Building a regulated platform in blockchain generally, would not classify as a walk in the park. It is even more demanding to take up such challenge in this part of the world where technology is obviously still far below average. To make matters worse, the competition globally- with the likes of Binance introducing their DEX, Huobi Exchange, Bittrex, Poloniex and a whole lot of VC-funded projects that make the playing ground very much uneven for local exchanges sprouting from the black continent of Africa.
#BUIDL CLUB provides an exclusive with Franklin Odoemena the CEO BITFXT, an IT firm that developed one of Africa’s leading cryptocurrency exchange platform. BITFXT portrays transparency, trust and user satisfaction.
In this interview,
Frank tells us about how “Use Case” helped him build BITFXT revealing secrets for pursuing a successful carrier within the most populated service area in the ecosystem.
In your own words, what would you say blockchain is?
Blockchain is simply an open, public, decentralized ledger for recording any kind of data and and transactions on the internet such that the records are irreversible and unchangeable.
Your Journey into the fast emerging Technology. When, how and through what means did you hear about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency?
I got interested in the technology when I first heard about bitcoin from a senior colleague in the year 2015. My first perception of it is that it is the future of money and that it has the capacity to become a global currency. I got much more interested in it when I performed my first transaction and discovered how fast and cheap it is… though my inability to purchase from coinbase and and the high exchange rate surcharge I got from a couple of other local exchanges available then made decide to provide a simpler and better solution for Africa, that was the birth of bitfxt.
In what areas of blockchain are you most passionate?
Exchange. I am passionate about providing a simpler solution for storing, buying and selling of cryptocurrencies in a seamless manner. I believe that such solution will hasten the adoption of the technology in developing countries. I have a goal of democratizing Africa financially.
What is Bitfxt?
Bitfxt is an IT firm that deals on deployment and development of software, mobile apps and websites including crypto exchanges, wallets, payment gateways, e-commerce, RFID tracking system, etc on the blockchain. We also aim a pioneering the movement of tokenizing businesses, assets and currencies in Africa.
What challenges or problems have you identified?
In as much as the hype is all over the place but in my own observations, not everyone truly understands the technology. 99% are in for the money and this is the reason why it will take a lot of people unaware.
When I got involved in the tech, I couldn’t find single developer in Nigeria, I couldn’t find a single trader both on the internet and offline, it was super frustrating. I had to outsource my project to a foreign country of which if we had developers, the money we spent would have gotten to the hands of a fellow Nigerian, thereby, improving on the economy.
How will your innovation use the blockchain to solve these problems?
Though we started as an exchange where you can list, save, buy and sell cryptocurrencies but we have grown beyond that to solve other problems. Right now, Bitfxt Technology is more of a decentralized IT firm where you can find professional blockchain developers to take on any project you can imagine. So far, we have developed other solutions such as bitfxt cointracker, bitfxt exchange wallet, bxtcoin, bitfxt vault, and much more coming soon
What milestones do you hope to accomplish in the coming years in the Blockchain Industry?
We want to be known as the largest blockchain IT firm in Africa at large. Lots of people have solutions locked up in their mind but because they dont have the funds and a professional to take on it, they die with the solutions and this is the reason why our coin BXTCOIN, is the official currency of the bitfxt ecosystem. Holders can pay at high discounts using our coin. We also hope to help tokenize Africa and stand as the largest exchange for trading African inspired tokens and coins.
How is your Project contributing to creating blockchain awareness and in turn Mass Adoption?
Our solutions are simple to understand and easy to use, and as such, anybody can easily use them. Our exchange is built with the African market in mind, users can easily connect their wallets to their local bank account in order to buy and sell cryptos and we hope to list more of African inspired projects and list them against other African currencies, I believe this will bring about mass user adoption.
Tell us about your project team?
My project team are made up of people from all works of life who has decided to make a difference in the industry. They are professionals to the core and are highly passionate about the project.
How did you come about the team?
I would say it was by the grace of God. I hand fully picked them one after the other not minding their academic background. I resonate more with passion because passion can drive a man to dare god, so I believe that getting the right people with the right attitude, willingness to learn and commensurate passion mattered more and that is what I go for.
How do you inspire them to give their best?
I try to be a true example of what I expect of them and so, they always pick a cue from my actions, resilience and passion towards the project. I also organize staff meeting once in a while where I ensure share knowledge and inspiration with them. In bitfxt tech limited, we are more of a family and it has helped us bond better.
