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Kenya Graduates Participants of its Blockchain Class

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A Partnership Worthy of Emulation By Nigerian and other African Entities

Kenya, the East African country dominating tech innovation and financial inclusiveness in Africa recently graduated trainees from its first ever Blockchain Class. An event heralded with true adoption of cryptocurrency as attendees to this event got the opportunity to pay for their lunch using bitcoin at the event venue in Betty’s Place Restaurant.

The graduates completed the DLBRT Blockchain for Business Course held at Strathmore Business School a subsidiary of Strathmore University from March 9th – 30th 2019. This came about after Kenbright Actuarial & Financial Services (KAFS) and Strathmore Risk Management Centre signed an MOU on Blockchain Research and this program was among the first to come about after discussions.

With respect to the laudable move by Strathmore University and Kenbright Actuarial & Financial Services (KAFS) partnership, asides the knowledge the program bequeathed the participants, there are several pointers to take note in what Kenbright Actuarial & Financial Services (KAFS) and Strathmore Risk Management Centre achieved through this training. It’s imperative we zoom our attention in to really capture even the slightest nuance that could be overlooked as non important.

Graduation Ceremony Held in an Unconventional Venue

Topmost, for introductory classes such as this bearing its’ importance, it’s normal to have the celebration of graduation in one of the most grandeur of places which would no doubt be a good PR strategy. But no, the graduation ceremony was held in a less expected place however one which supports Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies. A stark reminder to all who understands the line put your money where your mouth is.

Training Program and Graduation Promoted the Adoption of Cryptocurrency for Small Businesses

As evidenced by the graduation ceremony and training program, small businesses were considered and this serves to promote adoption of cryptocurrency. Reminds me of my resounding investments guide the ripple effect. Trainers were able to pay for food purchases via Bitcoin because Betty’s Place supports bitcoin payment and acceptance.

Brought about International Recognition for Small Businesses

The training and eventual graduation ceremony has put in the spotlight the Betty’s Place as a business organization which supports cryptocurrency in Kenya. Such a PR alone is sure to drive sales from Tourist and real customers.

The Familiar Nigerian Environment

One would wonder why several professional institutions like the Lagos Business School, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria or even the Nigerian Institute of Taxation are yet to seriously roll out programs of these nature and partnering with relevant agencies to drive this movement from the grassroots.

While others may be quick to point out the fact that ICAN in one of its exam diets modelled some of its questions with cryptocurrency and blockchain terminologies, is this all there could be? Even recent executive training masterclass like the Ausso Leadership Academy (ALA) being paraded as the go-to training course for executives in the startup and other industries where we see industry experts come train aspiring industry magnates, is yet to definitively roll out special programs of this nature.

Infusion Lawyers, a Law firm in partnership with Eblockbuzz, a media company already championing the toeing of this line in its recent launch of Blockchain 101 Course for Lawyers. This is coming in a time when Blockchain and its advantages are no longer mere buzzwords. While the Course is accepting Entry Ticket in fiat, it could also allow intending participants to pay in cryptocurrency (BTC, ETH, LTC etc) as a support to the growth of the technology and industry.

A Clarion Call to Action

Current educational institutions who desire to set the pace in Blockchain Education in Nigeria can utilize this opportunity to cement their authority in the space. Simply done by training people or professional in the various aspects of the technology ranging from technological applications to business and economic impacts.
As innovative firms within the industry such as XR Web Network, Jur.io etc, combine various knowledge and technologies in building smarter and innovative businesses, citadels of learning should utilize the opportunity in training and bringing up smarter businessmen and professionals poised to taking who will take their respective nations and the global economy to greater heights.

With the International Financial Reporting Standard IFRS already looking into fashioning cryptocurrency accounting guidelines for accounting for the various aspects of the Blockchain technology notably the use of Tokens, Raising of Funds via Token Sales etc, one would wonder why Professional Institutions in Nigeria are not attempting to finding stable grounds upon which to build on.

While the visible lack of signs could be attributed to the non-acknowledgement of the Government of the day in Nigeria and Africa refusal to give clear direction to the legality of the technology in the Country, there is still room for the knowledge shared to benefit other various sectors or industries in the Continent such as Supply Chain, Remittance, Voting etc.

As other nations of the world grow, it’s expected Africans employ this novel of a technology to build the Africa we can all call home. To say with all pride Africa, My Africa in the words of David Diop.

