The disruptive nature of the Blockchain technology is no longer news. The application of a technology developed just over a decade ago holds great promise and can redefine current understanding of what we know. In Finance, the most popular application of the Tech, innovation appears to be on the rise with newer products getting on the public stage. Chiefly of this latest reveal is the Facebook attempt to get onto the blockchain wagon.
With the speedy growth and development of the technology across the globe, Africans are trying to leverage it to solve peculiar native problems. From commonplace issues to rare yet defining challenges are being tackled ranging from fast and low cost cross border payment to applications in legal sectors, gamification etc.
There are several innovative and bold individuals who despite the economic situations and the governments level of understanding/acceptance of the technology, are creating the next level solutions causing disruption to the conventional.
We at CryptoTVPlus met with one of these bold individuals Mr. Francis Mensah of Walchat Ltd and had a chat to get to know what he is up to. For over one and a half hours, we had an engaging interview where the Ghanaian entrepreneur gave insight into what he is doing, why and the level of acceptance of the technology in his home country.
Owing to the length of the interview, we shall have the abridged version here.
We examined what Walchat is and what drives it. Also we got to know the leader of Walchat Limited.
Marvelous A: Please who are you and what is Walchat?
Entrepreneur: I am Francis Owusu-Mensah, CEO and Co-founder of WalChat Limited. Walchat is a cloud based multi-purpose messaging and mobile payment app powered by the blockchain technology. Continuing, he said Walchat is made up of Wallet + Chat. The wallet supports both fiat currency (Mobile Money, Credit Cards) and cryptocurrency which will be used for funding Walchat e-wallet depending on users’ locations.
When asked if the Walchat will have a native token, Mr. Francis replied that, at the moment, no but maybe in the future. And didn’t he disclose the blockchain platform Walchat is currently building upon as Walchat is still under development.
Marvelous A: Why and when did you decide to build Walchat? What drives you?
Mr. Francis Owusu-Mensah: He said, “Our mission is to position WalChat brand as the spearhead of enriched secured peer to peer chat for free and cross-border digital payments system with guaranteed security, fast and low transaction fee”. He also revealed the idea of Walchat came to mind in October 2018 and the firm was registered in 2019.
Marvelous A: Fast and low fees have become a cliché in crypto-finance. How is Walchat different?
Mr. Francis Owusu-Mensah: Sending an international payment through established banking channels is a complex, multistep process that involves several intermediaries and involves high cost of transaction fees, delay of payment and less payment option available. Cross-border payments supported by blockchain provide significant advantages to businesses and consumers. It is estimated that business-to-business and person-to-person payments with blockchain result in a 40% to 80% reduction in transaction costs, and take an average of four to six seconds to finalize (compared to two to three days using the standard transfer process).
Marvelous A: Considering the features of Walchat, it appears it is similar to the popular privacy focus Telegram App. Do you consider the Telegram and Facebook move into crypto a threat to Walchat?
Mr. Francis Owusu-Mensah: No. Our target market is Africa and so our business model is focused on the African market. WalChat will support mobile money, cross-border payment using your phone number or email, audio/video conferencing and other social related services.
After talking about Walchat, we went on to talk about the Ghana cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.
Marvelous A: How receptive is the Ghana community to the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency?
Mr. Francis Owusu-Mensah: The reception is moderate; however, it is a gradual process.
Marvelous A: Since the industry is quite in its infancy, what are challenges affecting blockchain and crypto startups in Ghana?
Mr. Francis Owusu-Mensah: The main challenge I will say is Lack of funds or investors to support such tech-startups. The cause of which is the mindset and lack of research into the capabilities of the technology. Education is needed in this regard to change people’s minds. Take for example the Trade War between the US and China. If it was in Africa, where will we be having this nice conversation? We need to take our tech seriously.
Marvelous A: What do you think the government should do to help grow the industry?
Mr. Francis Owusu-Mensah: I think one way the government can help grow the industry is to fund young entrepreneurs who want to venture in tech-sector.
After talking about the Ghana blockchain industry, we talked about aspiring entrepreneurs.
Marvelous A: For those desiring to build businesses or careers in the industry, as a builder, what is your advice for them?
