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Weekly Roundup: Cardano Foundation Donates to African Novel Project, Seychelles Transfers Highest Volume of Bitcoin

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Cardano Foundation Donates to African Novel Project

In this week’s news roundup, you will hear about Cardano’s donation to an African graphic novel, Paxful’s adoption of a naira-based stablecoin, and more.

Cardano Foundation Donates to African Trust Graphic Novel

The Cardano Foundation donated in ADA to Trust, a pan-African novel that aims to spread awareness about blockchain technology and its ability to offer financial freedom. The novel will use graphics to tell a story of a woman that uses the blockchain to transform her community.

ADA

Chief Nyamweya and Anne Connelly are the writers and illustrators of this novel and will publish it in early 2021. Chief Nyamweya is a novelist and illustrator from Kenya, while Anne is a Canadian blockchain educator and tech entrepreneur.

The woman in the story, Moraa, travels back home to Wahengaland. There, she finds out that her community is at the mercy of her corrupt Uncle Max. To save them, she has to use blockchain technology.

“By using storytelling to educate readers about blockchain technology, we hope to inspire millions of African youth to imagine alternative futures. Trust also empowers African youth to create these futures by providing them with the training and tools to implement blockchain. Trust graphic novel will help African youth become the next generation of crypto users, entrepreneurs, and developers,” Chief Nyamweya said.

Speaking about the donation, Nathan Kaiser, the Chairperson of the foundation, said: “Education is key to the adoption and proliferation of blockchain technology, and engaging visual arts like the Trust graphic novel are powerful tools for reaching a large and diverse audience. The Cardano Foundation’s interest in the African continent extends far beyond commercial applications for the Cardano protocol.”

The book will be available in print and a mobile-first digital format. Moreover, the book will be accessible on online blogs and other learning resources.

Seychelles Transferred the Highest Volume of Bitcoin in H1/2020

According to a report from Crystal Blockchain, Seychelles received and sent $64.46 billion and $80.47 billion in bitcoin, respectively. That was the highest transfer amount recorded in the world in the first half of 2020.

Seychelles

The report, titled International Bitcoin Flows Analytics, also indicates that G20 countries transferred 45 percent of the bitcoin volume moved between exchanges. On the other hand, Seychelles transferred about 31 percent of the total volume of bitcoin exchanges in H1/2020. A large part of this volume comprises of Binance and Huobi transactions.

Furthermore, another report from CipherTrace reveals that Seychelles hosts 75 percent of Africa’s KYC-deficient virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Also, Africa hosts the highest number of VASPs with weak KYC processes followed by Europe and North America. Note that 72 percent of VASPs in Africa are located on the island nation.

VASPs

The report highlights that weak and porous KYC processes could increase the chances of money launderers and cyber criminals exploiting a financial platform.

Paxful Collaborates with BuyCoins to Add Nigerian Stablecoin as a Payment Method

Young AfricansPaxful has collaborated with BuyCoins Africa to add the Naira-backed token (NGNT) as a payment method on the P2P marketplace. As a result, Paxful users can now buy and sell BTC and USDT with NGNT.

Paxful CEO Ray Youssef said: “With the Naira Token, users can perform fast, publicly-verifiable, and borderless transactions with a fiat equivalent, which is important to our users. Moreover, Nigeria is one of Paxful’s leading markets. We are excited to partner with BuyCoins to make this payment method available on our platform.”

Paxful had earlier announced its plans to add stablecoins on the platform. So far, the marketplace supports USDT and is now adding NGNT.

BuyCoins Africa is a crypto exchange based in Nigeria that supports the Naira Token. Through its app, users can buy, sell, receive, send, and store ETH, BTC, and LTC. According to the exchange’s CEO, Timi Ajiboye, the partnership is exciting news for the NGNT community.

“It opens up new opportunities and use cases for NGNT. Additionally, it will help increase the trading activity within the crypto ecosystem in Nigeria. Built on the world’s leading smart contract platform, the Ethereum blockchain, whose open-source and transparent stablecoin framework allows fiat to interact with smart contracts, gives cryptocurrency dealers the ability to transact with the Naira across the blockchain,” he said.

