Bitcoin

You Can Now Use Bitcoin To Make Payments At South Africa’s Pick n Pay

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Bitcoin is gradually finding its way into stores in Africa. This is a further signal that Bitcoin is the currency of the future because the more stores accept it as a mode of payment, the more Africans will be interested in investing in the cryptocurrency that is worth more than $4,000.

One of the businesses embracing Bitcoin is South Africa’s retail giant, Pick n Pay as it has announced that shoppers will for a “limited time” be able to pay for their groceries using bitcoin at a Pick n Pay retail store in Cape Town.

In a statement, the Cape Town-based specialist software payments development house Electrum, said customers at Pick n Pay’s campus store are now able to use the bitcoin cryptocurrency to purchase groceries and services.

Electrum MD Dave Glass says, “We’ve worked closely with PnP for several years as a key technology provider. Our mission is to support innovative enterprises like Pick n Pay, and together we use the advanced Electrum software-as-a-service technology to move quickly on new opportunities, whilst at the same time delivering the best possible shopping experience“.

Jason Peisl, IS Executive at Pick n Pay, explains, “At Pick n Pay one of our key values is to embrace change and encourage innovation and leadership. To deliver on that promise we are constantly working with our technology partners to find ways in which we can deliver valuable, innovative services to our customers. Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are still relatively new payment concepts, yet we have been able to effectively demonstrate how we are able to accept such alternative payments.“

Bitcoin Crashes As China Halts Cryptocurrency Offerings

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The Chinese government has banned Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), a new fundraising phenomenon that has taken the Internet by storm. In a recent ruling, the People’s Bank of China ruled that these unregulated sales violated Chinese law and must stop immediately.

There have been dozens of ICOs this year alone, with many raising tens of millions of dollars.

The ruling has likely put downward pressure on the value of the leading cryptocurrencies, bitcoins, and Ethereum’s ether. As a result, Bitcoin hit a low of $4,037 falling by more than $300 – as it continued to take in the Chinese clampdown on cryptocurrencies. The latest drop indicates a 20 percent fall following the coin’s $5,000 high over the weekend.

Users who participate in ICOs are typically required to acquire Bitcoin or Ethereum to exchange for new cryptocurrencies, and so the ICO boom has helped to push up the value of both Bitcoins and ether.

The cryptocurrency has since recovered gaining about 4.5 percent over that period.

 

BitPesa Raises $4M Funding From Greycroft, Plug and Play | Reaches $10 Million in Total Funding

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Pan-African blockchain payments firm BitPesa has raised $4m in a follow-up to its Series A funding round led by Greycroft, a majority of existing shareholders and another new investor, Plug and Play joined the round.

In February this year, the firm closed a $2.5 million Series A round led by Draper VC, Greycroft Partners among others. In 2015, BitPesa closed a follow-on round of $1.1M led by Pantera Capital Management LP,  Crypto Currency Partners LP, among others. By end February it had raised a total of nearly $6 million.

Scott Robinson, Vice President at Plug and Play said, “BitPesa promises to revolutionize the exchange and payment markets in Africa, disrupting monopoly incumbents and opening the fastest growing economies in the world to foreign companies. We’re very excited for the team’s vision and current execution which bolsters payment avenues throughout the region.”

With the follow-up raise, BitPesa has raised $10 million to date, and will use the new funds to continue its expansion into Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Launched in Kenya in 2013, BitPesa has offices in Lagos, London, Luxembourg and Dakar and works with dozens of bank networks and mobile money operators across Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, and the DRC. Alan Patricof, founder and Managing Director of Greycroft said his fund invested in BitPesa because bitcoin and cryptocurrency will play an important role in the payments and money transfer industries and even more so in the developing world for which BitPesa is ideally positioned.

With a new office in Dakar, the Luxembourg-based firm will now have a stronger focus on French speaking Europe and francophone Africa  to lower the cost and increase the speed for payment processing to and from emerging markets works for businesses using bitcoin blockchain technology.

BitPesa was the first company using bitcoin to receive an authorized payments license in the UK in 2015 from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The firm has sign up a number of partners to reduce the pain of using existing cross-border payment services in these markets.

“We keep raising because we have grown above and beyond projections,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO. “We have expanded across Africa and Europe, added a stellar roster of Fortune 100 companies as clients and are receiving growing support from regulators.”