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I am fascinated by Technology ranging from Blockchain, AI, AR/VR and the general IoT. I report on tech related news on startups and other mainstream firms.

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Singapore Shipping Association Warms up to Embrace Blockchain-based Ship Registration System

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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.

 

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UNICEF Gets into the Cryptocurrency Industry as it creates a Crypto Fund

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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 PrescryptoAtix Labs and Utopixar,  UNICEF reported.

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First of its Kind in Africa: SisiPower to Empower the ‘African Sisi’ with $1m Entrepreneurial Grants and 150m Anion Sanitary Pads to women and the less privileged girl-child in Africa

Sisipower is committed to positioning the African sisi and equipping HER with one of the most trending innovative skills and technology, which is blockchain.

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Sisibox -Nigeria's first Sanitary Product powered by the Blockchain

Sanitary pads which is supposed to be readily available and affordable to every girl or young woman in Africa is not. Though we have some sanitary pad brands in the market, it’s just that many of these girls and women can’t afford to buy and use them for their monthly menstrual circle. In order to get these pads, these young women find themselves in despicable situations where they are forced to have sex with the chemist or shop keepers who sells these items. They are also exposed to having sex with any available male in exchange for sanitary pad. So sad that girls have to sell their dignity just to get a paltry sum of money to care for their monthly period.

It is also not new as research shows that many girls especially in public secondary schools miss class during their menstrual period. They do this as a result of the fear of being shamed by boys and girls alike for the blood stains that reflects at the back of their skirts. Not only that, some of these girls, if at all they try to come, end up using unhygienic materials like dirty clothes or tissue papers. And while they are away from school they miss out on academic lessons which affect their overall academic performance and deny them of better future prospects.

A look at our female prisons wards, tales of woes, agony and pains as another worrisome situation is brewing there. In the prisons, we have a situation where about five female inmates have to share one sanitary pad. Thus exposing them to all manners of highly contagious disease and infection.

Some of these girls and women when interviewed say, “we can’t afford to eat three square meals how much more buy a sanitary pad.”

In putting an end to this problem which have skipped the eyes of many, BEEP Foundation, a concerned non-governmental organization launches SISI POWER, a campaign to empower indigent women and girls with 1 million Dollars and 150 million sanitary pads across Africa, though starting from Nigeria.

This cash will be given as business grants to indigent women, after proper training. Also, they shall be mentored by successful business women and the foundation to ensure they make better use of the grants given to them.

For girls, they shall have access to free monthly sanitary pad and access to Blockchain Technology, ICT and life skills training which makes it possible for them not to sell themselves short just for sanitary pads. They will be trained in the following areas; Coding, Mobile App Development, Animation, Digital Marketing, Graphic Designs and other relevant courses that ensure for their self-sustenance, productivity.

With this innovative gesture, BEEP Foundation through the launch of Sisi Power has placed itself at the forefront of poverty eradication, entrepreneurial empowerment of Girls and Women in Africa.

The narrative has to change , Sisipower is committed to positioning the African sisi and equipping HER with one of the most trending innovative skills and technology, which is blockchain. SisiPower leads the way in its application of blockchain technology by enabling acceptance of donations in BMCTokens and made provision for acceptance of a smart contract shared Master-Node Equity reward on the blockchain to support and sustain the vision and mission of sisipower.

Sisi Power is an initiative of Beep Foundation, a foundation geared at providing empowerment and innovative development in Africa.

Operations Head Office : 15 Yinusa Adeniji street off Muslim Avenue ikeja lagos Nigeria. www.sisipower.org. Info@sisipower.org.

A few members of the executive team were unveiled at the event.

Amb. Dr GIlead Okolonkwo - Brain and Founder of the Sisipower Initiative

Amb. Dr GIlead Okolonkwo – Brain and Founder of the Sisipower Initiative


Dr Chinwe Ikpe- Global Director of grants and Operations

Dr Chinwe Ikpe- Global Director of grants and Operations SisiPower


Dr Stephany Nwanmah - Global Director of Strategy and Partnership Sispower

Dr Stephany Nwanmah – Global Director of Strategy and Partnership Sispower

This launch happened on Saturday, 28th September, 2019, at 10:00am at the ZAAZ Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos.

Find Photos of the event here

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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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