Another week, another documentary review of cryptocurrency … Although Banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution, Released May 22, promises something a little different.
For starters, under the usual fare of crypto-101 and sector overview, a focus on how Bitcoin and cryptocurrency transform the African continent feels like a breath of fresh air. Weren't one of the oldest used cases for Bitcoin paid "the unbanked" before it went over the price?
In addition, most documentaries do not have an accompanying in-depth 37 page report, which allows viewers to delve deeper into "The State of Cryptocurrency in Africa" and follow up on topics that & # 39; e film treated.
Both the report and the documentary are supported by cryptocurrency platform, Luno, which has a strong presence in Africa, originally headquartered in Cape Town.
This made me wonder if I was about to watch a promo piece for too long, then I didn't attend the virtual premiere earlier this week. However, they do send takeaway pizza, so who will dress it?
Life-changing stories of crypto in Africa
The film opens with Lorien Gamaroff, founder of the blockchain-based social outreach project Uziso, who didn & # 39; t sit outside a Soweto school in the dark.
He is about to launch a project that will help donors from all over the world support such schools by sending funds to crypto-enabled smart electricity meters.
It also includes the story of Alakanani Itireleng, the original Bitcoin Lady of Africa, who discovered Bitcoin when she tried to help her terminally ill son, and set up Botswana's SatoshiCentre to spread the word of Bitcoin in Africa to spread after he sadly died.
Strong theme left me wanting more
So far, so promise. Investigating how Bitcoin and cryptocurrency can effect real social change in African communities that are not desperate for the opportunity to improve their living conditions is a strong theme.
Unfortunately, for me personally, the film does not explore this theme deeply enough. The threads with Gamaroff and Itireleng are spread over the 47-minute runtime of the movie. But they are dismissed with more general notice, explaining Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in relation to traditional financial systems, and the benefits that it can bring.
Clearly, this is provided by crypto-personalities from South Africa, and gives an African perspective on the subject, and explores why the continent is well suited to best realize the potential of technology. .. but in general terms this is not that different from anywhere else in the world.
Don't blame the player …
This is not the & # 39; s fault, but of & # 39; a niche nature of the & # 39; cryptocurrency world itself.
While those who follow the industry (including our readers) are often passionate about it, this is still only a small fraction of the population. Certainly not enough to rely on for example to make a big audience for your last movie.
For the majority of people, crypto is still an often inescapable and confusing topic, so such entry-level explanations are still needed in trying to attract a mass audience.
To be honest, the film achieves this balance well, but let me explore more of individual projects that will change Africa for the better. Yes, the report has such information, but a majority of viewers probably do not realize that this report exists.
I have no doubt to recommend this movie, which is now available on Amazon Prime video for rent or purchase (and free for Prime subscribers).
But where a lot of cryptocurrency-related documentaries have felt too long, I really wish there was another half or so of this, which gave some more practical examples of how to crypto it continent of Africa, and the world, can change.
NB: Despite the funding of the film, Luno has remained completely out of the filmmaking process. The film promotes cryptocurrency, promotes Africa, but never promotes Luno once … to which I don my hat.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are by author only and do not necessarily reflect Cointelegraph's views and opinions.