Connect with us

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain Spending to Double in Africa and Middle East says IDC

Published

on

Blockchain Spending

New research from the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates that spending on blockchain solutions in the Middle East and Africa is expected to double in 2018 as this new technology gains in popularity among both private and public institutions.

Blockchain Spending in Africa and the Middle East

The International Data Corporation (IDC) is an international research and consulting firm that recently published the Worldwide Semi-Annual Blockchain Spending Guide, which puts the total spending for this year from the regions at $80.8 million. This marks a 107% increase from 2017’s $38.9 million. The new research aims to quantify the emerging blockchain market by providing information on expenditure for ten technologies across 19 industries and 14 use cases in nine regions.

According to Megha Kumar, IDC’s research director for software in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, the demand for distributed ledger technologies is fuelled by the need for organisations to improve their efficiency, transparency, and integrity. He predicts most organisations will proceed from the proof-of-concept phases and begin deploying these systems on a limited scale in 2018.

Interestingly, some African nations like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa are already exploring the use of blockchain technology to disrupt key sectors like transport, oil and gas, financial services, and land registry just to name a few.

Kumar states in an Africa Data article:

“In the Middle East, Dubai’s government has identified blockchain as a major technology for helping it become a leader in the Smart Cities arena. Alongside the establishment of the Global Blockchain Council, Dubai’s ‘Blockchain Strategy’ aims to promote efficiency in government services and fuel economic development. At the same time, financial services firms across the region are evaluating the use of blockchain for cross-border payments, trade settlements, and anti-money laundering purposes. In Africa, meanwhile, DeBeers intends to launch an industry-wide blockchain platform for tracing and authenticating diamonds, which highlights the integrity benefits of the technology.”

Future Projections

IDC projects blockchain spending in the Middle East and Africa to reach $307 million in 2021. The IDC report shows the bulk of the spending will be from the region’s public sector, an estimated $120.8 million by 2021, representing a 39.2 percent share. The financial services sector follows next at 35.5 percent and the distribution and service sector the remaining 14 percent.

The research suggests the most popular blockchain use cases in 2021 will be asset management, cross-border payments and settlements, and identity management. The three will account for 33.1 percent of MEA expenditure in 2021. Also, blockchain software solutions will quickly become the fastest growing category in the software space. Having said that, IDC predicts that IT and commercial services will account for 52.7% of blockchain spending in the region in 2021.

While this may be positive news for blockchain enthusiasts in Africa and beyond, Jebin George, IDC’s program manager for verticals in the Middle East and Africa, gives a sobering view saying:

“At this stage, it’s still early days for blockchain, with technology vendors, start-ups, fin-techs, and end users continuing to discover new types of use cases. Some of these may never go mainstream, stalling at the proof-of-concept stage as they fail to bring in the scale of efficiency that was meant to be achieved.”

Blockchain Technology

vCargo Cloud to Implement Blockchain-Based Electronic Certificates of Origin in Kenya

Published

on

Blockchain-Based Electronic Certificates of Origin

Fintech company vCargo Cloud (VCC) has partnered with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) to roll out blockchain-based electronic certificates of origin (eCOs) in Kenya to modernise a vital part of the country’s trade facilitation processes. The eCO platform by VCC utilises the blockchain, which will make it easier for various stakeholders to authenticate certificates.

Speaking of the partnership, VCC said that the partnership with KNCCI is proof that their blockchain-based platform is disruptive and allows for instant verifications of the eCOs, which results in improved efficiency, security and transparency in the authentication of trade documents. The move also comes after VCC unveiled a similar blockchain-based solution in Singapore in May.

An electronic certificate of origin (eCO) is an international trade document that certifies that goods in any given shipment have been manufactured from said country. Customs and traders usually request for eCOs in order to verify goods while banks request the same, among other documents, that are used in any trade finance transaction.

In an interview with GTR, Desmond Tay, VCC’s CEO said that their blockchain-based platform would be slightly tweaked to the needs of the KNCCI but it is similar to the one in use in Singapore. He went on to say: “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.”

Kenya was the next launch country for VCC seeing that they have an office in Nairobi according to Tay. VCC is also in talks with several other countries in East Africa as well as chambers in Japan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka regarding implementing its platform in those countries.

VCC is, however, not the only company rolling out blockchain-based solutions that are meant to boost trade in the African market. Two months ago, IBM Research, in partnership with Twiga Foods, launched a blockchain-enabled microcredit solution to offer loans to informal and small businesses within Nairobi. Blockchain startup Wala and trade platform Black Commodities have also joined efforts to unveil a cryptocurrency product financing solution that will provide 50,000 small-scale farmers in Africa with loans worth $10 million.

