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Humaniq Brings Financial Inclusion to Five More Countries in Africa

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Humaniq Brings Financial Inclusion

London-based fintech startup Humaniq has announced plans to expand its mobile banking services for the world’s unbanked to five more African countries. The expansion is part of its broader strategy to offer banking solutions to over 2.5 billion people worldwide who have little or no access to financial services.

Entry into New Markets

Humaniq is a financial services app that is enabled by its own cryptocurrency (HMQ) and aims to eradicate poverty amongst millions of people living in developing economies. The Humaniq app offers specialised features such as an inbuilt chat system, live support, a secure authentication process and cryptocurrency wallet for HMQ tokens. Users can download the app on Google Play Store onto their smartphones and access the global financial network enabling them to make payments, save, lend and even borrow money.

The app utilises a biometric identification system, E2E encryption, and offers free HMQ coins for new signups and referrals. In March, Humaniq launched version 2.0 of its app, which operates on the first-ever working hybrid blockchain. The benefits of the upgrade include zero commission fees, instant transfers and allowing HMQ tokens to be open and accessible on the Ethereum main-net.

Currently, the app has over 180,000 downloads and has been received positively by first members of the Humaniq community living in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Senegal. The blockchain startup is expanding to new markets which include Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Botswana, bringing equitable access to financial services, money transfers and social programmes.

Succesful ICO and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Building on their ICO in April last year, which raised over $5.1 million, Humaniq is also moving to the South African market where it seeks to develop a competitive mobile ecosystem. The expansion comes at an opportune time when mobile adoption in the continent continues to soar and Internet penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa is at 35.2%. While the region faces challenges such as lack of infrastructure its economy is expected to grow in the next three years outpacing some of the more developed nations and opening opportunities for the unbanked.

Anton Mozgovoy, CTO of Humaniq, said in a company press release: “Humaniq is developing extremely fast and now we are on the threshold of a promising new step. The app’s first few months show Africa becomes a leader in the mobile payment transactional model adoption. Our development team is excited about delivering financial inclusion solutions for the 2.5 billion unbanked and we hope to inspire new users and earn their trust as we introduce them to a new, safe world of diverse financial free-of-charge services.”

In order for its team to understand the financial climate in Africa – particularly pertaining to the unbanked – the company held a competition for blockchain projects in November 2017 that promote financial inclusivity. Three winners among the 450 participants who submitting projects especially made for the Humaniq platform were selected for an expedition to Kenya to meet the people who will benefit from the services and to receive feedback on how to improve their solutions based on the needs of their targeted customers.

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REVEALED: 10 Biggest ICO Scams Swindled $687.4 million

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biggest ICO scams

Initial Coin Offerings are one of the most tempting investment options for those hoping to profit from the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency. However, the lack of regulation has allowed ICO investors to become targets of sneaky schemes.

Though ICOs have snowballed, with more than 750 being invested in during 2018 alone, the number of scams has also steadily risen, with more victims of fraud falling prey to cryptocurrency criminals.

Following Satis Group’s revelation that approximately 80 percent of 2017 ICOs were identified scams, new data from Fortune Jack has found that just ten of the most high-profile ICO scams have swindled $687.4 million from unsuspecting investors.

In fact, Pincoin and iFan scam stole $660 million, with an estimated 32,000 investors falling prey to the money-making plot from Modern Tech.

As cryptocurrency continues to dominate headlines, more investors are pouring cash into ICO schemes in the hope of turning a quick profit. And with more than 150 scams listed on popular website Deadcoins, it’s easy to see how inexperienced ISO investors are being suckered.

The losses have become so prevalent that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched its own ISO scam in a bid to show investors how easy it is to set up such schemes.

The top ten most notorious ICO scams to date

Scam name Amount of money scammed ($)
Pincoin and iFan 660,000,000
Plexcoin 15,000,000
Bitcard 5,000,000
Opair and Ebitz 2,900,000
Benebit 2,700,000
Bitconnect 700,000
Confido 375,000
REcoin and DRC 300,000
Ponzicoin 250,000
Karbon 200,000

 

Despite the SEC warning that ICOs “bring an increased risk of fraud and manipulation” due to the lack of regulation, the number of ICOs, as well as the amount invested, has increased over the past year.

biggest ICO scams

In 2017 $6,240,046,555 was raised across 371 ICOs. However, in 2018 a staggering $20,074,423,238 has been raised across 789 ICOs to date.

This reveals a 222% increase in the amount raised in 2018 so far, compared to the full year of 2017. Additionally, there is a 113% increase in the number of ICOs in 2018 so far compared to 2017.

If Satis Group’s suggestion that almost 80% of 2017’s ICOs were identified scams is correct, 297 ICOs in 2017 may have been fraudulent. If this trend was to continue in 2018, 631 ICOs could be fraudulent.

Despite such shocking statistics, ICOs remain a relatively popular investment in 2018, with $20.1 billion being invested into ICOs so far.

