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Community Cryptocurrencies by Bancor Set for Launch in Kenya

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Communities are very essential to blockchain projects who have relied on them to shoot into the limelight. However, Bancor Network is leveraging on that as it recently announced its plans to launch its plans of blockchain-based community currencies in Kenya. Bancor has a plan to create a project in the East African country that will enable communities to curb poverty. The plan includes increasing peer-to-peer collaboration, sensitizing those at the grassroots level of the use and benefits of cryptocurrencies.
The Bancor project has a new Director of  Community cryptocurrencies, Will Ruddick, who has lived in Nairobi for some years now. He explained, “When communities have the same right as nations to create and manage currencies, they will unlock their full potential.” Ruddick currently runs a non-profit organisation called Grassroots Economics. The organisation focuses on overseeing community currency programs and already does that from six different locations in Kenya. The Bancor Protocol will be used to further drive Grassroots’ existing paper currency system into an expansion built on the blockchain with the capability to reduce poverty and build stable markets through the use of local currencies.
This new project will enable communities within the East African nation to create and manage their own digital tokens, through the utilisation of blockchain technology, thereby, closing the barriers that have historically existed to prevent the use of community currencies. Ruddick, together with his team, will make use of the Bancor Protocol to expand Grassroots’ existing paper currency system into a blockchain-based network that intends to decrease poverty and build stable markets through the use of local currencies.
On the other hand, Co-founder of Bancor, Galia Benartzi explained his positive belief in Bancor. He explained, “We have seen the crypto world generate roughly $400 billion for new currencies, and we believe the same mechanics can be applied to help communities create wealth on a local level through the use of blockchain-based community currencies that fill regional trade gaps, enable basic income and food security, and promote thriving local and interconnected global markets.”
Bangor already has plans to seed for the first time in June 2018. The Bancor Network has already tested pilot projects In Kibera and Kawangware kenya’s largest towns. The network also gives one the opportunity to create cryptos that have one or more balances in a connected currency. With this, integrated currencies can be replaced with each other without the need for a counterparty. Bancor Network is one of the numerous efforts by blockchain projects to create grassroot participation.
 
 
 
 
 

What do you think of Bancor Network? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Image credit: Pixabay

 

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Bantu Network – The Rise of the African Vision

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Africa has once upon a time been the center of innovation. Africa is home to one of the cradles of civilization yet, for a long time now, the continent has been setbacked. 

The once glorious and thriving community bound by society sustaining culture and ideals has been slowing washing away due to various factors such as wars, hunger, diseases and poverty. 

Despite the challenges and/or limitations which the African continent has faced over the years, Africa is a continent filled with great potential in various disciplines, the continent is home to many markets. Aside other factors of production, Africa boasts of a unique class of natives.

The ones whose creativity, culture, aspirations, competences are inextricably tied to the African dream. These are the ones changing the face and faith of the African people. 

Introducing the Bantu Blockchain Foundation 

The Bantu Blockchain Foundation (BBF) is a non-profit entity that develops blockchain-based financial inclusion solutions to help address Africa’s unique challenges.

The BBF is championed by Africans building the Bantu ecosystem with the vision of making Bantu the largest distributed network infrastructure with the most decentralized governance model for wealth creation and economic sovereignty for humanity.

The Bantu Network 

The Bantu Network is an advanced and highly scalable blockchain platform designed to make it possible for instant and secure transfer of value, swap and trading of digital assets. Companies can easily connect to the Bantu Network via its API. 

The Core Features of Bantu Network 

Bantu network is a highly scalable platform that combines the best attributes of top blockchains and DLTs such as speed, security, reliability. It also adds what it calls the human element that economically empowers every network participants while lowering entry cost.

The Core features are:

  • Real time settlement of 2-5 seconds. Over 15,000 TPS. 
  • Highly secured cryptographically using Elliptic-curve cryptography. 
  • Global reach with single integration with effective asset control options. 
  • Low cost. Ability to process over 100,000 for less than $0.01.
  • Support for smart contracts and regulatory AML/KYC Compliance support.
  • Built-in Currency and digital asset Decentralized Exchange.

The Bantu Network Tools and Services 

The Bantu Network has revealed it will go live with several tools and services that will enable users to access the full functionality of the network and ecosystem from the beginning. These are:

  • Bantu Token – Bantu is the native token of the Bantu network. It is a utility token and serves as the currency fees are paid on the network. 
  • The BantuPay Wallet – It’s a noncustodial wallet to enable users securely hold, transfer, receive, swap and trade digital assets. 
  • BantuTalk Forum 
  • Bantu Dashboard 
  • Bantu Laboratory – The Bantu lab allows developers perform tests on mainnet and testnet. 
  • Bantu Node Viewer – A tool for viewing all the servers and devices contributing to the Bantu network. 
  • Bantu Token Creator – A tool enabling anyone to quickly create and distribute digital assets effortlessly without coding abilities. 
  • Bantu Decentralized Exchange – An highly secured platform for the trading of digital assets. 

