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Weekly Roundup: Binance Uganda to Close Up Shop, Gifts Cards “Moon” on Paxful

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Binance Uganda to Close

In this week’s news roundup, we highlight the planned closure of Binance Uganda and other stories. Keep reading to learn more.

Binance Uganda to Close Up Shop

Binance Uganda

After launching in June 2018, Binance Uganda has decided to close up shop. According to a published statement, the closure will allow Ugandans to access its services on one platform.

“The world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.com, now offers its users the ability to deposit UGX through its payment channels. […] [We] thank our loyal users for using our services and would strongly encourage everyone to use Binance.com going forward for all their cryptocurrency and trading needs,” the exchange wrote.

Binance Uganda closed deposits and new registrations on October 28, 2020. The next phase of the closure process will take place on November 11, 2020. Thereafter, Binance Uganda will implement an anticipated hard shut down on November 28, 2020.

Users of this platform should transfer their UGX and crypto balances no later than 23:59 UTC on November 27, 2020. Additionally, if your crypto balance is insufficient to cover the transaction fees, you cannot access it. However, Binance Uganda will donate it to Binance Charity.

Uganda’s Kwame Rugunda Nominated to WEF Crypto Council

The Chairman of the Blockchain Association of Uganda, Kwame Rugunda, is now a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cryptocurrencies. Rugunda is also the CEO of CryptoSavannah and a member of the National Taskforce on the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Uganda.

“I am not certain how it came about. My belief is that WEF keeps track around the world of different aspects happening around 4IR and their related areas of interest. In that regard, I believe our work with blockchain and crypto may have caught their attention. It is a great honor! We look forward to making a contribution, and adding Africa’s voice to this distinguished forum,” he told BitcoinKE.

The role of the council is to “evaluate key challenges and opportunities within this space.” The council members will also “work on technical knowledge products for regulators and policy-makers to inform better governance and capacity-building initiatives.”

Gift Cards Are the Dominant Payment Method on Paxful

PaxfulFrom June 26 to 2 July 2, 2020, Paxful users bought $16.2 million worth of bitcoin with gift cards. This is according to a recent report by Arcane Research. Gift cards have been the preferred payment method on Paxful every month for the five-year period the research company analysed. Remittances are responsible for this popularity.

“[Immigrants purchase the gift cards] at a local store. This gift card is then photographed, and the photo gets sent to friends and family. They later sell those gift cards on Paxful for BTC. Then, they convert the BTC to local currency by selling the BTC to a buyer in the local market via [a P2P platform like Paxful],” the report says.

The use of gift cards to send remittances is fast and reliable compared to services like Western Union, which lockout undocumented immigrants.

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Weekly Roundup: South African Reserve Bank Plans to Introduce New Crypto Trading Regulations & More

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5 Ways to Buy Bitcoin Quickly and Easily as a South African

In this week’s news roundup, you’ll read about South Africa’s plans to introduce new cryptocurrency trading rules in the next 12 to 18 months, a new report by the UN showing that more than 13 million Nigerians are in possession of digital assets, and more.

South African Reserve Bank Plans to Introduce New Regulations Around Crypto Trading

South Africa, through its Reserve Bank, has announced that it will soon introduce a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the country.

Speaking at a PSG Think Big webinar, the Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Kuben Naidoo said, “Our view has changed and we now regard it [cryptocurrency] as a financial asset and we hope to regulate it as a financial asset. There has been a lot of money that has flowed in, and there is a need to regulate it and bring it into the mainstream.”

Naidoo went ahead to state that it will take them 12 to 18 months to finalize the new regulations but that know-your-customer (KYC) rules and licensing of exchanges can already start being implemented. He also touched on the possibility of the Southern African country’s central bank issuing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) and mentioned that they have so far carried out two pilots for it.

Although conversations regarding the classification of crypto as financial assets and not a currency have been ongoing for quite a while, the new move by SARB has been welcomed by crypto exchanges in the country as they expect the move will boost cryptocurrency adoption in the country.

Speaking following SARB’s announcement, Marius Reitz, Luno’s General Manager for Africa said, “It will require crypto asset service providers (CASPs) to obtain FSP licenses and will be easier for the public to identify a trusted and licensed platform. It will create a barrier to entry for those platforms with no regard for the security of customer funds and customer information.”

New United Nations Report Shows Over 13 Million Nigerian Own Cryptocurrencies

A new report by the United Nations has established that over 13 million Nigerians own cryptocurrencies. The new rating done by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) placed Nigeria third among countries with the highest number of digital currency holders in the African continent.

