Africa and the Middle East

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest cryptocurrency and blockchain news, continent by continent and country by country.

Nigeria

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Increasing Security Layers to Prevent Fraud: Nigerian cryptocurrency exchanges are working to improve their security features following multiple exchange hacks in recent months.

While Nigerian exchanges have escaped largely unhurt, they are working to improve the security of their funds. Exchanges including Luno have added additional security layers for unsuspecting customers, many of whom are not knowledgeable about cryptocurrency hacking activities.

Zambia

Central Bank Says Bitcoin Is Not a Legal Tender: The Central Bank of Zambia has toughened its stance on cryptocurrencies and declared that they are not legal tender and those investing in it will have to bear the entire responsibility in the case of a market failure.

But, at the same time, the Bank has also said that it neither has the power or legal backing to enforce a complete shutdown against cryptocurrencies in the country and would need legislation from the government to enable any future actions. The warning comes at a time when many Africans are looking towards cryptocurrencies as a safe haven against inflation and other fiat-related issues.

Rwanda

Government Tracking Tantalum Metal Mining With Blockchain: The Rwandan government has announced a new blockchain-based project to help track Tantalum mining operations in the country. Tantalum mining is crucial for the electronics industry but the operations are often dogged by claims of mistreatment of workers and labour violations.

Rwanda itself is one of the biggest exporters of the rare earth metals in the world and is now looking towards blockchain technology to regulate the industry. The system was developed by Circulor, a London-based DLT startup and the blockchain used for the purpose was Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain system.

Kenya

Blockchain Being Used for Fair Distribution of Housing: Kenya is using the transparency of the DLT to help create a fair distribution of housing projects and prevent misuse of funds. The move comes after the East African country was rocked by government corruption scandals in the public projects.

The new housing project with more than 500,000 units being proposed by the government has raised eyebrows regarding transparency as a recent Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) indicated that the bribe culture is getting worse in the country. Blockchain Technology is being eagerly pursued by the government to help end this epidemic in the country.

Turkey

Text-based Crypto Service Launched: Turkey saw the launch of the first SMS-based cryptocurrency service for Bitcoin Cash by Cointext. As the popularity of Bitcoin grows, Turkey and other countries are getting more and more innovative with ways of using cryptocurrencies, both online and offline.

Offline Bitcoin transfer facilities allow users to bypass exchanges and create a P2P trading environment that is crucial for the future of cryptocurrency development in the world.

United Arab Emirates

Government Planning New ICO Rules: The Emirates government is working on new ICO rules in the country following dangerous security lapses by cryptocurrency companies in the near past. According to Reuters, by 2019, the government will allow firms to raise capital through ICOs instead of IPOs.

The Emirati regulators, however, are working to bring ICOs under their control by that time and have designated cryptocurrencies as securities. According to Obaid Saif Al-Zaabi of the securities watchdog, the regulations will be in place by the first half of 2019 thus opening gateways for everybody to use this option for raising capital.

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