Okeke Leticia Chigozie, a 28-year-old Nigerian logistics worker, dreams of opening her own shoe store in Nigeria. Having no credit history, she does not qualify for a bank loan to fund her enterprise. Instead, she joined a traditional savings group in her community, sometimes called esusu. These savings circles allow those without access to traditional banking services to save money and acquire loans or credit.
The problem is that in inflationary countries like Nigeria and Zimbabwe, the value of savings could plummet. Stablecoins – cryptocurrencies pegged to a strong fiat currency like the U.S. dollar or a basket of assets to keep their prices stable – could be a solution to Leticia’s problem.
“Devaluation is a problem because if you check the last two years, 20,000 naira doesn’t really have a lot of value now,” Leticia said. “What if I can actually invest this money somewhere or probably save it somewhere and the value doesn’t go down? Then I can use it for something better. Why not?”