Image credits:TechCrunch

Belfrics Global unveils its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for early cryptocurrency investors in Africa

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Barely a month after it launched its operations in Kenya, Belfrics Global is taking another bold step in the right direction. The company will be launching the Belrium ICO (Initial Coin Offering) which will allow anyone to become an early blockchain investor.

An Initial Coin Offering is similar to an IPO where a company moves to raise funds by selling a stake in the technology to early crypto-currency investors. The ICO will see investors get coins or tokens, as opposed to a stock for IPOs. With Bitcoin soaring to new heights in the last couple of months, it is just a matter of time before cryptocurrencies, and the technologies that enable these digital currencies to flourish, become the norm when it comes to money transactions online.

Belfrics launched its Bitcoin Exchange in Nairobi, Kenya, becoming one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the region. The launch signalled the rising adoption and confidence in cryptocurrencies in the region.

The Belrium ICO is set to kick off on 8th September 2017 and will be available till 8th October 2017. When you purchase the Belrium Token, you automatically get voting and access rights on the blockchain.

The first price of the token will be 0.0005 BTC. There is no minimum or maximum investment goals. Only Etherium and Bitcoin (BTC) are accepted as the purchase currencies.

Belrium is the first Know Your Customer (KYC)-compliant blockchain, developed by Belfrics, that seeks to provide transparency in the cyrptocurrency ecosystem. This provides relief from risk of theft and hacking while offering instant transaction processing. Belrium blockchain security features are also well documented.

As of May 2017, investments in ICOs is now above $380M. As a result, we have seen Bitcoin entire market capitalization in cryptocurrencies drop from 80 percent to less than 50 percent in one year. This is despite its steady and meteoric rise in price.

To get started or learn more about the Belrium ICO, click on the link: Belrium ICO

Trading In Bitcoin To Kickoff Soon In Egypt

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The founders of Bitcoin Egypt said that the first bitcoin exchange will go live later this month in Egypt thus connecting the Middle East’s most populous country with a cryptocurrency that has surged in value in recent months.

Egypt, most of whose 93 million people have no bank accounts but where electronic payments have grown in recent years, lacks regulations for digital currency. This means local retailers cannot accept it as payment but users on an exchange may be left to trade freely, potentially cashing in on its ascent.

“We’re still waiting on the Egyptian government to set some kind of regulations…Without any laws, bitcoin is not legal money in Egypt,” said Bitcoin Egypt founder Rami Khalil.

He said the exchange has picked up about 300 pre-registrations from users ahead of its launch.

Khalil and co-founder Omar Abdelrasoul see their platform connecting a community of several thousand bitcoin enthusiasts who will for the first time be able to trade in Egyptian pounds, which have roughly halved in value since November after flotation under an International Monetary Fund loan programme.

“Cryptoassets are happening whether (the Egyptian government) joins in or not. And by not joining they’re missing out on a very big market. Currently, bitcoin is a $70 billion market,” said Khalil.

Cryptocurrencies allow anonymous peer-to-peer transactions between individual users, without the need for banks or central banks.

Those same dynamics could propel bitcoin in Egypt, where a shortage of hard currency after the 2011 uprising sharply restricted bank transfers. Though liquidity at banks has improved and capital controls have been lifted in recent months, businesses still resort to a black market for dollars to obtain currency not available in the formal banking system.

“We’re trying to get people used to the idea of bitcoin, to ready the market so that in a couple of years we will reach a greater number of users. But for now we are trying to let people know what cryptocurrency is,” said Abdelrasoul. (Reporting by Eric Knecht; editing by Mark Heinrich).”

 

This Kenyan developer is mining Zcash from his living room & it’s fun

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“You can mine tonnes of other digital currencies,” he posted on his wall. “Which are actually much more profitable than Bitcoin. In my case I’ve been mining Ethereum & ZCash. I built this one mid July and it’s been running a little over 28 days now. It only requires an internet connection and power,”

The developer chose ZCash over bitcoin because bitcoin requries special miners called ASIC which are expensive and very rare. Though his mine has several months to go, he says cryptomining is profitable and anyone can make good money out of it. Though volatile, cryptocurrencies are mostly unaffected by fluctuations in the economy especially during an election, civil unrest or inflation as they are digital and decentralised.

Mutai, an Andela developer based in Kenya says he using a 3.2 Ghz Core i5 7500 PC with an 8 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD running Windows 10 and 8 Nvidia Asus 1080 Tis graphics cards with 11GB RAM consuming a total of 2300W.