Despite the obvious hurdles associated with building a start-up, exchanges seem to emerge on a consistent basis. Undoubtedly, most of them do not stand for progress in the ecosystem but those which truly are built with integrity are sure to survive the test of time. One would think this area was already saturated but wait till you hear the name of the next crypto exchange platform in town!
What Coinbase Visa Supported Debit Cards Means for Mass Crypto Adoption Drive
US cryptocurrency exchange company Coinbase has reportedly acquired the principal membership status of financial services giant, Visa to issue visa supported debit cards to users.
The membership status was officially granted to the exchange operator in December last year but revealed recently making Coinbase the first cryptocurrency company to be awarded such a membership. And having the power to issue debit cards for other firms including cryptocurrency firms.
This debit card will allow users to spend cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and XRP anywhere Visa is accepted. The principal membership status allows Coinbase to bypass middlemen that would normally make the use of the product costlier. As Feroz Zeeshan said, the “Direct membership allows us to take control of our issuing program”
Challenges using crypto for payments
Cryptocurrencies have been seeing increasing levels of interest globally both from ordinary citizens to corporations and governments. However the uniqueness cryptocurrency features, most especially its cross border nature that citizens of countries with unstable financial and monetary system appreciates deeply, the daily use of cryptocurrencies for minute expenditures has always been a challenge.
This challenges which are due to transactions done in isolation (without having to go through legacy financial systems) thus causing slow processing, the global level of appreciation of crypto’s uniqueness, trust, transactional cost etc, has significantly impacted the growth in the use of cryptocurrency for daily engagements.
This was explicitly stated by the CEO of Coinbase UK, Zeeshan Feroz who said
“Your Bitcoin holdings have never been liquid because you have to sell them, you have to go through a process, withdraw the money, and then spend it. It’s never been an instant, “Oh, I’ll buy this cup of coffee with bitcoin,”.
“What the card is trying to change is the mindset that crypto is tucked away, takes two days to access, and can actually now be spent in real time.”
Though Coinbase has revealed the card will not be available for US users, it will be available for others such as users in 29 countries including Estonia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy etc. It opens up a whole new way of using digital currencies for daily expenditures. Below are some of the ways it will have impact on crypto adoption.
Super fast transactions
The membership status obtained by Coinbase allows it to issue cards that users can use and enjoy instant settlements.
With the swipe of the card, users will be able to pay with supported cryptocurrencies without having to first convert to their local currencies as is currently obtainable globally.
Convenience and accessibility
Cryptocurrencies are true global currencies yet, its global nature suffers certain setbacks. The ease and convenience of using cryptocurrency in foreign markets though possible is not as easy as it seems.
Though regional firms may offer easing services, the Coinbase debit cards awards users the ability make payments globally wherever Visa is supported. This affords users the ability to travel globally even without a bank account and be able to engage in commerce.
Distribution of card offering firms
With the principal membership status, other companies can issue debit cards through Coinbase. This helps to expand the ease of using cryptocurrency in retail transactions by companies in various regions globally.
Cryptocurrency started as an unknown technology but today, it represents a global multi-billion dollar industry growing at an impressive rate. However the limitations, crypto industry have created a name for itself. With various organizations pushing forth the global adoption of cryptocurrency, this current position of Coinbase points to a unique picture. Global cryptocurrency adoption is possible and near.
Pornhub Add Tron-based USDT Tron as Payout Method.
Leading website for pornographic contents Pornhub has added the Tron based USDT stablecoin to its platform.
This addition is coming few months after PayPal abruptly stopped offering Pornhub its services thus restricting thousands of models all over the world from receiving payments.
Ever since then according to Pornhub, it has been hustling to start offering more options to make payments easier for its models.
On January 23rd, Pornhub announced its addition of stablecoin Tether to its platform as a payout option. Educating those who may not be familiar with cryptocurrency and stablecoin, Pornhub explain saying ” For those of you who may not know, USDT is a crypto currency that follows the US dollar, meaning one USDT token is equal to one US dollar. USDT transactions can be done globally within a few seconds and there are no fees.”
Tweeting on the addition, Founder of Tron Justin Sun commenting said, “This is a brilliant way to support the victims of centralized payment platforms like PayPal.”
