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Weekly Roundup: African Blockchain Startups Funding Grows 1,000% & More



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In this week’s news roundup, you’ll read about Africa’s blockchain funding landscape, Crypto Valley VC launching a blockchain startup fund focused on Africa, the Central African Republic’s plans to launch a crypto investment hub, and more.

African Blockchain Startups Funding Grows 1,000% Says Report

Crypto Valley Venture Capital on Monday published the first African Blockchain Report that highlighted the growth of Africa’s blockchain sector. The report revealed that funding for African blockchain startups grew by 1,000%.

According to the report, African blockchain venture funding experienced 11 times the growth of the overall venture funding growth in comparison to Q1 of 2021. So far, African startups have been able to secure $91 million in Q1 of 2022 alone signifying a 10 times increase from Q1 of 2021. This signifies a 1,668% year-on-year increase.

While the African startup scene is yet to get a blockchain or crypto unicorn, Q2 of 2022 has started off on the right note with MARA securing $23 million in funding, Jambo raising $30 million, and Afriex closing in on a $10 million funding.

The reports also revealed that most of the funding in 2021 went to Nigeria (39.05%), Seychelles (26.60%), Kenya (15.75%), and South Africa (14.87%). Moreover, fintech companies raised the most capital at 52.72%, followed by exchanges at 26.72% and NFTs at 8.57%.

Crypto Valley Venture Capital Launches an Early-Stage Fund for Blockchain Startups in Africa

Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC) has announced the launch of an African-focused fund that will be geared towards supporting African blockchain startups. CV VC made the announcement at the Blockchain Hub that took place between 23 – 25 May in Davos, Switzerland.

The fund is expected to invest in 100 startups in Africa over the course of the next four years. The company has so far invested in 12 startups and plans to raise between $10 and $50 million via the fund. Leading House Africa, a Nigerian startup that will enable land registration on the blockchain, and Mazzuma, a payments platform from Ghana, are among the startups that CV VC has already invested in.

According to Olaf Hanneman, CV VC’s Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, most blockchain-focused startups are expected to come from Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. However, the company is also open to funding blockchain-related projects beyond the African continent.

Central African Republic to Launch Africa’s First Cryptocurrency Investment Hub

Central African Republic Adopts BitcoinThe Central African Republic (CAR) has announced its plans to launch Africa’s first crypto investment hub. This will be another new first for CAR as barely a month ago, the country became the first in Africa to announce that it was adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender.

The announcement was made by the presidency which reinforced CAR’s acceptance of digital finance despite the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) words of caution.

Moreover, the government has also offered some details on the direction of its vision for Bitcoin. ‘SANGO’, the name given to the soon-to-be-launched hub, already has a website where interested investors can sign up for a waiting list. Currently, there is no indication of when the Bitcoin hub will become operational or how it will operate.

Speaking during the announcement, CAR’s President Faustin-Archange Touadera said, “The formal economy is no longer an option. An impenetrable bureaucracy is keeping us stuck in systems that do not give a chance to be competitive.”

The World Bank Distances Itself from CAR’s Cryptocurrency Investment Hub

The World Bank has raised its concerns over CAR’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender and said it won’t support the country’s plans to launch its cryptocurrency investment hub known as Sango.

An official document released outlining the Sango project stated that the country received the green light for a $35 million development fund for the digitisation of the public sector from The World Bank.

A spokesperson for The World Bank has, however, in an email to Bloomberg, said that the approved grant isn’t related to CAR’s cryptocurrency initiative and that the institution will not be supporting the Sango project. The approved grant is meant for digitising and updating the current public financial management system.

In the statement, The World Bank said that it would be physically impossible to fund the project and went ahead to say, “We have concerns regarding transparency as well as the potential implications for financial inclusion, the financial sector and public finance at large, in addition to environmental shortcomings.”

With an Internet penetration rate of just over 7%, it’s unclear what CAR’s crypto adoption rate is and whether its adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender and the establishment of a crypto investment hub will be successful.

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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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