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New South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Proposes Pan-African Cryptocurrency

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Pan-African Cryptocurrency

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, has given his full support for calls to have a single African currency adding that a digital one would be ideal. His statement was addressed to journalists during the African Union summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

The summit saw 44 countries sign a deal to institute the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). “A single African currency was the natural next step,” Ramaphosa believes.

Although South Africa did not sign on the AfCFTA deal on Wednesday, as Ramaphosa still needs to get approval from domestic stakeholders, he went on to say: “Business people said doesn’t this beg for a single currency, and in my book it certainly does.”

Ramaphosa added that while previous proposals for a single African currency have been linked to ‘the Afro’ name as the name for the currency, he was not sure what the currency might look like and there are possibilities it may not take a physical form.

“We will begin to interface with the idea and notion of a single currency, possibly even a digital currency, and it’s possible that a digital currency will precede a real single currency,” Ramaphosa said.

The proposal of a single African currency was first suggested in 1991, with the Abuja Treaty, which laid out the establishment of the African Economic Community. Since then, African leaders have resisted the move to have a single African currency, sighting economic sovereignty as the reason. Ramaphosa, however, believes that this is changing.

“It may take time, it may take years, but it’s interesting that something that we never spoke about in the past, we are now talking about. Because people always had a sense of sovereignty around their own currency, feeling that their currency is about their sovereignty, their nationhood, but people are now thinking beyond the borders of their own nation.”

His sentiments come at a time when cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have gained popularity in the past few years especially in countries such as South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, and both the private and the public sector are waking up to the benefits of cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology.

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Mauritius to Receive World’s First Digital Asset Custody Regulatory Framework

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Digital Asset Custody Regulatory Framework

Mauritius is set to receive the first digital asset custody regulatory framework in the world, according to an announcement by the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC). The framework will be effective from March 1, 2019.

The Digital Asset Custody Regulatory Framework

On September 17, 2018, digital assets were recognised as an asset class for Sophisticated and Expert Investors by the Financial Services Commission, Mauritius (FSC). This was followed by the FSC issuing a consultation paper with the intention of getting public and stakeholder feedback on the proposed Custodian Services (Digital Asset) License regulation, as BitcoinAfrica.io reported in November 2018. The license enables its holder to offer custody services for digital assets.

“In revolutionising the global FinTech ecosystem through this regulatory framework for the custody of Digital Assets, my Government reiterates its commitment to accelerating the country’s move to an age of digitally-enabled economic growth. As an African country, we look forward to fostering further innovation and bringing more prosperity to the region,” said Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius.

The regulatory framework will make Mauritius the first jurisdiction to create a “regulated landscape for the custody of digital assets. Holders of the Custodian Services (Digital Asset) License will equally have to comply with the applicable framework for AML/CFT, in line with international best practices,” the announcement read.

Support for the Regulatory Framework

Digital Asset Custody Regulatory FrameworkAccording to the FSC, the regulatory framework was created after consultations with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the regulation and governance of digital financial assets.

The Chief Executive of the FSC, Harvesh Seegolam, asserted: “The FSC is committed to implementing enabling frameworks which facilitate the development of the Mauritius IFC. We continue to collaborate with our international counterparts and stakeholders in introducing the appropriate regulatory mechanisms.”

The Bank of Mauritius is also in support of the regulatory framework. The bank’s governor, Yandraduth Googoolye, said: “The Bank of Mauritius is supportive of innovation in the financial services sector. Banks, depending on their respective risk appetite, are encouraged to develop business relationships with players in the Digital Assets segment.”

In light of this announcement, the custody services license regulation could create a thriving cryptoasset industry in Mauritius, which could help position the country as the go-to digital asset investment hub on the continent.

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Zambia Hit by $2 Million Cryptocurrency Scam

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Zambia cryptocurrency scam

Three directors from the Zambian firm Heritage Coin Resources Limited have been arrested by the country’s Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) after they were accused of running a cryptocurrency scam.

Money Laundering

Zambia

The DEC’s assistant public relations officer, Chibu Mwansa Tembo, issued a statement saying the trio, under false pretenses, was accumulating funds. They also believe that they led more financial crimes, like operating a financial service company without proper licensing.

The accused are Hilda Agnes Agnes Raubenheimer of Salama Park, Orient Rio of Ibex Hill and Tapiwa Chirwa. According to Tembo, the three jointly are being charged for: providing banking business, financial business or financial services without a license, conducting or participating in a money circulation scheme, obtaining money by false pretenses and money laundering.