With the 1080 Tis, Mutai says he’s currently doing 5600 Sols/s, one of the highest solutions mined per second. For those who want to try it at home, Mutai is mining on windows 10, using EBFW miner which is awesomely optimized for Zcash. Conceived as “Zerocash” in 2014 by researchers from MIT, Johns Hopkins University,  Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University, the privacy-focused digital currency allows users to make anonymous transactions without trace.

There are new developments coming to Though Zcash such as the disclosure feature for parties involved in the transaction and a Cross-Chain Atomic Transactions (XCAT) to enable enable inter-Blockchain transactions involving leading digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Blockstream launches blockstream satellite to broadcast real-time Bitcoin blockchain data from space

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Announcing Blockstream Satellite, a new service that broadcasts real-time Bitcoin blockchain data from satellites in space to almost everyone on the planet (PRNewsfoto/Blockstream)

 Blockstream, a blockchain and financial cryptography firm has today launched Blockstream Satellite, a new service that broadcasts real-time Bitcoin blockchain data from a group of communication satellites in space to almost everyone on the planet to increase further participation in Bitcoin.

The service is available across two thirds of the Earth’s landmass, and additional coverage areas will soon come online to reach almost every person on the planet by the end of the year.

 According to Dr. Adam Back, co-founder and CEO at Blockstream, “Today’s launch of Blockstream Satellite gives even more people on the planet the choice to participate in Bitcoin. With more users accessing the Bitcoin blockchain with the free broadcast from Blockstream Satellite, we expect the global reach to drive more adoption and use cases for Bitcoin, while strengthening the overall robustness of the network.”

Blockstream Satellite is claiming to be the world’s first public satellite service that allows anyone to operate and maintain Bitcoin nodes, without the constraints of traditional network connectivity. It sends blocks in real-time, as well as recirculates older blocks, providing free access to the Bitcoin blockchain for both long-time and new users of the cryptocurrency. It also promises an additional layer of reliability for blockchain data in the event of a network partition.

The Blockstream Satellite network currently consists of three geosynchronous satellites that cover Africa, Europe, South America, and North America. By the end of 2017, the firm promises that additional satellites will be added to the Blockstream Satellite network enabling worldwide coverage and reaching nearly every person on the planet. Blockstream Satellite will help extend Bitcoin everywhere in the world, especially in Africa where there is only bitcoin node.

Blockstream Satellite makes extensive use of open source software. GNU Radio, an open source software development toolkit, enables the cross platform implementation of software-defined radios (SDR). The use of SDRs eliminates the need for specialized hardware, which greatly reduces cost and makes the technology widely available. To further ensure performance and reliability, Blockstream Satellite utilizes the Fast Internet Bitcoin Relay Engine (FIBRE), an open source protocol based on several years of experience operating and studying the Bitcoin Relay Network.

Ethereum driven Blockchain network XinFin introduces a trade & finance platform in Botswana, Zambia & Kenya

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Ethereum driven Blockchain network XinFin has introduced TradeFinex, its trade and finance platform in Botswana, Zambia and Kenya after completing its Africa awareness program across the three nations last month. This comes just a few weeks after Belfrics Global launched a bitcoin exchange in Kenya with plans to expand across Africa.

TradeFinex is built over blockchain, offers pre ICO tokens and is aimed at real world integration of smart-contracts between buyers, sellers and financiers while offering instant cross border payments and settlements using its native token XDC (Xchange Infinite Development Contract).

According to Afrikanus Kofi Akosah Adusei, Africa Community Manager, “Infrastructure deficit in Africa is over 90 Billion dollars annually and it has a lot to do with inefficiencies in trade and finance practices. Also the fact that global trade and financing is still a loosely connected process tied to several risks. XinFin’s XDC token is a community driven digital asset designed to hedge risks in global trade and finance. Our upcoming TradeFinex platform will see a great participation from businesses in Africa.”

The awareness drive included engaging with business community as well as Government officials. The Botswana program was held from 28th June till 5th July in Botswana while the Zambia program was held from 18th to 23rd July and Kenya program was held from 31st July till 1st August. The awareness drive included introduction to XinFin’s upcoming tradefinex platform that brings buyers, sellers and financiers on a single platform powered by the XinFin XDC tokens.

