With Bitcoin Cash, A Namibian Conservationist Hopes To Save Endangered African Wild Dog
In Namibia, the African wild dog population has been decimated to near extinction. But one wildlife lover is trying to stop all that. And bitcoin cash (BCH) is her gateway.
Leroux Gets First BCH Transfer In Namibian Wild
Nadja Leroux, a Namibian wildlife conservationist looking out for the African wild dog, received her first bitcoin cash donation of Rand 145 (about US$10) while deep in the wild, protecting the animal she loves most.
A week ago, the conservationist set up a bitcoin cash fund, with a target of more than R24,800 (US$1,600) to acquire the technology she needs for the work. By September 9, Leroux had raised the equivalent of R504 ($33) worth of bitcoin cash (BCH).
The Namibian believes BCH represents speed and convenience for Africans seeking to do business. “Why BCH?” Leroux asks herself in a post on Twitter designed to make the world understand her objectives. “It’s a family,” she replies. “It’s public. It’s 24 hours a day. It’s the new generation!”
One of the items Leroux intends to buy from proceeds of her fund raiser is an iPad. She says the device allows for “immediate data entry and analysis” and that it is “secure, mobile.It is so important I have the right technology to continue my work in the field.” Leroux, who has so far this year spent 121 days in the field “camping trying to find the African wild dog”, explains on her Twitter handle, Track the Facts, Communities and Conservation. She describes her work station as “in the middle of nowhere, but right where the action is.”
The African wild dog population is running critical. The dog is often killed by farmers for killing livestock. Now, it has gone extinct in 23 countries. In the Otjozondjupa region of Namibia, the dogs co-exist with pastoral communities, setting them up for a livestock-centered human-wildlife conflict. As community development manager of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Leroux engages farmers in monitoring patterns of predation and using natural means such as livestock guard dogs so farmers do not resort to killing the wild dogs to protect domestic animals.
“Why the African wild dog? It’s the most endangered large carnivore in Southern Africa,” she says.
Cryptocurrency Ban, Pioneering Venture
Namibia officially banned the use of cryptocurrencies for commercial purposes in 2017. The Bank of Namibia did not specify penalties for violating the prohibition, but warned that “a local shop is not allowed to price or accept virtual currencies in exchange for goods and services.”
It said only the Namibian dollar and the South Africa Rand remained legal tender in the country, but remained open to possibilities offered by the blockchain technology. Even though crypto related activities remain very limited in Namibia, the Bank’s main concern was centered around exchange control violations and issues around the creation of money, which it said was its sole mandate.
Leroux was excited about sharing her story, but wasn’t quite sure how regulators in Namibia would react to her plan. At the time of going to press, she had not responded to our requests for comment. (We will update this post once we receive Leroux’s reply).
She still has a long way to go to achieve her goal. About $1,580 or R24,300 remains outstanding. But Leroux’s use of BCH is a case of cryptocurrency facilitating community-oriented pioneering ventures in Africa.
Could bitcoin cash help transform micro-economies in Africa? Let us know what you think in the comments section below
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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