Cameroon Government has reportedly experimented with Bitcoin technology in a pilot project, a move that could transform its ominous payment ecosystem.
According to the available details, the highly unbanked West African nation enrolled around 500 people to use an alternative digital currency “Trest” as their default payment method for about a month. The decision was taken to address the growing undercapitalization of Cameroon’s local banks and their inability to address a 90% of the unbanked population.
Therefore with the said experiment, the government wanted to illustrate the feasibility of a peer-to-peer, decentralized alternative in order to assign entitlements and benefits directly to its people — something that could have been inefficient in case of traditional banks.
And as it turned out, the results were highly optimistic.
“In short, we artificially created a Trest-based micro-economy,” recalled Antoine De Padoue, a politician in Cameroon. “People were able to comprehend and understand this very new method of payment. They were excited and started improvising their own uses within the first five days of the pilot. We achieved quantifiable efficiency gains and the benefits far outweighed the negatives.”
De Padoue, who also happens to be the founder of Socapssi, an organization