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South Africans Can Now Pay For Traffic Fines in Bitcoin

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Pay For Traffic Fines in Bitcoin

South Africans are now able to settle their traffic fines via a popular yet unusual payment method: bitcoin. This was announced by local fines administrator Fines4U, which has enabled bitcoin payments for those looking to clear their traffic fines. This bodes well for bitcoin adoption in South Africa as many local firms are increasingly accepting the digital currency as a mode of payment.

Fines4U Accepts Bitcoin For Traffic Fines

Fines4U is an Alberton-based company that acts as authorised agents on behalf of clients in regards to traffic-related offences. The firm manages traffic fines for about 500 companies and over 8,000 individuals across the country. The focus is on large fleets and monitoring traffic fines to ensure they are dealt with efficiently and in a timely manner.

Speaking to Moneyweb, company owner, Cornelia van Niekerk, says she has been involved in bitcoin since June and wants to offer clients the opportunity to settle their fines in the digital currency. Her idea is to calculate a client’s outstanding amount of traffic fines and offer them the opportunity to pay for it in bitcoin, valid for a limited period.

Normally, Fines4U negotiates for reductions and even withdrawal of traffic fines on behalf of its clients. Therefore, clients pay a lower rate for their fines and the company charges a 40 percent service fee on the discounts obtained for all their traffic fines. Van Niekerk believes the digital currency is faster and has lower fees when compared to making payments through normal banking channels.

All bitcoin payments are received into her own Luno wallet and are then deposited in rand into the company accounts on behalf of the clients.

Positive Responses To Bitcoin Acceptance

According to Van Niekerk, she recently started advertising the business accepts bitcoin payments and so far the response has been overwhelming.

“I deal with many clients on a daily basis, many of whom are big businesses. Suddenly everybody wants to get more information from me about bitcoin,” she stated.

However, she has noticed most inquiries are about bitcoin as an asset class, rather than a mode of payment. This is hardly surprising going with bitcoin’s 1,100 percent increase in value since the beginning of the year to reach over $13,000. Interestingly, bitcoin is being used less for payments and more as an alternative investment asset.

One reason for the relative decline is the bitcoin scalability issue. As more and more users send and receive bitcoin, the network has become clogged with transactions taking hours or even days before being confirmed and fees are becoming more expensive making it less attractive as a payment option. While debates on how to solve the problem have plagued the bitcoin community, the fact is that it is no longer viable to pay for a cup of coffee using the digital currency as the transaction fee would likely be higher than the price of the coffee.

Having said that, bitcoin still works very well for larger cross-border or B2B payments. Fines4U can expect a reduction in administration costs brought about by accepting bitcoin payments which do not require lengthy verification and paperwork processes. Clients, on the other hand, do not have to worry about parting with sensitive information as is the case with traditional payment channels like credit cards.

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Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

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Binance Launches in Uganda

Global bitcoin exchange Binance has launched a new fiat-cryptocurrency exchange in Uganda. The exchange will also be offering a reward of 0.5 BNB to the first 20,000 users that register on the site as part of its promotion in Uganda.

The announcement comes nearly two months after Binance partnered with Crypto Savannah, Made in Africa initiative, and Msingi East Africa to promote economic development in the East African country.

Changpeng Zhao and Yi He founded Binance in 2017 and raised $15 million through an initial coin offering for its ERC20 token BNB in July of the same year.

The exchange plans to move its offices to the island nation of Malta after the implementation of stricter regulations in China and Japan. In January 2018, Binance was the largest crypto exchange with a market capitalisation of $1.3 billion.

Binance in Uganda

BinanceBinance will also offer its Ugandan users a month of zero trading fees when trading goes online. The exchange will announce the opening for trading at a later date.

Users can find out if they have won any rewards by logging into their accounts and accessing ‘Distribution History’ in the Account Center. In addition, users will be required to complete ID verification to be able to withdraw funds from Binance.

Ugandan users will enjoy an exchange that offers fast transactions of up to 1.4 million per second and state-of-the-art storage technology for utmost security. The exchange also provides 24/7 customer support and has a user-friendly interface.

The presence of Binance in Uganda aims to boost financial inclusion in the country, which has increased from 28 percent in 2009 to 54 percent in 2013 according to its national financial inclusion strategy 2017-2022.

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LINE Corp to Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange BITBOX in July for Global Trading

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BitBox
Image by linecorp.com

The developers of popular messaging app LINE and LINE Group’s cryptocurrency and blockchain company LVC Corporation have announced that they are set to launch a new cryptocurrency exchange called BITBOX in July 2018. The Japan-based firm made the announcement during the LINE Conference 2018 held in Tokyo.

The New BITBOX Exchange

BITBOXBITBOX will offer over 30 high-demand cryptocurrencies to users globally with the exception of Japan and the US. The exchange will trade coins such as bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash while charging low trading fees of 0.1 percent. BITBOX will support 15 languages, according to the company press release.

The selected cryptocurrencies for the exchange have undergone an extensive screening exercise and have been picked by an internal committee, promising users a convenient and safe trading experience. LINE will also incorporate its top security standards to the cryptocurrency exchange.

LINE Corporation CEO Takeshi Idezawa said:

“As a key part of LINE’s new financial services, BITBOX shows our commitment to fulfilling the growing demand for more diverse financial options. With BITBOX, LINE users will be able to access cryptocurrencies more easily, while also being assured of state-of-art security measures to protect their assets.”

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Nigerians Have Invested Over $5m in Cryptocurrencies Despite Regulator Warnings Says KureCoin Hub

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Nigerians Invest in Cryptocurrencies

Nigerians have invested over five million US dollars in the cryptocurrency market in the last couple of years according to data from Nigerian cryptocurrency platform KureCoin Hub.

The data shows that Nigerian retail investors are investing heavily in the cryptocurrency market despite warnings from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) against investing in an unregulated market.

KureCoin Hub’s co-founder and CEO Tega Abikure has criticised the stance regulators have taken and argues that the country will lag behind as other countries enjoy the benefits of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Abikure told New Telegraph:

“It is not a matter of whether the government likes it; it is about whether they need it. I am not sure the internet was liked when it first came. […] It is not a matter of whether they are going to embrace it; it is about when they are going to do so.”

Abikure observed that other countries such as Uganda and South Africa have already taken steps towards adopting blockchain technology while Kenya is pushing forward with a functioning blockchain taskforce.

“Nigeria is being left behind,” he noted.

The Blockchain as a Source of Foreign Direct Investments

Abikure also believes that blockchain technology could be a major source of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the next five to ten years. In addition, he is of the opinion that a lot of money is being made in cryptocurrencies on the continent with most of it leaving Africa’s economy.

On one of the benefits of blockchain technology, he said: “[The blockchain] is completely transparent and cannot be changed; it can be used to create a decentralised system of payment where the taxpayer had an unhindered access to the collector which is the government. It enhances revenue collection and removes the challenges of remittances.”

Blockchain technology can also improve the banking sector, the electoral process, the use of donations in charitable projects, and the supply chain, among many other use cases.

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