President Faustin-Archange Touadéra received Changpeng Zhao to discuss bitcoin and crypto. The meeting of the minds happened on Friday and there’s not much public information about what actually happened. The Binance CEO has been meeting African presidents recently, so it only makes sense that he visited the first nation to make bitcoin legal tender in the continent.
1/ Impressive meeting today and an incredibly important step for the future of the Central African Republic 🇨🇫.
— Faustin-Archange Touadéra (@FA_Touadera) August 5, 2022
In the tweet announcing the meeting, President Touadéra wrote:
“Impressive meeting today and an incredibly important step for the future of the Central African Republic. Thank you CZ for opening up and sharing some brilliant ideas based on the Binance experience. A truly remarkable moment!
Education, investments, crypto adoption in the Central African Republic and the region and the Sango project vision, were some of the topics of the meeting. Better things are shaping up for what’s to come.”
For his part, CZ announced, “Just met with President of Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra. Discussed education, investments, regulatory frameworks, and crypto adoption.”
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) August 5, 2022
What did these two men talk about, exactly? We wouldn’t know just yet. That’s all of the first-hand information we have so far. However, let’s examine what has been going on around these two characters to see if we can figure out what President Touadéra and CZ talked about.
President Touadéra And Changpeng Zhao’s Last Few Months
Let’s start at the very beginning. When the Central African Republic made bitcoin legal tender, Binance wrote:
“Despite strong volatility and price correction this year in 2022, Bitcoin (BTC) continues to see increasing global adoption. As per the latest reports, the Central African Republic becomes the second country after El Salvador to make Bitcoin (BTC) a legal tender.”
Let’s fast-forward to last month, CZ met with Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara and with Macky Sall, President of Senegal. About the second encounter, CZ tweeted, “Mr. President gave us a beautiful painting from a local artist, I haven’t opened it yet. Will share a photo later in this thread. We gave him a BNB challenger coin (much lower value) he was holding in the pic.” There are rumors that Binance will launch an educational program on all things crypto across French-speaking Africa. And that’s where President Touadéra comes in.
However, the Central African Republic has been busy standing by its decision to adopt bitcoin in front of international banking organizations.
BNB price chart on FX | Source: BNB/USD on TradingView.com
Banks Vs. The Central African Republic
In May, the banks went on the offensive. First, the governor of the Bank of Central African States wrote the CAR a letter about their Bitcoin Law. “This law suggests that its main objective is to establish a Central African currency beyond the control of the BEAC that could compete with or displace the legal currency in force in the CEMAC and jeopardize monetary stability.”
The letter argues that the law's main objective appears to be establishing a Central African currency "beyond the control" of the BEAC and that the move can be analyzed as a challenge to the French colonial currency system.
— Alex Gladstein 🌋 ⚡ (@gladstein) May 8, 2022
It’s important to remember that the currency that the BEAC supposedly controls is the CFA franc. A currency issued in France. Alex Gladstein qualifies the situation as the “colonial franc system” or “the French colonial currency system.” And insinuates that the point of the bitcoin law is precisely to bypass it. What does he think about the lack of bitcoin in the Sango project, though?
In another letter sent around the same time, the World Bank distanced itself from the Sango project. President Touadéra and his team apparently announced a $35M investment in the controversial project. According to Bloomberg, the World Bank’s response was:
“The World Bank is not supporting “Sango – The First Crypto Initiative Project”,” the lender said. The digital governance loan “is unrelated to any crypto-currency initiative.”
The World Bank also warned, “It is important that the relevant regional institutions, such as the central bank and the banking authorities, are fully consulted and remain in the driver’s seat.” Why is the organization so interested in the Central African Republic all of a sudden? Consider that five African countries appear in Chainlysis’ Global Crypto Adoption Index’s Top 10.
Africa is primed for crypto adoption. 10-20% banked. Need financial access and inclusion. Blockchain provides that with a smart phone.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) July 6, 2022
Commenting on that precise subject, CZ recently tweeted, “Africa is primed for crypto adoption. 10-20% banked. Need financial access and inclusion. Blockchain provides that with a smart phone.” That’s true, but, are they committed enough to resist the pressure from international banks? And, will the other African countries have the wit to focus on bitcoin? Or will they unveil projects as underwhelming as Sango?
Featured Image by Satheesh Sankaran from Pixabay | Charts by TradingView