Facebook makes plans to get payment system license from the Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for its digital currency Libra. According to Reuters report on Sept. 11.
Going by an official statement the Switzerland registered association aims to govern the Libra network as a non-profit membership organisation. The body explained it’s decision to carry out this regulatory framework with the Swiss watchdog:
“Switzerland offers a pathway for responsible financial services innovation harmonized with global financial norms and strong oversight. We are engaging in constructive dialogue with FINMA and are encouraged to see a feasible pathway for an open-source blockchain network to become a regulated, low-friction, high-security payment system.”
Guidance on regulatory requirements made for payments on the blockchain network and blockchain related services including exchanges, trading platform and wallet providers was notably released by FINMA this summer.
The guidance released complies to the framework for the regulation of digital assets which was issued June this year by the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which includes provisions for Anti Money Laundering (AML) measures, Know Your Customer compliance, risk-monitoring systems and others.
The concerns of other bodies
The United States Treasury officials had told had told reporters in Geneva that it was of utmost importance that the Libra project satisfy the highest standards for combating money laundering and countering terrorism financing if it gets approval by the lawmakers and regulators.
On Sept. 5, Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan made a statement on this, saying that stablecoins pegged to foreign currencies creates a possibility for an adverse effect on Switzerland’s monetary policy.
500 Nigerian Devs to be Taken into Ethereum’s Pilot Project
Following the announcement made by ConsenSys Founder Joe Lubin during the launching of Devcon 5, which is targeted towards increasing the Ethereum developer’s community to one million, Ethereum.network will be joining forces with Bloceducare a project launched to drive blockchain education, customer support as well as advisory services to leverage on the potential and population of developers in Nigeria to attract developers into the Ethereum community.
The project which has been slated for a period of 15 weeks and tagged “500-Nigeria devs for Ethereum” has been designed by Awosika Israel Ayodeji the Creative Director of Bloceducare and commenced on Monday 4th November 2019 and run till February 15th, 2020 with the aim of increasing the number of Ethereum Developers within Nigeria, to achieve this the team intends to add five hundred developers into the global pools of ethereum developers under the onemilliondevs project.
500 Nigeria Devs for Ethereum
The pilot project will aim at having developers building relatable and straightforward use cases that can be implemented within their immediate environment. With ethereum.network financing the project, at the end of the program, developers who emerge as the top three will be rewarded $1,000 each while five other developers will be awarded $300 each for a job well done.
Cryptographic Development Initiatives in Nigeria(CDIN), which is a non-profit professional organization, also plays a role in this development as it aligns with its mission to address the gaps in the learning and practice of cryptography in Nigeria. Crevatal will also be partnering with the project to ensure the success of the project.
The partnership with the CDIN is very strategic considering the perfect alignment of this project with the just-concluded “Campus Blockchain Development Project (CBDP)” with its pilot phase in the National Campus Blockchain Hackathon event chaired by the Director-General of NITDA and the launching of the Blockchain Industry Association of Nigeria.
CDIN happens to play critical roles in the Nigerian blockchain and digital assets ecosystem with its network of partners and stakeholders which have been driving awareness, education, policy advocacy, industry dialogue and collaboration among relevant stakeholders in order to collectively unlock hidden potentials, create job opportunities, open new business horizons and enable economic transformation while discouraging criminal activities in the Nigerian Blockchain/Cryptocurrency ecosystem.
According to the president of CDIN (Fadele Adeolu), the “500 Ethereum Developer’s initiative” by Bloceducare is highly commendable and will go a long way to complement similar efforts and programmes being undertaken by other stakeholders in the space and agencies of government like NITDA and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.
Finally, he calls on these strategic stakeholders, who have always been the secrets behind the development in the ecosystem to join forces with this project for the progress of the ecosystem and the nation at large.
The project is still open to sponsors in various categories such as media partners, branding, and developer participation.
The Bank of Canada Plans To Launch Its Own Digital Currency
Since the future of money has come, the Bank of Canada considers launching a proprietary digital currency. This is contained in the presentation entitled “Central Bank Money: The Next Generation,” which was prepared by Stephen Murchison, an adviser to Governor Poloz, who shoulders the task of leading Canada’s digital currency research. The idea of developing their digital coin is to fight the threat associated with cryptocurrency and also to garner information on how Canadians spend their money.
