BitcoinAfrica.io reached out to the team of the Digital Shilling, a Kenya-based altcoin that aims to create a currency by Africans for Africans, for an interview to find out more about the project.
Via Telegram, we spoke to founder and lead developer, Kelvin Yavwa, about the current state of the Digital Shilling and what the project has planned for the future.
Why did you start the Digital Shilling project and what has happened since its launch in 2016?
There has been a massive rise in financial inclusion in Africa largely accelerated by mobile phones and the Internet. The unbanked in Africa use mobile money more to transact on their daily activities, making physical cash less used. The biggest challenge with mobile money has been cross-border payments due to excessive regulations across different borders and bureaucracy.
As per World Bank reports, remittance claims a significant share of most African countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but the market is flooded with insecure, unreliable and poor remittance service providers. This is what got me thinking of introducing the Digital Shilling into the African market as a cryptocurrency that with time will provide remittance services at its best. Solving cross-border hindrance, centralization, control and asset class all in one project.
Having shown some massive stability and consistency, I believe we are the most promising cryptocurrency in Africa.
Currently, I have linked up with Miu Andrea, a developer from Vienna, Austria. He is bringing great proposals to the shilling protocol. It’s still at early stages so nothing to show.
The shilling (SH) can currently be traded on Nova Exchange, Bigbitex, Yobit, and Open Trade.
How can Shilling be mined and what are the mining rewards like today?
Join a mining pool! I would recommend http://gcpool.eu/p3350/public/. You can follow the instructions on how to start mining the shilling here: http://gcpool.eu/p3350/public/index.php?page=gettingstarted.
Currently, every SH 50 are mined as a reward for payment processing. The first halving will be on January 19, 2020, at its 300000th block.
CPU mining no longer works for the Digital Shilling. The shilling is currently being mined at approximately 650mh/s meaning a normal CPU can’t outmatch shilling’s current CPU computing power.
We are best placed into GPU mining at the difficulty the network is handling.
What have been your key takeaways that other blockchain developers can learn from who are interesting in launching or working for a cryptocurrency project?
A common John Doe or Jane Doe in Africa doesn’t care about the fascinating feature of a cryptocurrency. They only look at how secure their money is, how privately placed can it be, how cheap is it from the usual fiat currency and how simple is it to use and or access.
Simplification of any developing cryptocurrency into this basis is what will make more use of cryptocurrency in Africa. My biggest challenge is to make the shilling simpler yet as secure as any other remittance platform.
The shilling has not managed to establish itself as an altcoin despite being around for longer than many of the top 20 tokens. Why do you think that is?
Due to a massive disconnect with its point of contact – the African market – as I have said. What the common guy in Africa wants is a simplified secure coin. For that shilling is dormant.
Simplifying the usability is our biggest objective at this point and time.
There are several Africa-focused coins in existence and in the pipeline, such as Kobocoin, Dala, and Akoin. How do you plan to outcompete these projects to become the go-to currency for Africans?
The beauty of being longer in the game has taught us the do’s and don’ts as well as what’s workable and what’s doable.
Being in the industry for two years we’ve collected supportive team members, investors and sponsors, who have been drawn by our stability, consistency and continuous involvement into the project.
What are the future plans for the Digital Shilling project?
An advanced secure, easily user-friendly Android wallet and Shilling ATMs are some of the features in Shilling’s second phase. We will be having our second phase launched in the first quarter of 2019.
If you want to learn more about Kenya’s Digital Shilling, visit https://digitalshilling.org/.
Disclaimer: 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 interview.
Particl Launches Decentralised Marketplace With Zero Commission Fees
Privacy-focused cryptocurrency project Particl has launched a decentralised marketplace with zero commission fees. The new e-commerce platform is leveraging blockchain technology to compete with the likes of Amazon and OpenBazaar.
Privacy and Zero Commission Fees
The new decentralised marketplace respects user privacy and does not require personal information from its users. The platform only requires a shipping address. Moreover, the decentralised nature of the Particl marketplace ensures that no commissions are added to sales as is the case on Amazon.
According to an article on Big Commerce, fees for sellers can be as much as 45 percent of a product’s cost on Amazon. Particl’s zero-free model, therefore, enables sellers to significantly increase their revenue and lower their prices to stay ahead of the competition while still making a profit.
“Using a combination of P2P and blockchain technologies, Particl Open Marketplace can provide a verifiable private shopping experience that ensures no user data can be created or collected by any party other than the one you are transacting with. The Particl protocol also brings the cost of buying and selling online to the bare minimum as no central entity can charge fees,” said Particl’s Project Marketing and Strategy Manager Paul Schmitzer.
How Particl’s Decentralised Marketplace Works
Particl is uniquely approaching fraud and trade insurance through the use of a double deposit escrow system without intermediaries and with zero fees. This system is based on MAD game theory where two parties deposit PART coins as collateral into a smart contract. Once the transaction between them is complete, the coins are released back to the parties and no fees are charged. This system allows users to be in control of their transactions and to eliminate fraud.