Partnership agreement TRON and USDT
Early 2019, TRON which formerly was an ERC20 Token before migration to its mainnet and USDT partnered to issue a Tron based USDT stablecoin compliant to the TRC20 standard. According to TRON, the token will be interoperable in all TRON based products.
Pornhub has thus leveraged this partnership to ensure its models receive payouts through the TronLink wallet as soon as possible.
PayPal’s Abrupt Censorship
In the last quarter of 2019, PayPal abruptly out a stop to its support for the leading global adult entertainment website Pornhub. The decision came as a shock to the organization since there was no communication prior to the termination of support and models were expectant of their payouts.
This decision has put Pornhub on the toe to provide more options for its models to receive payouts.
Verge XVG Partnership
Tron based USDT isn’t the only cryptocurrency supported on Pornhub. In 2018, Pornhub partnered with XVG Verge to integrate the privacy focus cryptocurrency unto its Pornhub Add Tron-based USDT Tron as Payout Method.While the crypto community went agog with the news of adoption, models were not so enthusiastic because of the education level of using cryptocurrency.
Akon Finalizes Agreement to build Fully Functional Crypto City, Akon City
Senegalese/American national and global musician & businessman Akon has finalized the agreement to build Akon City. A city fully powered by the cryptocurrency, the Akoin.
The announcement which was made via the singer’s his social media account contained few words but has been a building story for several months.
Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future pic.twitter.com/dsoYpmjnpf
— AKON (@Akon) January 13, 2020
Akoin according to the cryptocurrency website is “a new cryptocurrency from visionary changemaker Akon and is the foundation of the AKoin Ecosystem – a unique global project that offers an abundance of digital and in-real-life platforms and experiences that create opportunity and inclusion”.
The website went on saying “Akoin will provide a much-needed platform for individuals to gain access to educational materials, tools and resources to make their entrepreneurial visions a reality. This, in turn, will foster a more sustainable environment that encourages a focus on entrepreneurship over charity.”
Akon City named after the himself according to the Rapper will be built on a 2,000 acres of land provided by the President of Senegal and it will be a fully functional crypto-based city with Akoin as the transactional currency.
The “Lonely” singer has stated himself that the City will a short drive from the country’s capital, Dakar. It’s also going to have an airport.
The singer believes that the initiative will bring power back to the people and also security to the currency system. It will also allow people to in various ways to advance themselves and not rely on government’s intervention.
On the technicalities involved in the project, Akon who noted he would want to run for the Presidency, stated that he only comes up with the concepts and knows nothing about the technical aspects but he lets the geeks figure it out.
The project according to the rappers and business man said, it will be a 10-year building block and though the project has started, stage two will commence from 2025.
Italian Football Club Juventus Now Has Its own Crypto Token $JUV.
Italian football Club Juventus has partnered with sports focused blockchain firm Socios.com to launch a cryptocurrency token $JUV.
Socios.com is the world’s first blockchain-based fan voting and rewards platform. A tokenized voting platform that gives fans the power to crowd-manage their favorite sports teams.
The token which football fans can purchase via the Social’ App grants holders the right to vote on certain club decisions and earn rewards.
In sport focused token offering ‘Fan Token Offering FTO™, a significant number of the 20,000,000 total supply the JUV token is already available for sale to interested fans.
Giorgio Ricci, Chief Revenue Officer of Juventus speaking on the development said;
“We are proud to be the first Club to be activated by Socios.com on its platform, inaugurating a new way to interact with our fans around the world”.
The price of $JUV will fluctuate according to supply and demand once the marketplace feature is launched, and Fan Tokens can be traded by fans on exchanges.
Alexandre Dreyfus, the founder and CEO of Socios.com who also commented on the partnership between both organizations said;
“99.9% of sports fans are not in the city/country of the team they are supporting. We created these fungible fans tokens to allow fans to have an influence over some fan-based initiatives”.
$JUV is currently priced at around €2 (~$2.2) apiece. A limited number of these tokens are also available for free via Socios app’s Augmented Reality feature, Token Hunt.
According to Socios.com, it also has other clubs that are ready to join its platform and six are already lined up for tokenization by Q1 2020.
These include Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Atlético de Madrid (tokens for which will be launched in late January); West Ham United, Galatasaray and A.S. Roma (in February) and esports provider OG (in March), per the announcement.
The Socios app is available to download for Android and iOS users can apply for a beta version of the app.
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