They need electricity first.

I'd like to see a multisig set up between CAR government, international power company, BTC mining company & investor's.

Exciting stuff!

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Widely available are these $15 solar lanterns that you leave out to charge during the day, and they have USB connectors for charging mobile phones.

The lack of grid (or mini-grid) power is limiting for many things, but it's not a tremendous hurdle that is preventing mobile connectivity and smartphone adoption.

Could bitcoin mining help justify investment in a hydroelectric generation project? Sure. But that's not what will make or break much of anything, in the near term.

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Much of the Bitcoin Delegation’s work was in improving that lack of basic understanding. Burtey explained to Bitcoin Magazine that in its conversations with government officials, the group attempted to demonstrate why the nation would be better off focusing on Bitcoin alone instead of embarking on the novel, esoteric use cases promised by tokens and “crypto.”

Sango seeks to “pave the way to a digital future of endless possibilities,” per its webpage, though the project conflates bitcoin initiatives with NFTs and metaverse pilots.

“I attribute this to the fact that this is all new to [CAR officials] and they see all of these possibilities,” Burtey said. “Every time someone mentions something to them, they say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a good idea.’”

The people Burtey is referring to there are foreigners from the cryptocurrency industry who have been to the country. The Galoy CEO said he believes the Bitcoin Delegation was the first group of Bitcoin-only advocates to arrive in the country with an agenda of helping the government and the people adopt BTC, with some crypto-related delegates having visited the CAR before them.

“The most surprising part, perhaps, is the special privilege of first right of refusal on imports and exports. If you are a Malian cotton producer, you must first offer your goods to France, before you go to the international markets. Or if you are in Benin and want to build a new infrastructure project, you must consider French bids, before others. This has historically meant that France has been able to access cheaper-than-market goods from its former colonies, and sell its own goods and services for higher-than-market prices.”

In theory, Bitcoin could provide a way out of such monetary colonialism. In selling its natural resources for BTC, the CAR could bypass the hurdles and bureaucracies intrinsic to the CFA system. It could be a first step toward a more sovereign nation in Central Africa.

“At the heart of the plan, the [Sango] wallet will be the key element to send and receive bitcoin, whether on-chain or Lightning; instantly convert bitcoin into CFA Franc, and vice versa, at the user's request; teach users through a paid learning feature to speed up adoption; implement a robust security system to prevent misuse or theft of money held in the wallet,” per the report.

Given the situation on the ground in the CAR, it is clear that much work needs to be done before the population can start benefiting from bitcoin adoption.

Nevertheless, the CAR can begin experimenting with the technology right away to bypass decades-old exports limitations and attract foreign investment into the country. Its natural resources can be a powerful anchor on which officials can rely, seeking capital from abroad to nourish their land.

As sovereign nations such as the U.S. accrue the benefits of governing their own money, it is likely to be the low-income, underdeveloped countries that continue embracing Bitcoin — one after the other. And as that happens, the unfavored of today’s system could have a headstart in the next system, while developed countries will become the ones playing catch up.

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