The crimes took place between June and October this year and the group worked with unknown financial industry leaders. They “provided” monetary services to the public and took their customers’ money which they disguised as partnership fees. Afterwards, they used the money in a financial circulation scheme worth 28,346,800 kwachas ($2,401,864.05). They used Heritage Coin Resources Limited to falsely claim that they were placing their customers’ money into real investments.

Cryptocurrency Scam

The firm claimed it would trade cryptocurrencies online for its customers despite this not being part of its original goals. Currently, the three are on police bond and are due to appear in a Zambian court before the year ends. The DEC is still continuing its investigation of the organisation.

Later, Kamufinsa Manchishi, the DEC deputy public relations officer, later cautioned “The Commission wishes to warn members of the public to always be cautious when dealing with financial institutions owing to the increase in financial crimes, as well as companies promising unusually high returns on deposits […]. The Commission, together with the Bank of Zambia, is currently investigating [Heritage Coin Resources Limited] for activities contrary to the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering, as well as the Banking and Financial Services Acts respectively.”

The growing interest of cryptocurrencies in Zambia may slow down by this unfortunate event combined with the Zambian central bank’s recent warning against the use of digital currencies.

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Lagos to host Biannual Africa Fintech Summit for the First Time in November

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Africa Fintech Summit

Lagos, Nigeria, September 14, 2018 – Africa’s premier fintech event, the Africa Fintech Summit, will be held for the first time in Lagos, Nigeria, on November 8-9, 2018. This event comes on the heels of the earlier edition in Washington D.C. which featured leading policymakers, c-suite business executives, start-ups, and investors.

The Summit, organised by Dedalus Global, gathers innovators, investors, policy makers and other key stakeholders in the Fintech sector to discuss technologies transforming finance on the continent, debate regulatory policies, compare best practices, and forge new ventures.

Speaking on the decision to bring the Summit to Lagos, the Chairman of the Summit, Leland Rice, said, “Lagos is an ideal host city; it’s an epicenter of Africa’s fintech revolution and the driving force behind the continent’s entrepreneurial spirit. The successes of companies such as Paga, Flutterwave, Mines.io, and Paystack have strategically positioned Lagos as the destination of choice for investors.”

“The first edition of the Summit in D.C. was a launch pad for several milestone fintech deals struck among its delegates in the months after the event. We plan to build on these successes in Lagos, with a focus on bringing innovators and policymakers together to move the needle on fintech regulation and bringing founders and investors together to facilitate further capital raises,” added Leland.

The two-day event will feature investor missions from the US, UK, and UAE, an Alpha Expo featuring the most exciting startups and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, a half-day blockchain masterclass, and an awards ceremony.

Reacting to the decision to host the Summit in Lagos, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Technology, Lanre Osibona, stated, “This reflects the progress Nigeria is making in the areas of technology and financial services. The event is very important as it comes at the heels of the Vice President Osinbajo’s trip to Silicon Valley to promote Nigeria’s tech sector. We look forward to collaborating with the organising committee and to a successful event in Lagos.”

Africa Fintech SummitIn a similar vein, Tayo Oviosu, the founder of Paga—a payment company that recently raised $10 million in Series B2 funding—said that “the Africa Fintech Summit in Washington D.C. provided valuable insights into the fintech space and connected me with key players in the industry. I look forward to the Lagos edition.”

Speakers lined up for the event include Chief Economist of PwC Nigeria, Dr. Andrew S. Nevin; Managing General Partner of EchoVC, Eghosa Omoigui; CEO of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie; Founder of Flutterwave, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji; and CEO of PayStack, Shola Akinlade, whose company recently raised $8 million Series A funding

About Dedalus Global

Dedalus Global is an investment and strategy advisory firm focusing on emerging markets and emerging technologies. With networks throughout Africa and the Middle East, we leverage granular market knowledge to drive innovation, accelerate capital deployment, and create value for our clients and the economies where they operate.

About Africa Fintech Summit (AFTS)

The Africa Fintech Summit is a biannual event that brings together leading disruptors, tech and finance professionals, regulators, and investors from around the globe to debate policies, compare best practices, and forge Africa-focused ventures. AFTS leverages the growth of the fintech sector in Africa to bring key stakeholders to discuss the technologies transforming finance on the continent.

To learn more about AFTS, please visit www.africafintechsummit.com

View a recap from the AFTS Washington: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIdDS-u0rXE

For more information, please contact:

Ridwan Sorunke

Directory of Communications, AFTS

Ridwan@Africafintechsummit.com

+234 (0) 8037885760

+1 2023166726

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