I must admit I haven’t spent much time following Input Output Hong Kong’s (IOHK) African operations. However, what is happening in Ethiopia is precisely why Cardano (CCC:ADA-USD) investors ought to be very excited about the future.
I’d be a wealthy man if I had a dollar for every time the word utility was said while discussing cryptocurrencies. I say it a lot. In October, I discussed Cardano’s utility and how IOHK’s development of the Plutus dAppStore was a brilliant move.
However, getting up to speed on what Charles Hoskinson’s organization is doing in Ethiopia has convinced me that Cardano is at the top of the heap when it comes to delivering real utility to the world.
The History of Cardano in Ethiopia
In April, CoinDesk reported IOHK’s announcement of a partnership with the Ethiopian government to create a blockchain-based student performance tracking system.
“Ethiopia might be not the first place you think of as a hotspot for blockchain technology,” CoinDesk contributor Anna Baydakova wrote on April 30.
“A predominantly rural country where only 15% of the population has access to the internet, Ethiopia is going through severe civil unrest in the north. Ethnic strife in the Tigray region recently led to thousands killed and millions fleeing the country as refugees to neighboring Sudan. The country is also experiencing local internet shutdowns.”
Just the other day, I was speaking with my 82-year-old uncle about the climate crisis. He was convinced places like China would continue to build coal plants with little regard for the global desire for environmental change. It’s a comment that’s been made by many experts in recent years.
I suggested that to find solutions to the world’s problems, it made far more sense to go to the poorest countries to find these answers. Why? Because if a country with few resources can deliver a cost-effective and scalable solution, it would be a piece of cake in developed countries like the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Latest on Its Ethiopian Progress
In October, Hoskinson was in Africa to meet with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education. The partnership with the ministry is on track. The blockchain is expected to keep track of the attendance and grades of five million students by creating a digital identity system.
The plan is to roll out this system to the entire Ethiopian nation and approximately 110 million users. The Pennsylvania-based Project Management Institute (PMI) rated Atala Prism the No. 14 most influential project of 2021.
“The new system will provide secure digital identities to 5 million students and 750,000 teachers across 3,500 schools. Teachers can monitor student performance, pinpoint underachieving areas and better allocate educational resources,” PMI stated on its website.
“As the largest blockchain deal ever signed by a government, the project is demonstrating how crypto assets can help drive positive socioeconomic change across Africa and beyond.”
Interestingly, Hoskinson pointed on his October visit why Africa is so important to the development of the blockchain. The entire continent is ready for changes to its infrastructure.
“You don’t go where the ball is right now. You go to where the ball is going to be,” CryptoSlate reported Hoskinson saying on Oct. 31.
The Bottom Line on Cardano
Due to a recent decline in ADA price, Tether (CCC:USDT-USD) has passed Cardano into fourth place by market capitalization amongst cryptocurrencies. Cardano is now in sixth place.
The important thing is that Hoskinson and the rest of the IOHK team continue to think about the bigger picture. Ultimately, some of what it tries is going to go nowhere, failing miserably. Maybe Atala Prism will face the same fate.
Or, optimistically, by the end of 2021, Ethiopia will have a fully-functioning blockchain-powered digital identity system.
As Yoda said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
This is one more reason I prefer Cardano to most of the other cryptocurrencies. It takes Yoda’s words to heart and goes where others won’t.
On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.