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Blockchain in Africa: The Next Frontier – An Interview with Global Gaming Africa’s John Kamara

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Global Gaming Africa

VALLETTA, Malta, September 19, 2018/ — What kind of solutions can blockchain technology offer the continent? Is Africa on the road to becoming a blockchain hub?

Africa is rising and technology is at the forefront of our growth as a continent. We have seen the explosion of the mobile space in the continent and how it has allowed a number of services and solutions to become easier. Blockchain is about to help solve a number of issues we are currently facing in the public and private sector. Pockets of blockchain innovation are fast springing up in innovation hubs across Africa, as the public and private sector alike seek effective new systems of record with trust embedded.

With Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa among the countries taking the lead in blockchain experimentation, the financial sector looks set to be the continent’s earliest big adopter. However, development and trials are also underway to apply blockchain technology to virtually every industry sector – from health and social development to retail and agriculture. Governments are exploring ways of using blockchain to aid corruption across multiple verticals and also to push value to service sectors.

One company planning to maximize blockchain’s potential in Africa is Ecobank, a pan-African banking conglomerate with operations in 36 African countries. Ecobank’s Fintech Challenge actively seeks out fintech innovations harnessing Blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other next-generation technologies.

Other countries like Kenya and Nigeria have either set up a blockchain committee or advisory programs to explore the opportunity. Some of the happenings in the private sector around blockchain education are also key to use case of the technology, i.e IBM research on blockchain and movement of trade in Africa.  ITEX, a payment solution company servicing multiple POS solutions and software for banks across Africa is exploring blockchain for security and trust.

From my perspective, Africa is looking at blockchain as a solution to solve some of the multiple problems we have, as we pioneer digital payment technologies in Africa as well.

As we move into the African future in technology blockchain represents a perfect decentralised and incorruptible ‘truth engine’ that cannot be hacked, which will help payments, SME trade and a number of identity management and transactional problems we have in Africa.

Nairobi and South Africa have implemented crypto-friendly laws and Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has launched a blockchain and artificial intelligence task force. Do you think other African countries will follow suit?

Yes, more countries will follow and create other types of structures that will work for their economy based on their market need.

Some momentum has been gathered around the use of blockchain in Africa so far and throughout 2018. But what could be unusual is the role that governments and public sector organisations could play in raising its profile further. Typically, the development and application of emerging technologies is championed by the private sector before the public sector tends to take notice. Given that the potential use cases for blockchain align so closely with many public services, this is a technology where the public sector cannot afford to be sat in the passenger seat.

For example, the Blockchain Association of Uganda was established earlier this year to create a credible vehicle for driving standards for blockchain across industries in Uganda. The membership organisation also aims to make blockchain-related resources available to government and public-sector consumers.

We also see the evolution of the Blockchain centre for excellence positioned to provide education and train young developers on blockchain and how to build solutions that can solve African problems.

Do you foresee any difficulties with the implementation of blockchain systems? There are some concerns about the risk of crypto asset crime, including tax evasion and money laundering.

Global Gaming Africa

Source: Malta Blockchain Summit

Bitcoin’s wild skyrocket last year may well have turned the world’s interest on to cryptocurrencies, but in Africa, we “still have a long way to go” before they will be considered legal tender, and as such are not of major interest. Governments are still struggling with how to manage crypto space and this is affecting the conversation around blockchain. Any decision to buy into a new cryptocurrency would be guided by the same criteria as other investment decisions, with a focus on avoiding the “cloud” created by the crypto buzz.

African Cryptocurrency exchanges – allowing people to trade various digital currencies against African currencies – may present a more valuable prospect in the short term, but overall, he leans away from the crypto proposition in favour of blockchain solutions. These, he says, will be far more attractive investment opportunities:  It will not be as straightforward as it may sound.

A lot of African banks and governments run when they hear the word crypto because of the effect they feel it will have on the economy and also loss of control. Issues around tax evasion are real and have to be discussed with clarity for us to find a way forward.

What potential does this have to revolutionize the lives of the unbanked, does it represent an opportunity to democratize the economy?

On the private sector side, it is a huge opportunity for the fintech and private sector space. Also, the drive for financial inclusion is one that bodes well for the crypto space in Africa.  We can already see a number of exchanges set up in Africa to take advantage of this growing opportunity.