Mr. Francis Owusu-Mensah: I always tell my team that it is time for Africa to Rise so they should never give up.
Concluding our interview, I asked Mr. Francis a word that describes his drive. He responded by saying #AfricaMustRise.
The Many Questions behind Bitfxt Technologies $15 Million Series A Funding Claim
The news has been making the rounds recently and it’s Bitfxt, a homegrown cryptocurrency startup raising as much as $15 Million necessitating the jamboree of publication especially from Tekedia where it was described as the “Black Swan” by Prof Ndubuisi Ekekwe.
Cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology have come with a great wave sweeping across the world at one block at a time. Today we can easily send value across a trustless network and expect it to get to the recipient exactly as it is. Technology has permeated our lives at such an outstanding depth. And this is the power of solutions that companies like Bitfxt Technologies proudly brings to the fore.
While we respect growth and wish the best for the industry at large, there are some elements of this deal which upon critical examination leads one down a rabbit hole. If you don’t mind let me take you down the same path
The Amount of Funding Received vs Valuation:
As a Nigerian startup of the broader African startup ecosystem, receiving $15 Million is a big deal no matter how modest the founder of such a company would want to play it. Currently, $15Million based on the current value of the naira to the dollar is about N5 Billion.
What an impressive number. While this may appear to be ambitious, some local startups have been able to raise some decent amounts over the years. The contention is therefore the amount the firm was valued.
It’s standard practice for a firm to be able to raise such a large amount of funds, the firm has to be valued at an impressive number. However, the statement released by the firm didn’t quite show the valuation used.
According to the PR, Bitfxt Technologies secured $15M in funding from a UK syndicate of Hedge Funds and UK Company, Payitup Clearinghouse Ltd (UK). The PR also showed that Bitfxt Technologies has “concluded an Agreement with the “syndicate” to extend a $125M Revolving Margin Facility for all its traders to leverage their position for a higher gain.”
Also posted on the twitter account of the firm.
Furthermore, Bitfxt has also concluded an Agreement with the syndicate to extend a $125M Revolving Margin Facility for all its traders to leverage their position for a higher gain. #blockchain #bitfxt
For more information, please READ: https://t.co/I5lUjIbUd9 pic.twitter.com/KVuggl6sdI
— BITFXT Exchange (@bitfxt) February 14, 2020
For those wondering what the fancy word “Syndicate” might mean, it stands for group, association and/or collective, therefore Bitfxt Technologies received funding from a group or collective of Hedge funds and Payitup Clearinghouse Ltd based in the United Kingdom.
The Press Release was published on the 13th/14th of February, 2020 by the several indigenous media organizations not excluding CryptoTVPlus (which has since been retracted). Since the groups of Hedge Funds were not disclosed, one is left to look into Payitup Clearinghouse Ltd (UK).
Searching on Google for “Payitup” shows that Payitup is a Zimbabwean fintech company that received funding of $13Million in the second quarter of 2019. According to various commonplace publications on the internet, the investor was Thawer Fund Management which invested in Payitup in a series A round. However, a crunchbase.com page revealed that it was Thawer Capital Management UK that invested in Payitup, the Zimbabwean fintech.
This investment of $13Million in Payitup was in May 2019. Digging into the Thawer Capital Management UK, it’s revealed by the campanieslondon.com that, Thawer Capital Management UK with business registration number 09410799 ceased operations on the 20th of August, 2019 (over six months ago) after operating for five years. The firm had two shareholders, Thawer Fund Management holding 91% shares while Mr. Rahim Thawer himself holds 9% shares. A lookup on the website of the two organizations (Thawer Fund Management and Thawer Capital Management UK (www.thawerlp.com) shows it’s no longer functional.
- Payitup received funding of $13M in May, 2019 from Thawer Capital Management (UK). Some media reported the funding came from Thawer Fund Management
- Fund Management (a majority shareholder in Thawer Capital Management (UK).
- Thawer Capital Management has been dissolved. Dissolution was in August, 2019. Six (6) Months after supposedly investing in Payitup.
- Website is no longer working.
