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Is Africa Adopting The Blockchain Technology?

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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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$36.7 Million Worth of BNB Destroyed as Binance Completes its 9th Quarterly Burn

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Binance has announced the completion of its ninths quarterly burn of the BNB token. The period which is between July to September, 2019 say the burning of 2,061,888 BNB tokens worth at market value $36,700,000.
https://twitter.com/binance/status/1184708839687389185?s=19

CZ, CEO of Binance in a statement made in the exchange’s blog said he will share some thoughts using the opportunity provided by the quarterly burn.

According to CZ, the last quarter burn represents a significant growth over the 2nd quarter burn. Contributing factors to the increase include new services such as the Margin Trading platform amongst other services which CZ noted are beginning to produce results.

For Q4, CZ acknowledged that services such as the Futures Trading will contribute to the Q4 burning.

Binance also mentioned that though the exchange has large user base, it could still be making the small profit compared to other exchanges in the industry.

He gave reasons for this position, one which be said it’s because of Binance long term goals to fund and invest in projects that has prospects. He also cited lowest fees in the industry as a reason.

CZ pointed out that Binance does not perform a “buy back” as some people think it’s better. He went further clarifying this position saying
” …..think about it: a platform’s main income should already be in their native platform token, and the only way to get the “cash” to do a “buy-back” is to sell their tokens first. So, to do a “buy-back,” they must sell first, then buy back. –– We believe this does not, in fact, achieve anything; it only indicates that those platforms are not holding their own tokens. They probably sell their tokens the minute they receive them.”

He concluded with a question “Would you want to hold their tokens when the platforms don’t hold it themselves?”

According to Binance, following the burn, there are still 185,474,825 BNB remaining

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Libra encounters another setback as MasterCard and Visa pulls out of the Libra Association

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Global payment processors MasterCard and Visa have reportedly abandoned the Facebook’s plan to enter into the cryptocurrency market with its Libra Project.

The move by both firms is one of a series of challenges which Libra has been facing in recent times. Upon the release of the Libra white paper in June, 2019, the crypt industry came out with their opinions on the impact of Libra especially as Facebook is not trusted with users data.

Upon the release of the Libra white paper in June, 2019, the crypt industry came out with their opinions on the impact of Libra especially as Facebook is not trusted with users data.

Facebook through Libra intends to create a global financial system that will help the unbanked all across the globe access the financial system. The project will have its own wallet called the Calibra.

According to Facebook, the Libra will be ran by the Libra Association. A group of global firms in various industries.

Since the public release of the Libra white paper, Facebook has been seeing stiff challenges from nations all over the world not excluding regulators from within the United States.

The decision to abandon the project could be attributed to the issues Libra is facing from all over the world.
Not including MasterCard and Visa, other members of the Libra Association have also given the project a goodbye wave such as Stripe, EBay and PayPal according to a report by Bloomberg.

Not long ago, the People’s Republic of China revealed their intention to launch a national cryptocurrency, one which would be a competition to the Libra. Meanwhile, nations such as India and France have revealed their opinions on the Libra Project.

According to Bloomberg, the news if the payment processors abandoning the project comes before a meeting of the members of the Libra Association where the members would convene to sign a charter agreement.

Speaking on the fate of the Libra Project as some members of the Libra Association exits, co-founder of Libra, David Marcus said ” I would caution against reading the fate of Libra into this update.”

He went further saying, “Change of this magnitude is hard. You know you’re on to something when this much pressure builds up.”

Facebook revealed Libra will be launched in a few months time in 2020.

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Facebook Continues its push for Libra as it acquires Isreali based AI Chatbot firm Servicefriend

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Facebook has reported acquired the Isreali artificial intelligence based Chatbot startup ServiceFriend to use for the Libra digital wallet customer service, the Calibra.

The acquisition was reported by the Israeli media house TheMarker who revealed the information came from an investor in the Isreali based company.

