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.
Cryptocurrencies can be Africa’s solution to payment issues: Africa is one of the most resourceful continents in the world but its constant issues with money and financial systems leave much to be desired. Double-digit inflation in some parts of the continent has weakened national currencies so much that there are always monetary issues. Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum can be a genuine solution to Africa’s currency woes. Small loans and digital payments are needed in the country where many people are not considered “bankable” and are denied useful financial services such as bank loans.
South Africa’s central bank to oversee cryptocurrency: The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced that it is moving towards overseeing of cryptocurrency and fintech startups in the country. SARB said that it is taking measures to add investors and eliminating risk on the platform.
The bank has constituted an investigative unit that is promoting growth and innovation while at the same time proposing useful regulations to help people secure their cryptocurrencies and decentralized companies. The Self Regulatory Organization (SRO) will be a non-state regulatory body that aims at further developments in the industry and not just regulations for the sake of regulations.
“The objective of the bank is to gain a practical understanding of DLTs (distributed ledger technologies) through the development of a PoC in collaboration with banking industry… to replicate interbank clearing and settlement on a DLT which will allow the SARB and industry to jointly assess the potential benefits and risks of DLTs”, it said.
Taxpayers told to declare capital gains or losses on cryptocurrencies: South African Revenue Service has called on taxpayers to declare earnings in cryptocurrencies because they are liable for capital gains taxes. The agency said that the onus is entirely on them to declare these gains as part of their taxable income. Crypto-related losses or gains can occur through mining and trading, which is worrisome for the former because Bitcoin’s profitability has already taken a hit in recent times.
South African campuses embrace cryptocurrencies: Despite the recent Bitcoin price slump, campuses in South Africa are welcoming cryptocurrency investments and technology. In response to surging demand, Vega, an independent education institute has introduced a comprehensive cryptocurrency short course at the tertiary level in South Africa.
The move by Vega follows an international trend in universities where cryptocurrency and blockchain courses are oversubscribed at universities including Berkeley, Cornell and MIT.
Shevon Lurie, managing director at Vega said, “The course will run over three weeks with two highly engaging sessions per week at Vega’s Johannesburg campus only, covering everything from the history of some of the world’s leading cryptocurrencies to buying, trading and using Bitcoin.”
Nigeria urged to stop crackdown on cryptocurrencies: The biggest African economy is in the midst of a crackdown on cryptocurrencies across the spectrum. The Central Bank of Nigeria has warned that cryptocurrency traders and investors are not protected by the law in the country and not regulated by the government either. Futurist Thomas Fry has urged the Nigerian government to soften its stance because digital currencies are more “efficient” and transparent.
Nigerian central bank claims no country will submit its legal tender to cryptocurrencies: The Nigerian government and central bank have said that no country in the world is going to issue legal tender to cryptocurrencies. Strangely, the move comes after the Nigerian Central Bank inaugurated the Association of Financial Services Innovators (FSI), a regulatory sandbox that will be used to test and deploy financial technologies in the country.