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“We Are the Most Promising Cryptocurrency in Africa” – An Interview with Kenya’s Digital Shilling Project

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African man smartphone

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?

Digital ShillingThere 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.

Digital Shilling Kenya

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?

Digital Shilling

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.

 

Altcoins

Nairobi Securities Exchange May List Africa’s First Cryptocurrency ETF

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Africa's First Cryptocurrency ETF

Kenya-based Badoer Group ADK ETF is gearing up to launch a crypto-based exchange traded fund (ETF) on the Nairobi Securities Exchange in the first quarter of 2019. If their application is successful, it would become Africa’s first cryptocurrency-backed ETF.

Africa’s First Cryptocurrency ETF

Badoer GroupBadoer Group ADK ETF, a private company incorporated in October, is reportedly finalising an ETF listing arrangement on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), according to a report by Business Today.

If approved, the NSE would regulate Badoer Group ADK ETF, giving ordinary investors regulatory protection to invest in the asset. About 50 percent of the total ADK in supply, which is 12.5 million ADK, would be available for the ETF.

The founder of ADK, Ricardo Badoer, has reportedly met with the NSE’s commercial director, Ms. Bahati Morara, and the head of Innovation and Project Management, Mr. Irungu Wagema to finalise the ETF listing arrangement.

The NSE is one of the leading securities exchange in East Africa with 66 listed companies and over $20 billion (KES 2.10 trillion) in market capitalisation.

Road to the First ETF

In 2018, there have been debates about whether or when a Bitcoin ETF will get launched. Many believe it will allow investors to diversify their investments without actually owning the assets tracked by an ETF. While others think it is just a distraction to the development of the technology.

Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had stopped accepting public feedback on their Bitcoin ETFs policy review. The market regulator postponed decisions or denied applications to list various ETFs. The SEC cited issues like the volatility of bitcoin and rumoured manipulation of prices as obstacles.

However, in Sweden, XBT Providers already provide bitcoin and ether as exchange-traded products (ETP) on Nasdaq Stockholm, a major Swedish exchange. ETFs are one of the investment vehicles under ETPs.

Having crypto-based fund will make sense to many investors who were cautious of putting their money in an unregulated cryptocurrency market. ADK’s anticipated move with an African-based ETF could open the market to a lot more African investors and institutions.

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Egypt’s Central Bank is Considering Issuing a Digital Currency

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Egypt central bank digital currency

Egypt has reportedly joined the list of countries that have started studying the issuance of digital currency as an option or alternative for their fiat currencies. That makes Egypt one of the few sovereign countries in Africa to consider a national digital currency option, which is somewhat surprising given the country’s negative stance towards cryptocurrencies.

The “Egypt Coin”

egypt bitcoin exchangeThe Cairo-based news outlet, Amwal Al Ghad, reported that the sub-governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Ayman Hussein, confirmed the prospect of government-issued virtual currency in a conference in Abu Dhabi. He said the bank is conducting a study in collaboration with some international financial institutions.

However, he did not disclose details about the proposed currency and did not address whether it would be traded between banks only or issued to the general public.

Amwal Al Ghad says the bank believes the digital currency could “lower the cost of banknote issuance and use of cash.”

State-Issued Digital Currencies

Many central banks all over the world have considered issuing their own digital fiat money, rather than support cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

In July 2016, the Bank of England became one of the first institutions to analyse the possibility of state-issued virtual currency. Followed by central banks in Canada, Russia, China and Sweden among others, as well as the European Central Bank.

However, Tunisia was the first country in the world to put their national currency on a blockchain in a trial in 2015. The eDinar initiative did not receive enough backing to go beyond proof of concept but highlighted the interest of central banks in testing a blockchain-based currency system.

The following year, various news media wrongly reported that the Senegalese government issued a digital currency on the blockchain. It had issued an e-currency, the eCFA, but it was not created on a blockchain.

Making State-Issued Digital Currencies Work

The use of this progressive financial technology is a positive step forward to help unbanked people in Africa. Also, it could aid electronic payments and support a cashless society.

Still, some people have questioned the approach of these countries. Centralised blockchains with power concentrated with the central banks could impose limitations on general adoption. The allure of the blockchain technology in the first place is decentralisation, giving people freedom from the traditional centralised banking system.

The impact of a central bank issuing its own cryptocurrency is potentially disruptive, even on the business model of commercial banks. The most practical approach for most central banks, it seems, is to restrict the use of cryptocurrency within an inter-bank context.

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Altcoins

Cashaa Announces Launch of Global Crypto Accounts for Businesses and Individuals

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Cashaa
Images by Cashaa

Cashaa, a London-based blockchain startup, has announced the launch of its global multi-currency crypto-friendly accounts for businesses and individuals, which will take place on November 28, 2018.

What is Cashaa?

CashaaCashaa was launched in 2016 to ease the challenges that were being faced by bitcoin remittance companies such as country-specific regulations, KYC/AML requirements, illiquidity of exchanges among others, will be able to bank all kinds of individuals and businesses from startups based in garages to large businesses or exchanges with revenues in the millions.

Unlike most bitcoin remittance businesses in operation today, Cashaa uses a peer-to-peer model that lets local traders manage fiat currency exchanges with the cryptocurrency feature of the whole transaction occurring in the background.

Talking about the planned launch of its gobal accounts, Cashaa stated in a press release: “The Crypto community has continuously been denied support from high street banks who like to talk and sponsor blockchain events but in reality do not want the blockchain revolution to happen. To speed up our mission to “Bank the Unbanked”, starting from the Crypto community, we have merged our wallet release with the account plans – this first version of Cashaa will be launched on November 28, 2018.”

Cashaa’s Business Products and Fund Security

Cashaa has five business products with different tiers for both businesses and individuals. The five different products are Blue, Basic, Smart Value, Premier and Advance. Each product membership is different for both individuals and businesses in terms of monthly limit.

Cashaa

All the accounts will require CAS tokens to function apart from the free account. CAS is also listed on several exchanges such as Idex and HitBTC, among others. The first release will see Cashaa users get:

  1. Multisig crypto wallet for Bitcoin, Ether and CAS tokens
  2. Accounting and auditing features
  3. Banking product details with different membership plans
  4. Pre-registration for the membership plans
  5. Onboarding business users for the banking services
  6. Deposit CAS token holding period to activate the accounts

Since Cashaa will have business and individual accounts that will potentially have millions of dollars in them, the startup has opted to go with a 100 percent fund protection scheme with European Central Institutions. This means that all deposits made through Cashaa will be kept in a segregated account with the Bank of England to ensure that Cashaa does not risk or invest their users’ money in any way.

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