Africa is now entering a new chapter of its million-year long history and it is running faster than any other continent in the world, though it may not seem so. We do not see the difference, yet, but we will realize it soon. Maybe sooner than we think. For example, in Africa there is a nation that has already adopted the brand new telematic money system of cryptocurrency Bitcoin. It is the Central African Republic (CAR). The CAR is the second nation in the world to try this, after El Salvador in America. Is the African continent leaving Europe and the western society “at the post” of the race?

What is Bitcoin and how you use it?

The word BITCOIN indicates a cryptocurrency, that is an international currency payment system planned and born for computers and “smart” firms. It was created in 2009 by an anonymous group known by the “art name” of Satoshi Nakamoto. You can write the word “bitcoin” both with the first capital letter (if you refer to the system) or in lowercase (if you mean the money itself).

Bitcoin does not use a central board or a main bank, it is still a mystery mainly based on database and complicated financial systems. The difficulty in understanding and using it makes the world suspicious of it, that is why very few firms and nations decided to use it. And using it is a great act of courage and responsibility.

The system ruling this currency allows pseudo-anonymous possession and transfer of coins; makes you save your money only on digital devices; allows “third parts” to act like banks on behalf of this currency, though it is not clear which their role is. The digital “wallet” of bitcoin users has an address identified by an alphanumeric code of 25 (up to 36) characters but it is fully visible and no more secret or private. If you are not a real expert in the use of the Bitcoin system, you can have damages and a high risk of great money loss.

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the landscape of the central african republic

Central African Republic and the Bitcoin

CAR – Central African Republic – used to be a French colony, but became independent in 1960. Its economy is based on mine work, and the production and trade of gold, diamonds, oil and uranium. This only makes a few people rich, while the majority of the population is very poor. Rebellions and civil wars, mainly between muslims and christians, make the political and social situation not safe enough for tourism.

But the business of the many European and American firms that need to buy gold, diamonds and oil here – plus the widespread corruption – made the government run for a very modern new change in its economic system. So the bitcoin was adopted as state money in 2022, replacing the old CAR Franc. Bitcoins could also help tourism in the nation, as soon as the situation will allow it. Though some expert economists say this is a crazy and premature decision, the new alliances of the CAR with Russian banks and firms is making it real, more and more.

More about Central African Republic

An arid territory made up of rocky plateaus that form the watershed for some important rivers (Chad, Congo, Nile), the Central African Republic has a tropical climate. The dry north is very hot, while in the south there are two seasons, a dry one and a rain one. This makes the land look like a savannah up north, and rain forest in the south. Two big mountain ranges complete the geography: the Bongos (1368 mt) and the Yadés (1420 mt).

The political territory consists of 14 provinces, here called “prefectures”, with the  capital Bangui. This 800.000 inhabitants city has a thousand-year long history, but started to develop as a urban center during the European colonization (18th century). The main monuments and architectures to admire are: the old French town, the catholic cathedral Notre Dame, the Bokassa Palace, the local Zoo, the Boganda Museum.

Bangui is also famous for the “ magnetic anomaly”, one of the largest phenomena of such kind in the Earth’s crust. It is a local variation of the geomagnetic field of our planet and has its center right on this city. The anomaly is in the shape of an ellipse, consisting in three parts. The magnetic equator passes through the central one. Scientists have the proof of this fact, but why this happens right here is a very interesting – and unsolved – mystery.

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poor neighbourhoods

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