It is not out of place to say that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology can be the long-awaited savior of Africa’s economy and in turn- bring in Investments from all around the world. Blockchain has the powers to eliminate corruption, ensuring swift transactions and conducting free fare and credible elections. Still wondering how? Click to find out.
Quite frankly, the above-listed challenges facing the African economy are not the only peculiar cases that can be sought out by this brilliant invention. It is however still surprising how the regulatory bodies in the continent unanimously stand against this tested innovation.
While Most of these regulators might claim to be acting in the best interest of the members of her economy, others might even be of the opinion that this developing continent is not capable of handling new technology. But you will agree with me that technology has been received just well and it has never been the challenge- right from the times of mobile phones- recording over 77% increase in usage from the initial 3% in just over a decade. if you didn’t believe this first example, then allow me us the internet as another case where we as a continent handled innovation just fine- recording over 1000% rise in the same period of 10 years. the list is endless.
While government officials like Trump and the White house are scheduling meetings upon meetings with blockchain experts; while the Securities and Exchange Commission of advanced countries are paying close attention to integrating the technology using adequate regulatory policies, the ill-informed opinions of those in power in my dear black continent continue to flood the news in forms of sponsored posts directed particularly at destroying every possible glimpse of hope of a finding lasting solutions to the setbacks in this area of the world.
Let me shock you yet again with research by Ashlin Perumall (a senior associate at leading global law firm, Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office) published on the Daily Maverick. He found out that two-thirds of the adults in Africa are unbanked and this accounts for the second highest proportion in the world.
Furthermore, he stressed on the fact that remittances- being one of the major sources of revenue in the predominantly trade and e-commerce continent, the use of Blockchain technology cannot be played down on.
In what sounded like a lamentation, Ashlin noted how sad it was to actually see that not one of these regulators have made a move in the direction of advocating that regulatory policies be set for the Industry.
Sadly, Zambia one of the few countries currently leading the fight against cryptocurrencies and any technology of the sought is not hopeful of having a rethink in the nearest future.
Noticeably, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and a few other countries have not only welcomed the technology but are creating a breeding ground for start-ups within the tech sectors of their economies.
Also particularly in Nigeria, SiBAN– a local Blockchain Association has been doing a lot of work at building a self-regulatory framework for the highly underrated industry.
Nigeria leads the West African region, with the country’s central bank working on a white paper that could form the blueprint for crypto regulations in Africa. In South Africa, the central bank is working closely with blockchain and fintech startups to figure out the best way forward.
In his final words, Ashlin remarks:
There are many opportunities around the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency in Africa. However, it is clear that there are also substantial challenges. Considering the speed at which this technology is being embraced on the continent, there is great potential for African countries to develop regulations governing fintech use, with the intention of incentivizing foreign direct investment.
Wondering how the Blockchain technology can contribute to the betterment of our society? This is the Nigeria Use case:
Binance To Launch Open Blockchain Project Venus To Develop Stablecoins Pegged to Local Currencies
Binance announces plans to initiate an open blockchain project. The project named ‘Venus’ is a initiative to develop stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies of nations.
Opening the new week, Binance announces plans to initiate an open blockchain project. The project named ‘Venus’ is a initiative to develop stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies of nations. This was announced in a blog post made by the exchange. The initiate will see to the creation of hundreds of stablecoins pegged to the local currencies.
In order to successfully execute the vision of project Venus, the firm stated that they will need new alliances and partnerships with governments, corporations, technology companies and other cryptocurrency companies and projects developing ground breaking solutions for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
According to the Binance, Project Venus will utilize the public chain of Binance – BinanceChain for secure operations of the stablecoins that will be created. The Binance Chain was released early this year and has currently in itself several blockchain projects including two stablecoins which are the BTC pegged stablecoin BTCB and the Binance BGBP Stablecoin.
Binance had earlier in recent weeks completed the audit of its British Pound backed Stablecoin BGBP. The audit was carried out by an audit firm CertiK. At current the BGBP is listed on Binance against a couple of trading pairs.
Promoting the accelerated development and actualization of the initiative, Binance has revealed it will provide full technical support, compliance risk control system and multi-dimensional cooperation network that are needed to build Venus while leveraging existing infrastructure and regulatory establishments.
Calling for partners, Binance encourages like-minded people and organizations to contact it and discuss the “infinite possibilities of the digital world together”.
Launched over two years ago, Binance continues to be innovative, resilient and despite various challenges such as hacks, leaks etc, the top cryptocurrency exchange continues to forge on with greater intensity.
Cardano to Release Version 1.6 of Its Software Product In A Few Days – Charles Hoskinson
We are shipping the version 1.6 update over the next few days tweeted CEO of Cardano Charles Hoskinson. In the tweet, Charles also requested for some “screenshots” of the new Daedalus and users’ comments on the product whether they like it or not.