A Google search on Payitup Clearinghouse Ltd (UK) brings the records of the organization. Payitup Clearinghouse Ltd (UK) has its registered office at 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, England, WC2H 9JQ. According to the UK government’s website, the firm is currently active and was registered as a private limited liability company on the 18th of September, 2019. It has not completed a full accounting financial year. Based on the information on the website, there have been four officers with two of them resigning not long after the incorporation of the company. Officers of the firm are:
- Thawer Rahim an American national, currently active, and appointed the day Payitup Clearinghouse was incorporated, 18th September, 2019.
- Watson Cherylynn Jean, a Zimbabwean national; appointed on the 27th of September, 2019, this was nine (9) days after incorporation. Currently active.
- Gonyora Aretha Pepu, also Zimbabwean national; appointed two days after incorporation to the firm but resigned on the 6th of January, 2020. Gonyora Aretha Pepu is one of the founders of the Zimbabwean Payitup that received $13M funding from Thawer Fund(Capital) Management.
- Wesley Mukubvu Takudzwa, Zimbabwean national; appointed on the 11th of October, 2019 almost a month after incorporation. Resigned from the firm on the 12th of February, 2020. This was according to the time the funding articles of Bitfxt Technologies were published just a day(s).
This evidence therefore positions Thawer Fund Management, Thawer Capital Management, Zimbabwean Payitup firm, Payitup ClearingHouse Ltd (UK) as related organizations.
How Does This Concern Bitfxt Technologies?
One of the first articles that independently reported the funding was Zimbabwean blog technomag.co.zw. The article has been deleted but it read “UK based Zimbabwean company @Payitup which recently got US$13 Million funding from UK’s Investment Fund, Thawer Fund Management, LLC has acquired a significant stake in one of the biggest blockchain companies in Africa, Bitfxt”.
UK based Zimbabwean company @PayItUp which recently got US$13 million funding from UK’s Investment Fund, Thawer Fund Management, LLC has acquired a significant stake in one of the biggest #blockchain companies in Africa, @BitfxtE @bitfxthttps://t.co/vLVtvcehya pic.twitter.com/M7IHNbrIT7
— TechnoMag (@TechnoMagZw) February 13, 2020
According to a chat with the CEO of Bitfxt Technologies, he dismissed the veracity in the article as “WRONG” and nothing but a leak hence its retraction. He also claimed that Bitfxt Technologies is sister firm to Payitup Zimbabwe.
After this publication, Bitfxt released its own Press Release through several media organizations saying it had received $15M a UK syndicate of Hedge Funds and UK Company, Payitup Clearinghouse Ltd (UK).
There are questions that require answers. Questions such as:
- Since Bitfxt Technologies is a sister firm to Payitup in Zimbabwe, and Payitup Clearinghouse is the parent company of Payitup Zimbabwe, doesn’t this mean Payitup Clearinghouse is a parent to Bitfxt Technologies?
- And if yes, doesn’t it mean that Bitfxt Technologies received funding from its own parent(s)?
- In October, 2019, Payitup said Payitup Clearinghouse Ltd UK was its parent company. Why then did some officers of Payitup Clearinghouse UK which also had ties to Payitup in Zimbabwe leave just before a great deal like the Bitfxt Technologies deal?
- With the investment of $13M in Payitup, the firm was valued at about $20M. This could mean at a $15M investment, and additional $120M+ revolving fund, Bitfxt Technologies could be valued at an even impressive figure. Why wasn’t this revealed? Since it would help the public image of the firm
- Why are the websites www.payitup.co, www.thawerlp.co, www.thawerco.com not functional?
- The sister firm of Bitfxt Technologies shows almost no activity on facebook and twitter. The twitter handle @payitupzw doesn’t contain any meaningful contents. It’s quite inconvenient.
- According to Thawer Rahim’s linkedin page, it is stated that they only invest in organizations that have $25M+ revenue. Bitfxt has some remarkable products but does it make up to $20M revenue annually?
- How can an organization that received $13M in funding be part of other organizations giving $15M funding? (Perhaps Payitup after receiving the $13 Million funding has become so profitable within less than a year that it now has so much war chest of funds in the bank to start investing in another startup)
- Why did officers of Payitup Clearinghouse UK mysteriously leave just before a great deal like the Bitfxt Technologies deal?