The firm says it has interest from hospitals looking to acquire machinery, low income counties who want to build their tourism spots, counties seeking efficient farming equipment, new techniques and cheaper ways to build rural roads and transport, and farming institutions that want training and e-learning programs or alternative ways to hedge weather risks.

“Our team of over 30 financiers worldwide are working on mapping smart contracts to real world contracts and laying the groundwork for all stakeholders to get the projects underway” said Alex Mathbeck, head of marketing for Xinfin.org. “Our goal is to bridge the global $5 trillion infrastructure financing gap that has created a huge disparity between the rich and the poor. For example, traditional fiat currency financing mechanisms allow projects with high rated buyers and suppliers to leverage their ratings multiple times, however it totally ignores viable projects with low or non-existent buyer and seller ratings.”

Apart from institutions and government agencies, the marketplace will be open to individuals who want to take the leadership in identifying and initiating projects, crowdsourcing for support and completing the trade and finance over the xinfin.org XDC network. XinFin has initiated a series of IoT projects across Asia in India and Singapore. Projects in India include a IoT enabled solar power plant that uses smart contracts on the XinFin XDC platform to trade generated energy back to the grid. The Solar project will be showcased to countries across the world for a one stop smart-metering, transacting and financing mechanism.

Remitano Moves Into Ethereum To Prevent Fraudulent Trading Activities

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Remitano, a Vietnamese platform with operations in Africa has announced it now supports ethereum, an emergent decentralized cryptocurrency in a move to prevent fraudulent trading activities on its platform.

“Unfortunately, cryptocurrency traders need to be watchful of fake exchanges, phishing schemes, and fraudulent ‘wallets’ that bring malware into their devices, among other scams” said Dung Huynh. “At Remitano, we’re committed to inhibiting fraudsters from depleting cryptocurrency trading, which is arguably one of the most revolutionary digital advancements of our time. Now with our ethereum feature, we’re able to provide a safe-space for ethereum traders, too.”

ethereum is similar to bitcoin some ways but it allows users to execute code on the blockchain technology and keep track of computer programs – to say, specify the conditions in which someone will get paid. ethereum’s price and market cap have skyrocketed in 2017, with a 3000 percent increase just this year.

Remitano users across the globe can securely exchange ethereum without worrying about fraudulent trading activities. Remitano targets bitcoin exchangers, investors, and those seeking remittance services, especially in Asian countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia and China with  lower fees – 0.5 percent compared to 1 percent elsewhere – instant virtual support, as well as a private platform to explore the world of blockchain.

“We want to see bitcoin and ethereum succeed. Remitano is on a mission to bring bitcoin – and now ethereum – to everyone, and to provide a space space for people to partake in this incredible market,” said Huynh, “Because after all, we believe it truly has the potential to change our digital world.”

Remitano was founded by Dung Huynh, Phuoc Nguyen, Phuong Nguyen and Tam Vo and is now available across the English speaking world, as well as South Africa and Mexico. Recently, the firm expanded outside of Asia, with Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania. Remitano started in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and is incorporated in Seychelles but has operations in Vietnam, Malaysia, the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, China, India, and Ghana.

Belfrics Global Launches a Bitcoin Exchange in Kenya, set to expand to Nigeria and Ghana

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Headquartered in Singapore, Malaysia, with operational offices in India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Dubai, Belfrics Global has launched its Bitcoin Exchange in Kenya to allow traders and Bitcoin users to trade more efficiently and at a much lower cost. The cost of transactions while using Belfrics will be only 5 percent.

Belfrics will join BitPesa and BitSoko, the two Nairobi-based bitcoin exchanges.

According to the company CEO and Chairman, Praveenkumar Vijayakumar, the company has received very positive support in the last couple months it has been testing its services in Kenya. This has necessitated its official launch to further expand its growth in the country and the region.

Praveenkumar, Belfrics intends to reach and offer its services to between 100, 000 to 1, 000, 000 people in the next one to one and half years.

Belfrics Global is also offering its initial coin offering (ICO) as an investment vehicle.  The launch will be on September 8th, 2017 when it launches the Belfrics Blockchain.  Unlike other cryptocurrency coins, which are difficult to identify users, Belfrics Blockchain will allow users to be identified, thereby enabling the tracking of transactions on the platform.

