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Weekly Roundup: NairaEx Calls for More Industry Policies, FlexID Secures Algorand Funding & More

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CoinCola Giveaways

In this week’s news roundup, you’ll read about Nairaex’s call for improved industry policies and regulations, FlexID’s successful funding round to offer self-sovereign IDs to the unbanked population in Africa, Ayoken’s pre-seed funding to grow its marketplace, and more.

NairaEx Calls for More Industry Policies, Empowers Web3 Teams With Over N1 million

NairaExNairaEx, a crypto exchange company, has announced it’s building an enabling environment for the Web3 industry by empowering technology teams and also called for more improved industry policies and regulations at the recently held Techpoint Africa Blockchain Summit that was held at Four Points Sheraton in Lagos, Nigeria.

Besides sponsoring the event and hackathon, which NairaEx attributed to its commitment to supporting blockchain development and driving education in Nigeria, the company also gave tech experts, developer teams, founders, blockchain entrepreneurs, policy experts, and tech businesses a glimpse of the different innovations happening around blockchain technology.

Speaking during a panel discussion on regulations and Web3, NairaEx’s Growth Manager, Yomi Bilewomo said, “There is room for the cryptocurrency industry to contribute to the rules and regulations governing them. Tech enthusiasts must explore a way for the government to have both the centralized and decentralized systems obtainable in Nigeria. We believe that with proper regulations and support, the Cryptocurrency market can be an economic game changer for the country.”

The hackathon was also graced with judges from the blockchain and tech industry who awarded three Web3 teams for their design, innovation, relevance, and originality with a $2,500 cash prize. The Chemotronix team emerged first and received $1,250 (approximately N752,000) for building a prototype Internet of Things (IoT) device as part of its solution to reduce carbon emissions and other climate-related problems in Africa using the blockchain. Team Block Baddies won $750 (about N450,000) for creating a digital blockchain library that could be useful to African writers, while Team JPS earned $500 (Over N300,000) for its NFT market for digital fashion assets.

Zimbabwean Blockchain Startup FlexID Secures Algorand Funding to Provide Self-Sovereign IDs to Africa’s Unbanked

Flexid

FlexID, a blockchain startup that’s building a blockchain-based identity system for those excluded from the banking system due to a lack of identity documents, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Algorand to offer self-sovereign Identity (SSI) to Africa’s unbanked.

FlexID, which became the first Zimbabwean start-up to be selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, will utilise Algorand’s blockchain for its decentralized key management system, and later to perform financial transactions by integrating with other Algorand’s decentralized applications (DApps). The startup’s SSI platform uses a decentralised approach that gives users control over their personal information.

With the received funds, FlexID plans to make its decentralized identity network available in emerging markets where more than one billion people are estimated to lack formal identification.

Ayoken Secures $1.4 Million Pre-Seed Round to Grow its NFT Marketplace

AyokenNigeria’s NFT marketplace for creatives, Ayoken, has successfully secured a $1.4 million pre-seed round to grow its NFT marketplace and enable users to grow their revenue streams via digital collectibles.

Ayokenlabs, which is Ayoken’s marketplace, will feature virtual collectibles from influencers, musicians, and sports brands from across the world.

As reported by TechCrunch, Ayoken received funding from various investors including Founders Factory Africa, Texas-based Kon Ventures, Europe-based venture capital collective Crypto League, Ghana-based R9C Ventures, and Maximus Ventures.

Ayoken’s CEO and Founder, Joshua King, said that the marketplace is a bridge between artists and their fans who help contribute to the success of their idols. King said, “Through VIP passes, fans will get the ability to actually livestream music by these artists before it arrives on Spotify, YouTube or Apple Music. Fans will get discounts for future events too.”

Moreover, fans will have access to tokens such as behind-the-scenes videos and album art. The platform plans to launch NFTs of some major African artists and others across the world over the coming months. So far, Ayoken has partnered with KiDi, a Ghainain afrobeats artist, for his initial NFT drop.

Besides growing its team and secondary marketplace, the startup plans to sign exclusive deals with a number of artists and telcos.