- With the investment of $13M in Payitup, the firm was valued at about $20M. This could mean at a $15M investment, and additional $125M Margin Facility, Bitfxt Technologies could be valued at an even impressive figure. Why wasn’t this revealed? Since it would help the public image of the firm.
Could this indeed be the funding that breaks the Central Bank’s back and puts Bitfxt Technologies as the Black Swan dwarfing any other innovative idea within its niche? Well, this is just another question that requires an answer as well as the other burning questions any well-meaning company should answer in its bid to ward off speculations and the roving eyes of regulatory crackdown.
Just as the CEO of Bitfxt Technologies said in our chat, “…an official press release will address these concerns” We await.
Nigeria Ministry of Communication changes name to include Digital Economy. Is this Pro Crypto? Industry participants express opinions
The Nigerian ministry of communication has changed its name from the Ministry of Communication to Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.
With the name change comes a widened scope for the ministry which is imperative in the dynamic world in which we currently live.
The Digital Economy is wide and globally, Nigeria is one of the top cryptocurrency markets as indicated by trading volumes and keyword searches.
What does the move by the Ministry means for the digital economy especially, the Crypto Industry in Nigeria?
The approval for the change of name was given by the President, Muhammadu Buhari on the 23rd October, 2019 through a letter which showed the request for the change of name was consistent with global best practices and will further reflect the preferences of the current administration.
The decision for the change according to a statement signed by a Deputy Director, Mrs Philomena Oshodin, the name has been changed to “The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to further expand its mandate to capture the goals of digitalisation of the Nigerian economy in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP), one of the key agenda of the present administration.”
The old name “Ministry of Communication” according to the Minister Isa Ali Pantami, has become obsolete and limit the scope of the ministry in the current digital age as emphasized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The Minister, Isa Ali Pantami said further that the change in the name will propel the ministry to reposition its strategic objectives while increasing growth and social inclusion. This he said giving statistics to drive home his point. He said “ICT contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 13.85 percent in the second quarter of 2019.”
Currently, Nigeria, from the available data transact on average a billion naira daily.
This value excludes peer 2 peer exchanges between physical people that are not captured and this could amount to significant figure. However, working with the available data, Nigeria is a great market for cryptocurrencies and this has been validated by multiple crypto firms setting up shops in the country whether owned by locals or foreigners.
The decision by Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange to commence the acceptance of naira through its partnership with Flutterwave for the purchase of cryptocurrency on its binance.com platform also speaks in validating the claim that Nigeria is a significant market in the global cryptocurrency space.
Few days ago, Luno also announced it will allow its customers to start buying the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Ethereum on its platform. The move by Binance must have motivated this move.
The Minister said the goal for the change of name is to further expand its mandate to capture the goals of digitalisation of the Nigerian economy.
For Crypto enthusiast and those deeply rooted in the industry in Nigeria, this move could mean the Crypto will begin to receive the recognition it deserves in Nigeria. Or nothing whatsoever. This is mere speculations, Let’s consider what industry members have to say.
Lead Partner, Infusion Lawyers, Senator Ihenyen, commenting on the change in name said “Sometimes changing a name is mere nomenclature with little or no changes. But sometimes changing a name brings profound transformation. With the change to Federal Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, I really hope it’s the latter.”
The Regional Manager for CoinCola, Samuel Joseph commenting on the decision by the ministry and its impact on the economy said;
“The latest update from the minister / government is a step towards the right direction that I believe will accommodate growth in the digital space (possibly blockchain and cryptocurrency).”
Samuel Joseph who is also an ambassador for EOS went on saying,
“I hope to see actual blockchain and cryptocurrency strategy and implementation from the ministry. A country like dubai publicly made a commitment as far back as 2017 to fully implement blockchain application by 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing clear road maps and visions for the Nigerian digital space.”
Munachi Ogueke, CBO, YellowCard was of the opinion that the Ministry is not considering the Crypto industry in the “Digital Economy” but according to him,
“I believe that it will eventually fall into their purview ……. the (Crypto Industry) is exploding, they will have no choice.”
