British business entrepreneur and founder of Virgin is now to host a major blockchain summit at his home in Marrakesh, writes Forbes.
The summit is normally held at Branson’s personal offshore home on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. However, it was devastated by last year’s Category Five storms which tore through the island, destroying numerous private residences.
In view of this, an alternative location needed to be found for the high-profile conference, which was responsible for the forming of the Blockchain Alliance which now includes 36 government agencies and the Global Blockchain Business Council, with members from 35 countries.
This year, the founder of the annual event, investor Bill Tai, announced that the event would be held at Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot in Marrakesh, Morocco, with eminent guests Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Kenya cabinet secretary Joseph Mucheru, along with 30 speakers. Building blockchain in Africa is reported to be the central focus of this year’s conference.
“The whole continent is a bit of an unknown to a lot of folks because they just don’t get much exposure to it, I think getting a lot of people together that are knowledgeable, with reach, and high profile, that collectively can form a view about what are the opportunities at hand can both serve philanthropic and commercial interests.”
Blockchain in Africa is developing slowly but surely. Ghana-based Bitland and Kenya-based Land Layby are working to use blockchain to create formally-recognized infrastructures for proving land ownership, and the technology is increasingly being used in logistics to track goods from growth to table. Many small businesses are getting much-needed support from NGOs and private companies integrating blockchain projects into a range of sectors across the continent.
Tai has his own project in mind which he says he is due to announce, called Barking Dog. The project is reportedly designed to help governments without land titling in place to use blockchain to assure citizens and governments of their rights to land and, once established, to tokenize the assets.
The World Economic Forum estimates that 90% of Africa’s land is “completely” undocumented and Tia maintains blockchain could become a major factor in effecting the necessary changes to the status quo.
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