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Weekly News Roundup: Akoin City Secures New Partnerships, Blockchain Startups Join Kenya’s Regulatory Sandbox

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Bitcoin in Kenya

In Bitcoin Africa’s Weekly News Roundup, we look at the most trending blockchain and cryptocurrency stories from Africa this week.

Here are our top picks!

Two Blockchain Companies Join Kenya Capital Markets Authority’s Regulatory Sandbox

Kenyan bitcoin policyThe Kenya Capital Markets Authority has set up a regulatory sandbox limited to financial solutions with a capital market component. As part of the additions to the sandbox, two blockchain companies – Pyypl Group Limited and Belrium Kenya – have been included.

Pyypl Group Limited is a fintech platform for issuing unsecured bonds on the blockchain. Belruim Kenya is an electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) solution for capital markets running on the blockchain.

Developments like this promote the use of blockchain technology in Africa and bring positive sentiments among regulators towards blockchain-related technology.

Akoin City Secures New Partnerships

Akoin City, the mega blockchain city project lead by famous music artist Akon has been met with praise and skepticism in different quarters. Regardless, the project continues to develop more business partnerships for the construction of the city. Akoin City sealed a $6 billion construction deal with KE International to build the project.

Further, Akoin City partnered with Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC) in Western Kenya. The partnership will make cryptocurrencies a major method of payment at the health facility.

MMTC is another city complex that focuses on health-related facilities. The mega project that started in 2014 is set to be opened in December 2020.

Other partnerships include collaboration with Jeev Network in Rwanda and blockchain chat application, Sense Chat. 

PayPal May Bring Bitcoin to 300 Million Users

buy bitcoin with PayPal instantlyIn an exclusive report on Coindesk, the top industry publication speculated that PayPal might be adding the ability for people to buy and sell bitcoin soon. The news was corroborated by three people familiar with the matter.

The new addition would allow users of PayPal and Venmo to buy and sell bitcoin.

The bitcoin price saw some bullish sentiments after this headline made waves online. Since then the bitcoin price has dropped by 4 percent and is trading under $9,200.

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Weekly Roundup: Nigerian SEC to Regulate Crypto Trading, Kenya’s Accounting Professional Body to Hold Crypto Seminar

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Nigerian SEC to Regulate Crypto

Discover what happened in the African blockchain industry this week. Here are our top stories!

Nigerians to Regulate Crypto Trading

buy bitcoin in nigeriaNigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission is set to regulate crypto trading in the country. The new rules will apply when an investment qualifies as a securities transaction. That means that the regulations will apply to the digital assets that the regulator classifies as securities.

“[The Commission’s regulations will guide Issuers or sponsors of virtual digital assets.] The general objective of the regulation is not to hinder technology or stifle innovation, but to create standards that encourage ethical practices,” the regulator wrote in a statement.

Nigeria is the largest crypto market in Africa. It is, therefore, unsurprising that regulators have taken a keen interest in the space and want to streamline it. According to the Managing Director of Afrinvest Securities in Lagos Ayodeji Ebo, the regulations will stabilise the crypto industry in Nigeria.

“Crypto transactions are already happening, and the earlier [the government regulates them], the less havoc on the economy,” he told Bloomberg.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has, however, not gone into the specifics of what the regulations will look like.

Kenya’s Accounting Professional Body Announces Crypto Seminar

Kenya’s accounting professional body is planning to hold a crypto-focused seminar at the end of September 2020. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) wants to educate its members about cryptocurrencies and how they relate to accounting.

The two-day virtual seminar will cover topics like blockchain technology and how it impacts accounting, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist obligations in relation to virtual assets, tax issues surrounding crypto assets, accounting standards associated with crypto assets, and adopting best practices in crypto.

ICPAK will hold the seminar on 29 and 30 September 2020 from 9 AM to 1 PM.

Nigerian-Based Crypto Company Goes Global

PatriciaPatricia, a Nigerian-based crypto company has gone global. The company now has offices in Ghana, the UK, and the US.

Patricia offers a debit card that allows users to cash out bitcoin. Furthermore, the company provides a platform to trade gift cards while enabling users to buy airtime and internet data using bitcoin.