The report further showed that South Africa and Kenya were trailing Nigeria. However, in terms of which country has the highest proportion of crypto-owning inhabitants compared to other African countries, Kenya emerged first, ahead of Nigeria and South Africa. Currently, Kenya’s cryptocurrency ownership was at 8.5 percent in 2021, placing it first in the African continent and fifth globally. South Africa trailed Kenya with 7.1 percent of its population owning or having held virtual currencies in 2021.

Still, Nigeria has one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets despite the restrictions placed on crypto trading by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

10,000 African Startups to Benefit From Blockchain Partnership

About 10,000 startups across the African continent are set to benefit from a $1 million (roughly Ksh. 117.9 million) partnership between Adanian Labs, Humanity Node Protocol (HNP), and Web3Africa. Adanian Labs and HNP are both based in Nairobi.

The partnership, which came to be under the African Startup League initiative, will enable young Africans and entrepreneurs to develop innovative businesses and technologies around blockchain technology. The initiative will make it possible for African-owned enterprises to compete for a grand prize of $1 million for building technologies on the blockchain.

Speaking about the partnership and initiative, Marcus Duke, the founder of Humanity Node Protocol, said, “Blockchain and Africa are inevitable. There is no bigger opportunity on the planet today to do good for humanity while making incredible returns.”

HNP and Web3Africa project will provide 300,000 HNP non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to 300,000 Africans who will have registered and had their identities verified on or before August 8, 2022. In addition, HNP and Adanian Labs will develop the business model and operating protocols for the Humanity NFTSs and estimate that the NFTs will generate more than $1,000 income a month for those who will be chosen to receive the Humanity NFTs.

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Amber Group’s June 2022 News Recap: Here’s What’s Been Happening!

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Amber Group June 2022

Read on to discover what’s been happening at Amber Group in June 2022. 

Corporate News

WF Sustainability Awards 2022

  • Received the Sustainability Award for the most sustainable company in the digital currency category by World Finance.
  • Acquired Celera Markets Limited, a fully licensed financial group by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, and secured five types of SFC licenses – Type 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9.
  • Ranked among the top 5, recording a >90 score in the financial services category of the risk-scoring metric by Risktrail, the crypto-focused AML platform of blockchain analytics firm Hoptrail.

Product Development and Partnerships

Rolled out the NFT function on WhaleFin, enabling users to securely deposit, withdraw, and display their NFTs on one platform. 

WhaleFin NFT

Secured comprehensive insurance coverage for our wallet infrastructure from A-rated insurance provider Arch Syndicate 2012 of Lloyd’s of London and insurtech firm OneDegree, which is supported by a multi-year reinsurance partnership with Munich Re.

In the News

Cointelegrahp-6-Questions

Cointelegraph Magazine: 6 Questions for Annabelle Huang of Amber Group.

Finance Feeds: Amber Group Acquires Celera Markets to Mix TradFi with Digital Assets in Hong Kong.

Cryptonary: Amber Group Receives Green Signal from Hong Kong Authorities.

Yahoo Finance: Amber Group Now Licensed to Operate in Hong Kong with Acquisition of Celera Markets Limited.

The Fintech Buzz: Amber Group Now Insures Digital Assets Held on Behalf of Clients to Ensure Additional Layers of Protection.

Reinsurance News: Munich Re Backs Amber Group Digital Asset Cover by Arch & OneDegree.

Markets Media Group: Dancing Towards the Convergence of Traditional and Digital Asset Finance.

Law.com: Ant Group’s Benjamin Bai Pivots to Crypto: It’s Now or Never. 

YouTube: Globe Interview – Amber Group, Sophia Shluger.

YouTube: Ripe for Disruption: A Decentralised Future for Finance.

Medium: Bridges: Designs, Trade-offs, and Opportunities.

Events and Media Appearances

Sponsored Singapore Blockchain Fest 2022 and Managing Partner Annabelle Huang shared her thoughts on how to realize Web 3.0 economy in a fireside chat. 

Annabelle Blockchain Fest 2022

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s panel discussion on the outlook of digital assets.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined a panel discussion on ways to enhance risk-adjusted returns at Macquarie Internet and Digital Assets Conference. 

 Annabelle-at-Macquarie Conference 

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined a panel of experts to discuss current markets and key lessons learned at Bloomberg APAC Blockchain Forum 2022.

Annabelle at Bloomberg APAC Blockchain Forum 2022 

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang was featured as one of the five “Inspiring Female Thought Leaders” at Mercedes-Benz AG Blockchain Day 2022.

Women In Blockchain

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined a panel discussion on technological advancements at Europe Family Office Investment Summit.

Sophia at Europe Family Office

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined the AI Waves webinar on what Web 3.0 is and why it matters for business.

