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Weekly Roundup: Congo-based Web3 Startup Jambo Raises $7.5 Million in Seed Funding & More



Web3 Startup Jambo

In this week’s news roundup, you’ll read about a Congolese startup, Jambo, building a Web3 app for Africa, a pilot to test cryptocurrency and blockchain use in Kenya proves crypto payments can lower cross-border payment costs, and more.

Congo-based Web3 Startup, Jambo, Raises $7.5 Million in Seed Funding to Develop a Web3 Super App for Africa

A Congo-based startup, Jambo, has successfully raised $7.5 million in its seed funding. The startup is developing a Web3 user acquisition portal across Africa via a “learn, play, earn” and democratizing access to crypto-based income-generation opportunities.

JamboAs reported in TechCrunch, Jambo’s seed funding round was backed by major investors who have invested in prominent Web3 companies such as Avalanche, BlockFi, Dharma, and Polygon. The startup received funding from Alameda Research, AllianceDAO, Coinbase Ventures, DeFiance Capital, Delphi Ventures, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Tiger Global, Polygon Studios, and Yield Guild Games. Moreover, Jambo also received funding from various angel investors in the Web3 ecosystem.

Speaking about the investment, Santiago R. Santos, a Web3 investor and ex-ParaFi partner, said, “What WeChat did in China, Jambo will do in Africa. Excited to back this A+ team in becoming the Web3 super app of the continent.”

According to the founders, there is a big opportunity in Africa for Web3 and developing the app will help connect millions of African users to Web3 applications from across the globe. The company has already signed up over 12,000 students across 14 African countries to undertake a curated Web3 curriculum that will help them to explore opportunities in decentralized finance (DeFi) and play-to-earn gaming.

Jambo is expected to release its beta version of the super app by Q2 and then go live in Q3 of 2022.

Microwork Pilot in Kenya Shows Crypto Payments Could Lower Cross-border Remittance Charges

A microwork pilot study done in Kenya by Celo Foundation and Mercy Corps Ventures has shown how the incorporation of crypto payments could help Kenyan youth access digital jobs while reducing cross-border remittance charges.

Besides Celo Foundation and Mercy Corps Ventures, other partners included Celo, a mobile-first DeFi platform; Kotani Pay, a technology stack that enables blockchain protocols; Appen, a publicly-traded data company, and NairoBits, a Kenyan non-profit that uses ICT to empower disadvantaged youth. The pilot was carried out to show how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies can help drive financial inclusion.

Speaking of the pilot project, Scott Onder, Mercy Corps Ventures Senior Managing Director, said “We trained 200 Kenyan youth to access digital microwork from global platforms using a mobile app and integrated Valora digital wallet, which is built on Celo. Our pilot tested how a stablecoin could reduce the costs and challenges of sending and receiving cross-border micropayments over a three-month period.”

In the trial, users were paid in Celo dollars (cUSD), – a Celo-native stablecoin that tracks the value of the US dollar –  which they received a few seconds after completing the assigned tasks. The payments were then temporarily stored in Celo’s digital wallet known as Valora, after which participants could cash out at any time to their M-Pesa, an ease enabled to them by Kotani Pay’s off-ramp tech.

Currently, PayPal, Skrill, and Payoneer are the commonly used payment options for international online jobs. However, some of them tend to have higher charges for lower pay-outs as well as withholding payments with zero explanations. Mercy Corp Ventures believes that these challenges can be overcome using cryptocurrencies.

South African DJs, Major League DJZ, and Soga World Launch the World’s First Amapiano Music NFT

South African Amapiano Djs, Major League DJZ, with Soga World – a leading UK Web3 creative agency, on February 22, 2022, launched the world’s first Amapiano music non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Rarible.

The collection features 244 super exclusive NFTs that Major League DJZ created in collaboration with Ali Dawood. The 22 NFTs features 11 different editions of artwork based on the different countries that Major League DJZ have performed in including France, Nigeria, the UK, the US, Zimbabwe, and more. The artworks have been priced at 0.22 ETH. There will be an exclusive 1/1 piece with an unreleased track that will be exclusive to the NFT purchaser.