“I had an uncle who visited Nigeria, who used to give me an iTunes gift card. Not owning an iPhone then, I had no use for it, so I tried to find where I could exchange this for real money. I could not find any local company doing that, and I ended up getting scammed of the card. At that point, I realized I had stumbled on something special,” Founder Fejiro Hanu Agbodje said in an interview with the Nigerian Guardian.

Agbodje established Patricia in 2017 which has since grown beyond his vision. The company aims to make bitcoin usable while educating its users about cryptocurrencies.

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Weekly News Roundup: Small Value Transfers in Africa Rise by 55%, DCG Buys Luno

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DCG

In this week’s news roundup, we highlight the growth of Africa’s crypto economy and other top stories. Keep reading to learn more.

Remittances and Fiat Devaluation are Promoting Africa’s Crypto Economy, Chainalysis Report Reveals

It’s been clear for some time now that Africa’s crypto economy is growing. To offer more insight into this growth, Chainalysis has released the 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report. The report shows that remittances and fiat devaluation are responsible for this growth.

The demand for low-fee remittances and the instability of some African currencies are the reasons why Africans are turning to cryptocurrencies.  For instance, people overseas transferred about $562 million worth of cryptocurrency to addresses in Africa from June 2019 and July 2020.

Furthermore, small value transfers under $10,000 rose by 55 percent to $316 million in the year to June. According to the report, these transfers contribute to the largest share of Africa’s crypto activity. The top African countries leading in cryptocurrency transfers are Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.

“Africa has the smallest cryptocurrency economy of any region we analyse in this report, with just $8 billion worth having been received and $8.1 billion sent on-chain in the last year. However, that relatively small amount of activity is creating life-changing value for users in the region facing economic instability, offering low-fee remittances, and an alternative way to save,” Chainalysis stated.

Binance Handles the Largest Share of Africa’s Crypto Activity

Binance is handling the largest share of Africa’s crypto activity. The exchange’s share of this activity has been increasing since the beginning of 2020, possibly due to aggressive marketing.

The chart below indicates the ten exchanges that are sending value to and from Africa as per the Chainalysis research.

Transactions

The ten exchanges’ share of all the crypto activity in Africa has increased from 66 percent in October 2019 to 78 percent in June 2020.

Digital Currency Group Snaps Up Luno

Blockchain investor heavyweight, Digital Currency Group, has acquired the popular digital asset exchange Luno.

“We are proud to have supported Luno as an early investor, and we recognize a shared commitment to building mission-driven companies that can help transform traditional financial services and improve economic freedom for people all over the world,” said DCG Founder and CEO Barry Silbert.

“Luno is a high growth, global business and there is a massive opportunity to expand organically and through acquisitions,” he added.

Luno maintains key regional offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, among several others across the globe.

Binance Uganda to Delist BNB

Binance Uganda has decided to delist its native token Binance Coin (BNB) at 10 AM EAT 17 September 2020. Additionally, the exchange will stop trading on all trading pairs for BNB on the same day. As the platform announced in a statement, BNB has not met the exchange’s trading standards, hence the decision.

Binance Uganda will remove the trading pair BNB/UGX. Also, the platform closed BNB deposits on September 10. However, it will continue to support BNB withdrawals until 6 November 2020 at 10 AM EAT.

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TerraCredit to Go Private with zCredit

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zCREDIT

The South Africa cryptocurrency project, TerraCredit, has announced the addition of a new privacy feature to its blockchain. In a world where more and more data is being harvested and sold to the highest bidder, TerraCredit is playing its part in protecting the financial sovereignty of individuals across the globe. 

Introducing zCredit 

TerraCredit plans to stay on top of the trends by bringing privacy to Credit users.

In a tweet announcing the new feature, TerraCredit said: ”zCREDIT inbound. Get ready for a tidal wave of interest in your coins. zCREDIT works on top off the CREDIT blockchain. It opens up a world of new features, functions, and earning potential.”

 

The new feature makes transactions on the CREDIT blockchain private. To use zCREDIT, users will need to download the new version of the desktop wallet released on September 4, 2020. zCREDIT is minted inside the application by swapping zCREDIT for CEDIT at a ratio of 1:1.

zCREDIT transactions do not show on the CREDIT blockchain, allowing anonymous and untraceable transactions. People who receive zCREDIT can then swap it for regular CREDIT in the desktop wallet. The feature is now available to all desktop users. 

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