Not disclosing the amount offered for the purchases, this acquisition amounts to Facebook’s sixth acquisition in Israel after Facebook purchase of Radix in 2018.

ServiceFriend has developed an artificial intelligence solution for use in customer service centers, which redirects customers to a human factor after a call with a machine- TheMarkle reports.

The firm says its product architecture allows humans to quickly assist the bot in handling situations that it doesn’t yet know how to handle.

Facebook, in June 16, 2019 released the documentations its proposed cryptocurrency Libra and digital wallet Calibra stating the product will launch in January, 2020.

Immediately it was released to the public, Facebook became a target for regulators scrutinizing the proposal of the Mega Corporation, determining the impact of the Libra on the stability of the national currency, the Dollar.

The United States were not alone in the airing of their concerns, France, India, China etc have publicly stated their concerns for the proposal of the social media giants.

Servicefriend was quoted saying on its website, “We are thrilled to share that Servicefriend is now moving to the next chapter of our exciting journey. Over the past four years, we managed to standout and build a great platform for brands to deliver excellent experiences at scale over WhatsApp and Messenger. Our mission to transform the way business interact with people and to let people communicate with businesses as they do with their friends has always been our raison d’etre.”

According to its website, its mission is to let people communicate with businesses as they do with their friends. It provides hybrid bot technology for consistent messaging experience at massive scale.

Servicefriend was established in 2015 by the CEO, Shahar Ben-Amin and Ido Arad, the VP of Customer and Business Development, revealed Marker.

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Bitcoin Cash Support Added to HTC Flagship Smartphone, the Exodus 1

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Image: Bitcoin.com

Bitcoin Cash support has been added to the Exodus 1, the flagship smartphone of HTC as part of a new partnership between the Taiwanese smartphone consumer electronics manufacturer and Bitcoin.com

The Exodus 1 which is an Android powered mobile phone is the first native web 3.0 mobile devices with architecture that secures crypto assets. The device has an easy to use digital wallet, Zion Vault whose software interfaces with the device’s hardware security.

The wallet allows users to store and make transactions using the bitcoin cash cryptocurrency without having to be exposed to remote system penetration.

According to Bitcoin.com, the partnership will see HTC pre-loading the firm’s popular wallet app on the device. In turn, Bitcoin.com will offer for sale the Exodus 1 Flagship device and other lower device from the manufacturer on the Bitcoin.com online store. The lower priced device Exodus 1s will also feature same native bitcoin cash support which the flagship users are to enjoy.

Speaking on the partnership, Bitcoin.com CEO Stefan Rust said “There are so many synergies between Bitcoin.com and HTC. We are very excited to be on this incredible journey together.”

Roger Ver, the Executive Chairman contributed saying  “Bitcoin.com’s partnership with HTC will enable Bitcoin Cash to be used as peer to peer electronic cash for the millions of HTC smartphone users around the world.”

Based on the news reporting arm of bitcoin.com, HTC sees great promise in cryptocurrency and that is the reason why it has added support for bitcoin cash.

The Taiwanese firm’s Decentralized Chief Officer Phil Chen speaking on the importance of the partnership between both organizations said “Smartphones are everywhere and have proliferated across the planet. It’s very important for the adoption of crypto that it is easy to store and use, no matter which cryptocurrency is preferred by people. So the fact that BCH, one of the biggest cryptocurrencies, is now easy to use on our smartphone is very important for us. Together, HTC and Bitcoin.com are helping to bring crypto to the masses.”

He went further saying HTC believes in user ownership of, control of their data and cryptocurrency presents the best opportunity to start the journey into owning personal data. Understanding the fear of users owning and controlling access to their data, Phil Chen believes this will significant impact the business models and revenues of these ‘powerful firms’.

HTC believes the smartphone will be the tool which will allow users manage, access, store their digital assets.

Bitcoin.com revealed that future plans of the partnership includes offering discounts when paying for goods in BCH as well as sales of the Exodus phones on store.bitcoin.com

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