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.

African Union

Rhino Coin Maybe the Answer to Africa’s Rhinoceros Poaching Problem: A new startup in South Africa is using blockchain technology to record and verify rhino horns harvested from private farms in the country. The new solution could open new doors for preserving wild rhinoceros in the continent where much of the rhino horn trade has been banned yet not close to being stopped.

The new project called Rhino coin aims to create a new coin for every gram of horn via blockchain technology to create an incorruptible database for verifying legal rhino horns. Rhino coins can be purchased through local fiat Rand and can be traded on exchanges.

But, it is yet to be seen how Rhino coin can be adopted in the vast continent where illegal poaching is widespread.

Nigeria

Opposition Leader Pledges Cryptocurrency Policy if Elected: Ahead of the new elections, the country’s main opposition leader and candidate for president Atiku Abubakar has pledged a new pro-crypto policy in the country if he manages to win the election next year.

According to Abubakar, the policy will focus on blockchain education starting from the primary level up till university. He also promised to reform the digital currencies.

More than 50 candidates are taking part in the elections in the biggest African country with Abubakar as one of the leading contenders in the race.

Israel

Investment Firm Launches three New Cryptocurrency Investment Funds: An Israeli investment firm has announced the creation of two new cryptocurrency funds in the sector.

Silver Castle, the investment group has been described as one of the first pro-crypto investment firms in the country for accredited investors. CEO Ali Mizroch said that the first two funds have been launched in the Cayman Islands.

He continued:

“The first fund is algo-based, momentum-driven, long [and] short on bitcoin and top five [crypto]currencies. The second is smart beta, fully-invested in the top 10 coins. We aim to launch our third fund, a VC fund, that will participate in token offerings, in Q1 2019.”

The two funds will reportedly have up to $50 million in investments by the end of the year.

Saudi Arabia

Government Pondering Over Launching a National Cryptocurrency in Partnership with UAE: Saudi Arabia is opening up to the idea of a national cryptocurrency with the government of UAE reportedly onboard.

According to Mohsen Al Zahrani, the Head of Innovation at the Saudi Monetary Authority (SAMA), the country is looking to partner with UAE on the idea of a new cryptocurrency coin that will be released as early as 2019. The financial regulator will reveal more details in the near future regarding the feasibility of the project.

Bahrain

Government Signs Memorandum of Understanding with China Regarding Cryptocurrency Projects:  The government of Bahrain has signed a series of MoUs with Chinese Economic Development Board including a few for exploring the viability of the cryptocurrency projects in the country.

The tiny oil-rich nation is looking to diversify its income and has reportedly signed up Chinese fintech company IAPPAY to develop a mobile payment gateway as well as exploring the viability of cryptocurrency projects.

Fintech was also the focus of other MoUs signed between China and Bahrain. The country is also looking to establish a new AI institute at its university that will help spur innovation in the sector.

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