Chiagozie Iwu, CEO of CI CryptoSolutions (owners of Naijacrypto) said the digital economy is the backbone of any country going forward, therefore, the change in the ministry is a “good sign and it shows the government realises that the digital economy has become too big to be ignored. According to him, “We ignore at our own peril.”
Emmanuel Etitim, Brand Manager for YellowCard commenting on the move by the Ministry is quoted saying
“This move is unclear yet until we see them defining the roles of the ministry of communication and digital economy. But from the words right now. It could mean that all things that are said to be online businesses and activities could come under the purview of this ministry and I don’t know if it will be a good thing because I don’t remember the last good thing the government did for the people.
So usually given the recent moves by the federal government’s about taxes on so many things that shouldn’t even be taxed. I’m guessing this is likely to bring those activities that goes online under the taxable activity. Crypto, now is a very huge (part of the) Digital economy and Nigeria is the third global bitcoin holders and ranking number one in Africa. So this could mean good or bad depending on body language of the ministry to issues like this.
So I don’t see why it should be a bad thing if these (Government) people are well educated about something like this, but hopefully we (industry stakeholders) can come together and put pressure on the government not to use laws and regulations that are unfavourable to kill the industry; rather, they could look for ways to help like France that have cut down taxes on crypto, making it free.
So I should expect this to come on favorably in that sense you get enough for us if people (in the) industry can push a leg forward.”
Expressing confidence in the ministry, Senator Ihenyen, who is also the VC, Policy & Regulations of SiBAN said,
“The new Minister, Isa Ali Pantami, has the capacity to make that transformation happen. Now what does this mean to Nigeria’s crypto industry? Since the Federal government is looking at the “digitisation of the Nigerian economy”, the question we must first answer is whether the Nigerian government considers the nascent crypto industry as part of the Nigerian economy. The answer, as it stands presently is NO.
Therefore, except the Federal government takes a fresh look at blockchain technology and its crypto application and then comes up with an innovation-support policy in that regard, the crypto industry may not benefit from the intended focus on Nigeria’s digital economy.”
“And that will be unfortunate for a country with the 5th highest bitcoin transactions and a low level of financial inclusion in the world, Senator Ihenyen concluded. .
The world is changing at an unprecedented speed technologically and only those nations that adapt to the changing times will be able to compete in the global power market.
With Asia, America and Europe each running their race to achieve technological dominance which ultimately will tilt the scale of commerce in their favour, Africa and especially Nigeria should get its game face ready.
Nigeria is tagged the giant of Africa, as far as cryptocurrency trading volume goes, it’s still the giant. Is it? What does the future hold? That’s a question that is best left to time to answer.
KittieFight, An Ethereum Blockchain Based Martial Art Cat Fighting Game Set For Public Test Launch
KittieFight, an Ethereum based martial arts Cat fighting game is set for its public test launch. According to the firm, the details will be communicated soon.
As blockchain technology continues to grow daily, newer and innovative products are being developed. Products that could totally upturn the existing, create new systems, industries or make better the existing social, political and economical construct.
Back in 2009 when Bitcoin was released to the world, the only applications that could be built using the Bitcoin blockchain were finance–focused apps. But as the Blockchain technology has evolved, newer types of applications are now possible.
For the ingenious and hardworking individuals building global, competitive and simply disruptive solutions, CryptoTVPlus is focused on making the media accessible to them. It is on this premise the CryptoTVPlus team met with the KittieFight team – the Founder, Mr. Oladapo Ajayi and Core Team Lead Mr. Charles Okaformbah to get to know about the KittieFight Project and how the development journey has been since the project started.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): Hi, what is your name and your designation in KittieFight?
Oladapo Ajayi: I am Oladapo Ajayi, Founder, Architecture, Game Theory and Overall Technical Team Lead KittieFight., Founder, KittieFight.
Charles Okaformbah: I am Charles Okaformbah; the Core Team Lead.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): What inspired or drove you to build KittieFight?
Oladapo Ajayi: ln early 2018, soon as the market opportunity became evident to position the product as the first platform with potential to rival and eclipse online poker or online gambling market size. This is due to the sheer numbers & majority of internet users as cat lovers.
Combining it with a system of Cash jackpot incentive is an age-old formula for a home run.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): Can you tell us what the KittieFight Project is about?