Blockchain offers a big opportunity for money transfer services by bringing the costs down to only a fraction of the current costs. Belfrics Global intends to leverage this huge gap in the coming months. The company also intends to expand its operations to Nigeria and Ghana.

With a GDP of $69.97 billion, Kenya is the 72nd largest economy in the world and Eastern and Central Africa’s hub for financial services with an increased interest in the cryptocurrency. This is seen from the volume of trading which has seen a substantial increase in 2016, compared to the slow growth in trading volumes seen from 2013 to 2015.

There are currently only three bitcoin exchanges in Kenya. To cater to the growing demand for bitcoin trading, Belfrics has launched its services in Kenya.

With the increasing awareness and acceptance of bitcoins, its value has been reaching new heights. Belfrics aims to be at the forefront of this growing industry. A unified currency for the world that brings transparency and efficiency to the financial system is what Belfrics is working towards.

Belfrics provides a bitcoin wallet that meets the highest standards of security. Equipped with automatic deep freeze technology and two factor authentication process, you can be assured that your funds are safe at all times. Apart from a secure wallet, Befrics also provides a POS system and payment gateway for merchants to accept bitcoins as payment, enhancing their scope of business.

As a part of the inaugural offer, Belfrics is giving free bitcoins (10,000 Satoshis) for signing up. Make a profitable choice and trade with Belfrics.

 

Nigeria’s Shopnow.ng To Become Africa’s First E-commerce Startup To Accept Bitcoin

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Bitcoin which is a digital currency is fast becoming a means of payment. However, many people are yet to embrace it. Regardless, this has not deterred Shopnow.ng as it prepares to become Africa’s first online store that accepts Bitcoin (digital currency) as the only means of payment. Shopnow.ng is set to launch the first and affordable online store where Bitcoin can be traded for goods and services and exchanged

Shopnow.ng is set to launch the first and affordable online store where Bitcoin can be traded for goods and services and exchanged in ease in Nigeria.

In a statement Shopnow.ng said: “Digital currencies are finding their way into the market and every day a lot of people see them as an opportunity to store wealth and exchange value. Bitcoin is becoming more popular in Nigeria and today the country has the highest volume of Bitcoin transactions in Africa and according to google trends, Nigeria is the country that searches the word “Bitcoin” the most on google.com in the whole world.

“Exchange companies have emerged to help Nigerians convert their Bitcoin to Naira and vice versa but there is a need that is yet to be met, there is a gap that needed to be filled and Nigerians need to be able to trade with their Bitcoin directly without having to convert it to Naira, Nigerians should be able to top-up their mobile phones and pay with Bitcoin without having to convert to Naira. This need, this gap, this vacuum is what Shopnow.ng has come to fill.”

The company added that the website will not only be responsive, easy to use and very accessible but will have special features that will include on-site live support, mobile app that will allow customers shop on the go and a page dedicated to enlightening people about Bitcoin and its importance, making it easy for people to understand the new currency and subscribe to it.

The event will be launched on Saturday, July 29, 2017, at Ruby Hall (2nd floor) 103 Allen Avenue Ikeja, Lagos with the themed, ‘Redefining Online Shopping in Africa’.

 

 

UAE’s Tipcoin hits 1 million+ users as it joins the world’s growing list of cryptocurrencies

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TIPCoin, a recently launched says it has surpassed over 1 million users globally as it moves to simplify online bill payments ranging from payment for travel tickets, groceries, clothes, recharging of airtime, and so much more.

Cryptocurrency, which is taking over the regular use of hard currencies across the globe is no longer news cryptocurrencies are working as major mediums of exchange as well as using the blockchain its build on to operate independently of any central bank. TIPCoin follows several other digital currencies but the most common is Bitcoin, which was decenttralised in 2009 and is  currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

Led by Mr. Abdullah Sheikh & his wife Sahiba, who are both Philippines based, the companies servers are established in over ten countries with the project in maintaining this project in 6 countries globally.

Recently, TIPCoin made a Big Deal with Alibaba. Now, all products of Alibaba will be available the e-commerce portal with TIPCoin payment. Individuals can buy billions of products from this single platform with TIPCoin payment. TIPCoin is a safe and secure payment. Anytime and anywhere, customers can shop for any product with TIPCoin. Get amazing products at an amazing price. So, enjoy shopping and earning with TIPCoin.