Praising the team Cardano team, the Charles Hoskinson said lot of work went into this release and he is extremely proud of the team.
Daedalus is an extensive open source cryptocurrency and highly secure wallet for the Ada cryptocurrency.
It is built with web technologies and features unlimited accounting with advanced security.
We are shipping the 1.6 Cardano update over the next few days. Send me some screenshots of the new Daedalus and let me know if you like it. A lot of great work went into this release and I'm extremely proud of the team
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) August 13, 2019
Charles formerly was worked in Ethereum as a Co-founder is moved to Cardano where he is building ground breaking innovations using blockchain technology.
Cardano according to the IOHK website is a blockchian platform with more advanced features that any protocol yet developed, and the first to evolve out of a scientific philosophy.
Launched in 2017, Cardano is a product of IOHK created using the Haskell code, a technology firm committed to using peer-to-peer innovations to provide financial services to billions of unbanked individuals all over the world.
It prides itself as a decentralized company that loves innovative teams forming and executing ideas that cause “cascading disruption“.
Cardano’s protocol is designed towards protecting privacy rights of users, while also taking into account the needs of regulators. It is the a blockchain platform with more advanced features than any protocol yet developed by a large team of experts engineers and researchers from various field.
Did the Binance Breach Really Occur, And Who is to Blame if it Did?
On August 7, Binance is the world largest cryptocurrency exchange as at today (based on its 24hrs trade volume), was reported to have been hacked. This was said to have occurred when an unscrupulous person had gained access to a massive chunk of the Exchangers Know Your Customer (KYC) data. The hacker was reported to have demanded 300 Bitcoins (which is worth approximately $3.5 million as at the time of this report) after gaining access to about 10,000 personal photos from the Exchanger’s website, threatening to release all the data at his disposal.
It is noteworthy to state that the perpetrator of this hack had set up a couple of dedicated telegram groups where he was said to have allegedly released these sensitive materials. Although the group has since shut down permanently, the Exchanger had taken drastic measures to nail any further moves by other miscreants. However, seeing that there were no digital watermarks, there are no doubts regarding the authenticity of this material. The Binance security team had a follow up with an official statement:
“At the present time, no evidence has been supplied that indicates any KYC images have been obtained from Binance, as these images do not contain the digital watermark imprinted by our system.”
The CEO of Binance sent out a tweet:
yes, old news, different spin. https://t.co/2B1WdOxqdc
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) August 7, 2019
The cryptocurrency Exchanger had claimed that all the images that have been released so far could be dated back to February and that this stunt was simply old news with a new spin, a time when the Exchanger was still making use of third party service to be able to provide KYC services. The Exchange had also tried to get the supposed perpetrator to disclose how he gained access to pull off the breach or give any irrefutable evidence to his claims, instead, he simply continued to demand 300BTC which further leads us to believe that this might have just been a bluff
Surveyors Make a Move For the Integration of Blockchain Technology in Real Estates
Professionals in the real estate sector, have begun to make moves to implement the application of the blockchain technology to advance transparency and speed of transaction between clients and practitioners in the field.
According to them, the implementation of this technology would go a long way in enhancing transparency, low level of liquidity in the sector, amongst other benefits.
The blockchain technology also referred to as the decentralised ledger technology (DLT), is characterized by a time-stamped series of an immutable record of data that is managed by so many computers around the world not owned by any single entity. Cryptographic principles are being used to enable the security of each block and data in the system.
Speaking at its Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Nigeria Group, in their second continuous professional development series titled, ‘Blockchain: The brick & mortar of its growth in today’s world’, the Managing Partner, Blockchain Asset Management, Deji Soetan clearly stated that the blockchain technology being a disruptive technology gradually gaining ground in today’s world presents the real estate sector with limitless possibilities in the real estate sector.
According to a news report by The Guardian, he also made reference to other aspects of the technology, such as smart contracts which could eliminate the cases of frauding of property owners. He said that the technology has created the possibility of linking digital ownership of documents, properties and contracts to the blockchain, laying emphasis on the fact that when all of these have been linked to the blockchain there is no chance of any form of alteration.
Soetan also made mention of the fact that this technology would soon gain notoriety even in the least expected industries. He further explained that transactions on the system are verifiable as every who including those who are part of the network and those who are not can have access to the open ledger and that every transaction can be traced right back to its origin.
“Within the context of payments, introduction of smart contracts into blockchain real estate ledgers and transactions have clear potential in streamlining various real estates processes, such as releasing apartment ownership, or rental documents upon completion of a crypto-currency transfer. One important area where it would be used is in the speed of transaction because nowadays, the process is still slow, making it be so archaic and needs to be modernised”, he said.
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