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.
South Africans turn to crypto to avoid inflation: More and more South Africans are starting to own cryptocurrencies as a means to avoid the volatility of the local fiat currency, the rand, which has fallen as much as 20% against the USD last year alone.
According to a survey by Luno, a local cryptocurrency platform, more than 29% of the people surveyed owned cryptocurrencies in the country and almost 70% have heard about virtual currencies. While trading is not commonplace, it is because most see cryptocurrencies are a way to hedge against inflation and instability of the rand.
While cryptocurrency ownership numbers are quite high, only 23% stated that they had used cryptocurrencies for transactions and only 12% had used them for cash transfers to friends and family. This shows that the ownership numbers have not translated to actual market penetration but only act as a buffer against inflation.
Local entrepreneur calls Bank of Ghana’s attitude towards crypto “worrying”: National Banking regulator Bank of Ghana’s attitude towards cryptocurrency transactions has been termed as negative and worrying by a local blockchain entrepreneur. He made these comments after the bank repeatedly stated that blockchain is unreliable and people should stop using it.
According to Eric O A Annan, blockchain innovator and entrepreneur of KuBitX, the regulator should come up with necessary regulations to mainstream the industry rather than having a defensive posture. He argues that millions of transactions are taking place through cryptocurrencies and blockchain daily.
He made these comments during the first Blockchain Ghana conference in Accra earlier this week. The innovator also urged the central bank to adopt blockchain technology for efficiency and transparency.
Binance signs up 40,000 Ugandans in opening week: Binance got as many as 40,000 sign ups in Uganda within its first week of opening in the country. The massive response indicates that Ugandans are ready to invest in cryptocurrencies by the thousands as it presents viable alternatives to the public.
There are only two cryptocurrencies available for trading right now on Binance Uganda: Bitcoin and Ether. The country may see their use in the microfinance sector as more than 70% of Ugandans remain unbanked.
Bank of Israel decides against state crypto: The Bank of Israel has official decided against issuing a state cryptocurrency in the country after a government study group recommended against it.
The study group was formed by the governor of the state bank and included members from different government departments, banking community and blockchain industry. The move is in line with the attitude of many other central banks towards state cryptocurrencies.
Securities exchange releases blockchain paper: The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has published a thought paper on cryptocurrencies and blockchain infrastructure digital assets, according to state news agency WAM.
According to WAM, the paper discusses the required technical and operational criteria for setting up digital assets as well as supporting financial institutions though cryptocurrency assets. The document itself was prepared with the help of Central Securities Depositories under the supervision of International Securities Services Association.
UAE is looking at blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies with excitement and now the national regulator believes that ICOs will be allowed by 2019 in the UAE market for investments. ICO regulations are currently being drafted by the Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets.
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