The Bantu Blockchain Foundation is on a mission to empower humanity across all industry sectors, both in the public Abe private using blockchain and other 4th industrial Revolution (IR) technologies. It’s expected to go live soon. 

Access resources here 

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Hybrid blockchain and Algorand

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Blockchain systems keep evolving as new discoveries spring up in the community of digital technology. The community is not only finding dynamic ways to make the transactions swift and secure but also modifying previous technologies for supreme results.

If you’ve wondered what hybrid blockchain means for the blockchain system and how it relates to Algorand, then this is the content you should be reading. For newbies, we will quickly breakdown core concepts of blockhain systems before we talk about the good stuff. 

Blockchain simply means a digital ledger, systematically distributed, that records all transactions executed among various players in a network.  Participants could be businesses or individuals and each are linked to the blockchain with an identical copy of the ledger. These participants are referred to as nodes.

Now, for us to grasp the idea behind hybrid blockchains, we must first understand what public and private blockchains are. Public blockchains, are permission-less by design. This means that it would allow virtually anyone to conduct transactions and join any consensus protocol being conducted, as long as this party is connected to the internet. 

Public blockchains possesses zero restrictions, making it possible for interested users to download that software, bring in fresh blocks, verify information or run their own nodes on the blockchain.

If you have observed the volume of activity that takes place on public blockchains then you now know the reason. Its pemission-less design makes it a hotspot for tons of nodes which go on to form a distributed, large-scale network of node which verify other nodes and communicate. Each of these nodes in this network is independent. 

Despites it’s unique benefits such as anonymity, immutability, openness and high security, public blockchain cannot guarantee users privacy. Also because it requires zero permission for anyone to participate, public blockchains commonly have very low efficiency in comparison to other blockchain types like private blockchain for example. Most corporate organizations and governments are known to opt for other types of blockchain due to the vulnerability of public blockchains to unethical activity, its high cost and instability. 

On the other hand, private blockchains are the opposite of public blockchains. They are permissioned networks which require permissions for participants to conduct any action on the blockchain. Joining this type of blockchain is by invite-only and to keep it secure, information is often times encrypted. Efficiency and stability are primary features of private blockchains.

Unlike public blockchains which are saturated with nodes, private blockchains are cost-effective since they do not demand much to maintain. They also do not have the anonymity and immutability of public blockchains. Private blockchains are managed by either a small body of entities or a singular entity.

Now what is hybrid blockchain and what is the connection to Algorand?

Hybrid blockchain is a unique network in blockchain that integrates both public and private features to bring about a transaction space that is flawless. In other words, this blockchain is centralized and decentralized at the same time. Users are presented with security, transparency, reduced cost of transaction and privacy, all in one blockchain. Members of a hybrid blockchain choose which transactions are made public and who gets to join in. This means that though transactions are private, they are open for public access. 

Why is the hybrid blockchain so remarkable?

Hybrid blockchain takes all the best features of public blockchains, all the best features of private blockchains, and incorporates them together to form one of the most incredible blockchain systems to ever be developed. The structure of hybrid blockchain goes a long way to help businesses and governments maintain control and flexibility over their data. While big organizations want to enjoy the benefits of a blockchain, none of them are willing to manage the risks that come with conducting transactions. Hence, the value of the hybrid blockchain to these organizations. An example of a hybrid blockchain is Algorand.

Algorand blockchain is the first blockchain platform in the world to develop a trustless and flawless Proof-of-Stake blockchain protocol which offers users a decentralized platform to conduct scalable, safe transactions.  This sort of decentralized platform is highly needed in the world’s current economy as it grows. 

What does Algorand technology do really?

 The answer is simple. The Algorand technology eliminates technical barriers, that prevents transactions on its blockchains from being decentralized, scalable and secure. Its design makes its consensus mechanism trust-less and to guarantee efficiency, complete participation and protection its Pure Proof-of-Stake protocol is fully utilized.

Coordinated by winner of the Turing award, Silvio Micali together with his team of highly skilled mathematicians, engineers and cryptographers, what users have with the Algorand blockchain is a platform that is committed to churning out the best solutions for the future of economic exchange. Today, the most recent version of Algorand consists of multiple functionalities to accommodate the demands of many businesses.

Its most unique functionality is the layer-1 fundamental which enables atomic transfers, tokenization of asset, smart contract creation. This brilliant feature has facilitated the cooperation of decentralized exchanges and stablecoin who are currently making the most of Algorand’s remarkable blockchain system which helps them to manage resource-extensive applications and resources.