Since the marketplace is decentralised, the protocol generates all listing fees and redistributes them to the global network of users.
Particl is made up of three components: an untraceable multi-purpose privacy coin, a private decentralised marketplace where users can shop with cryptocurrencies, and a platform where developers can build decentralised applications.
Particl allows a wide range of cryptocurrencies and uses atomic swaps and third-party integrations to convert these coins to PART during transactions. The company will soon add more payment options to its marketplace.
In 2018, Bitcoin Africa talked to Particl’s spokesperson Desi-Rae about the project. Read the full interview here.
South Africans Can Now Buy Ether (ETH) Using Rand on Luno
Global cryptocurrency exchange Luno has now enabled crypto traders in South Africa to buy ether using rand on its platform.
Trading on Luno
Luno offers users an easy and safe place to buy bitcoin and ether and to learn about cryptocurrencies. The exchange has more than 2.7 million customers across 40 countries.
Luno also has a dedicated Ethereum series on its learning platform to help users make informed investment decisions.
Commenting on the new launch, Luno’s General Manager in Africa, Marius Reitz, said: “The direct Ethereum/Rand pair will make it quicker, simpler, and cheaper for customers to interact with and use Ethereum on the exchange. We are working on a number of enhancements to our platform and this pairing has been introduced in response to demand from our customers. Previously, customers could buy Ethereum through our instant buy option but having this ability directly on the exchange makes it faster and cheaper for traders.”
According to Reitz, Luno makes sure that every coin listed in its exchange has undergone due diligence. “There are over 2000 cryptocurrencies. However, many of these are scams, so customers need to trust that the exchange they use has verified the track records of cryptocurrencies available on their platforms. Luno limits the currencies on offer to those on which we have completed extensive research and due diligence and we are satisfied with their credibility in terms of security and adoption. Luno will be adding additional cryptocurrencies to its platform later this year,” he explained.
“Individuals in these markets cannot afford to, and should no longer need to, pay high exchange rates, accept national currency devaluation or lose out when they simply transfer money. Access to a more inclusive financial system will enable people everywhere to think of new and better ways of exchanging value and technology allows this,” Reitz elaborated.
Luno plans to upgrade its platform, expand its team, and open new offices in expectation of the next surge in the value of cryptoassets.
Emerging Markets More Likely to Adopt Cryptocurrencies from Global Brands, Luno Study Says
A new study by digital asset exchange Luno indicates that emerging markets are more likely to adopt cryptocurrencies from global brands. This finding was collected from a survey called the ‘Future of Money’ carried out between May 17, 2019, and June 7, 2019. The survey interviewed over 7000 respondents from Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom, France, Indonesia, Italy, and Malaysia.
Emerging Markets, the Future of Money and Libra
According to the ‘Future of Money’ survey, the early adopters of cryptocurrencies are likely to come from emerging markets. The findings, therefore, show a close connection between emerging markets and the future of money confirming the view that those with “less appear to take greater financial risks.”
These results come at a time when Facebook recently announced that it will introduce Libra, a new digital currency in 2020. The aim of Libra is to help people make financial transactions online, especially in emerging markets where banks are not servicing the population as well as they should be.
Luno’s CEO Marcus Swanepoel said: “As some of the world’s largest tech giants announce they are launching cryptocurrency coins, we believe developing markets will be the lead adopters. Our research shows that in these markets people are more financially savvy because they have to be, which means that they need and understand the benefits the new coins can offer.”
To further show why the future of money could have a greater impact on emerging markets, data from the survey indicated that 33 percent of people in Indonesia are more likely to remain within a set budget compared to 0 percent in the UK.
Additionally, the number of people that establish a monthly budget is 80 percent in Malaysia, 65 percent in Nigeria, 73 percent in South Africa, 74 percent in Indonesia, and 54 percent in the UK. Asked why money is crucial to them, the respondents said it was to secure their families’ well-being (60 percent) and to pay for education. This answer was given by 25 percent of the respondents from Nigeria compared to 8 percent in the UK.
Luno is a global cryptocurrency company headquartered in London and with offices in South Africa.
Crypto adoption will probably take place at the grassroots level than at the institutional level, Swanepoel observed. He based this argument on the findings that most people from emerging markets will probably seek financial advice from family, friends, and colleagues than from government organisations.
“It is very clear that if money is not simply a ‘nice to have’ and is vital for your future, then you spend more time understanding it, managing it, preserving it and to an extent being creative with how you maximise the use of it. Therefore, if a cryptocurrency can provide a secure and cheaper means of exchanging value better than the existing system, it will be used. This is why we believe that as new cryptocurrencies linked to global brands are introduced, they will find an important audience in emerging markets,” Swanepoel added.
Luno’s study paints a clear picture of what the future of money could look like. However, certain factors such as Internet connectivity could inhibit the fast adoption of crypto in developing markets.
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