Africa is taking giant strides to be at the forefront of current happenings in the world and this time the Blockchain technology is where her interest lies. The blockchain technology with its decentralized payment systems seems to have caught up in Africa’s 54 countries. The younger generation seems to be taken in with cryptocurrencies and the multiple use cases of blockchain technology.
The secure, decentralized and growing digital ledger that facilitates cryptocurrency transactions has caught the eye of African companies. Some governments are still sceptical about its citizens investing in cryptocurrencies, such as Nigeria with its regulators cautioning citizens to be wary of investments in cryptocurrency, claiming that virtual currencies were not legal; but this has not curbed crypto activities in the country.
On the other hand, while some countries are being restrictive, other countries are embracing the blockchain technology. Kenya has made a move to create a blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) task force tasked with promoting transparency and efficiency in the public and private sectors. Kenyan entrepreneurs are not left behind, as a group of developers in Kenya started a blockchain-based educational system named Otlw. The system will be built on the Ethereum blockchain and supported by tons of available materials online.
African startups are integrating blockchain technology into making secure and transparent transactions as well as solving longstanding problems in the continent. Land fraud is one area blockchain is going to revolutionize as a startup in Ghana; Bitland is digitalizing land by providing land registry services. The service will be built on the Bitshares blockchain thereby confirming transactions and ownership. A blockchain startup called Project UBU aims to provide a blockchain-based currency to empower lower-income South Africans while a Kenyan startup, ChamaPesa, is providing local cooperatives with improved bookkeeping. If there is one aspect that desperately needs the intervention of blockchain technology, it would be the electoral processes in Africa. The 2017 Kenyan election, which was disputed as result of a flawed electronic voting system, is something that could be rectified by blockchain technology. Although the government of Sierra Leone denied the involvement of Agora, a Swiss-based blockchain company, in its election, it will be a welcome development if blockchain technology was employed in African elections.
The African market has experienced the emergence of more than 15 Bitcoin exchanges with the aim of providing cheap and efficient trading services to African consumers. This could help countries such as South Sudan which is experiencing an inflation.
Cryptocurrency systems such as BitPesa have been introduced by East African investors to support cross-border transactions. Cryptocurrency is rapidly gaining popularity in South Africa and Nigeria with activists believing that this new currency can help stabilize the economy, having been let down by the conventional system.
The future of blockchain may look bright in Africa, but the challenges of mapping out this complex technology to uncharted territory, and the various regulatory and political hurdles, technical disabilities and lack of awareness still in existence, could prove a nightmare for blockchain technology. If these obstacles can be overcome, blockchain could be the technology to equip the continent with its smart contracts, security data solutions, digital currencies, and much more.
Do you think the block chain technology will realise it’s full potential in Africa? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below!
Image credit: answersafrica
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President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro Calls on Public to its Newly Opened Petro Supported Casino
The President of Venezuela has announced the opening of crypto supported casino in the country. This announcement was made on the 17th of January, 2020.
According to the President, the Ávila National Park’s Hotel Humboldt will soon be home to an international casino which will make use of the Petro (PTR) – the country’s cryptocurrency.
Nicolas Maduro went further saying, the proceeds from the casino activities will fund the country’s public health and education sectors.
Betting has been halted in the country for several years prior to the administration of the current President Nicolas Maduro. Prior to this administration, betting places were ordered closed down because of being dens of drugs and other criminal activities.
Giving details on the operation of the Casino, President Maduro said he has authorized legal bets with petros. According to him, the Hotel Humboldt will have an international casino and everyone will be able to place bets using the petro.
He went further explains, “You can come to bet. There will be offers, special prices. You buy your petro tokens, you can buy them if you bring yuan, if you bring yen, dollars, euros or any other cryptocurrencies … buy your petros and make your licit bets allowed by the state as contemplated by national laws.”
Owing to various sanctions hitting the oil filled country, the current President, Nicolas Maduro created the petro cryptocurrency to evade these sanctions and better position the economy of the state.
The announcement of President Maduro to open the casino evidently is an attempt to provide more use cases for the petro to improve acceptability amongst the populace and global community.
This move by the President will most likely fuel the emergence of new casinos across the country since it has been almost a decade casino activities were halted in the embattled state.
Binance to Support IOTX MainNet Token Swap
The IOTX mainnet token swap to be supported by leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. The crypto ecosystem giant made this known via its blog.
Withdrawals will be suspended from the 15th of January, 2020 by 0:00 AM (UTC) pending till the token swap is completed.
IoTeX describes itself as an open source platform, building the Internet of Trusted Things, where all physical and virtual ‘things’ — humans, machines, businesses, and DApps — can exchange information and value at global scale. It was founded in 2017.
Binance also revealed it will handle all technical requirements involved in the swap process for all users holding the IOTX token in their Binance accounts.
Whenever even after the mainnet migration a user sends ERC-20 IOTX tokens to Binance, Binance guarantees the tokens will be converted to the mainnet IOTX and the user will not be able to withdraw the ERC-20 IOTX Tokens after the swap.