According to the report, Canada is ready to take the lead in launching their cryptocurrency to modernize financial services. In this regard, the bank has released a white paper on the merits of creating a digital currency. The presentation, which was prepared for Governor Stephen Poloz and the board of directors of the bank, offered all the possible details about how the bank plans on developing the digital currency. It outlined over a dozen benefits the bank will get from launching its digital currency, which would be available, coexisting alongside coins and paper money before eventually replacing them.
Following the contents of the presentation notes the report, Canada needs to innovate to stay in the game, and thus, a digital currency would provide the benefits of a bank-owned asset as well as all the convenience and security of wireless electronic payments.
However, the presentation notes that digital currency presents a risk to stable, low-cost funding for banks.
Another firm, Booking.com has abandoned the Libra Project
Booking.com join the list of firms that has pulled out of the Libra Association.
The departure of the leading online travel firm from the Libra Association reduces the membership to just 21 members.
Facebook’s foray into the cryptocurrency industry has been experiencing difficulties as governments warn of the consequences of the global financial system it intends to create via Libra.
Few months ago, Booking.com confirmed to be a founding member of the Libra Association alongside others like PayPal, MasterCard that have already pulled out from the Association.
Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel when he newly became the Chief Executive Officer of the firm behind several travel focus businesses such as agoda.com, booking.com, kayak etc was expressed his opinion on the future of cryptocurrency.
According to him, he said, he believes currencies with blockchain base will continue to surface and may gain acceptance globally.
Earlier few days ago, MasterCard and Visa revealed they would be departing the Facebook’s project. Regulatory pressure most especially from the US has been on the increase recently and this could be attributed to the growing list of firms abandoning the Libra Project.
Senator Sherrod Brown has said Big Tech shouldn’t be given power over public infrastructure like the financial system.
US Treasury Secretary, believes Libra could be used to finance terrorism.
The co-founder of Libra, David Marcus has already come forth to testify of the intention of Libra to create a global financial system while complying with regulatory requirements.
Co-founder of Libra, David Marcus said spoken on the fate of Libra as firms exit the Association. According to him, “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 onto something when this much pressure builds up.”
CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has been slated to testify before House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on the 23rd of October
An open-source map to the Pan-African Blockchain Ecosystem
Africa blockchain cryptocurrency industry stakeholders have created a map of organizations in the entire African continent.
The map which was made open source currently has data of more than 100 Africa firms building on the blockchain or having businesses that interacts with the industry.
The African continent has been seeing growth in the industry steadily. Based on a data from a report made by Emerge, the numbers of African blockchain focused firms were less two-scores.
However, currently according to data already collected all over the continent which can be seen on the Open Source Map, there has been a tremendous growth in the numbers of firms building blockchain solutions in the continent. The rate of growth yearly since 2017 is over 120%.
The compilation of such data required hundreds of man hours however, representatives from various firms in the industry congregated to collate and arrange the data. The representatives were from CryotoTVPlus, Africa Blockchain Alliance, African Digital Asset Framework, Binance Labs, BitcoinKE, EOS Nairobi, Raise and Microtraction.
From payment gamification, consultancy, media healthcare etc, there are several projects or firms solving problems with the technology.
CEO of CryptoTVPlus, Tony Emeka speaking on the initiative said:
“As one of the largest media firms focused on the industry, we understand the impact visibility plays in the success of a firm”.
He went further saying;
“This map now ensures players in the industry get the right exposure they deserve as they continue doing what they do best, innovating.”
Anyone Can Update the Map
The incredible pace the blockchain technology is growing is unprecedented. As dynamic as it is, daily new challenges facing our social, political and economic environment are showing forth and the blockchain could help provide answers to some of these questions.
The emergence of a problem creates room for a solution, the joy of an entrepreneur, solving problems. These ultimately could create new firms all over the continent.
As an open source map, anyone can update the map with newer data of existing or new blockchain firms in their country or the African continent at large.
The Open Source Map can be found here, the data are found in a Google Sheet, contributors are admonished to keep the sheet clean.
The world is moving fast, Africans cannot be left behind. In the world of global competition, developing local solutions that are carefully tailored to local needs are crucial to our survival, growth and development as a continent.
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