Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018

Africa and the Middle East

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Africa

South Africa

Government pondering over crypto tax: The South African government is considering crypto taxation and regulations in the country including trading and operations.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is studying the current trends in cryptocurrency trading and is going to propose crypto regulations. The idea has been overall well-received by the crypto community as regulation is the need of the hour in the country.

Cryptocurrencies still remain popular in South Africa despite threat of scams: Cryptocurrency trading is still pumping out great numbers despite numerous incidents of scams and frauds in the country according to latest figures.

A recent poll suggested that more than 38% of South Africans wished they had invested in cryptocurrency back last year when the price increased several folds. But loose regulations mean that South Africans are enjoying unchecked growth in the sector but that can have consequences in the form of scams and frauds. That is why the South African Revenue Service is working on a new set of regulations for the industry.

Nigeria

Blockchain to help combat corruption in Nigeria: The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is working on a blockchain project to help eradicate corruption in its operations.

The NCS is working with ERP company Oracle’s Blockchain Cloud Service that will help the agency in the management of its own affairs in a corruption-free environment. The organization is aiming to increase its revenue collection by as much as 50% with the help of this new decentralized approach.

The technology will also reportedly help new businesses, local and international trade communities to get their affairs done in a transparent manner.

Sierra Leone and Republic of Congo

The curse of blood diamonds to be cured through blockchain: Blockchain technology by a new startup called Everledger Technology is reportedly being used to solve the chronic social issue of blood diamonds in Africa.

A blood diamond is a diamond that is mined in an illegal manner, often through bonded labor or semi-slavery status workers working in inhumane conditions. The United Nations classifies blood diamonds as illegal but the accountability process is weak due to the lack of technology and transparency in the system in addition to massive lobbying by the diamond companies.

Blockchain technology can help an industry that has been taken advantage of for centuries. Countries like Sierra Leone and Republic of Congo are the one of the worst when it comes to diamond mining.

Middle East

Israel

Blockchain entrepreneur looking to buy football club: Israeli blockchain entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg is looking to buy Beitar football club based in the Holy City of Jerusalem according to Ynet News. The man is reportedly offering USD 6.5 million to the club’s current owner Eli Tabib but Tabib has countered with an additional USD 1.1 million offer.

Hogeg made his fortune in a blockchain-based company called Sirin Labs back in 2013. He has also worked to get a blockchain phone on the market that cost USD 14,000. He also announced an ICO back in December that raised USD 157.8 million to develop a new blockchain technology phone.

Saudi Arabia

Government looking to move forward in blockchain era: After the first blockchain moot in Saudi Arabia, Translating Blockchain KSA 2018, the kingdom is appearing to incorporate new blockchain technologies in its set up and diminish dependence on oil.

Blockchain technology is seen as a pivotal technology that can alter the course of the future for the Arab country. Internet of things (IoT), blockchain and other aspects of new technology are now being given priority in the country. The capital city of Riyadh itself is looking to enhance and digitize its records for using DLT in partnership with computerized arrangements supplier Elm.

Turkey

First blockchain center established in Turkey: Turkey is seeing the development of the first blockchain center at university level. The Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center (Blockchain IST Center) was inaugurated at the Bahçeşehir University (BAU) this week.

It aims to be “the most important center of research and development and innovation in Turkey in which scientific studies and publications are made in blockchain technologies.”

Blockchain centers are becoming more and more common around the world and Turkey is also gearing up for a blockchain future.

 

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