Feb 2, 2024

Core DAO recently launched its Core Africa Ecosystem Fund, which is a $5 million initiative focused on providing resources to help local Web3 builders.

Video transcript

We're taking a little trip around the world. Now moving from one crypto continent to another and taking a closer look at what's happening in the regions of Africa. Korda recently launched its core Africa Ecosystem Fund, which is a $5 million initiative focused on providing resources to help local web three builders. Joining us now to discuss is the initial contributor to Coda and CEO of Element Rich Rines Rich. Hello, great to chat here. Really excited to talk all things go. I'm really excited to um the continent of Africa is a very special place in my heart. I spent some time there when I was younger. Talk to me about why focus on Africa, especially when it comes to crypto products. So core has always had a very deep tie in with various nations in Africa since really, you know, the the very early days of the chain, really a grassroots movement in places like Nigeria, Kenya and a variety of other nations and core really wants to give back and what that means is really a full end to end support model beyond just kind of the monetary aspect itself and really help kind of promulgate the next uh the next wave of web three builders in the region. The demographics of Africa are also super, super interesting. I mean, the population right now, average age is around 17 and then let's take it 10 years and a billion people from now, it's gonna be early twenties. And that population is already extremely crypto literate and then also very active in various blockchains today. So there's just so much opportunity there. What is it about that population being crypto literate, being more active when compared to regions like Europe and the United States that we obviously talk so much about because we we live here and we operate in them uh more often. So crypto has, you know, various product market fits one of which for the longest time has been speculation which applies to kind of a more global audience. But when you look at some of these uh mo more focused regions, whether it's like Africa or Lat, am you get to the other product market fit of crypto which is stablecoins and stablecoins are a 10 to 100 x better solution from a technical level, even just to be able to hedge against your, you know, your local currency and having that so deep rooted into some of the opportunity of what some of these regions can bring. It's a very different demographic and also just very different solutions to bring a lot of value to to these regions. So super exciting to be able to get to both sides of the product market fit. And I think that will really help bring the entire space forward into a real adoption. We talked about stablecoins in our last segment. Um And that's kind of the user side, talk to us about the builder side in Africa. I know there are a lot of builders, a lot of interesting projects coming out of the continent. How is the fund supporting them? Yeah. So it's a really kind of we call it like a surround sound strategy. And the idea there is of course capital is, you know, like the the most commonly associated piece, but there's also the technical uh support and resources builder programs. There'll be accelerator partnerships, exchange partner, partnerships, connections to other V CS. And the idea here is to really help foster that next wave of builders that can then help foster the wave after it. And it's really how that compounds over time where that real lasting sustainable durable value is created. You know, when we talk about crypto adoption here in the United States, we often talk about a lack of education. We look to some different places around the world. There is, you know, maybe not enough infrastructure set up to actually facilitate these different kinds of payments, payment methods that we're talking about. Um do a little compare and contrast for me over in Africa. If what is the barrier, the education barrier look like and the infrastructure barrier. Yes, I'd say that the education barrier is coming down fairly rapidly because of the prominence of these solutions and the opportunity that that's in front of uh that, that's in front of so many of these builders and users. When I think about the infrastructure opportunity, I I do a little bit of like a compare and contrast in the US, you and you uh you had credit cards, debit cards that became like more or less the dominant form of payment. If you look at Asia, you had the rise of super apps like wechat, Alipay, et cetera that, that took over and they essentially just flash forward right past credit cards. And what with Africa, I think what we'll see and this isn't just my opinion, this is the opinion of, you know, many folks that we chat with on a routine basis is that stablecoins might be that, that next jump for this region kind of bypassing these existing rails altogether. And I think that's a, you know, a massive opportunity here and it's something that folks like core are really bullish on pushing forward. You know, it's interesting um I've experienced using wechat for payments, I've experienced using credit cards for payments. I've experienced stablecoins and so so I, I can make sense of uh what you're saying um in the African continent for folks who haven't been there. I, I find that they've been more innovative, they've been more accepting to innovation on the financial front. Why do you think that is? So, I think there's, there's definitely a lack of existing solutions, right? And if you go back to the original like Bitcoin Bank, Beyond Bank, all that sort of play, you know, like 10 plus years ago, I think there's still so much opportunity there that hasn't been fully utilized or realized. And I think now that we're, we're seeing some of these rails get more mature, we're gonna see a entirely new wave of innovation and some of the things that you know, I myself am personally excited about are staking lines of credit saving spend accounts. Like there's so many opportunities there to this in a totally decentralized and trust fashion. And that's super important because in many regions around the world, you don't necessarily want to deal in your local currency or with your local government, et cetera. Like you want to have it all provably secure and decentralized. So what do you think the biggest risk or the biggest barrier to adoption is right now on the continent? So the biggest barrier right now I think is the lack of usability of many of these applications right now, you have to be pretty crypto native to interact with all but kind of like your your basic, you know, buy and hold type type use cases. And I think that's where I think uh many things will change in this next cycle is when we get to real adoption by having UX that feels like web two. And I think once that happens, the Cambrian explosion of apps really will take off when it starts to feel native and like applications you've been using for, you know, the last 10 to 15 years, we're not quite there yet, but there's a lot of opportunity there writing quickly before we go, I mentioned in the introduction, $5 million this is focused on providing resources to help web three builders. How are you allocating those funds in the immediate term? So how are you looking to spend that money in the next few months? Totally. So the process, the application process is now totally open. So please do you know, reach out there's a full application process online and the idea there is to start to find the best builders and to give them the entire wave of support end to end again, of course, is the monetary component. But it's really looking for folks who can have the most impact and to create the most real world usage. So it's going to be an evolving process. We'll iterate and improve as time goes on. But the the floodgates will hopefully open here pretty soon. I know I said that was the last question, but this is really the last one. What do you think the US can learn from uh what's happening in Africa right now? That's a loaded question for the one last question. Uh but at least, in, at least in my opinion, I, I think what we're seeing in some of these other regions in Africa is a great, a great example is that crypto can do real good. And there is this kind of negative view of a lot of Western nations, but primarily the, the US at the moment that it's just a use for, for speculators and these other pieces and that's just fundamentally not true. And I think when people will start to look at it with a broader perspective, they'll see the real opportunity here. And I'm hopeful that nations like the US will, will start to change their tune on that. You know, as part of this new cycle. Rich. Thanks so much for joining the show today. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. That was an initial contributor to Corda and Ceo of Element Rich Rines.

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