A board meeting was held recently with TIPCoin CEO, and over 150 different countries had signed an agreement legalizing the use of TIPCoin for as an accepted form of legal tender in making several forms of payment, both online and offline. Mr. Abdullah has informed the general public that TIPCoin is safe to be made use of. Based on several studies, cryptocurrency is secure and encrypted. It is also a reusable currency which cannot be lost, and it is gradually expanding day by day.

Users/investors can visit https://www.tip-coin.com/ to signup now and join the rest of the public to get this new yet promising cryptocurrency – TIPCoin.

Naspers invests $5m into Coins, Southeast Asia’s mobile blockchain-enabled payments platform

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Naspers Ventures, an investment arm of global internet and entertainment group Naspers  has led a $5m series A round into Coins, Southeast Asia’s blockchain-enabled mobile payments platform, bringing the total amount raised in its Series A to US$10M.

Built on top of blockchain technology, Coins enables anyone – including those without a bank account – to access a broad range of financial services directly from their mobile phone. To date, the company has signed up over one million customers. James Caviness, Vice President and Chief Product Officer of Naspers business PayU has joined Coins as a new board member.

“Coins has done an excellent job of providing consumers with easy, cost-effective access to core financial services,” said James Caviness, Coins board member. “With its secure, scalable platform, built on exciting and potentially disruptive blockchain technology, we expect Coins to continue to grow and expand across Southeast Asia.”

Coins operates primarily in the Philippines and Thailand, and plans to expand to other markets where consumer access to traditional financial services such as credit, banking and remittances is either limited or prohibitively expensive. Coins’ mobile wallet has generated a strong leadership position, providing consumers the first point of access to a wide range of financial services including remittances, airtime top-ups, e-commerce and P2P payments. Coins serves over 100,000 merchants.

By leveraging blockchain technology and partnerships with existing financial institutions, Coins has been able to directly connect over one million previously unbanked customers with its ecosystem of financial services. The new investment will further accelerate its regional growth and allow Coins to establish additional cash-based services and partnerships to further serve its customers.

“Coins has become a key component of our customers’ everyday lives, allowing them to do everything from sending payments to shopping online,” said Ron Hose, CEO of Coins. “With Naspers Ventures, we’ve gained a great partner in our mission to democratize financial services by making them easily accessible and usable by anyone. We are extremely excited to be working together with them to build a more financially inclusive future.”

Not to be confused with bitcoin, blockchains are decentralized, distributed ledgers that record transactions in a verifiable, secure and permanent way. Initially used for digital currencies, blockchains allow for the transfer of value without the need for a trusted authority or central server. By eliminating the need for intermediaries, blockchain-based systems can facilitate fast, efficient settlement of payments between parties.

 

 

Brazilian bitcoin mining startup coinBR launching its smart wallet in South Africa

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coinBR, an established Brazilian cryptocurrency company since 2014, has announced it will be launching in South Africa on 4th of May 2017 as its next natural step after its tremendous growth within the cryptocurrency trading and mining arena in Latin America.

“We chose South Africa as our point of entry into Africa,” says Rocelo Lopes, CEO of coinBR, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, “Because we believe it is the economic powerhouse, fintech hub and setting the cryptocurrency scene for the rest of Africa. In many African countries, the flat currency is unstable with fluctuating rates. Bitcoin offers a security blanket for users wanting more stability and control.”

“Everyone is talking about the Internet of Things (IoT),” says Lopes. “The real Internet of Things is when you have a cryptocurrency mining machine, based in Paraguay, mining Bitcoin. That BTC gets automatically transferred into your coinBR SmartWallet in South Africa. You have programmed this wallet to automatically take one third of the BTC, sell it at the market rate, and deposit those funds into your South African savings account. The wallet is also programmed to take another third, and save it in BTC, and transfer it to your pre-created coinBR savings wallet. The final third you’ve programmed the wallet to automatically pay your telephone bill. That’s the real Internet of Things.”

coinBR mines cryptocurrencies from its mining facility based in Paraguay where they mine Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Monero(XMR), Zcash (ZEC) and DASH. coinBR mines these currencies for themselves and for their clients, giving them the opportunity to own their own cryptocurrency miner, hosted, managed and maintained by coinBR. Miners cost from $1,000 to $3,600 once off per machine.

The online application has been successfully operational in Latin America since 2016, after its initial launch in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In Brazil, SmartWallet users are even able to pay their taxes and bills via the coinBR online application.

