Africa and the Middle East

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

Nigeria

Cryptocurrencies to Boost Trade in Nigeria: According to experts, cryptocurrencies have the potential to boost trade in Nigeria — the biggest economy in the continent.

Lucky Uwakway,  the Chief Operating Officer of Blockchain Solutions Limited, in a presentation stated that Nigeria can follow global trends to boost trade. Right now, 51 percent of the people view cryptocurrencies as an investment but more and more people are using it for remittances, online shopping and local transfers. But, overall, Uwakwe believes that the price needs to stabilize or keep increasing to keep people interested in the sector.

Cryptocurrency promoter Olaleye Awe believes that trading should increase when the prices are low, as it would lead to better integration of the monetary asset.

Lagos

IBM Using Blockchain to help Farmers: IBM’s latest blockchain solution called Hello Tractor aims to connect small farmers with data analytics and physical equipment to yield better crops. The initiative is part of the company’s blockchain ecosystem to increase the use of AI and reduce losses.

The service will be available for farmers who wish to use a digital ledger and AI-based system to capture, track and share data.

South Africa

Startup Targets Youth Unemployment through Blockchain Technology with Google’s Assistance: New blockchain startup ZLTO is working to reduce unemployment in South Africa. Unemployment is high in this part of the world (~50%) with a majority of it prevailing in the coloured majority.

ZLTO aims to involve youngsters in community-related efforts to increase business activity and job creation. The startup just raised R3.5 million from Google for this purpose. Volunteer work will also be included in the proposed framework including cleaning up streets and even painting buildings.

Kenya

IBM Using Twiga Blockchain to Help Agriculture Industry: IBM’s Twiga blockchain initiative in partnership with Twiga Foods is using the power of the decentralized technology to keep track of transactions and recording data.

Twiga foods aim to cut the increasing role of middlemen in the Agriculture industry and thus boost profits for the farms. The sector contributes to more than 50% of the GDP in the country. Over 5000 vendors already use the Twiga platform to order produce in the African country and could potentially benefit from it.

Egypt

Reserve Bank Conducting Feasibility Studies for Digital Currencies: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is undertaking feasibility studies on digital currencies in the country according to Aymen Hussein, the sub-governor of the bank.

Hussein made these comments during a recent blockchain conference in Abu Dhabi earlier this week. He believes a blockchain version of the fiat currency may be able to help government cut costs on money regulation in the country.

Israel

Central Bank Seeking Input on Crypto Regulation: The Central Bank of Israel is working for crypto regulation in the country and now seeking input from the public regarding it.

The bank believes that there is a need to monitor development in digital assets space and is now seeking input from the crypto community and the general public for this purpose.

Turkey

Ripple Technology Used to Transfer GBP from Turkey to UK: Ripple’s XRP may be the cryptocurrency face of the company but its underlying technology is also making progress. Recently, a transfer of money in British Pounds (GBP) was facilitated by Ripple’s blockchain technology.

The transfer occurred between an Akbank and a Santander bank branch in the United Kingdom.

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