Just as Africa skipped the early fixed-line telecommunication phases of the 20th century and moved straight on to mobile phone usage, could new blockchain tech provide it with a similar opportunity to bypass inefficient systems and leap into the future?

Yes, 1000% – blockchain is going to revolutionize the way we look at tech and solutions going forward in Africa.  And blockchain on mobile is the next frontier.

There is certainly a lot of buzz around blockchain tech and its potential to bring about change in Africa. In your opinion, is this sense of optimism realistic or are we jumping the gun a bit?

It is optimistic but needs guidance and clarity. It is also a huge educational opportunity for various private sector companies to create a whole new revenue and income stream. Africa is the land of milk and honey at the moment and blockchain is another form of milk that is going to become huge. Some interesting things happening in blockchain in Africa:

ITEX, one of the top payment solutions in Africa and specifically, Nigeria (over 14 years old), has exposure in over 23 countries throughout Africa and is currently working on an integrated Pan-African settlement platform on the blockchain.

Paxful has announced plans to establish a blockchain incubator hub in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as to run Blockchain and cryptocurrency events in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.

AID:Tech and PharmAccess are harnessing AID:Tech’s blockchain platform to collect and verify digital health data to make antenatal care more effective in Tanzania.

Kenyan real estate firm Land Layby Group plans to use blockchain to store land registry records, eliminating the existing real estate challenges of fraud, double ownership and false documents.

Kenyan startup ‘Nurse in Hand’, has signed a MoU with Apla Tech Company to build a blockchain-based accident and emergency response platform.

Blockchain start-up TariLabs has launched in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the aim of building the open source Tari blockchain protocol. The protocol is being constructed as a platform for the management, trade and use of digital assets, and will be merge-mined with the Monero blockchain.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) ran the Project Khokha proof of concept trialling a distributed ledger technology-based wholesale payment system in a ‘real world’ environment. It reported that the typical daily volume of the payments system could be processed in less than two hours with full confidentiality of transactions and settlement.

Jamborow, the Pan African B2B platform for financial inclusion in Africa is also building a blockchain solution to help secure data, transactional information and identity management for her clients in Africa.

These developments prove that the private sector and governments are taking blockchain seriously in the continent. The proof is in the drive of our private companies to explore and deploy funds into blockchain research as well as projects.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Malta Blockchain Summit.

*Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this press release.*

Press Releases

MEETUP: September 21, 2019 OKEX Brings the CryptoTour Africa 2019 to Kenya

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CryptoTour Africa
Image by OKEx

OKEx, the Malta-based mega crypto exchange, will be holding a meetup in Kenya, on September 21, 2019, featuring key speakers in the blockchain and crypto space in Kenya.

OKEx is looking to introduce its mega crypto exchange in the region to enables traders to margin trade for a profit.

The OKEx Cryptotour Africa 2019 will cover four African countries namely:

  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa

The upcoming CryptoTour Africa 2019, Nairobi Edition, meetup will feature:

OKEx Meetup

Speakers who will be presenting at the OKEx CryptoTour Africa 2019

Roselyne Gicira – Chairperson, Blockchain Association of Kenya

Felix Macharia – Head of Operations, EOS Nairobi

Alex Matu – Crypto Trader / Trainer, BitcoinKE

Five lucky winners who attend the event will be rewarded with each winner getting 50 USDK ($50). Other gift perks will include OKEx T-Shirts, pens, key holders, and stickers for attendees.

Come enjoy great conversations, networking, drinks, and nibbles!

Event Details

DATE: Saturday, September 21, 2019

TIME: 12:00PM – 3:00PM

LOCATION: Nairobi Garage, Pinetree Plaza, Kaburu Drive, Off Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya

REGISTRATION LINKhttp://bit.ly/OKEXRegistrationKE

RSVP to Attend. The event is FREE.

Disclaimer: This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this press release.

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Press Releases

Cryptocurrency Elite Gathering at Crypto Fest 2019 in South Africa

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Crypto Fest

Bitcoin Events is hosting the first-ever Crypto Festival in Cape Town on 7 September 2019 at Shimmy Beach Club, V&A Waterfront. This is the first event of its kind in South Africa and with the tremendous interest in cryptocurrencies that exist in South Africa, this event is certainly going to provide several insights into why South Africans are investing in, and trading with cryptocurrencies!

