Cameroon’s Anglophone separatists have created a cryptocurrency as part of moves to reinforce their symbolic declaration of independence from the country’s French-speaking areas.
The cryptocurrency, known as AmbaCoin was created by a group of anonymous Anglophone separatist scholars, technocrats and developers but has since received full backing from the region, a report by Quartz said.
As of November 10, 20,082 of the Ambazonian crypto bond had already been bought, out of 100,000,000 on pre-sale, the report said, adding that one AmbaCoin sells for 25 cents (circa 140 CFA franc) and the main initial coin offering of the cryptocurrency is scheduled for December 24.
With this move, the Anglophone separatists will be hoping to distance themselves from the Central African franc (CFA) currency used by Cameroon, with a major merit of having their cryptocurrency being out of reach from the government of Cameroon.
The current challenges in Cameroon date back to pre-independence when the country was formed by combining two British and French colonial territories, with the bigger territory being the French.
But ever since the two territories became one after independence in 1961, the English speaking people have been complaining that they are politically and economically disadvantaged. At the time, the English speaking region was then given two options by the UN; that is, either to join Nigeria or Cameroon as a federation.
Many feel that the UN should have given the English speaking people the option of gaining independence and to stand on their own. That missing option has contributed to some of the disturbances being experienced in the country.
The quest for independence for Southern Cameroons started in October 2016 when lawyers and teachers took to the streets to complain about economic injustice as well as discrimination.
The developers of the cryptocurrency are optimistic that the move would help them access the resources and wealth within the region that are mostly controlled by the Francophone-led government.
“Numerous Ambazonians in the diaspora and other stakeholders who want to see a prosperous Ambazonia, are unable to help provide foreign direct investment to the Governing Council,” AmbaCoin developers told Quartz, adding that the move is to raise capital and increase ‘Ambazonian’ economy.
The English-speaking separatists are not the first to come up with their own form of currencies as part of efforts to be independent. In the 1960s, during the Nigerian civil war, the then self-declared Republic of Biafra abandoned the Nigerian pound and adopted its own Biafran pound. In that same period, the Katangas in DR Congo also came up with their own franc currency as part of moves to be independent.
Currently, Cameroon’s Anglophone secessionists are planning to create a “traditional fiat currency” for Ambazonia – a move that will be used to back the new cryptocurrency.
Ambazonia, which has its own flag which separatists normally wave during protests and an interim government is yet to be recognized as a nation by any country in the world.
Its AmbaCoin, which is an ERC20 cryptocurrency that relies on Ethereum as the parent chain, is transparent, confidential and has a low transaction cost, the developers said.