Additionally, the NFTs will also grant purchasers access to the invite-only Major League DJZ exclusive balcony mixes as well as access to their community where there will be opportunities to interact with the duo and various giveaways.

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Weekly Roundup: Africa’s Cassava Network Partners with UniPass to Expand Crypto Adoption in Africa & More



Cassava Network Partners with UniPass

In this week’s news roundup, you will read about Cassava Network, an African Web3 platform that has partnered with UniPass to advance crypto adoption in Africa, and more.

African Web3 Platform, Cassava Network, Partners with Self-custody Crypto Wallet to Expand Crypto Adoption in Africa

Cassava NetworkCassava Network, an African Web3 platform with a focus on gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and rewards, has announced the launch of the third version of its platform that features integration with UniPass, a non-custodial smart contract, enabling users to use their email addresses instead of seed phrases and gas. 

The partnership will enable Cassava Network to onboard Africans from Web2 to Web3 as users will be able to create Cassava accounts and automatically sign up to UniPass where they will be able to send, receive, and store on-chain digital assets across various Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains. 

Speaking about the launch of the new platform version, Mouloukou Sanoh, Co-founder of Cassava Network, said, “Cassava v3 serves as a bridge for global Web3 businesses to connect with African Web2 users.”

Sanoh went ahead to mention that 90 percent of the partners engaging with the community feature of the new version are African businesses. 

Benjamin Obenze, Cassava Network’s Business Developer, in an interview said that African users and businesses will be able to use the new platform version to enter Web3 spaces. 

Nigeria Leads the African Continent with Crypto Leverage Searches on Google

According to an analysis of Google searches done by Leverage Trading, Nigeria scored the second-highest globally (94) for searches related to crypto leverage in the last five years. 

Singapore is the only country that outscored Nigeria with a score of 100 regarding searches but with more emphasis on transactional searches like ‘how to leverage trade crypto’. South Africa and Ghana follow Nigeria closely as both countries have also dominated Google searches for the term ‘trade crypto.’ 

Despite Nigeria leading in the crypto leverage searches and South Africa and Ghana following closely, Leverage Trading established that Africa still lags behind when it comes to searches for the term ‘stock leverage.’ 

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Weekly Roundup: Kenyan Senate in Discussion with CBK to Legalise Bitcoin & More



kenya legalise bitcoin

In this week’s news roundup, you will read about the Senate initiating talks with the Central Bank of Kenya to develop policies on digital assets, Zambia’s move to test the tech it desires to use for crypto regulation, and more. 

Kenya’s Senate to Hold Discussions with CBK to Legalise Digital Assets

The Committee on Information, Communication & Technology, under the Senate of the Republic of Kenya, has made its intention known that it will engage the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and other stakeholders to develop policies on the use of crypto assets and virtual service providers in the country.

The news was shared on the official Twitter page of the Senate of Kenya. The committee is keen on facilitating the development of a crypto regulatory framework that can enable Kenyans to carry out safe and secure crypto transactions. Moreover, the committee also noted that having regulations on cryptocurrency use in the country will help Kenya to harness the benefits of financial innovation while curtailing the risks associated with digital assets. The committee also stated that it is committed to accelerating the implementation of the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). 

Despite these new developments, the CBK hasn’t outrightly changed its stance on virtual currencies like Bitcoin not being a legal tender. However, the CBK, in 2022, published a discussion paper calling on Kenyans to share their opinions on CBDC as it looked to explore the potential implementation of a CBDC. 

Zambia Testing Technology for Crypto Regulation

The Bank of Zambia and the country’s securities regulator are currently testing technology to allow for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. The news was shared by Zambia’s Technology and Science Minister, Felix Mutati, on the ministry’s website in a move that is aimed at achieving an inclusive digital country.

