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

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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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Weekly News Roundup: South Africa Releases New Crypto Rules, Chipper Cash Raises $30 Million

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New Crypto Rules

The crypto scene has been more lively than usual over the last few days as bitcoin soared to $19,000 for the first time since 2017. Additionally, South Africa released new crypto rules to address the rising use of crypto in the country. In this week’s news roundup, we will look at this story and other top news.

South Africa Releases New Crypto Rules

South African Reserve BankThe Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa has published a draft declaration of crypto assets as financial products. The new rules are published under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

“Globally, there is growing interest by retail investors to purchase crypto assets. South Africa has also experienced an exponential increase in the provision and use of crypto assets,” the regulator said.

The draft declaration has included several recommendations from the Crypto Assets Regulatory Working Group’s position paper.

The new rules will affect cryptocurrency service providers like exchanges, brokers, and advisors. That means that anyone offering advice or intermediary services with regard to cryptocurrencies will have to seek authorisation from the FSCA.

However, the regulator has made it clear that the draft declaration does not intend to regulate or legitimise crypto assets.

South Africans have until 28 January 2021 to submit their comments about the draft declaration.

Chipper Cash Raises $30 Million

Chipper Cash has raised $30 million through a Series B funding round and launched a crypto trading service. Ribbit Capital and Bezos Foundation were participants in this funding round.

Chipper Cash offers P2P payment services in seven African countries. However, due to demand, the company has added crypto trading services. Currently, the Chipper Cash app and website have beta dropdowns, where users can buy and sell bitcoin.

“We will always be a P2P financial transfer platform at our core. But we have heard the demand from our users to offer other value service like purchasing cryptocurrency assets and making investments in stocks,” CEO Ham Serunjogi told TechCrunch.

The startup has also added a beta product that enables its African users to buy US stocks. The company will also add more products with the funds it has raised and expand its operations to other countries.

Stellar-Powered ClickPesa to Enable Cross-Border Payments in East Africa

ClickpesaClickPesa, a B2B payment platform in East Africa, has announced that it is using the Stellar network to facilitate cross-border payments. That means that the company is an Anchor on the Stellar network, and can provide on/off ramps to the banking systems in Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda.

According to the Stellar Development Foundation, “anchors accept deposits and withdrawals via traditional rails and convert them to and from digital currency. They also interoperate with one another — and with other Stellar-built applications — to empower users to transact across borders and across currencies.”

Moreover, ClickPesa is working on integrating mobile money operators like Tigo, M-PESA, and Airtel. That means that the platform can leverage the Stellar network to allow a user to send a payment directly from a bank account in Europe to a mobile wallet in Tanzania.

The company has been operating in Tanzania for a few years and plans to expand to Kenya and Rwanda soon.

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Female Bitcoin Traders Thriving More Than Male Counterparts

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Female Bitcoin Traders

A study by IG has revealed that female traders are succeeding at trading bitcoin and other commodities more than their male counterparts.

No Longer a Boy’s Club

In the early years of bitcoin’s rise in popularity, men showed higher interest than women in it. The cryptocurrency was associated with complexity, risk, and illegal activities as there was no official government regulation to support its public use. The occurrence of scams over the years worsened things for potential investors as there was little to bring assurance of sustainable investment in bitcoin. 

Today, however, you will be hard-pressed to find (virtual) blockchain conferences and meetups, digital asset startups, and blockchain projects without a female presence. 

An increase in crypto education and female-led blockchain initiatives have been the main drivers for more women to join the industry. 

What The Numbers Say

IGAccording to an analysis conducted by UK-based CFD trading platform IG, there was a 43% increase in the number of women in the cryptocurrency industry in the first quarter of 2020. Most notably, in Greece, the growth was at about 164%. This growth reflects on both technical and non-technical users who tend to be millennials. 

It is great to note that more women are part of this industry. More notably, they are succeeding at trading.