Sophia at AI Waves Webinar

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined a panel discussion on the wider institutional adoption of digital assets at the World Family Office Forum.

Sophia at World Family Office Forum

Europe Managing Director Francesco Adiliberti joined a panel discussion on the future of finance at IR Global Conference.

Europe Managing Director Francesco Adiliberti joined a panel discussion on why a treasurer should be interested in crypto at Swiss Treasurer Forum. 

Francesco at Swiss Treasurer Forum

Portugal Country Lead David Duarte joined a panel discussion on the future of Web 3.0 and internet transformation at Dublin Tech Summit.

David Duarte at Dublin Tech Summit

Head of Blockchain Security Dr. Chia-Chih Wu gave a guest lecture on blockchain data analysis for the Institute of Data Science and Engineering at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University.

Chiachih

Asia-Pacific AML Head Gina Pho joined Crypto Expo Asia 2022 to share how Amber Group has partnered with Onfido to build a world-class onboarding experience.

Gina at Crypto Expo Asia 2022

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Weekly Roundup: Binance Partners with Cristiano Ronaldo to Launch NFTs & More

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CR7 Partnership

In this week’s news roundup, you’ll read about Binance’s latest partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo to launch exclusive NFTs, a new study by Kucoin revealing that 72% of crypto investors In South Africa rely on social media for crypto-related information, Crypto.com’s expansion into South Africa with an exclusive Rand wallet, and more.

Binance Announces Partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo to Launch Exclusive NFTs

Binance has today announced a partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo to launch multiple exclusive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) collections per year.

The partnership will see the leading crypto exchange launch a global campaign that will give Ronaldo’s fans an introduction to Web 3 with a captivating entry point into the world of NFTs.

Speaking about the partnership, Ronaldo said, “My relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of. I know the fans are going to enjoy the collection as much as I do.”

In addition, the two parties will develop a series of collections that will be sold exclusively on the Binance NFT platform. The initial collection will be released later this year.

Study: 72% of South African Crypto Investors Rely on Social Media for Crypto Information

The latest study by global cryptocurrency exchange, Kucoin, has revealed that 72% of South African crypto investors rely on social media as their primary source for crypto-related information.

The report christened ‘Into The Cryptoverse’, was conducted to determine the cryptocurrency adoption rates and investor behaviour in the Southern African country. 72% of those surveyed rely heavily on social media to get information on crypto which is shared by influencers and other key media personalities to who the average citizens can relate to.

Matlala Caroline Rathabeng, a Twitter Influencer in South Africa, was quoted by Kucoin in the study saying, “Social media is the most powerful channel introducing people to new things and allowing them to build networks. Now, it grows people’s hope and trust in crypto.”

The study further revealed that 7.6 million South Africans – nearly 22% of the country’s population aged between 18 – 60 – either own virtual currencies or have used cryptocurrencies in the last six months.

Crypto.com Launches Rand Wallet As It Expands Into South Africa

cities in South AfricaCrypto.com has announced the launch of a Rand wallet as it expands into South Africa. The launch of the Rand wallet will however see the exchange deactivate the non-rand fiat wallets for its customers in South Africa.

In a statement to MyBroadband, Crypto.com said, “We have partnered with a local bank to compliantly offer certain products and services that are in line with local regulations, applicable law, and customer demand.”

The exchange shared the news in a notice to its customers in the country saying, “We are pleased to announce that we have made progress in our expansion of services in South Africa. Please be informed that Foris DAX SA (Pty) Ltd will become the contracting entity of the Crypto.com App on 10 July 2022.”

Customers will be required to accept the exchange’s updated terms and conditions with Foris DAX in order for them to continue utilizing the services. Moreover, Foris DAX will also take over the management of all the accounts of their South African customers.

Engie Energy Access’ Crypto-based Crowdfunding Solar DeFi Platform Exceeds Target

Engie Energy Access has announced that it has exceeded its target to crowdfund $100,000 via its Solar decentralized financing (DeFi) platform in a mere seven hours.

The institution is a solar energy access company that provides solar home systems and mini-grids that benefit millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. The DeFi crowdfunding platform that was developed in partnership with Energy Web, a Swiss NGO, enables investors to buy Energy Web Tokens (EWTs) in support of off-grid solar deployment, remunerated on a fixed return model with profits up to 10% on their stake.

This revolutionary financing model will enable the subsidiary of Engie to roll out autonomous solar home systems (SHSs) for schools, households, and SME beneficiaries who will acquire high-end solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system. The company’s initial projects will focus on Zambia and Rwanda which have a rural energy access rate of 11% and 44% respectively, with subsequent expansion expected in other Sub-Saharan nations

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