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Weekly Roundup: New Investigation Links Africrypt to MTI, Bitcoin Shoots Past $40k

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Bitcoin chart

This week’s news roundup will reveal the new link investigators have found between Africrypt and Mirror Trading International (MTI). We will also highlight other top crypto stories.

New Investigation Links Africrypt to MTI

Crypto Investigation Bureau (CIB) has found a new link between Africrypt and MTI. These two companies have been at the centre of the recent bitcoin scams in South Africa.

“Some of the same ‘tumblers’ used by Africrypt were also used by MTI,” said Hamilton Cheong, the CEO of CIB.

Money launderers use tumblers to conceal the origin of funds before transferring them elsewhere in small quantities. Chainalysis named MTI the biggest bitcoin scam of 2020. The organisation is currently undergoing liquidation according to local reports in South Africa.

Cheong also thinks that Africrypt was not the victim of a hack as the Cajee brothers claimed. They “perhaps got mixed up with some very bad people,” he stated.

CIB has been working with law enforcement agencies across the globe to investigate the Africrypt matter. The company uses God’s View, a blockchain track and trace system, to look for missing digital assets.

Sokowatch Collaborates with FinX to Offer DeFi-Powered Services in Rwanda

SokawatchSokowatch has collaborated with FinX to offer services powered by Decentralised Finance (DeFi) to informal merchants in Kigali, Rwanda. The initiative will allow these merchants to digitise their transactions, manage cash flows, and plan for their businesses.

The project will kick off with a pilot, which has already onboarded several merchants. To scale the project to thousands of business owners, Sokowatch will get capital by leveraging deposits in the USD-backed stablecoin, Luna.

The goal of the initiative is to provide capital to small business owners that do not have access to formal credit. By helping merchants shift from cash to mobile money and prepayments for DeFi-powered inventory, the two companies believe that they can help boost profitability, resilience, and efficiency for these businesses.

Sokowatch is a company based in East Africa that helps informal retailers to make product orders through apps or SMS. On the other hand, FinX is an initiative of Mercy Corps whose goal is to speed up financial inclusion.

Bitcoin Rises Past $40,000

Bitcoin rose past $40,000 on Monday and Wednesday, creating a frenzy of excitement across the crypto community. Experts think that the recent rally could have emanated from hints that Amazon could accept bitcoin as a form of payment in the future.

According to data on Coinmarketcap, bitcoin hit a high of $40,499.68 on Monday and $40,816.07 on Wednesday. This increase brought the cryptocurrency’s market cap to above $700 billion. The digital asset has, however, dropped below $40,000. At the time of writing, bitcoin was trading at around $39,000.

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Weekly Roundup: Over 17K Kenyan Farmers Get Blockchain-Based Crop Insurance Cover & More

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blockchain-based crop insurance

In this week’s roundup, we will cover several top crypto news. From one of those stories, you will learn that thousands of Kenyan farmers have received blockchain-based crop insurance covers.

Over 17K Kenyan Farmers Get Blockchain-Based Crop Insurance Covers

A partnership between ACRE Africa and decentralised protocol Etherisc has allowed more than 17,000 small-scale farmers in Kenya to get blockchain-based crop insurance covers. The two partners have already processed insurance payouts for some of these farmers. The farmers will pay premiums as low as $0.5 to obtain insurance coverage for crops negatively affected by climate change.

“The solution that we built with our valued partners at ACRE Africa overcomes a number of challenges associated with traditional crop insurance. [Some of these challenges include] delayed payments, high premium costs, and lack of transparency,” said Michiel Berende, Etherisc’s Chief Inclusive Officer.

The project has received funds from Ethereum Foundation, the Decentralised Insurance Foundation, and the Chainlink Community Grant.

DFS Lab Partners With Stellar Development Foundation to Launch a Blockchain Bootcamp in Africa

DFS Lab has launched a call for application for its Blockchain Bootcamp that was launched in partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF). The Blockchain Bootcamp for African startups will provide early to mid-stage startups with a chance to build on the Stellar network, which is an open-source blockchain for financial products and services.