Continue Reading

Blockchain Technology

Bancor Set to Launch Blockchain-Based Community Cryptocurrencies in Kenya

Published

on

Bancor in Kenya

The Bancor Network has announced plans to launch a network of blockchain-based community currencies in Kenya. The launch of community cryptocurrencies is meant to help curb poverty through the stimulation of both local and regional commerce as well as increased peer-to-peer collaboration.

This new project will enable communities within the East African nation to create and manage their own digital tokens, through the utilisation of blockchain technology, thereby, closing the barriers that have historically existed to prevent the use of community currencies.

Will Ruddick, Bancor’s new Director of Community Currencies, will manage the project from Nairobi where he has lived for over a decade. He also runs a non-profit foundation known as Grassroots Economics, which oversees community currency programs in six different locations in Kenya that serves more than 1,000 local businesses and 20 schools. Ruddick, together with his team, will make use of the Bancor Protocol to expand Grassroots’ existing paper currency system into a blockchain-based network that intends to decrease poverty and build stable markets through the use of local currencies. Ruddick said:

“When communities have the same right as nations to create and manage currencies, they will unlock their full potential.”

Co-founder of Bancor, Galia Benartzi, said in a press release: “We have seen the crypto world generate roughly $400 billion for new currencies, and we believe the same mechanics can be applied to help communities create wealth on a local level through the use of blockchain-based community currencies that fill regional trade gaps, enable basic income and food security, and promote thriving local and interconnected global markets.”

Bancor’s Project Plans

Bancor in KenyaBancor will be seeding its first currencies by donating some of the capital it raised during its $153 million token sale in June 2017. The Bancor Network enables anyone to create digital currencies that contain one or more balances in a connected currency. This allows integrated currencies to be replaced with one another without the need for a counterparty. The currencies also have built-in mechanisms that are built to algorithmically calculate prices based on the supply of the currency and adjusts effectively to its use.

The Bancor Network is already being utilised daily to process more than $20 million conversions in digital currencies and is now set to be rolled out to disadvantaged communities across Kenya.

Plans for the launch of the project include:

  • First pilots in the two largest slums in Kenya: Kibera and Kawangware.
  • Grassroots will leverage its network of local businesses network to circulate the currency by giving discounts and additional benefits to customers who use it in their transactions.
  • As more people buy and hold the local currency, its market cap is expected to increase, hence create wealth and purchasing power for its holders.
  • Anyone will be able to buy and sell the community currencies (including community members) using other digital currencies or major credit cards with transactions processed via the open source Bancor Protocol, enabling users worldwide to support the communities from afar.
  • A balance in a stabilised “parent” cryptocurrency still under development will – at the start – be pegged to the Kenyan Shilling (KES) and allow for exchanges between the network of local currencies at algorithmically calculated prices.

Impact Investing Tools

In an attempt to build an alternative Grassroots Economics community currency network in Kenya about eight years ago known as “Bangla-Pesa”, Ruddick, an American-born physicist, was jailed by the Kenyan authorities. He would later relaunch the community currency network in partnership with the government of Kenya. Both he and the Bancor team have been vocal on the potential of community currencies to curb global poverty using a bottom-up approach for sustainable economic development.

This project is part of growing efforts from a wave of blockchain startups to use blockchain technology, smart contracts, and cryptocurrencies to build the next generation of aid and impact investing tools.

Continue Reading

Blockchain Technology

Tanzanian Blockchain Community to Hold First Blockchain Event on June 30

Published

on

Tanzanian Blockchain Community

The Blockchain Tanzania Community has organised the first blockchain event in the country to be held on June 30, 2018, at the University of Dar es Salaam from 10 am to 1 pm.

The event will be a commencement seminar where Blockchain Tanzania will share its objectives, vision, and mission with the public and other stakeholders.

The Blockchain Tanzania Community brings together professionals, companies, academicians, and regulators such as the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

The organising chairman Rutazaa told BitcoinKe:

“As a community, we aspire to create an environment where youths will be inspired to engage and learn, investors favoured to invest, and regulators encouraged to fairly regulate, so blockchain, for what it is, can revolutionise our country.”

Tanzania is joining the ranks of other East African countries such as Uganda and Kenya that are embracing blockchain technology. For instance, Uganda is set to establish a blockchain taskforce while Kenya already has a functioning taskforce.

Continue Reading

Popular Posts