It would interest you to know that though Algorand blockchain is categorized as hybrid blockchain, it is also a very public blockchain courtesy of its permission-less nature.  With Algorand blockchain, users have true decentralization. Unlike the average hybrid blockchain, Algorand blockchain has no one contact point or influential central authority. Publicly available for anyone with internet access to audit with an open-sourced node repository, it is one of the best examples of a hybrid blockchain. This explicit characteristic of Algorand blockchain ensures exactitude, transparency and objectivity.

Now while Algorand blockchain has the same features of a hybrid blockchain, it is not like your regular hybrid blockchain. The inclusiveness and collaboration of Algorand blockchain is sustained by a supportive, dedicated community wholly driven by the vision of a scalable, borderless economy on a global scale. This means that Algorand blockchain is more of complimentary to the overall features of conventional hybrid blockchains. 

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Tighter AML/CFT Checks Emerge As US Regulator Traces ‘Privacy Protection Backed’ Transactions 

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It appears that the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants to be able to pry into wallet holders’ accounts the way they have central access to digital dollars in traditional bank accounts. In light of this, Ricardo Spagni, Monero’s Privacy Maintainer, recently explained that regulators’ determination to control privacy in the crypto sector may continue to be in vain as smart cryptographers are always a step ahead of regulators.

Talking about Monero, this protocol which was released in 2014, is a private, untrackable and secure token. It allows maximum privacy in transactions as users’ identities are protected. No regulator gets to know the details of users’ transactions nor the amounts that users transfer, except if they so allow themselves.

Government Interested In Blockchain Users’ Privacy

Many regulators, the world over, are increasingly getting interested in controlling protocols that ensure the privacy of users. For a fact, the United States’ IRS employed the services of two Blockchain Analytics Firms: Chainalysis and Integra FEC so as to develop a tool that will enable the agency to track transactions on Monero and Layer 2 protocols as the firm had previously done to monitor on chain activities for privacy tokens like DASH and (ZEC). 

Looking at the rate of financial crimes in the world today, the government probably has genuine reasons to develop tools that will enable transparency and allow the tracing of transactions on privacy enabled protocols. This is especially as allowing absolute privacy of transactions may fuel money laundering or even financing of terrorism. To this end, the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) released a whitepaper dubbed “Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework“ on the 8th of October 2020. The department emphasized that enabling anonymity enhancing cryptocurrencies (AECs) that run private blockchains will result in money laundering and easy financing of terrorism.  

Ricardo Spagni explained that the best option for the government is to lay down checks and controls (regulation) at the entry and exit points, anything other than that is going too far, according to him.

According to him:

“Payment service providers and merchant service providers are sorts of the points at which they can apply a degree of regulation. And that I think is feasible.”

Users may be required to ascertain their location or may have to go through checks before their transactions are approved in the case that they are using a Merchant Service Provider.

Privacy Coins Are Here To Stay

As at press time, the brains behind Monero are able to detect bugs made by external forces and will fix them so as to protect the privacy they have promised their users.

The Chief Economist and Co-founder of a Blockchain Analytics Firm (Elliptic) Dr. Tom Robinson, emphasizes;

“Untraceable cryptocurrencies such as monero are here to stay…in the short term, it may well be possible to find exploits in these systems and trace transactions to some degree, but these bugs will be fixed.”

As a matter of fact, Monero has gone ahead to upgrade its functions by creating the “Oxygen Orion,” which will inadvertently boost the present uptight security.

Government Desires to Prevent The Financing of Terrorism and Money Laundering

Although the government’s rationale for wanting to trace transaction details may be made in utmost good faith, this may give a leeway to hackers to abuse even a controlled system of limited access to accounts. Spagni laughed off the present passive surveillance methods of tracking bank accounts, facial recognition systems, and reports of suspicious activities by the traditional  financial systems. He emphasized that the government has to take their game to the next level when it comes to trying to control emerging technologies.

David Jevans, the CEO of CipherTrace, a blockchain forensics firm notes 

“Our position is that financial privacy is important, and people should be able to pay for day-to-day expenses without having to fear hitting regulators’ radar and providing identity proofs.” 

This is an opinion that a lot of people may not agree with because if indeed the transactions are made in good faith and they are compliant, no trader or merchant should counter transparency to the degree that the government is asking for. 

It appears that the government will have to find a legitimate solutions model that will strike a balance between countering financing of terrorism and anti-money laundering checks on the one hand while making sure that the model does not stifle the privacy concerns of users. 

Some regulated exchanges are already taking the hint and developing ways to support privacy coins with a legally compliant model.

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