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.
B2B Blockchain Summit to take place in Johannesburg next week: Johannesburg will be home to the first B2B Blockchain mega event take place on 28 June 2018.
Finance Feeds, a fintech company will host the event and it will see panelists, guest speakers and other stakeholders in the Blockchain B2B space speak and give their two bits on the future of the space.
Kenya to get first Bitcoin ATM: The first Bitcoin ATM has been installed in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya according to latest reports coming in from the African nation. The Bitcoin ATM will be the first of its kind in East Africa and will be compatible with both Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Customers can use the ATM to sell and purchase cryptocurrencies as low as USD 5. Both US dollars and Kenya shillings are acceptable in the ATM. According to Bitcoin entrepreneur Wangechi Kariuki:
“The transaction is simple, taking less than two minutes; You can get as many Bitcoins as the value of your cash.”
Central bank to ban crypto: The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is clamping down hard on cryptocurrencies in the country as it has announced that it is going to challenge a court ruling citing illegal activities undertaken through cryptocurrencies.
While cryptocurrencies are often blamed for being used for subversive activities, the move by the central bank means that cryptocurrencies are in for a rough ride in the country in the near future. According to the bank’s spokesperson:
“Activities were not only unregulated and illegal but presented all kinds of risk, including but not limited to fraud, money-laundering, evasion of the country’s exchange and terrorism financing.”
Africans increasingly turning to Bitcoin to beat the system: African countries from Zimbabwe to South Africa are suffering from varying degrees of inflation that is causing major problems for the region and that is making them turn to cryptocurrencies as an alternative.
Countries like Zimbabwe and South Sudan are suffering from unstable financial systems and even the biggest African economy Nigeria has faced problems. So, cryptocurrencies, no matter how volatile still prove to be a more stable alternative to their national fiat currencies.
Increase in adoption of technology is another reason why Africans are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies with smartphones and the internet becoming a regular part of the continent.
Bank association asks central bank to clarify crypto guidelines: The Israeli Association of Banks has sent a letter to the state bank of Israel to clarify its stance on cryptocurrencies that is signed by all partnering banks, according to Calcalist.
The letter asks the banks to clarify its stance on cryptocurrencies and give updated guidelines regarding the blockchain space as there is growing confusion among blockchain companies regarding the government’s stance on ICOs and cryptocurrencies.
Israel’s financial committee in the parliament has postponed regulations on cryptocurrencies, thus creating more problems for ICOs to survive the country.
United Arab Emirates
UAE hotel enables crypto payments: Popular cryptocurrencies are now being accepted in luxury hotel projects in Ras Alkhaimah, United Arab Emirates according to latest reports from the Middle East.
The four-star hotels are the first-of-their-kind in the region to accept cryptocurrencies and the network is aiming to eventually expand it to other parts of the country. Real estate sector is a big investor paradise in the Gulf country and the advent of cryptocurrencies is likely to increase the global appeal of the market.
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