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South African Startup Wala Revolutionizing Micropayments

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South Africa startup, Wala is revolutionizing mobile payments in Africa, now citizens can use crypto tokens to even top up their mobile airtime. At least 6,300 dala transactions are carried out daily via Wala across Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa for more than 57,000 wallet accounts. Most transactions carried out via Wala are under $1.  The CEO of Wala, Tricia Martinez explains, “We really believe cryptocurrency is what is going to drive a financial revolution in Africa.”

Wala had raised $1.2 million selling ethereum-based “dala” tokens in its initial coin offering in December. The startup is proving that micropayments are possible on the blockchain and suitable for developing countries. Wala had been facilitating transactions for its customer via its mobile app in some African countries prior to its token sale. Wala is offering a solution to the outrageous charges from banks, according to Martinez, “Zero-fee is the solution, but banks could not support this.”

Wala is offering a way out through cryptocurrency which enables payments across a peer-to-peer network with lower fees. Wala already has 100,000 merchants offering goods and services through its platform and had created a small-scale circular economy. The platform affords its users the opportunity to carry out varied transactions. Martinez says, “They can buy airtime, data, pay their electricity bills or their kids’ school fees…Not only can they do it in their country, but they can do it across 10 markets. So if you are in South Africa and your mom lives in Zimbabwe, you can buy her airtime or pay for her electricity.”

The micropayments are made possible on Wala via the ethereum blockchain. Although, ethereum transaction fees had scaled this year ranging from between $0.17 to $4.15. This would make sending microtransactions expensive on a platform like Wala. But Microraiden a smaller version of Raiden, a technology similar to bitcoin’s lightning network is used to facilitate the transactions. With microraiden, decentralized app developers can receive payments through a channel they set up. Although this system functions, Wala is looking at other better options. Samer Saab, Wala co-founder and COO added, “We’re also actually exploring the opportunity to work with a few different blockchains simultaneously…For us, it’s too big of a risk to take to go all-in on anyone blockchain.”  Martinez further explains,
“Enterprises are looking for more stable, alternative solutions so they can move value across borders and start investing in these emerging economies.” The startup is seeking to expand its frontiers and plans to expand to 11 countries through partnerships. The United Kingdom is on Wala’s list as they are an integral part of cross-border payments in most African communities.

 

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Kenya Gets Blockchain Based E-certificate of Origin

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The blockchain technology is revolutionizing the way we do business and the commercial industry is buying into the technology. The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) will be working with a Fintech company, vCargo Cloud (VCC) to issue blockchain based Electronic certificates of origin (eCOs) in the country. The first Blockchain bases Electronic certificates of origin was Launched in Singapore in May, 2018. It is not a surprise that Kenya is taking a leap in that same direction. The country is making a move to modernise its trade facilitation processes.

Export is one means of generating revenues in a country and eCOs are export documents that certify the country a shipment was manufactured. They are  usually among the documents used in a trade finance transaction and are required by customs, banks and traders to verify goods. But with the application of blockchain based eCOs, a more instant digital capture and processing of eCOs is provided. The solution will be built on the blockchain and stored in a private ledger. This means that only customs, banks or any other parties related to the trade cycle can gain access to them.
The CEO of VCC, Desmond Tay tells GTR that the solution will be similar to the one used in Singapore, it will be  slightly converted to suit the specifications of the KNCCI. He explains, “After the success in Singapore, we have been trying to bring the blockchain eCO solution to other places around the world. We are in discussions with a few chambers in Africa and Southeast Asia and expect to see further expansion soon.”
Numerous use cases of the Blockchain technology to  trade and commerce has been explored by other companies who have begun launching blockchain-based solutions for trade in Africa. For instance,  IBM has started on a supply chain finance platform that utilises artificial intelligence (A.I) and the blockchain technology to extend micro-loans to small businesses in Africa. Also, Wala and Block Commodities, a fintech and trader platform respectively, have partnered to launch a cryptocurrency micro loan and  commodity financing solution which would provide up to US$10m worth of loans to about 50,000 grassroot farmers in Africa.

On the other hand, VCC is focusing on trading documents. The company already has an office in Nairobi and has plans to expand to Sri Lanka, Japan, Myanmar, as well as numerous East African countries. CEO Tay explains that they are already in talks with chambers in these countries about bringing their platform there.


 

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Disclaimer:
The Information provided on the website is designed to provide helpful information regarding cryptocurrency subjects. The content is not meant to be used, nor should it be used as a basis, foundational knowledge or prerequisite for decision making regards trading. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. We are not liable for any outcome based on any content found on the site.

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Akon releases his Cryptocurrency, Akoin

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The ‘Lonely’ crooner, Akon has joined the list of celebrities with their own cryptocurrency. The Senegal-born singer who hopes for a new cryptocurrency to form the base of a radical new city he plans to build in Africa announced his plans to that effect. The singer spoke about his cryptocurrency, Akoin during a panel at Cannes Lions 2018.

Akon whose real name is Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam, hopes the cryptocurrency would be used beyond financial and governmental realms. He explains, “I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people and brings the security back into the currency system and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down.”

He also has plan for a “100 per cent crypto-based city” called Akon Crypto City he plans to be build it in Senegal, his birth country.  The city is already under development and is located on 2,000 acres of land about 5 minutes away from the new international airport. The land was a gift from the President of Senegal to Akon and is a short drive from Dakar. Akoin which happens to be a  cryptocurrency/digital wallet with the aim of creating revenues and micro-exchanges to create economic stability in the African economy by providing support to entrepreneurship goals. The cryptocurrency will have an integrated eco-system of DApps (Decentralized Apps).

