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Weekly News Roundup: YellowCard Enter Kenya and Cameroon, Binance Adds Chipper Cash




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!

YellowCard Enters Kenya and Cameroon 

YellowCard has added Kenya and Cameroon to its list of supported countries this month. The cryptocurrency exchange was initially built as a bitcoin gift card service in Nigeria. Now, it has grown to become a popular fully-fledged exchange. Before expanding to Kenya and Cameroon, YellowCard launched in South Africa and Botswana. 

This expansion will allow users to buy bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and dash with the Kenyan shilling and CFA franc.

The platform promises zero trading fees, instant deposits, and withdrawals. YellowCard claims to have processed over $35 million in transactions with 30,000 merchants in Nigeria. Also, the exchange recently raised $1.5 million in a seed round.

Binance Adds ChipperCash To Binance P2P

Binance P2P

Binance P2P continues to add more features for African users with the addition of Chipper Cash as a payment option.

Chipper Cash is a money transfer app that allows you to send money between African states. The app is currently available in seven African countries, including Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, and South Africa. What’s more, Chipper Cash is a prominent payment option among African peer to peer traders on other platforms like Paxful and LocalCryptos.

This new feature will boost the growth of the relatively new P2P contender on the continent as new traders may join, and older ones now have access to more payment options.

Also, Binance P2P officially added Mpesa as a payment option last week, allowing Kenyans to use the platform. Binance P2P now supports Nigerian, South African, and Kenyan users.

SaBi Exchange Adds DeFi Coins

The decentralized finance (DeFi) trend has led to the listing 18 new coins on SaBi exchange. The exchange is one of the few African based exchanges to list DeFi coins.

Coins listed include but are not limited to:

  • Compound (COMP) 
  • Aave (LEND)
  • Balancer (BAL)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Band protocol (BAND)
  • MakerDAO (MKR) 

The digital asset markets corrected in the past few days, coming off recent highs. At the time of writing, bitcoin traded at $10,200.


Weekly Roundup: Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z Announce Blind Bitcoin Trust for Africa and India




In this week’s roundup, you will learn about Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z’s Blind Bitcoin Trust dedicated to Bitcoin development in Africa and the biggest crypto investment scam of 2020.

Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z Announce Blind Bitcoin Trust for Africa and India

The CEO of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey, has announced a Bitcoin Trust with American Rapper Jay-Z. The two announced the initiative through a tweet that garnered over 23,000 likes.

Dorsey and Jay-Z are giving 500BTC to the trust, which will fund bitcoin development in India and Africa. Many companies and organisations commented on the tweet probably with the hopes of becoming beneficiaries of this fund. They include BitPesa, Blockchain Association of Kenya, and SpaceBox.

The announcement came hours after an anonymous source claimed that India would ban all cryptocurrencies. Moreover, the Central Bank of Nigeria recently ordered all banks in the country to stop facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.

According to the tweet, the trust needs three board members to start. Also, Dorsey and Jay-Z will not take part in the leadership of the trust.

Chainalysis Names MTI as 2020’s Biggest Crypto Investment Scam

Chainalysis has named the Mirror Trading International (MTI) scheme as 2020’s biggest crypto investment scam. The company made the declaration in a recent review of cryptocurrency-related crimes.

MTI conducted a crypto investment scheme in South Africa where users deposited a minimum of $100 in bitcoin. The company claimed to use AI trading software to grow the investments of its customers. Additionally, MTI guaranteed customers daily returns of 0.5 percent.

“Mirror Trading International is another example of why the industry must spread the word that algorithmic trading platforms promising unrealistically high returns are nearly always scams. When cryptocurrency exchanges and other services learn of these scams and receive their cryptocurrency addresses, they should discourage users from sending funds to those addresses or at least warn them that financial losses are highly likely,” said Chainalysis.

The Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa has been investigating the company since last year. They found that the company was using false trade statements and did not declare losses. Furthermore, the FSCA discovered that the company could not account for more than 16,000 bitcoin of claimed investors’ funds.

Bitcoin Crosses the $50,000 Mark

Project Khokha 2This week, bitcoin reached yet another milestone by crossing the $50,000 mark.

The bull-run comes at a time when Tesla bought $1.5 million worth of bitcoin. Additionally, Mastercard announced that it will bring crypto to its network.

Tesla’s move could inspire other companies to consider cryptocurrencies. For instance, the CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, told CNBC that the company is considering accepting bitcoin payments.

“I think bitcoin is a much more stable asset class today than it was three years ago. It used to be dominated by leveraged retail traders […] on international markets with a lot of leverage. “Starting in March of 2020, you saw institutions start to arrive, and I think in 2021 you are going to see that trend continue,” Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, told CNBC program Street Signs Asia.

Unlike the 2017 bull-run where bitcoin lost over 80 percent of its value the next year, bitcoin appears to be keeping the momentum this time around.

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Weekly Roundup: South Africa Launches Project Khokha 2, CBN Gets Sued Over Crypto Ban



Project Khokha 2

The crypto capital markets saw another interesting week where ETH hit a new all-time high past $1800. Additionally, South Africa launched Project Khokha 2 while Mastercard announced plans to bring crypto on its network and the Central Bank of Nigeria faces a legal pushback following last week’s crypto banking ban.

South Africa Launches Project Khokha 2

The Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) Innovation Hub has announced the launch of Project Khokha 2. The project will investigate the policy and regulatory implications of tokenisation in the financial markets.

“Project Khokha 2 will issue, clear, and settle debentures on DLT using tokenised money in a minimum viable product (MVP) to inform policy and regulatory reflections. Industry participants will be able to purchase the debentures with a wholesale central bank-issued digital currency (wCBDC) and a wholesale digital settlement token (wToken). The wToken can be seen as a privately issued stablecoin used for interbank settlement,” said IFWG in a statement.