We will make a separate announcement after the mainnet swap is complete to notify users when withdrawals for IOTX (native coin) will open, Binance concluded.
In November 2019, IOTX revealed via a blog post the roadmap it intended to follow in ultimately bringing staking/voting using the IOTX token to its mainnet.
In the post, it gave a summary of schedule for staking/voting using the IOTX token.
Mainnet Alpha (Apr 2019 – Oct 2019): staking on Ethereum using IOTX-E (ERC20) only
Mainnet Beta (Nov 2019 – Q1/Q2 2020): staking on both Ethereum and IoTeX using IOTX-E (ERC20) and IOTX (Native), respectively
Mainnet GA (Q1/Q1 2020 and on): staking on IoTeX using IOTX (Native) only. Note: all existing votes/tokens on Ethereum will be automatically converted to IoTeX
IoTex also stated that exchanges with IOTX-E currently listed will at their own different time perform official token swaps to IOTX (native) currency throughout Q4 2019 & Q1 2020.
The Internet of Trust Things platforms also stated that the final cutoff to swap IOTX-E to Native IOTX will be announced in Q1 2020.
CEO of MTN Group Speaks Out on MTNCOIN, Calls it Fake.
The CEO of MTN Group, Rob Shuter has spoken out on the document circulating the internet showing the Telecom giant, MTN Group to launch a utility token – MTNCOIN.
The CEO calls the document and unsolicited proposal and the Telecom firm will not consider it.
Fake news guys was an unsolicited proposal we are not taking forward.
— Rob Shuter (@ShuterRob) November 13, 2019
The document which was dated 29th of October, 2019 and titled “MTN COIN – Building Africa’s Universal Financial Services & Rewards Ecosystem” proposes a crypto token that will be used as a universal digital settlement currency for all financial.
In a statement published by MTN Group, it said it wishes to distance itself from the document as well as the services and offerings mentioned in the document as they are not provided by the firm.
According to the statement, MTN said the document was an unsolicited proposal submitted by an entity called Eureka Africa and it wasn’t adopted.
However, the Telecom giant affirmed its continual engagement and collaboration with various vendors, and if necessary it said, use official MTN channels to communicate such partnerships.
The document proposes the launch of a Stellar blockchain based cryptocurrency, MTNCOIN that will serve as a universal digital settlement currency for all financial users cases for all parties.
According to the document, It also intends solidifying and expanding MTN’s position as Africa’s leading communication services provider by staying at the forefront of digital transformation; capitalize on the Global Financial Technology revolution and lead the disruption of the traditional financial and insurance sector in the continent to protect current and create new revenue streams.
The Telecom giant has requested publishers to refrain from sharing the document or its contents on any public platforms.
Telecom firm, MTN Could launch a token MTNCOIN on the Stellar Blockchain to become Universal Digital Settlement Currency
A document showing Telecommunication firm MTN is set to launch a token –MTNCOIN on the Stellar Blockchain has been making waves on the internet since it was released.
The document which was dated October 29th 2019 and titled “MTN COIN – Building Africa’s Universal Financial Services & Rewards Ecosystem” posits that the African Financial sector is ripe for disruption.
It measured the financial flow of money through Mobile Money and Remittance. MTN through the plans to lead the disruption of Africa’s financial services industry to redefine financial inclusion.
This it intends to achieve by launching MTNCOIN as a universal digital settlement currency for all financial users cases for all parties. It also intends solidifying and expanding MTN’s position as Africa’s leading communication services provider by staying at the forefront of digital transformation.
It also wants to capitalize on the Global Financial Technology revolution and lead the disruption of the traditional financial and insurance sector in the continent to protect current and create new revenue streams.
MTN will to create a pan-african open platform and ecosystem and set the standards for trusted, direct, low-cost and instant financial transactions, bringing together various players in the financial industry such as banks, insurances, Fintechs, Retailers and major technology providers to drive interoperability and convergence.
The digital currency, MTNCOIN according to the document will be created and issued on the Stellar Blockchain Network.
It will serve as universal exchange currency, highly scalable, secure bridging currency across the African continent supported by the established MTN treasury functions.
It will serve data and airtime redemption assurance which according to the document will reduce counterpart risk as token holders.
The token will be a utility token controlled by MTN and it shall feature fast, no-cost remittance, automatic loyalty program benefits with ecommerce embedded shopping advantages.
The document compares MTNCOIN in superiority to other forms of payment such as MTN Money and M-Pesa. The coin will have a digital wallet, allow P2p transfer, cross border payments, bank integration, adoption by third party apps etc. MTNCOIN based on the document stands out from both MTN Money and M-Pesa.
The choice of choosing Stellar according to the document which compared it to the Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum Blockchain networks, was that Stellar is a platform that connects banks, payments systems and people, it allows fast, cross-border transactions between any pair of currencies. It is much cheaper and faster than bitcoin because of its unique consensus protocol etc.
CryptoTVPlus through one of its representative has reached out to MTN Nigeria for comment on the document as at press time but haven’t given response. Updates will be published as it comes.
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