Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 4th to 10th May 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.

African Union

Solar power could push blockchain forward in Africa: Africa receives the most sunlight in all of the large land masses and in the 2018 Blockchain convention in South Africa, the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the continent was heavily discussed. Africa is seen by many as an emerging blockchain center, with rapidly developing markets in DLT in Nigeria, Sudan, Algeria and Kenya.

South Africa

How much money have South Africans made or lost in crypto? According to a recent survey by MyBroadband 2018, Bitcoin was the currency of choice for making the biggest profits and incurring the biggest losses in South Africa. The survey included 1244 broadband readers in April and shows the inclination of the South African tech-savvy community towards cryptocurrencies.

The survey found that 78% of respondents have owned cryptocurrency at one point or are owning them right now. 57% have made a profit for themselves but a large percentage made SAR 50,000 or less, so none were big profiteers from the market, although individual losses were not more than SAR 50,000 either.

Bitcoin was the most popular cryptocurrency and had a 50% share in the market with Ethereum taking the second place.

Rwanda

Bitcoin founder backs unified African crypto: One of Bitcoin’s original founders, Australian computer scientist Dr Craig Wright, once rumored to be Satoshi Nakamoto himself, addressed a Bitcoin conference called Transform Africa in Kigali, Rwanda this week.

He presented a simple Powerpoint presentation titled ‘Bitcoin Cash: The Crypotocurrency and Blockchain for Africa‘ and discussed the future of the continent in the Blockchain economy.

The idea of a unified African cryptocurrency has been in the pipeline for some time. Wright believes that blockchain and P2P trade is the answer to Africa’s issues with the economy as there is not even a need to use the internet as even SMS can be used effectively for the purpose.

Nigeria

Country’s first blockchain tech incubator: P2P cryptocurrency trading company Paxful has announced that it is opening a major incubator in Lagos, Nigeria to help streamline operations.

The company chose Nigeria because of demographics. The country has the highest numbers of Paxful users in the region.

Kenya

Blockchain to settle real estate sale/purchase: Land ownership is one of the biggest problems in Kenya today despite the technology and computerization. The country still suffers from double ownership of land issues due to governmental corruption. To fight this problem, the Kenyan minister of information Joseph Mucheru has formed a team to investigate how blockchain technology can be used to put an end to the land theft cases.

Mucheru said in a BBC interview:

“We missed the internet wave, caught up with mobile technology… blockchain is the next wave – and we must be part of it.”

Ethiopia

Ethereum co-founder launches coffee project: Ethereum co-founder and Cardano chief Charles Hoskinson has recently launched a new decentralized coffee project in Ethiopia in a partnership with the country’s ministry of science and technology.

Coffee is an integral part of the economy of the country with 60% foreign income coming from the sale of the brown caffeinated drink.

Israel

Bitcoin mining company sues bank for closing account: Israeli Bitcoin mining company Israminers has registered a lawsuit against Union Bank of Israel, the country’s sixth largest fiat bank for a unilateral decision of not accepting funds from Bitcoin exchanges after months of operations.

According to the mining group’s lawyer Guy Penn:

“Banks in Israel are currently refusing services to companies that operate in the crypto field, without even checking or understanding their business activity. The banks’ overwhelming refusal leaves us with no choice but to take our case to the courts of law, otherwise the entire Israeli crypto field will have to relocate its business model abroad.”

Palestine

Palestine mulling over crypto launch: In order to be economically independent, Palestinian authorities are considering launching their own cryptocurrency to break away from the fiscal control of Israel.

According to a recent report in Reuters, the Palestinian Monetary Authority may call the new currency Palestinian pound and it will have the currency in use in the next five years.

 

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