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.
Gold-backed interest-free crypto launched in South Africa: A gold-backed interest-free cryptocurrency was launched in South Africa recently called the OneGram and is Sharia-compliant, primarily to attract investment from the Muslim community.
The move was started a year back by a local company that aimed to bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and precious commodities markets. Muslims and other members of the public who believe that currency should be backed by gold or any other asset of value may be interested in the commodity. It is worth mentioning that the Muslim community is divided on the matter.
Ibrahim Mohammed, the founder of the project said:
“Our approach to OneGram was to create a bridge between commodities and crypto using physical gold and package it together using innovative blockchain technology. This way we are able to give our users the best of both worlds and provide a degree of certainty around the notoriously fickle cryptocurrency market.”
OneGram was founded in Dubai, UAE last year and completed a successful coin offering but it remains to be seen whether the company can deliver on its promise because asset-backed cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy.
Financial exclusion being tackled through blockchain technology: US-based software development company HashCash has announced that it is collaborating with Nigerian banks to solve the lingering issue of financial exclusion.
Financial exclusion is a chronic problem present in many parts of the world including Europe and the Americas. It is a problem through which a sizeable chunk of the population remains unbanked and devoid of electronic means of payment and bank accounts.
HashCash is looking to use the power of the blockchain technology to solve the problem that has plagued the development of many countries and hampered growth.
Bitcoin ATM inoperational despite sky-high demand for Bitcoin: Despite high demand for Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies, Zimbabwe’s only Bitcoin ATM is not in operational condition.
Back-breaking inflation has reportedly motivated many Zimbabweans to look to cryptocurrencies as a way to circumnavigate the whole situation. Increased activity on Golix, a popular local crypto exchange, is proof of that but the only ATM installed in Harare by the company is inoperational, as a result of its ongoing legal tussles with the banks.
Still, Golix hopes that the crypto trading ban will be reversed and the ATM will start working again.
Economic institute to hold public forum for crypto: The Institute of Economic Affairs of Kenya (IEA-Kenya) has announced that it will hold a series of public hearings, forums and other activities regarding cryptocurrencies to devise public policy proposals in the country.
While the growth of cryptocurrencies is being witnessed in the country, a lack of regulations and resulting regulatory unclarity has made things difficult. Since blockchain and cryptocurrencies are complex issues, the private think tank IEA-Kenya believes public forums could further discussion around them.
The Middle East
Turkish stock exchange develops blockchain-based customer database: Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange has announced the development of a blockchain-powered customer database and resource center.
The stock exchange became operational back in 2013 after a merger of Istanbul Gold Exchange and Turkish Derivatives Exchange (TurkDex) and has a total market cap of USD 133 billion. The recent development was done in customer databases of Borsa Istanbul, Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank), and the Central Securities Depository of Turkey (MKK).
Turkey has demonstrated overall positivity to adopt blockchain technology in recent years.
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