African Bitcoiners Celebrate Bitcoin’s 12th Anniversary

Bitcoin enthusiasts in different cities across the world gathered on May 22, 2022, to commemorate the World Bitcoin Pizza Day, to mark the day when the digital currency was first used to make a purchase in the real world.

12 years ago on May 22, Laszlo Hanyecz, made history when he paid for two pizzas with 10,000 BTC, thus becoming the first person to pay for a real-world item using bitcoin. For the first time this year, Africans took part in the global celebration that brings together thousands of bitcoin users to share their love for digital assets.

The events happened simultaneously last Sunday in 11 African cities including Nairobi in Kenya, Kampala in Uganda, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Ibadan, Lagos, Calabar, Kano, Abuja, and Ile-Ife in Nigeria, and Cape Town in South Africa. All the events were organized by independent Bitcoin supporters and entrepreneurs and co-sponsored by Bundle Africa, a digital currency asset management platform besides other country-specific sponsors.

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

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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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Weekly Roundup: Nigerian Stock Exchange Plans to Adopt Blockchain for Settlements by 2023 & More

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In this week’s news roundup, you’ll read about Nigerian stock exchange’s plans to utilise blockchain technology for settlements, a new forensics lab launching in Kenya to help fast-track crypto-related cybercrimes, and more.

Nigerian Stock Exchange Plans to Adopt Blockchain for Settlements by 2023

Nigerian Exchange Limited, the biggest stock exchange in Nigeria, is planning to roll out a blockchain-enabled trading platform by 2023 that will increase trade by facilitating trade settlements and attracting young crypto-savvy Nigerians to stocks.

The news follows the introduction of regulations by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission to guide trade in digital assets in the country, as well as the growing interest by businesses and policymakers to adopt blockchain across the continent including in Kenya and South Africa. Moreover, the move also follows the firm’s first electronic share offering that was issued by MTN Group in the country and ended up being oversubscribed 1.2 times with the majority of the investors being below 40 years.

The company will be partnering with a tech company and is set on receiving approvals from Nigerian watchdogs next year in order to proceed. South Africa, on the other hand, is having ongoing conversations with key players in the fintech industry to incorporate the technology into its financial markets.

P2P Bitcoin Trades Rose to $185 Million on Paxful in Nigeria Despite Crypto Ban

PaxfulNigeria traded roughly $185 million worth of Bitcoin on Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto platform, in Q1 of 2022 despite the crypto ban imposed on banks by the Nigerian central bank.

According to the P2P crypto exchange, the trade volumes indicate a 5.71% increase in comparison to $175.3 million Bitcoin’s that were traded in the same period last year. Furthermore, the daily trades carried out by Nigerians on the platform averaged up to 16,000 in 2021 making the country the leading source of trades on Paxful.

25.87% (roughly $185 million) of the total $715 million BTC trades carried out on the P2P platform in the first quarter of 2022 were made by Nigerians. The increased P2P trades witnessed in the West African nation is despite the government actions banning digital asset trading with financial institutions.

Since the ban was effected, the CBN has so far fined five top Nigerian banks, including Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, and GT Bank a total of $3.4 million as a result of contraventions and infractions of its guidelines.

Kenya Launches New Forensics Lab to Help Investigate Increased Crypto Fraud

The Kenyan National Police Service has launched a Forensics Lab that is expected to help fast-track cyber-crime investigations, including crypto-related crimes, among others.

The East African nation has become a hotspot for cybercrime, especially ones relating to virtual currencies. Just recently, a top newspaper in the country reported a cryptocurrency scam that saw Kenyans lose $8.5 million in a Ponzi scheme known as Bitstream Circle.

The scheme lured investors by saying that they would get mentors who would alert them about the best times to trade as well as earn daily profits from their investment.

Kenyans Lose $8.5 Million to the Bitstream Crypto Ponzi Scheme

Bitstream Circle, the latest cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that was designed by Kenyan and Chinese fraudsters, has left investors in Kenya counting their losses after the fraudsters made away with $8.5 million.