Getting to know KittieFight
Oladapo Ajayi: KittieFight is a fighting game, kind of like the popular Mortal Kombat where kitties (cats) fight each other in a fighting arena. The fight moves are controlled based on bets placed by the supporting sides – Black Corner and Red Corner.
Just like you have in a boxing match where people buy tickets to go watch the fight and have fighters they support.
Before each game starts both corners are expected to get the minimum required number of supporters.
At the end of each game, the winning side goes home with all the bets of the losing side plus the initial amount set for the game to start by the KittieFight team. Each game is automatically allocated some amount of money called HONEYPOT/JACKPOT from our vault.
The amount keeps increasing with the bets being placed by both supporting corners(Red and Black). It’s expected that the bets being placed by both sides’ increases 10X the initial or starting amount of the game taken from our vault.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): Where is the KittieFight Firm currently based/registered?
Oladapo Ajayi: We are a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organisation). We are based in the Virgin Islands with a large number of our personnel within the DAO in Nigeria.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): You mention vault. What is it about?
Charles Okaformbah: Our vault is called the Endowment Fund where we get money to fund each game. The Endowment Fund is a key important business module that stores all Ether in the system from which every game generates an Ether & KTY Jackpot prize from.
It also moderates the supply and demand within the KittieFIGHT token economy by means of preset variables, requiring ~10% of Jackpot prize in KTY token fees payment for every game and only pays out ~1% to Game winners
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): Tell me more about the KittieFight game.
Oladapo Ajayi: A game is expected to last for 5 minutes. If a game does not have bets that’s 10X more than the initial amount from our endowment fund, the 5 minutes time keeps increasing by 1 minute until the condition is met. Kitty fight is a game where cats/kittens fight each other based on crowd-based actions.
Just like how the cheering crowd at a boxing match motivates boxers to box, in the case of kittyFight, the crowd bet on each kitty they are in support of, causing their kitty to hit the other opponent.
The people/crowd choose which cat to bet on, resulting in action on the part of the chosen cat. The actions are generated by random bets placed on the ethereum blockchain using ether.
The outcome of the betting results of each crowd participant causes events emitted from the blockchain API service to the front-end/UX resulting in kitty animation actions (punching, scratching, etc). The actions result in damage which is reflected in opposing cat through vibration and or shaking or blocks.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): What happens when the conditions are met?
Oladapo Ajayi: Once all conditions are met, the game system/smart contract calculates the winner based on the number of successful attacks and blocked attacks. For an attack to be successful, the supporting crowd in the team needs to keep betting especially with a higher amount to reduce the defense of the other team’s kittie and increase their chances of winning the game.
In order to start a game, both players must have kitties from the Cryptokitties website after which players pay a Listing fee using our token (KTY) in order to list the cat for a fight. Once this is done, players can broadcast or promote the link of the fight to get supporters that will increase their chances of winning the game.
If there are not enough supporters, the game will be canceled and if the two players fail to click on the start button for a game to start when the allotted time reaches, the game is also cancelled.
For a supporter to join the game, he or she is required to pay a gate/game fee in KTY token and every time he/she places bets. The bets being placed are in ETH while the betting fees are in our KTY token.
Aside from the initial fund (ETH) from our endowment fund, a certain amount of our KTY token is also minted for the game. This is the primary channel our KTY token is put into circulation/supply.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): How else can the KTY be obtained? From the open market?
Oladapo Ajayi: Another way to get our token will be through our private investors and bounty hunters once we secure our funding but a limited amount will be in their holdings. The KTY token has a total of 100 million supply.
Also, if the losing player wants to save his or her cat from a place we call KittieHell, a fee in KTY needs to be paid within an allotted time frame. If not, the cat is lost for FOREVER.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): KittieHell?
Charles Okaformbah: Yes. Losing Kittie is locked in Kittie Hell. We have a Kittiehell guard that torments kittie there. Our solution will also help reduce the amount of Cryptokitties in circulation and add more value to their platform.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): For Kitties in KittieHell, shouldn’t there be some form of redemption?
Oladapo Ajayi: Yes of course. A timeframe is given for losers to redeem their kittie with KTY or risk losing it forever.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): This is great!
