Q&A: Cryptocurrencies will get stronger, development players should get involved

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NAIROBI — The Chinese government took a hard stance against cryptocurrency this week, reportedly blocking its citizens from accessing platforms that offer cryptocurrency trading services. Following suit, several United States and United Kingdom banks have also blocked customers from using their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies.

But these actions are only going to make this forum of currency more popular, argued Ray Youssef, chief executive officer of Bitcoin marketplace Paxful, Inc., in an interview with Devex. And development organizations should get involved, he added, despite recent steep drops in their value.

The development sector can use this type of currency to its advantage, he argues. Accepting cryptocurrency as payment for donations can take away the red tape that sometimes restricts donors from contributing to charitable causes.  

In December, Paxful launched #BuiltwithBitcoin, a program that encourages the cryptocurrency sector to contribute funds for humanitarian projects. Paxful donated $50,000 in Bitcoin for the construction of a Rwandan school. Zam Zam, an organization aimed at providing clean water in the developing world, is the implementing partner.

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About the author

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    Sara Jerving

    Sara Jerving is Devex's East Africa Correspondent based in Nairobi. She is a reporter and producer, whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Vice News, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Nation magazine, among others. Sara holds a master's degree in business and economic reporting from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she was a Lorana Sullivan fellow.