Bitcoin ScamAccording to Nation.Africa, the company first appeared on the internet on December 7, 2021, promising investors daily profits of between five to 10 percent on the amount invested. It gained over 10,000 followers on its Telegram page which required followers interested in joining the ‘Bt Elite Team’ to pay a deposit of $20. The firm promised to assign a mentor to each investor who would guide them on how to convert their shillings into crypto coins that they could then trade, earn a profit from, and withdraw.

Everything went well until March 13, 2022, when users started noticing delays when making withdrawals which the company said was due to system upgrades. The upgrade lasted for five hours but on March 14, 2022, where the administrators began posting messages that confirmed the company was a Ponzi scheme.

You are a bunch of brainless races, see you on our next plan,” an administrator of the page posted to the 10,914 investors.“Bye, haha. I am living a luxurious life with your dollars. If you have invited friends, wait to be killed by your recommenders. Idiots. There will be a time to meet.”

The company has since disappeared from the internet and its Telegram page, mobile application, and website are no longer accessible.

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

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

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Amber May 2022 Recap

May was another busy month for Amber Group, with the announcement of new partnerships and developments. 

Announced the partnership with Chelsea Football Club as Official Sleeve Partner, with the logo of WhaleFin to be emblazoned across the kit of both the men’s and women’s teams from the 2022/23 season.

Whalefin Chelsea

Joined the Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST) coalition to comply with the Travel Rule while protecting the security and privacy of customers.

Took part in a beach clean-up at East Coast Park, Singapore, joined by our sustainability partners Zero Waste SG and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

Group Photo

Product Development and Partnerships

Integrated Chainlink to help bring more secure and reliable asset transaction pricing services to customers. 

Amber X Chainlink 

In the News

Coinquora: Amber Group Partners With Chelsea FC As Official Sleeve Sponsors.

Yahoo Finance: Amber Group Announces Official Sleeve Partnership With Chelsea Football Club.

Disruption Banking: Amber Group Announces Q3 2022 Launch Of Openverse, The Gateway Into The Metaverse.

Bitcoinist: Amber Group Partners With Chainlink For More Reliable Asset Transaction Pricing.

Benzinga: Amber Group Integrates Chainlink To Help Customers Unlock Greater Value In the Blockchain Economy. 

Reuters: Stablecoin Terra’s Broken Dollar Peg Hits Wider Crypto Markets.

Macquarie Website: Soft Power In The Metaverse. 

Medium: Position Exchange’s Reentrancy Loophole Explained.

Medium: Roadmaps.

Events and Media Appearances

CEO Michael Wu joined the Macquarie Australia Conference to share his insights on metaverse / Web3.

Macquarie

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined a webinar hosted by CMU T&E to talk about how to build Web3 startups.

Annabelle CMU Event

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined a panel discussion hosted by CoinDesk to discuss opportunities across different market structures.

Annabelle Coindesk Event

Partner Delroy Fong joined a panel discussion at Singapore Institutional Digital Asset Summit on digital assets derivatives.

Delory IDEG Event

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined a panel discussion at London AIM Summit to discuss how institutions are going beyond Bitcoin and adopting the broader digital asset class.

Sophia at AIM Summit

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined a YouTube live session with BTS Labs to dive deeper into Ethereum 2.0, DeFi Movement, Cross-chain Bridges, and DAO. 

Sophia BTS Labs

Europe Managing Director Oksana Grinchak joined a webinar hosted by Macro Hive to discuss the market chaos and what is next for crypto.

Oksana Macro Hive

Europe Managing Director Francesco Adiliberti joined a panel discussion hosted by Dukascopy Bank to share his outlook on the IT ecosystem in Switzerland.

Francesco

Sponsored Blockchain Fest 2022 in Cyprus and Senior BD Director for Continental Europe Stefan Becker was interviewed at a Fireside chat session.

Stephan

Attended the NexTech Expo Week in Tokyo and showcased WhaleFin, Blue Whale Club, and Openverse to the Expo visitors. 

Tokyo Blockchain Expo

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