) the Bitcoin sign is loud and proud. The owner of the establishment, Renée, is a surf coach and freethinker who was “open to the idea of ​​Bitcoin. Why not?” They accepted their first payment in Bitcoin on Thursday, after setting up a BTCPay server earlier this month.

Nevertheless, volatility in Bitcoin price and education continues to hamper Nourou’s orange pilling efforts. For that reason, he advises vendors to include a 10% surcharge for Bitcoin payments.

Likewise, he spends a lot of time with retailers talking about Bitcoin before introducing them to the Bitcoin Layer-2 solution, Lightning.

Related: Crypto Firms Ignore Africa As A Widely Adopted Continent At Their Peril

In terms of education, trying to equip taxi drivers or street vendors with QR codes and BTC Pay servers just isn’t a time-saver. For the independent scammers, a conversation and a mention of the Youtube channel is a useful start.

Instead, Nourou targets restaurant owners, business people, surf schools and established companies. It is a small but essential step towards further Bitcoin recognition in the country.

A surf camp in N’Gor, northwest Dakar that accepts Bitcoin

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