Charles Okaformbah: What makes it even more interesting is the sharing formula. 35% of the amount won goes to the player or cat owner that started the game, 25% to the highest supporter, 15% to the second highest supporter, 15% to be shared by the other supporters based on the amount contributed and the remaining 10% goes back to our endowment fund.
So within a team, you have supporters betting to be or fall within the rank of top supporters in order to get a bigger stake of the honeypot at the end of a game. So you can say our game is a FOMO vs FOMO game.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): FOMO vs FOMO! Oh my! I noticed from your description of KittieFight, it is built on the Ethereum blockchain, how would you work around network congestion? Or are you thinking of building your own blockchain?
Oladapo Ajayi: We took note of that and working on incorporating a second layer solution that is on top the Ethereum blockchain.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): Something like a sidechain?
Charles Okaformbah: Yes. Also while the Kitties wait for events from the Blockchain to carry out an attack, they keep up shadow-boxing until an event is generated from the Blockchain API and sent to it.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): You had earlier said for a fight to start, both players must have their kitties from the Cryptokitties website, does this basically mean they rent the kitties?
Charles Okaformbah: No. They pay for it on the Cryptokitties site, for those that are familiar with Cryptokitties, you can get a Kittie for less than a US dollar. The Kitties belong to players.
What they do is transfer the kitties to our platform to play the game. After the game, one Kittie leaves while the other one stays with us forever if the owner doesn’t want it. Losing kittie is locked in Kittie Hell.
Also, once a Kittie is placed in our platform for fight, our system calculates the gene of the kittie to determine the defense level which has a role to play in the final computation of the winner of a game especially kitties called Fancy Kitties on the Cryptokitties website though it is not guaranteed that such kittie will win a fight.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): Wow! This is ingenious. How has it been developing KittieFight? The challenges and the victory moments.
Charles Okaformbah: Seeing an idea come to life has always been a motivating factor. Right from the first meeting we had at the beginning of 2018 where Ola Ajayi(founder) shared his thoughts on the project, I’ve always been self motivated to see that it came to fruition.
I also have an eye for the bigger picture even if I go broke doing it. We worked on several iterations of the game animation and graphics. Knowing Ola as someone I will classify as an Innovator that is keen to details and create an impressionable product when it comes to delivering on a project, we felt the butterfly feeling when the game started coming alive from the front-end to the smart contract development on the blockchain.
For challenges, we have had our disappointments and failures along the way especially funds. We just had to believe because we have thrown in everything we’ve got. It’s either we succeed or we succeed.
Also, our last set of distributed developers scattered around the world that worked on the gaming itself needs to be commended. They worked their butts off non-stop. It’s mentally draining to work on a project for such a long time going to like 8 months after 1 year of conceptualizing and redefining the gaming mechanism, token economy, and the whole processes.
Regulations & Cryptocurrency Industry in Nigeria
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): What’s your opinion on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology regulations in Nigeria?
Oladapo Ajayi: Blockchain CANNOT be regulated, it is decentralized and open payment infrastructure accessible to anyone without the need for permission. But we can expect regulation to affect custodial blockchain companies and other intermediaries in the cryptocurrency industry. The question is when and how it would affect the players, in the manner they position themselves.
Our primary role as players in the sector is to develop talent and empower the people in order for them to take hold of their future through involvement in decentralized finance. But as it relates to custodial firms in charge of securing peoples cryptocurrency, we will help to ensure we get deeply involved in the regulatory-making framework being drawn by the Regulators in order to give startups in the field a clear-cut chance of survival just like we have in other countries that are seen as a safe haven for blockchain and cryptocurrency startups.
According to SEC in the last meeting held with industry players, they are open to allowing the industry self-regulate and would love to get involved in order to make it a healthy sector that’d be free from fraudulent practices. The regulators can only regulate the players and not the technology so I’m quite positive that things will continue the way they’re presently but a stamp of approval from regulators will help in adoption especially for institutions.
Advice to would-be Buidlers
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): This is good. But I still have one more question to ask. As you have been leading an ingenious team, what do you have to tell those looking at building a career in the industry?
