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Crypto Investment Platform BitFund Launches in South Africa

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BitFund South Africa
Image by https://www.bitfund.co.za

Cryptocurrency investment platform BitFund has launched in South Africa allowing investors an opportunity to invest in 20 of the largest cryptocurrencies.

Founded by Jonathon Ferrer, Bradley Goldman, Joshua Miltz, and Dean Joffe, BitFund provides investors with an easy-to-use single point entry to structure a portfolio.

Co-founder Joshua Miltz said: “In South Africa, the only safe and easy way to get investment exposure into cryptocurrencies is through buying bitcoin and ethereum and these are currently only available through a single exchange. Most potential investors lack the technical knowledge and confidence to manually purchase the lesser known cryptocurrencies on international exchanges, but BitFund makes it possible for them to do so.”

Miltz claimed hundreds of investors have already signed up on the platform a day after the platform was launched on July 10.

The Crypto Investment Platform

BitFund has three pre-specified portfolios that include the balanced ten, the equal ten, and the capped 20.

BitFundThe balanced ten holds the top ten cryptocurrencies weighted by their market capitalisation, the equal ten holds the leading ten cryptocurrencies with equal weighting of ten percent each, and the capped 20 holds the top 20 cryptocurrencies weighted by their market caps with a maximum of 15 percent for each currency. More experienced investors can also choose customisable portfolios on the platform.

“We provide relevant reporting to ensure auditability and transparency into portfolio holdings and rebalancing at a transactional level,” said co-founder Ferrer.

BitFund manages the buying, selling, and safe transfer of crypto assets among the different portfolios and stores them securely in digital hardware wallets. The wallets are then stored in physical vaults for added security.

The Johannesburg-based startup is charging a flat yearly management fee of 2.4 percent and one percent exit fee on at least R1,000 ($75.32).

Regulatory Compliance

According to Miltz, the company has not registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB) since cryptocurrencies have not been defined as financial products. In addition, compliance with the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act has not been a requirement because investors will hold the portfolios themselves and will only use the platform to run them. However, he said the team is working with lawyers to ensure that they comply with the FSB and the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act when the law requires it.

“The company has an experienced team of financial, legal and technology experts who ensure that both the platform and its investors comply with local and international tax and regulatory frameworks,” BitFund said in a statement.

In late 2017, BitFund received an unspecified amount of seed funding from LSD Information Technology founder Stefan Lesicnik, En-novate founder Natan Pollock, and Greymatter Thinking Consultancy founder Richard Cohen to fund its operations.

BitFund’s investment platform could become a driver for further crypto investing in South Africa as it offers diversified portfolios, which facilitates the process of investing in the most promising digital assets.

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Zimcoin Launches New Cryptocurrency Exchange in Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwean blockchain technology company, Zimcoin, has launched a new digital currency exchange that will allow users to buy and sell bitcoin (BTC).

The Future of Zimcoin

Zimcoin hints at the possibility of much larger projects in the future with its bitcoin exchange acting as a gateway:

“At Zimcoin we want to provide Zimbabweans with access to the new decentralised internet. Bitcoin acts as a gateway to all the exciting projects happening in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world. Whether you want to engage with the prediction markets of Augur or invest in the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation Decree, Bitcoin is a great starting point. Here at Zimcoin, we provide a platform to buy and sell Bitcoin, as well as a place to find out about the blockchain projects we are excited about. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and become a pioneer in Zimbabwe’s love affair with Blockchain.”

When Golix was operating in Zimbabwe they faced minor incidences of security breaches and scares. It seems that Zimcoin is learning from their mistakes and trying to avoid that from the start.

ZimcoinZimcoin has already implemented two-factor authentication from day one, unlike Golix which only implemented a few years after operating. With Zimcoin’s 2FA you are given two options; an email or using Google Authenticator. Though the email is less secure than Google authenticator, you do not have to download a separate application.

The exchange also logs out after a period of inactivity, which means incidents such as someone getting access to your computer because you’ve gone out are also unlikely as well.

The Challenges of Cryptocurrencies in Zimbabwe

Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had classified operations by cryptocurrency exchanges as illegal in the country. This greatly affected Golix, Zimbabwe’s largest crypto exchange, despite them winning interim relief.

According to a report by TechZim, Zimcoin is not overly concerned by this ban and say that they had been in communication with the RBZ since last year and feel that they will be able to operate without any trouble.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is struggling with its economy, and as its foreign reserves dwindle, which will likely positively affect Zimcoin’s growth as more Zimbabweans start to look towards other currency alternatives. 

Despite all the challenges Zimbabwe faces with cryptocurrencies, the blockchain is gaining popularity in Zimbabwe. This is good news for companies like Zimcoin as they will hopefully face fewer problems than their predecessors.

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Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Warns Against Using Cryptocurrencies

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The Zambia central bank, Bank of Zambia (BoZ), has cautioned citizens about the use of digital currencies as they are not considered legal tender.

According to local media, the Bank of Zambia has received an increasing amount of inquiries about cryptocurrencies, which is a testament to the growing interest in bitcoin and its peers in the Southern African nation.

Bank of Zambia

The central bank highlighted that there is no legal recourse for cryptocurrency holders or investors who lose money in this new digital asset class due to its unregulated nature.

Additionally, the Bank of Zambia stated that it does not oversee, supervise nor regulate cryptographic currencies and assets and that any actions in related to cryptocurrencies are performed at the user’s own risk.

This statement echoes that of most African countries’ regulators when it comes to bitcoin regulations.

In most of Africa, central banks are taking a wait and see approach to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in an attempt not to stifle innovation.

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Binance Uganda Officially Launches and is Starting to Accept Deposits

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Binance Uganda
Images by Binance Uganda

In a statement on its website, Binance Uganda announced that is officially opening its doors on October 17, 2018, when it will start accepting deposits in Ugandan shillings (UGX), bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

Uganda’s First Local Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange

Binance Uganda is the first local fiat-to-crypto exchange in the East African nation and marks a milestone in Binance’s push into the African market.

Binance UgandaBinance Uganda users can now complete full account verification and are able to start depositing funds in UGX, BTC and ETH starting from 2018/10/17 10:00 AM Uganda Time (EAT).

The first available trading pairs on Binance Uganda will be BTC/UGX and ETH/UGX trading pairs. The start time for trading will be released in a later announcement.

Until the launch of Binance Uganda, local bitcoin investors had very limited options to convert their shillings into bitcoin or other digital assets and vice versa.

Peer-to-peer trading platforms such as LocalBitcoins and Paxful have failed to take off in Uganda and international exchanges do not accept Ugandan shillings as a currency, which has left Ugandans to largely trade via WhatsApp and Telegram on a peer-to-peer basis.

With the launch of Binance Uganda, it will be interesting to see how the local cryptocurrency community evolves and whether bitcoin and ether will be accepted as legitimate investment assets by the country’s wider investor base.

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