An exclusive IG study followed male and female traders for over a year to compare their behavior in trading bitcoin and other commodities like crude oil and gold.

The table below shows the success rate of male and female traders: 

 

Bitcoin

Gold

Brent crude (oil)

Silver

Average

Male

71%

83%

79%

74%

77%

Female

76%

85%

82%

74%

79%

 

76% of females succeed at bitcoin, compared to 71% of males. For gold, 85% of female traders succeeded against 83% of males. In trading Brent crude oil, 82% of females superseded a 79% success rate among males. While factoring silver trading, on average, female traders succeeded at a 79% rate compared to 77% for males.

As per preference by different generations, gold carried the highest ranking, followed by bitcoin, brent crude oil, and silver at the least of the four. Gen X prefers bitcoin the most, at 24.55%, slightly more than millennials at 24.45%. Gen Z and baby boomers showed a lower preference for bitcoin at 23.25% and 20.41% respectively. 

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Weekly Roundup: Bundle Africa Launches in Ghana, Binance Follows Suit

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In this week’s news roundup, you will learn about the crypto masterclass that Binance Kenya has planned, the launch of Bundle Africa in Ghana, and Binance’s acceptance of Ghanaian cedi (GHS) deposits.

Bundle Africa Launches in Ghana

BundleBundle Africa has launched in Ghana. That means that Ghanaians can use the Bundle app to buy and sell crypto using the cedi. Also, users can send, receive, and request cryptocurrencies.

“We are super-excited to finally bring Bundle to Ghana. I believe the country has immense potential for crypto adoption. Ghana is the right environment for Bundle to thrive,” said CEO and Founder Yele Bademosi.

The launch is part of the company’s plan to expand to other parts of Africa before the end of 2020. With the Bundle app, Ghanaians can store and trade bitcoin, ether, binance US dollars (BUSD), bitcoin cash, litecoin, chainlink, binance coin, and tron.

Furthermore, Bundle Africa recently launched a crypto savings feature for binance US dollars called Vault. The feature enables users to earn interest on BUSD holdings through two options: fixed and flexible vault.

Binance

Bundle is not the only digital asset exchange to enter the Ghanaian market. Crypto behemoth Binance also announced that is now officially in Ghana through its acceptance of deposits in cedi (GHS).

Users are now able to deposit Ghanaian Cedi (GHS) via mobile money into their Binance wallet and buy crypto, providing a new and competitive fiat gateway for Ghana.

After depositing funds to Binance, users will be able to buy BTC, BUSD, ETH, and BNB with GHS, Binance explained in an announcement.

Binance Kenya to Hold Crypto Masterclass

BinanceBinance Kenya has announced a crypto masterclass that will take place on 27 November 2020.

The online masterclass aims to teach learners the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies. If you join the Zoom webinar, you will also learn how to purchase and sell crypto using the Kenyan Shilling.

The two-hour crypto masterclass will start at 5 PM, EAT. You can sign up for the event here. The webinar is ideal for crypto beginners or anyone that wants to start trading cryptocurrencies.

Kenyan Blockchain Project Wins Chainlink Grant

The Chainlink Community Grant Program has awarded a grant to a Kenyan blockchain project. The project is a joint initiative of ACRE Africa and Etherisc. The two companies plan to create a decentralised insurance protocol that will offer blockchain-based crop insurance solutions. The project will protect up to 250,000 small scale farmers in Kenya from the impact of climate change over the next three years.

ACRE Africa CEO George Kuria said: “We are excited to be able to further our work with farmers in East Africa by receiving support through the Chainlink Community grant to help build out and implement a more reliable and cost-effective model for crop insurance with the collaboration of Etherisc.”

The grant will fund the technical and research aspects of the project. The technical aspects include developing smart contracts and a user-friendly insurance solution. On the other hand, the research aspect entails investigating the economics of crop insurance in several African regions, assessing weather patterns, and plant and soil biology.

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