Speaking about the news, Mutati stated that cryptocurrency is the future that the country desires to achieve,” but a policy framework is required to support this “revolutionary technology.” He went ahead to state that the testing of the technology that will potentially be used to regulate cryptocurrencies in the country will be upscaled in due time as part of deliberate efforts to achieve an inclusive digital economy in the country.

In addition, the minister also claimed that Zambia aspires to become a technology hub in Africa by developing digital infrastructure and attracting investments in the sector. 

South African Startup Momint Keen to Boost Electricity Generation Utilising Blockchain-Based Solution

Momint, a South African startup, recently announced that it had launched a blockchain-powered solution that can alleviate the country’s energy distress by installing more rooftop solar systems in public institutions such as schools and hospitals. 

The company has so far piloted the solution at one local school – Delmas High School – in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, according to a news report published by News 24. According to the report, investors who are keen to participate in the project can do so by acquiring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that are linked to solar cells and retail for just under $9. 

The solar cells will then be leased to institutions that agree to buy the generated electricity through a standard power purchase agreement. 

Speaking of his company’s solution, Ahren Posthumus, Momint’s CEO, said, “We are a technology company that’s trying to build for the next 15 years, but what we realized is we can’t build a technology company in a country that doesn’t have electricity.”

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Weekly Roundup: South Africa Introduces New Cryptocurrency Standards to Advertising Code & More



south africa cryptocurrency advertising

In this week’s news roundup, you will read about South Africa’s new clause on its advertising code targeted towards the cryptocurrency sector and more.  

South Africa Introduces New Cryptocurrency Standards to Advertising Code

The South African Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has introduced a new clause targeted at the crypto industry and aimed at protecting consumers from unethical advertising. 

According to the new clause introduced to Section III of the country’s advertising code, both companies and individuals in South Africa will be required to abide by certain advertising standards in relation to the provision of crypto products and services. The first clause makes it mandatory for adverts, including crypto offerings, to clearly express that crypto investments may result in the loss of capital given the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies. In addition, crypto adverts should not contradict warnings about potential investment losses that investors may face. 

The clause also went ahead to emphasize that adverts for particular services and products must be explained in an easily understandable manner for the target audience. Advertisements must also have balanced messages around benefits, features, returns, and risks associated with the particular service or product. 

Rates of returns, projections, or any kind of forecasts must also be sufficiently substantiated, including how they are calculated and what conditions apply to touted returns. Moreover, any information relating to a crypto product or service’s past performance will not be used to promise future performance or returns, and should, therefore, not be presented in a way that creates ‘a favourable impression of the advertised product or service.’

The clause went on to state that adverts from crypto service providers who aren’t registered credit providers should not push for the acquisition of digital currencies using credit. However, this does not prevent the advertising of associated payment methods provided by crypto service providers. In the same breadth, brand ambassadors and social media influencers will also be expected to comply with certain advertising standards, such as sharing factual information and not offering advice on investing or trading in crypto assets as well as the prohibition of promises of benefits or returns. 

Central African Republic Keen on a Legal Framework for Cryptocurrency Adoption

Central African RepublicCentral African Republic (CAR) has set up a 15-member committee that will be responsible for developing a bill on the use of cryptocurrencies and tokenization in the region.

Once developed, the legal framework will enable cryptocurrencies to operate in the Central African Republic and expedite the development of the country’s economy. CAR’s President, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, believes that digital currencies will help eliminate the country’s financial barriers and build a business-friendly environment that’s supported by a legal framework for crypto usage in the country. 

He went on to say, “With access to cryptocurrencies, the monetary barriers existing until now will disappear, the main objective of the measures adopted by the government being the development of the national economy.”

The committee tasked with drafting the crypto bill comprises 15 experts from five different ministries of CAR, including the Ministry of Mines and Geology, the Ministry of Waters, Forest, Hunting and Fishing, the Ministry of Agriculture ad Rural Development, the Ministry of Town Planning, Land Reform, Towns and Housing and Ministry of Justice, Promotion of Human Rights and Good Governance.

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