The amount invested in ICOs in 2018 to date

Month Money invested ($)
January 1,985,750,821
February 1,660,013,613
March 4,173,112,271
April 1,268,948,460
May 1,985,596,961
June 5,778,213,703
July 809,577,207
August 989,375,043
September 1,423,835,159

 

So, what are the red flags that may alert you to an ISO scam? The following were present in the most high-profile incidents:

  • Silence from companies when contacted by investors
  • Lack of a whitepaper and inconsistencies on the ISO website
  • Fake Linkedin Profiles of “the team” with stock images or stolen photos
  • Any text humourous or otherwise outlining a scam
  • Promise of fixed profit or guaranteed ROI

This guest contribution was provided by Fortune Jack

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Wala is Financing a Ugandan Solar Power Program Using Cryptocurrency

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Wala

South Africa’s Wala and CleanPath Emerging Markets (CP-EM) Uganda are collaborating to develop a solar programme that uses the cryptocurrency Dala as its main transactional currency to build a blockchain-enabled clean energy economy.

80 Percent of Ugandans Without Electricity

The CP-EM programme is said to cost about $1.5 billion. According to Tricia Martinez, the founder and CEO of Wala, it will provide 25 percent of Ugandans with clean energy.

According to Power Africa Energy 2018 Report, Uganda’s current overall access rate is at 22 percent; with rural access at twelve percent and urban access at 52 percent. Uganda has one of the lowest electrification rates in Africa.

With the partnership employing Dala as its principle transactional currency, Ugandan consumers and vendors that are building up the ecosystem will get paid in Dala ($DALA)While CP-EM’s solar programme aims to create utility-scale grid-connected renewable power systems to generate critical clean energy for commercial, industrial and residential consumers across Uganda

Ugandans Ready to use Cryptocurrencies

Wala Launches Zero-Fee Money Transfer AppMartinez said: “The numbers we’ve seen since the launch of Dala have been staggering, and a large portion of our current users are Ugandan, so this partnership is a natural next step to allow users the opportunity to further benefit from using Dala. The high level of user traffic also shows us that Ugandans are ready to use crypto assets in day-to-day transactions,”

Prince Kudra Kalema of the Buganda Kingdom, managing partner and co-founder at CP-EM, was excited about the partnership. Kalema said: “By providing Ugandans with an opportunity to access clean energy through $DALA, we’re fostering a more inclusive decentralised financial system not possible with legacy technologies.”

The Ugandan Government is increasing support to the off-grid solar industry and adding strategies into the electrification plans and developing regulation to support private sector companies in this space.

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RightMesh Partners with Golix Exchange to Improve Internet Connectivity in Uganda

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RightMesh

RightMesh, a connectivity company currently developing a decentralised mobile mesh network, announced that their RMESH tokens will now be listed on Golix in Uganda.

RightMeshGolix, founded in 2014, is one of Africa’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges with its headquarters in Zimbabwe. Golix joins RightMesh’s mission of bringing online connectivity to the people of the African continent. This will be done by harnessing the combined power of a mobile mesh network, blockchain, and its own RMESH tokens within a self-forming, self-healing mesh network.

The integration of Rightmesh’s software is easy in any application without additional hardware. The hardware infrastructure powering this initially is the individual users of Android phones.

In May this year, RightMesh announced the successful completion of a $30 million token sale.

“It’s important for us to partner with like-minded companies focused on connecting the next billion users,” said John Lyotier, RightMesh’s co-founder.

In order for us to start bridging the digital divide, we need people living in areas with poor infrastructure to have access to RMESH tokens so they can start connecting with each other using their smartphones,” he added.

Lyotier said that Golix makes it easy for Ugandans to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. He also looks forward to working with them to have a real and lasting impact for people in the region.

Under the agreement, Golix users living in Uganda have access to the tokens, made available on September 10, 2018.

Uganda’s Oppressive Social Media Tax

Since July 2018, Ugandans have had to pay a daily tax on social media apps due to an oppressive taxation law passed by parliament. These high costs of taxation have played a crucial role in limiting access to these important applications for many Ugandans. However, introducing a mobile mesh networking could avoid those high fees because data does not go through a central ISP. 

Golix CEO, Tawanda Kembo, said: “Internet connectivity in Africa has an interesting juxtaposition. The many that cannot afford internet connectivity mostly jump through hoops to get connections that are slow and have restrictions as to what content can be accessed.”

“In Africa, it’s very expensive to be poor. On the other hand, the privileged few who can afford good subscriptions mostly underutilise their internet subscriptions and pay for more than they actually use. By reducing the cost for the former to get connectivity, and providing a benefit for the latter for sharing their connection, RightMesh solves this problem for both demographics. We have needed a solution like this in Africa for years,” added Kembo.

Purchasing mobile data from others once the protocol goes live, will be done using RMESH tokens. They are planning to launch RightMesh Soft Mainnet and release its first commercially available app in Q1 of 2019.

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