The singer has a unique plan underway although he explains that he doesn’t have the technical ‘know how’ of cryptocurrencies, “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out.” He also explains his city concept saying, “Akon Crypto City blends leading Smart City planning designs with a blank canvas for cryptonizing our daily human and business exchanges, towards inventing a radical new way of existence.”

Akon is not the first Celebrity to have a cryptocoin in his name as Philippine boxer, Manny Pacquiao announced the release of his own coin earlier in April. Also, Coinye West was a coin named after Kanye West although the project was later abandoned after a legal battle over trademark infringement.

 

 

 

 

What do you think about Akoin? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
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Disclaimer:
The Information provided on the website is designed to provide helpful information regarding cryptocurrency subjects. The content is not meant to be used, nor should it be used as a basis, foundational knowledge or prerequisite for decision making regards trading. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. We are not liable for any outcome based on any content found on the site.

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Paxful is creating “a means of wealth preservation in Africa”

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Africa is taking the crypto bull by the horn and investing in the blockchain technology as well. Cryptoprenuers and crypto enthusiasts are spreading the blockchain gospels to the unbanked in the continent. Bitcoin is no longer new to the people as the rate at which peer to peer transactions are spreading in the continent has increased. Paxful is a big part of the African cryptocurrency story and its CEO, Ray Youssef sees Bitcoin as a financial liberating tool for the Black Nation.

Ray who moved from having a successful startup to being a homeless man on the streets of Manhattan and finally becoming the CEO of Paxful understands the priority of reaching the Unbanked. He explains, “We Focused on Helping the Unbanked…It was technically the same as LocalBitcoins, which is a solicit service and an escrow service. It wasn’t local–there were no local trades allowed. It was like ‘GlobalBitcoins.’ We focused on gift cards and helping the unbanked.”

Ray also spoke about Nigeria and how the African country is doing in the crypto world.   He says, “All of a sudden, Nigeria started popping up on our radar…Why are all these Nigerians on Paxful?” He explained that Nigerians were interested in cryptocurrencies as a means of “wealth preservation.” He says, “they have huge limits [on debit/credit cards] over there…these folks have a lot of issues. We saw that yeah, the unbanked in America have it rough. But if you’re unbanked outside of America, it’s even worse, because you’re completely segregated from the world economy.”

Paxful has already introduced the #BuiltWithBitcoin project as a means of helping the African people have equal financial opportunities. Despite the barriers plaguing the nation financially, people are finding their way around it through peer to peer payments.

Besides finding a way across payment difficulties. Ray believes that, “When you help them help themselves to build their own businesses and create their own wealth–and get Bitcoin in to the hands of people around them–you’re making ‘nodes of prosperity.’ They will hire their friends and family, and then bring in other people. That’s how it starts.” Paxful is building not a company, but an opportunity for people to be financially liberated, and with the rate at which the gospel of Bitcoin is being spread peer to peer payment has a long way to go in creating a less financially dependent structure in the continent.

 

What do you think about Paxful? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
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Disclaimer:
The Information provided on the website is designed to provide helpful information regarding cryptocurrency subjects. The content is not meant to be used, nor should it be used as a basis, foundational knowledge or prerequisite for decision making regards trading. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. We are not liable for any outcome based on any content found on the site.

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Blockstarters launches Crypto Hub in South Africa

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South Africa is doing more in the crypto space besides investing in bitcoin. The African nation can now boast of its first blockchain hub and accelerator, Blockstarters. The company has a great offer for crypto and blockchain startups who can now get workspace and support from the hub which was launched in Johannesburg.

Sometime last month, Blockstarters had announced its partnership with Zimbabwean cryptocurrencies exchange Golix. The exchange was expanding into South Africa and a  partnership with the hub was born to further drive participation in the blockchain space.
Blockstarters had a lot to offer the budding blockchain space in South Africa. Legal services, Co-working and private office space, startup services which would include accounting, marketing and branding support, regulatory discussion workshops and technical learning sessions are part of what Blockstarters is offering the crypto space.

Earlier in the month, Blockstarters held its launch event in Sandton and remarkable presence in the blockchain space were at the event.  The event had speakers such as managing executive of Fractal Solutions, Tanya Knowles, chief executive officer of Golix Tawanda Kembo and CEO of VALR, Farzam Ehsani. The aim of Blockstarters is to be the central point for all developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry for the African continent.
Kreaan Singh, a partner of the hub explains, “We created this space because we wanted to bring together high calibre startups in this industry under one roof, enabling skills sharing, linking investors, and providing an energy-intensive space for innovation.”

The company is only creating a workspace where startups can freely interact with each other, network and  leverage off each others to ensure that products get to market at a faster rate. Singh further explained, “Blockstarters is also becoming a central point for corporates to interact with and understand the latest developments in the crypto and blockchain world, attracting interest both locally and internationally.”

 

 

 

 

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

 

Disclaimer:
The Information provided on the website is designed to provide helpful information regarding cryptocurrency subjects. The content is not meant to be used, nor should it be used as a basis, foundational knowledge or prerequisite for decision making regards trading. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. We are not liable for any outcome based on any content found on the site.

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