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.
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 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 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.
PIVX Announces Launch of PIVX Foundation at UN’s Blockchain for Impact Summit
PIVX announced the official launch of the PIVX Foundation at the UN’s second Blockchain for Impact Summit held in New York on June 4, 2019. The summit, which focuses on how blockchain technology can be used to drive the achievement of sustainable development goals, was led by the United Nations’ Blockchain Sustainability Commission.
The PIVX Foundation
Bryan Doreian, the PIVX Global Ambassador and Co-Founder of the PIVX Foundation, made the announcement to his fellow delegates during the summit.
“The launch of the PIVX Foundation, an independent non-profit focused on supporting PIVX and the larger blockchain ecosystem, provides a massive opportunity for PIVX to grow. Donors can now leverage charitable contributions (charitable contributions can offset taxes they might otherwise be paying) – AND help support the PIVX ecosystem at the same time. This is a major win for community members who may have been donating to fund projects through PIVX in the past without a charity tax receipt,” he said.
The PIVX Foundation is a registered charity, an extension of the PIVX community, and a component of the SDG Impact Fund, a donor-advised fund in support of UN’s SDGs. The Foundation’s mission is to leverage innovation to create impact.
PIVX is a community-focused cryptocurrency that operates as a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), which means that it is run by the people, for the people. The PIVX Foundation will be run in the same way.
The community makes monthly donations when the treasury budget is not enough to cover a project’s needs. Donors will now start receiving tax benefits for the money they contribute.
According to a published statement from the PIVX Foundation, a generous community is presently funding the Foundation and its governance is under the PIVX community. “In order to receive the budget to fund impact development programs, grant applications will need to run through the PIVX Proposal system and be voted on by the community to ensure the SDGs maintain top priority for all funded initiatives,” the statement explained.
The PIVX Foundation is run using the PIVX currency, PIV. This means that donors contribute in PIV to help fund projects. As the first cryptocurrency-driven foundation within the SDG Impact Fund, PIVX has a place at the UN as a top impact technology.
The First Project
The PIVX Foundation will fund the first project in collaboration with Vendible and the SDG Impact Fund. Doreian will be leading this project with the aim of developing a payments processor with zero-fees on transactions, hence eliminating the three to seven percent processing costs associated with traditional online charitable platforms.
“Since the PIVX Foundation is a sub-component of the SDG Impact Fund, it is already taking part in leveraging its resources and insights to help build out some novel charitable donation platforms including the payment rails for the SDG Impact Fund and all affiliated charities to accept crypto donations. All of this will be of incredible use for the philanthropic realms, as well as more tangibly align blockchain with charity, putting PIVX in the central focus,” Doreian elaborated.
The announcement of the PIVX Foundation launch comes after the project introduced an iOS wallet app, an important step to increasing the adoption of the PIVX currency.
South Africa’s Xago Deploys RippleNet in its Gateway to Boost Financial Inclusion
Xago, a money transfer startup that aims to increase financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa, has announced the integration of RippleNet to its gateway.
The Xago Gateway
The South Africa-based fintech company has deployed RippleNet to its gateway to enable local and international fiat currency and digital asset transfer. RippleNet is a blockchain-based global payments network that is made up of payment providers, banks, and financial institutions launched by San Francisco-based Ripple.
According to Xago, the users of its payments platform will be able to access the transfer and exchange of digital assets via the XRP ledger. Additionally, the integration of RippleNet to the Xago gateway will enable customers to exchange the South African Rand for XRP.
“Xago uses the XRP Ledger as a distributed exchange where users can exchange XRP for ZAR,” said Xago.
The Xago gateway provides an entry point to the Ripple Network where customers can enjoy low-cost cross-border payments, instant payments, frictionless transfers, and transparent transactions.
Xago’s gateway is built for businesses while Ripple’s payments network is an enterprise blockchain solution. The Xago gateway acts as a connection between market makers and customers.
How it Works
To register to use the gateway, both businesses and individuals will need to undergo a KYC process. Xago also uses a third-party service provider to ensure that the platform is compliant with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act regulations.
Xago acts as both an issuing gateway and a private exchange with the gateway offering “a way for money and other forms of value to move in and out of the XRP ledger.”
Xago’s withdrawal fees are fixed at ZAR 8.50 while transaction fees vary with market prices. All fees are quoted for customers once an order is placed.
Boosting Financial Inclusion to the Unbanked
Xago said it picked RippleNet for its gateway because the network offers low-cost, secure, transparent, and instant payments to the unbanked, according to a report by TodaysGazette. The move could boost Xago’s goal of increasing access to financial services through technologies such as mobile phones to the unbanked.
According to data from the World Bank, 66 percent of the Sub-Saharan African population does not have access to financial services. However, mobile money is driving financial inclusion in the region with the number of adults holding mobile money accounts doubling to 21 percent. That could mean that mobile phones could be the key to driving financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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