What You Can Expect at the Crypto Fest

Bitcoin is now 10 years old and with it has come a plethora of exciting new ways to transact, invest, trade and conduct business. The Crypto Fest 2019 strives to bring cryptocurrencies to life through immersive activities showcasing examples of real-world applications and increased engagement opportunities to make the connections needed to expedite cryptocurrency adoption through controversial crypto debates in the Crypto Battle Arena, live crypto gaming and fun competitions with crypto giveaways. The festival will culminate with a crypto party!

On the Crypto Fest Stage

We are delighted to welcome our confirmed speakers who are recognised as thought leaders in the cryptocurrency industry. 

KHAYA MALONEY is a blockchain design solutions architect and strategic fintech business developer in South Africa. He’s currently the OKEx Country Manager for South Africa Market where he’s in charge of growth development.

MARTIN HARRIS: Trader And Market Analyst At IG

SHANTNU SAXENA, EVP At Huobi MENA. He is considered an innovative and results-driven leader focused on achieving results in highly competitive environments that demand continuous improvement.

MARIUS REITZ, the General Manager for Africa at Luno, a leading global cryptocurrency company with its head office in London. He joined Luno in 2016 and helped the company grow to a diverse team of 300 people across three continents. Marius wholeheartedly shares his company’s philosophy of upgrading the world to a better financial system. 

CLAIRE HALL, MC For Women In Crypto Meetup, Sydney. Once coined a ‘corporate hippy’, Claire Hall is a passionate ‘woman in crypto’ working at a grassroots level to entice other ‘everyday’ women into the world of crypto. Claire is a Corporate Learning Consultant for a large financial institution in Australia where she is working to put blockchain on the agenda.

ABRAHAM CAMBRIDGE, founder and CEO of the Sun Exchange, is a serial energy entrepreneur who establishes businesses and projects that use solar energy to effect socio-economic change. In 2014 he launched Sun Exchange, a global solar micro-leasing marketplace that closes the funding gap for commercial- and community-scale solar projects in emerging markets while streaming monetised sunshine all over the world.

Hotly contested debates and discussions will take place in the Crypto Battle Arena:

Crypto Battle I: Battle of the Coins

The Bitcoin Civil War between BTC, BCH, and BSV is hotter than ever, with existential stakes for different communities of stakeholders. Many different opinions exist in the crypto community on which bitcoin is the true bitcoin: which is the most efficient payment system.

Catch Rocelo Lopes, Warren Gray and Lorien Gamaroff, in this crypto battle ring, with James Preston as the moderator.

Crypto Battle II: Bitcoin vs. Gold

Gold has historically played a central role in economies driven by physical exchange and remains a recognised store of value to this day. What are the investment cases for gold vs the investment cases for bitcoin?

Catch Richard de Souza, Graeme Tennant and Piotr Tylczynsk, in this crypto battle ring, with Grey Jabesi as the moderator.

Crypto Battle III: Libra Coin: What Does it Mean for Crypto?  

It is no more news that Facebook is taking a chunk of its resources and technical know-how to establishing a coin, Libra, offering a “faster, cheaper and more secure” alternative to traditional ways of making payments on the internet. Is Facebook’s entrance into the crypto market the best thing to happen in crypto?

Catch Graeme Tennant, Grey Jabesi, Claire Hall, Marius Reitz, Tshepo Magoma and Prof. Angela Itzikowitz, in this crypto battle ring, with Farzam Ehsani as the moderator.

Read more about our speakers here. The focus of the Crypto Fest is on cryptocurrency investments, trading, and payments. Have a look at the exciting festival programme here.

Sponsors on the Crypto Fest Throne

The Crypto Fest is a global arena for industry leaders to share their breaking news and technologies with a legion of investors, experts, developers, businesses and participants who are using cryptocurrency to redefine the prevailing practice of everyday life.

Premier Sponsors

One of South Africa’s first cryptocurrency exchanges, AltCoinTrader SA, providing cryptocurrency trading in South Africa since 2015.

