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!
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.
Royal Bank of Canada is Exploring the Launch of a Cryptocurrency Trading Platform
Royal Bank of Canada is exploring the Launch of a cryptocurrency trading platform for investments, in-store and online purchases according to a report.
The platform would facilitate the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and also facilitate the transfer of funds in different types of cryptocurrencies.
It was learned the Bank would also allow customers to open bank accounts containing cryptocurrency.
This move will position the Royal Bank of Canada as the first Canadian bank to launch a cryptocurrency exchange or offer its customers crypto accounts.
The Bank had previously applied for four patents in Canada and The US showing how it will integrate cryptocurrencies into its operations.
The patent read “To individual users, managing cryptographic keys and transacting with different cryptographic assets can be a challenge. In some situations, cryptographic asset transactions may take time to be confirmed, and/or may not be compatible or supported by merchant systems or point-of-sale devices,”
The spokesperson for the Bank, Jean Francois Thibaultwas quoted saying;
“As part of the innovation and discovery process, RBC, like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected,”
The bank has been partly using blockchain for payments between Canada and the US since 2017. The CEO of the Bank, Dave McKay had earlier talked about asset tokenization. According to him, “We’re experimenting with taking an asset and breaking it into smaller pieces and registering that in a decentralized register called blockchain. You can take an asset or even a company and create a unit on a decentralized blockchain and then sell that into the marketplace.”
The Royal Bank of Canada isn’t the only Financial Institution that has applied for crypto-related patent. Goldman Sachs had earlier in July received a crypto settlement system. The Bank of America over the years has published several patents relating to crypto. Payment giants such as Visa and MasterCard also have been in the crypto-patent league
According to the report, the Bank didn’t answer the question on whether it would launch a cryptocurrency trading platform and when, if it plans to.
Singapore Shipping Association Warms up to Embrace Blockchain-based Ship Registration System
A news report has it that there is a collaboration between the Singapore Shipping Association, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore startup called Perlin to develop what has been dubbed the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS) which they believed has the ability to minimize time, costs as well as the occurrence of errors in the process of ship registration.
Since Singapore is undoubtedly is the fifth-largest registry in the world with a fleet of around 4,500 ships, there would be a to restructure the process of registration, which would enhance performance and improve procedures. In this regard, the three organizations have opined that the new arrangements could improve the productivity of the ship-registration process for the Singapore flag, which is currently done via the Marinet web portal. The organizations are also of the opinion that embracing the blockchain-based method could benefit other ship registries that are using manual and paper-based processes.
According to the report, Perlin’s wavelet will be used to power the IERS and which if the implementation is successful, the ICC after urging for global adoption among its international network of members and affiliated Chambers, will also give a useful hand in submitting the IERS in all the government tenders.
John Denton, the secretary-general of ICC has been reported to say that their goal for working with Perlin is for the IERS which are built-in Singapore (making Singapore the world’s first blockchain shipping registry solution) to be shown and adopted globally to help power the next 100 years of shipping-based trade across all industries,
In all, this development is going to be supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. They will back this remarkable initiative by sharing the IERS ship-registration process and exploring an open Application Programming Interface in the registration process.
UNICEF Gets into the Cryptocurrency Industry as it creates a Crypto Fund
The United Nations Children Fund UNICEF has made move into the cryptocurrency industry. The body through the creation of a crypto fund successfully achieved the move into the industry.
According to a press release dated 8th of October, 2019, UNICEF announced it will now be able to receive, hold and send cryptocurrencies through its newly established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund.
“Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,” – Aya Miyaguchi, Ethereum Foundation
The fund according to UNICEF will be used to fund open source technology benefitting children and young people all over the world.
Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore was quoted saying “this is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That is why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Funds is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”
Funds contributed to the fund will be held in the cryptocurrency of contribution and given out to beneficiaries in same currencies.
At current, UNICEF only supports the two largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, Bitcoin and Ethereum and the first contributions to the fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation. The contribution will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF innovation fund and a project of coordinated by the GIGA initiatives, UNICEF revealed.
Expressing excitement at the development, Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation said “The Ethereum Foundation is excited to demonstrate the power of what Ethereum and blockchain technology can do for communities around the world. Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,”
Continuing, she said “We aim to support the research and development of the Ethereum platform, and to grow the community of those that benefit from a technology that will better countless lives and industries in the years to come. We’d like to thank UNICEF and the UNICEF family of national committees for their leadership as we create real progress together.”
The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through the French National Committee, and the UNICEF Innovation Fund grantees that will receive their first donations are Prescrypto, Atix Labs and Utopixar, UNICEF reported.