Fishing for female empowerment with crypto in West Africa


Mama Bitcoin is the pseudonym claimed by a younger Senegalese Bitcoiner referred to as Bineta. Her enterprise, Bleu comme la mer, was the primary retailer in Senegal (and presumably West Africa) to simply accept crypto as cost. She’s additionally the primary technology of her household to learn and write proficiently. 

The title Mama Bitcoin takes inspiration from the initials of her title, whereas the “mama” not solely displays her motherly instincts however serves to encourage different ladies in West Africa to get into blockchain know-how and Bitcoin (BTC). She informed Cointelegraph:

“There are only a few ladies which can be energetic within the blockchain area world wide and the scenario is not any completely different in Senegal. I needed to shine a light-weight on being a lady within the crypto trade.”

Bineta first stumbled throughout Bitcoin in early 2017 due to a curious mixture of fine intentions and incongruous circumstances. Bineta had goals of opening her village’s first bakery, a small fishing village referred to as Mbour 90 minutes south of Senegal‘s capital, Dakar. However, with the intention to ship heat pains au chocolat to the neighborhood every morning, Bineta wanted cash.

Mbour village seashore, Senegal

It’s extremely troublesome to get a financial institution mortgage for a enterprise concept in West Africa, and it’s even more durable for girls. Bineta needed to seek for various means. She tried a multi-level advertising scheme (MLM) earlier than listening to from a good friend in Cameroon that Bitcoin would possibly match the invoice.

After copious analysis, Bineta‘s curiosity sparked. She shortly realized that Bitcoin was much more necessary for her imaginative and prescient than a probably dangerous MLM scheme. Quick-forward to mid-2017 and Mama Bitcoin had spent hours and hours devouring Bitcoin-related content material in French and in English, translating the place attainable.

She’d arrived on the conclusion that Bitcoin is greater than only a “quantity go up” know-how — it might construct excess of a brand new village bakery:

“The extra I discovered, the extra I spotted we want this. This type of cash will assist overcome so many points. Not solely is Bitcoin a instrument for freedom, however the know-how underpinning Bitcoin comparable to blockchain and decentralization will change Africa‘s growth.”

The journey down the Bitcoin rabbit gap shifted Bineta‘s plans up a gear. The bakery (Bineta jokes it will have been referred to as the Bitcoin Boulangerie) was dropped and a imaginative and prescient for Bitcoin in West Africa took its place.

Because the progress and the value of Bitcoin rose through the 2017 bull run, her understanding of the protocol developed.

“Bitcoin isn’t only a technique of self-financing with out utilizing a financial institution, it’s a technological revolution and a manner of unlocking progress and growth in Senegal.”

Questions comparable to “why is it so massive but why accomplish that few Senegalese individuals speak about it, why is the media avoiding this essential matter, why doesn’t Senegal use this instrument and why are there so few ladies speaking about it?” stored swirling in her head.

Bineta set to work, penning articles about Bitcoin on social media web sites, reaching out to the Senegalese Bitcoin and crypto neighborhood and reevaluating her targets.

Drawing from previous expertise in enterprise and given the proximity of Senegal to the Atlantic ocean, Bineta allowed herself to dream greater. She conceived then established an formidable seaside operation referred to as Bleu comme la mer.

A fishing commerce platform, Bleu comme la mer connects fishermen immediately with customers, eradicating the intermediary. It’s the first enterprise in Senegal to simply accept Bitcoin as cost. Additionally they settle for Ether (ETH) and Tezos (XTZ). In actual fact, Mama Bitcoin based the Tezos neighborhood in West Africa.

Sardines, shrimp, octopus and squid — something that may be fished from the Atlantic — are available for purchase with cryptocurrency on the platform. Bineta provides:

“Cost with cryptocurrencies reveals that, opposite to what many individuals suppose, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cost resolution, not a speculative asset.”

Bineta displaying a possible purchaser the best way to purchase fish with crypto. Supply: Mama Bitcoin 

The blockchain imaginative and prescient extends merely past cryptocurrency funds. Bineta has centered on making Bleu comme la Mer right into a decentralized e-commerce platform the place fishermen log their catches and customers can see precisely what was fished and from the place.

Not solely does the decentralized platform purpose to streamline the fishing trade, nevertheless it additionally strives to undermine overfishing, a dangerous but widespread exercise in West Africa’s waters.

Associated: One man’s plan to orange tablet a nation: Bitcoin Senegal

Nonetheless, “Senegalese and West Africans are fairly skeptical about Bitcoin.” Getting extra ladies into crypto, a ardour challenge of hers, stays a long-standing problem.

Nevertheless, there may be hope. At Dakar’s first in-person Bitcoin meetup in 2022, there have been three ladies out of 20 individuals. It’s a small however robust begin, undoubtedly boosted by Mama Bitcoin‘s infectious vitality and zest for cryptocurrency. 

Celebrating Senegal‘s win within the soccer match The Africa Cup of Nations. Supply: Mama Bitcoin



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