Stellar

The three-day virtual bootcamp will see participants answer key business questions while receiving hands-on guidance and support from DFS Lab and SDF. The companies with the most promising solutions will be awarded prizes between 5,000 to 20,000 USDC. Applications close on August 20, 2021.

Zimbabwe Seeks to Include VASPs in its Securities Law

The Zimbabwean government recently announced its intention to broaden the definition of securities to include Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). VASPs refer to institutions that facilitate the transaction, administration, and safekeeping of digital currencies. Cryptocurrency exchanges in Zimbabwe will, therefore, be regulated under the amended Securities and Exchange Act.

The country’s anti-money laundering laws will also be changed to allow regulatory authorities to deal with the possible abuse of cryptoassets by bad actors. This is the first time cryptoassets are being considered under Zimbabwean law, which suggests that the government is becoming more open to cryptocurrencies as an asset class.

Upcoming Upgrade to Enable Smart Contracts on Bitcoin

legitimate bitcoin doublerAn upgrade that could enable smart contracts to run on the Bitcoin blockchain is imminent. The upgrade, named Taproot, will also improve the privacy of multi-signature transactions and reduce the cost of transacting on the Lightning Network.

Edul Patel, CEO of Mudrex, an algorithmic crypto trading platform, said: “Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade might just be the key element that would propel it into mainstream finance. The bottom line is the kind of revolution that the Taproot upgrade might bring for Bitcoin is phenomenal.”

The Taproot upgrade received the green light from the bitcoin mining community through a vote. The implementation will take place in November 2021. This is the biggest Bitcoin network upgrade since SegWit in 2017.

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Weekly Roundup: Kenya Asked to Consider Blockchain-Based Elections & More

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Blockchain-Based Elections

In this weekly roundup, we will highlight the call for blockchain-based elections in Kenya and other top industry news.

Kenya Asked to Consider Blockchain-Based Elections

According to local reports, a candidate vying for the electoral commission’s commissioner position has asked Kenya to consider blockchain-based elections.

The candidate, Justus Abonyo, believes that adopting blockchain technology can cut down the cost of elections by up to 300 percent. Abonyo also said that the blockchain will improve election transparency and security. In the past, the opposition political parties have accused the winners of stealing votes.

“The cost of a ballot in Kenya ranges between US$ 7-US$ 25 (Sh700-Sh2,500). If we use blockchain technology, this cost will go down to US$0.5 (Sh50). This is an area I would explore as a commissioner,” he told the selection panel.

Kenya is preparing for a general election in 2022. Currently, the government is hiring a fresh administration to run the upcoming election.

Save the Children Rwanda Partners with Cardano

CardanoSave the Children, a charity organisation, has partnered with Cardano in Rwanda to enable ADA donations.

The Cardano Foundation has developed a payments gateway to make this happen. Hours after rolling out its application, Save the Children received 22,000 ADA, which is about US$ 30,000.

“Through Cardano, Save the Children in Rwanda now has a starter pot of the cryptocurrency ADA which we can deploy to projects for children. But there are also countless possibilities through blockchain. Firstly, the blockchain can directly impact children’s lives through initiatives such as digital school records. Secondly, it can increase our efficiency and transparency as an organisation,” said the Director of Save the Children Rwanda Maggie Korde.

The payments gateway means that the charity organisation can hold and get cardano donations without the need to convert them to fiat money first. The NGO has been receiving bitcoin donations since 2013.

Africrypt Owners Remain On the Run

The brothers behind the latest alleged Africrypto bitcoin scam in South Africa remain on the run. According to an article on Cointelegraph, the Cajee brothers left South Africa in December 2020 and have been traced to various hotels in the UAE.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is also not in a position to take any regulatory action because crypto assets are unregulated in the country.

“At this stage, we have only found evidence of crypto-asset transactions. Currently, crypto assets are [unregulated] in terms of any financial sector law in South Africa and consequently, the FSCA is not in a position to take any regulatory action,” FSCA said.

However, the authority said that it has conducted investigations that indicate Africrypt was running a Ponzi scheme. Investors have taken legal action in an attempt to recover their funds. Only time can tell whether this effort will have a positive outcome.

To learn more about Bitcoin, download the Bitcoin Beginner’s Handbook for free.

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