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.
Africa’s crypto boom to grow: Africa is often sidelined in cryptocurrency news but there is a big cryptocurrency boom taking place in Africa and will only grow in the future, according to Finance Magnates. Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria are at the forefront of this revolution and other countries are getting in as well. Most of the new startups are related to fintech and aim to attract investment for the continent’s huge natural resources.
Launch of African cryptocurrency in the pipeline: Plans to launch a unified African cryptocurrency are in the pipeline. The currency is right now being referred to as Africa Master Coin and is being designed to capitalize and enable more foreign direct investment into the mineral- and natural resources-rich continent. The launch of this unified cryptocurrency was seen as a major push forward towards creating a uniform, transparent system of the African Union and gained support from South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, a powerful figure in the Union. Trepace Holding has claimed that it is already partnering with a South Korean company to create the central African Foundation. The currency could be launched as early as the second half of this year.
African farmers might get crypto loans from fintech startups: A group of fintech startups have launched an initiative to enable African farmers to access a crypto-based lending facility across the continent. More than USD 10 million will be raised to meet the needs of more than 50,000 farmers across the continent, according to Global Trade Review reports. Blockchain financial services platform, Wala, FinComEco, a crop marketing solution provider and Dala, a commodities trader are big on this idea. This is a first-of-its-kind partnership to cater for the credit needs of African farmers.
Stefania Barbaglio, head of public relations at Block Commodities was of the opinion:
“It’s very difficult for smallholder farmers to get fertilizers. With blockchain, we reduce the cost for the farmer to buy fertilizer at present consumer interest rates in the region, which are between 25% and 80%, and which they must pay monthly. We will charge around 12%, which will only be charged once the farmer has sold his goods.”
Africa adapting to the coin economy: According to latest reports, the coin economy is going to thrive in African countries in the future. While national governments are eyeing cryptocurrencies suspiciously, it hasn’t stopped the cryptocurrency scene from the attention of African companies as well. Bitland is providing land registry services in the country and Project UBU is providing a blockchain-powered cryptocurrency to power low-income homes in South Africa. The future looks great according to crypto analysts.
South Africa’s central bank to set up cryptocurrency self-regulation organization: Cryptocurrency is increasingly coming under the regulatory radar of South Africa’s Reserve Bank (SARB). SARB is reportedly setting up an investigative unit to monitor developments in the cryptocurrency space and will help design future regulations as well, according to latest news from the third largest African economy.
Cryptocurrency controversy: Kenya is one of the largest Bitcoin holders per capita in the world, according to a report by Citibank. But the same passion for the alternative currency is not shared by the government as the boss of Kenya’s central bank has cautioned against trading cryptocurrencies because they are unregulated and unstable amid concerns from the private banking sectors. The banking community in the African nation is also divided with one banker Joshua Oigara, CEO of Kenya’s largest bank, open to the “bright future of cryptocurrencies”.
Inflated electricity bills are funding Bitcoin mining: According to reports from Kenya, months after the public protested against inflated electricity bills, news has arrived that these inflated bills were in fact not a mistake but an elaborate scheme to use electricity to mine cryptocurrencies and pin it on to the public. Credible sources have informed that 100,000 mining rigs were imported from Loof Lirpa in Eastern Europe into the country in one month last year. These mining rigs then became part of a mining network that is now being financed at electricity consumers’ cost. The matter may have flown under the radar due to general elections but Kenyans are reacting loudly to this covert mining operations.