The participants of this project are Absa, Nedbank, First Rand Investec, Standard Bank, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and Strate. Furthermore, IFWG has given Accenture the task of creating the wCBDC, while Block Markets Africa will develop the wToken and produce DLT-based debentures. Additionally, Deloitte will document the insights of Project Khokha 2.

The first Project Khokha aimed to explore the feasibility of a Central Bank Digital Currency as an electronic legal tender.

Civil Society Organisation Sues CBN Over Recent Bank Payments Ban

buy bitcoin in nigeriaThe Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative, a civil society organisation, has sued the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for banning banks from facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.

The society argued that CBN does not have the power to prohibit financial institutions from handling crypto transactions. Furthermore, it highlighted that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the country had declared digital assets legal.

As a result, the lawyers are seeking “perpetual injunction restraining [CBN] from regulating and/or further regulating virtual currencies/ cryptocurrencies in Nigeria.”

Irene Chukwkuelu filed the case in court on behalf of the organisation on February 8, after CBN imposed the ban on February 5.

Mastercard to Bring Crypto On Its Network

Mastercard Inc. has said that it is planning to provide support for several cryptocurrencies on its network. Presently, Mastercard offers crypto cards to its customers. However, these transactions do not go through its network.

“This is a big change that will require a lot of work. We will be very thoughtful about which assets we support based on our principles for digital currencies, which focus on consumer protection and compliance,” Mastercard stated.

The company made it clear that it is not recommending people to start using cryptocurrencies. Additionally, it specified that introducing crypto support on its network will allow customers, businesses, and merchants to move digital value however they want.

Mastercard will join companies like Tesla and PayPal that are embracing cryptocurrencies. Recently, Tesla bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin and announced it would start accepting bitcoin payments. Also, Visa announced plans to launch an API for banking with bitcoin.

SARS Clamps Down on Non-Compliant Crypto Traders

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is requesting taxpayers that hold cryptocurrencies to reveal their trading activities. This is according to tax firm, Tax Consulting South Africa, which acquired enquiries from taxpayers that had received audit requests.

SARS also asked the taxpayers to send information detailing their reasons for buying crypto, a letter from the trading platform confirming the investment, and bank statements.

“This would have been reasonably expected by the taxpayers, if they had made any disclosure of cryptocurrency-linked trading amounts in their returns, along with the rental amounts and certain investments that were indeed disclosed to SARS,” said Tax Consulting South Africa. “However, in this case, we had explicitly confirmed that the taxpayers had not, to their knowledge, ever effected a cryptocurrency-related transaction.”

Nevertheless, the move shows that SARS is actively clamping down on non-compliant crypto traders who could pay a fine or serve up to two years in prison. In 2018, SARS carried out an exercise to identify and track the transactions that crypto traders were performing.

The cryptocurrency tax in South Africa requires taxpayers to declare all crypto-related taxable income. That includes crypto to Rand transactions and crypto to crypto transactions.

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Binance Smart Chain’s Daily Transaction Volume Outshines Ethereum



On February 10, 2021, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) recorded daily transaction volumes that were 30 percent higher than Ethereum.

According to data from BscScan, users conducted 1.7 million transactions that day. Conversely, total transactions on Ethereum were 1.3 million, as indicated on Etherscan.

BSC Volumes

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), said: “We are thrilled to see in just six months since we officially launched Binance Smart Chain (BSC) that we have flipped Ethereum on daily transactions. With low fees, faster network, and interoperability between blockchains, we have [attracted] more users and projects. We will continue to work with the BSC community as well as our ‘Most Valuable Builder’ accelerator program to build more.”

Binance Smart Chain Figures

The Binance Smart Chain daily transaction volume has risen by 300 percent year to date (YTD). Additionally, total transactions rose from a low of 268,868 on January 17 to a high of 1.7 million on February 10.

The ecosystem has more than 100 DeFi projects and supports 42 cryptocurrencies. Also, the total value of cross-chain assets is $1.37 billion, while the total market value of Binance BTokens is $1.8 billion.

Binance Smart Chain has maintained GAS fees as low as $0.04 compared to $5.53 on Ethereum. That makes BSC 135 times less expensive than the Ethereum network.

“With transaction fees that are a fraction of the cost on the Ethereum network, as well as connectivity with various other blockchains, BSC has attracted many blockchain projects. [This has driven] the number of daily transactions on the BSC network to more than 1.66 million as of February 10, a new record and a figure that surpasses Ethereum’s transaction numbers by 30 percent,” Binance said in a statement.

Most Valuable Builder Program

Binance rolled out the Most Valuable Builder (MVB) program last week to offer additional support to the developers building on the Binance Smart Chain. This could see the use of the platform increasing resulting in accelerated growth.

The program will help BSC-based startups to build real-world innovations, obtain financing, get industry exposure, and improve business and community growth.

MVB is under the $100 million DeFi Accelerator Fund. Projects that get to phase two will receive up to $10,000 in funding. On the other hand, those that get to phase three will get $100,000. The top projects will get up to $2 million in liquidity incentive.

Projects that are interested in this program have until February 28 UTC+8 to send their applications.

Binance Smart Chain as an Ethereum Alternative

The high Ethereum gas fees have made it costly for ERC20 projects to make microtransactions. For instance, Jack Rozen wrote in an article on CoinGeek that it cost him more than $60 to send an ERC20 token. That could explain the recent market movement as users turn to Ethereum alternatives like BSC that offer lower fees.

Binance is attributing the growth of BSC to its features and rising popularity. Currently, there is $4.2 billion worth of BEP-20 tokens utilising the Binance Smart Chain.

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