The coinBR SmartWallet is the first for Africa because of the functionality above. Users don’t need to own a mining machine to enjoy the benefits of the wallet, but coinBR believes that the real benefit lies in owning your own miner, as the miner makes the money and the SmartWallet provides the control users need, thus taking Bitcoin to the people of Africa, for the people of Africa. “Our technology is user friendly and easy to use,” says Lopes. “We believe it’s essential that even an 80-year old grandmother would be able to use the online application comfortably.”

“Remember why Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi in the first place,” says Carmen Potgieter, Director of coinBR South Africa. “It was created so that individuals could transact in safe peer-to-peer transactions without the normal time spent building a trusting relationship. In Bitcoin you don’t need to trust the other person – the system ensures the trust.  We are demystifying cryptocurrency and making it accessible to the people it was invented for.”

“Another thing that makes coinBR unique,” says Potgieter, “Is that we have a constant, high volume supply of cryptocurrency, unlike other wallets that might only have a limited daily amount available for purchase.”

“coinBR is in communication with the Reserve Bank to ensure that the full service is available to foreigners who are in possession of a valid South African bank account. This is also a first for South Africa,” says Potgieter. “We are also working with the financial institutions and regulators to make the FICA process easier for our clients.”

“We don’t compete with the banking sector,” says Potgieter. “Clients still need bank accounts to pay their money into. We don’t want to become a bank and hold the money. We will leave that to the financial institutions to do what they’re good at. The intention of Bitcoin was never to take over a country’s currency, but to run alongside it. There are things Bitcoin does better than fiat currencies, and that’s where we come in.”

The Blockchain Academy
“When coinBR started investigating the potential to launch in Cape Town, we reached out to the key players in cryptocurrency and fintech,” says Potgieter. “Sonya Kuhnel from The Blockchain Academy were instrumental in paving the way, in that they have gathered and educated many of the leading financial minds in South Africa on the opportunities in cryptocurrency, and they have created a space for key thinkers to collaborate via their annual conferences, making the introduction of coinBR smoother and faster.”

Potgieter adds, “We are also very excited about our partnership with Xapo, an established Bitcoin company with secure wallet as our first introduction to the SA market, where we are currently acting as an agent to facilitate their BTC sales in South Africa. Transactions between coinBR SmartWallet clients and Xapo clients will be an off-chain transaction due to our partnership, ensuring an almost immediate transaction time.”

The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative
“Cryptocurrency meets FinTech at the Bandwidth Barn,” says Potgieter. “coinBR has chosen to launch at the Bandwidth Barn, because we feel that the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) are instrumental in creating an empowering ecosystem where fintech and crypotocurrency development can thrive.”

The Blockchain Academy’s Sonya Kuhnel says, “We believe that we are on the brink of significant developments in the field of cryptocurrency in Africa, and our collaboration with coinBR has the unique potential to change how people access cryptocurrency.”

This ground-breaking event will mark the first step in coinBR’s Africa market penetration drive and will see attendees receive some credit into their coinBR SmartWallet, and can attend a demonstration showing them how to use BTC to pay real time bills. They will also hear from leading speakers in the field of technology and cryptocurrency.

 

BitHub.Africa announces The African Blockchain Opportunity crowdsale campaign

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Nairobi-based blockchain accelerator BitHub.Africa has unveiled its Blockchain Opportunity Report crowdsale campaign to offer crypto-currency enthusiasts a chance to buy an extensive report on the top 16 most suitable blockchain platforms for 2017.

The ebook can be downloaded from the website for $29.99. The proceeds from ebook sales will go towards funding the activities of BitHub.Africa’s new incubator and partner hubs across Africa.

According to the Chairman of AITEC Africa Sean Moroney, “BitHub Africa is doing great work advancing the growth of Blockchain technology across Africa. The blockchain opportunity report provides a lot of insight on emerging blockchain technologies that offer interesting solutions to many challenges across Africa.

The Blockchain Opportunity Report, reviewes 16 cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms expected to disrupt existing incumbents across key sectors like finance, technology, and commerce.

People are beginning to bypass traditional centralized banking and payment systems in much of the developed world and beginning to feel the benefits of decentralized currency through increased adoption of mobile and internet-based blockchain technology. African nations are catching up with this trend in a rapid pace to create a promising atmosphere for crypto-currency and blockchain initiatives. The Blockchain Opportunity Report has achieved great reception among the peers in cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.