Charles Okaformbah: For Nigeria software engineers in the space, they have to up their game and also willing to learn with an overdose of patience especially for viable projects. Currently, we lack such in the space and the few good developers prefer to work with foreign organizations because the pay is better. A developer can actually earn as high as $4000 or even much more. Currently, banks and fintech organizations down here are looking for engineers with blockchain and smart contract development knowledge and the market is not saturated yet so I’d advise they take a closer look and see the opportunities if they are not interested in #Buidling. Currently the BNUG is putting up a program to that effect #BlockchainDev1000 to train those that are interested in building a smart contract development career in the space.
As for those that have CodePhobia, you can still play in the space by understanding the blockchain technology and what is obtainable in the industry as well as the requirements needed to put up a blockchain solution, with this, you can be a Blockchain Solution Architect, lead a team or project manage one.
There are lots of solutions out there so understanding the technical details would go a long way to help those that might want to build a career in consulting.
Finally, community managers and project noisemakers are also needed.
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): Noisemakers? (Chuckles)
Charles Okaformbah: Yeah!
Marvelous A. (CryptoTVPlus): Thank you very much. You have been most wonderful.
After a year of conceptualizing and fine-tuning, KittieFight betting game developed back to back by a 15 man global team of several developers, creative designers, animators, neuroscientist etc, KittieFight is ready for Public test launch. The first test-net game will have a total reward of $16,000 in ETH and KTY tokens for players and $500 each in main net ETH for the top supporters, to be paid out at MAIN NET LAUNCH. More info according to the firm will be communicated in due time.
We can’t wait for it.
Campus BCAT 2019: Promoting Awareness on Blockchain & Cryptocurrency as Zenith Bank & Globalcom Subtly Hints at Adoption
Cryptocurrency and the underlying technology Blockchain continues to gain traction all over the world. As the world continues to learn the various ways the technology can be impact social, political and economical construct, various disruptive business models and industries will rise up displacing the old or rebranding them.
As the global stage gets set, various countries are beginning to see promise in the technology and understanding how truly impactful it could be when fully harnessed.
As the most populous African nation, Nigerians who understand the importance of the technology to their personal good are utilizing it to create wealth for themselves either by trading or investing. Others are utilizing it as a means to receive and send low cost funds from/to the various countries on the planet.
As Nigeria commands great volume in cryptocurrency trading despite the awareness level in the country, much can be achieved when there is substantial awareness (though substantial is non-quantifiable).
With various players in the Nigerian blockchain industry calling on the government to make positive move to grow the industry in the country by coming out with clear regulatory policies, the industry is yet to see the activities of the government.
As the banking industry in the country was revolutionized by the private sector, it appears the Blockchain industry will follow the same part.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency awareness is an interesting issue in the local industry and as such, various moves are been made yearly by enthusiast and industry leaders to drive the awareness of the technology.
The awareness campaigns has mostly been targeted at retail entities, but, in an ironic situation, some corporate giants in the Nigeria business environment are coming out to subtly give hints of possible adoption of the technology.
While these may appear somewhat insignificant to others, the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry sees great prospects in them.
Banking & Telecom Giants Speaks Bitcoin & Blockchain
In a surprising move, a giant in the Nigeria Banking Industry, Zenith Bank featured the Bitcoin Logo on an Ad it made on YouTube. The Ad was about a young man thinking of various items, one of which was Bitcoin.
In a similar way, local Telecommunication Firm Globalcom had in a Facebook post given indication of possible recognition of the blockchain technology.
The post read “The 21st century has witness many innovation. From smartphones, to electric cars, to blockchains, and so much more. What innovation has been most useful to you?”
The drive to see the speedy adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in Nigeria has informed various seminars, conferences, campaigns and other events targeted at spreading awareness of the impactful nature of the technology to our way of life, business and governance.
In a strategic move to see quick adoption technology in the country, Campus BCAT was developed as a blockchain and cryptocurrency awareness campaign targeted at those it matters, the students of Nigerian tertiary institutions.
As the potential leaders of the future, the Nigerian students with their great ingenuity are capable of taking the country to the promise land. Campus BCAT 2019 is the spark that will ignite the fire. Let it Rage!
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