IG is a world-leading online trading provider, giving you access to opportunities across thousands of financial markets through our intuitive platforms and apps. 

Diamond Sponsor

OKEx is a world-leading digital asset exchange, providing advanced financial services to traders globally by using blockchain technology. OKEx provides hundreds of token and futures trading pairs to help traders to optimise their strategy.

Platinum Sponsors

Huobi provides secure and reliable digital asset trading and asset management services to millions of users in over 130 countries around the world.

Stratum is a technology company that develops blockchain solutions focused on digital currencies. Stratum has developed their Stratum Blue token, a digital token that represents a diversified portfolio of cryptocurrencies.

MineBest is a cryptocurrency mining company, who prides itself as a technologically advanced infrastructure company specialising in cryptographic computing activities.

Gold Sponsors

Luno is South Africa’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, with over 2 million customers in 40 countries. Luno makes it safe and easy to buy, store and learn about cryptocurrencies.

YOUNIQX brings products and services for secure digital identity to the spotlight internationally.

Sun Exchange is the world’s first buy-to-lease solar cell marketplace. Through Sun Exchange, anyone, anywhere in the world, can own solar energy-producing cells and build wealth by leasing those cells to businesses and organisations in emerging markets.

Blockchain Africa Conference 2020

We are planning our next event! The Blockchain Africa Conference is in its 6th year and we are expecting 600+ attendees for the conference. The general theme is the use and application of emerging financial technologies, i.e.: Blockchain Technology and cryptocurrencies, beyond the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and how these emerging technologies enable and enhance artificial intelligence and machine learning in enterprise development in the efforts and championing toward financial inclusion.

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed of our next events and news of the global blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. For more information on this and future events, please email the team at info@blockchainafrica.co

About Bitcoin Events

Since inception, Bitcoin Events have cut through the hype and challenged the critics to educate, upskill and drive long-term thinking on the strategic benefits of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for businesses, governments, citizens, and society.

For more information on the Crypto Fest visit our website at www.cryptofest.co.za or email us at info@blockchainafrica.co 

See You at the Crypto Fest 2019 in Cape Town!

Crypto Fest

Disclaimer: This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this press release.

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Privacy coin, Zcoin ($XZC), now listed on Vinny Lingham-backed Exchange, OVEX, with ZAR pairing

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Zcoin on OVEX
Image by Zcoin.io

CAPE TOWN, South AfricaAug. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ Zcoin ($XZC) — an open-source, decentralised privacy cryptocurrency — has now listed on Vinny Lingham-backed cryptocurrency exchange, OVEX, with a South African Rand (ZAR) pairing.

Zcoin“Zcoin’s listing on OVEX will create the opportunity for traders to fill the vacuum in offering privacy with the introduction of $XZC to the South African market especially with the ZAR pairing that opens door to it being readily adopted in the country. This is an exciting development and opportunity to expand in a rapidly developing country where cryptocurrency trading volumes are on the increase,” says Poramin Insom, Founder & Core Developer of Zcoin.

OVEX’s is the most advanced cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa and offers traders both simple and advanced modes to suit the needs of different traders on a secure and trusted platform.

“We’re excited about the potential for growth on this coin, privacy coins are an essential part of the crypto ecosystem and we’re very excited to give South Africans access to this opportunity,” says Jonathan Ovadia, CEO of OVEX.

As part of the official listing, Zcoin and OVEX will be hosting a community-focused event in Woodstock, Cape Town, to introduce $XZC to users on the platform. Interested attendees can find out more here.

Most recently, Zcoin became the first cryptocurrency to be usable at any of the five million merchants registered via Thailand’s nationwide QR code system through the Satang App.

In July 2019 it also rolled out Sigma, the first live zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) protocol to offer strong financial privacy without trusted setup.

Zcoin has been actively working on the Sigma privacy protocol since early 2018 and the mainnet launch of Sigma marks the first in a series of upgrades in Zcoin’s privacy protocol.

Sigma’s eventual replacement, the highly anticipated Lelantus which has garnered academic interest, is Zcoin’s own independent innovation that further improves on Sigma’s capabilities by removing the need of fixed denominations and hiding transaction values. Lelantus is currently in development and scheduled to go on testnet in early 2020.

Disclaimer: This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this press release.

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