Max Kordek, Founder and CEO of Lisk says the blockchain opportunity report by BitHub Africa is the first step towards a broader market adoption of blockchain technology in Africa.

In Africa, alternative currencies have a huge potential in creating efficiency while disrupting traditional mechanisms for international trade, resource management, and governance. In the present traditional financial system, transaction costs are high due to weak infrastructure, mismanagement, corruption and growing inflation. But an exponential growth in the adoption of new blockchain technologies and innovations would combat these issues.

The founder of BitMari Sinclair Skinner believes in the potential of crypto-technology to uplift the unbanked. Skinner said,

“An illuminating piece on cutting edge blockchain technology like Bitcoin that will emancipate previously financially excluded people like the African farmer.”

The use of crypto-currencies has grown massively in the past eight years since Bitcoin first hit the scene and now the market is flooded with new crypto-currencies, with many that offer little more than to make quick returns from investors while offering nothing in return. BitHub.Africa’s comprehensive report is a result of painstaking research and analysis of dozens of crypto-currency platforms. It aims to help crypto-currency businesses and enthusiasts to identify those offering unique value propositions or innovative solutions to meet the society’s needs while solving existing social and economic problems.

Proceeds from the $29.99 for each copy of the report will go towards the African Blockchain Opportunity Campaign and aids BitHub.Africa’s mission to increase mass adoption of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology across the continent.

According to the Head of Partnerships at Coinbase, Kristine Stone said, “The Blockchain Opportunity is a clear picture of the disruptive solutions at the fingertips of Africa. Evaluating trends and data John provides a holistic view of opportunities and challenges blockchain technology will face. In this stimulating book, the reader is provided a window into how blockchain will change the way we live not only in Africa, but the world at large.”

BitPesa partners Bitbond to help SMEs in Africa access & repay loans in seconds

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Berlin-based Bitbond, a bitcoin payment processor that connects fixed-income investors with small business owners who need loans has partnered up with BitPesa, to allow borrowers who receive funding on Bitbond can now have their loan paid out directly to a mobile money or bank account in their local currency within minutes.

“10% of our global user base comes from Sub-Saharan Africa. We are excited to work with BitPesa in this region because there is a huge unmet demand for small business financing. Together with BitPesa, we can significantly improve our service,” said Founder & CEO of Bitbond Radoslav Albrecht.

This integration is now live in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania therefore small business owners from these countries can receive loan funding from investors from all over the world via Bitbond and have the funds paid out to to their mobile money account or bank in 20 minutes.

According to BitPesa founder & CEO Elizabeth Rossiello: “We are always excited to partner with companies that make doing business in Africa easier and more efficient. Our customers are businesses looking to grow across the continent and beyond. Better access to efficient financing is a tremendous way to boost their growth.”

At the moment, BitPesa offers payments to, from, and within Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and remittance between Africa and China.

The deal with Bitbond will help many SMEs apply for small business loans on Bitbond by registering for a free account on BitPesa.

BitPesa says going forward it will continue to open up major payment corridors to better serve the growing number of people doing business in Africa.

Bitwala introduces free Bitcoin to M-Pesa transfers to Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania & Uganda

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Global bitcoin remittance firm Bitwala, has introduced bitcoin to M-Pesa transfers in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda for free in a move the firm says will make money transfers to any part of the world should be simple and convenient.

According to Jörg von Minckwitz, CEO of Bitwala, “We want to be a part of the mobile money revolution, and we’re stepping it up a notch by enabling anyone to send money to any mobile money account in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda using bitcoins.”

Bitwala says mobile money will provide everyone with the fastest, safest and most affordable way to send and receive money in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda where many users send money straight from their mobile phones without the need of having a bank account.

Though this is a welcome move, TechMoran is not sure if Bitwala is working with M-Pesa directly as a player or with any other mobile mobile money providers in the region as a similar move by Kenya’s BitPesa ended sourly.

With over 40 million users in all these countries, Mobile money paves the way to making easy and affordable money transfers for anyone and Bitwala is set to gain by allowing its customers to make money transfers to mobile money accounts using Bitcoin.

“Our BTC to mobile money service is available in the four countries and free of charge,” Jorg added. This will allow Bitwala customers to send bitcoin to mobile money account in Kenya, Nigeria,Tanzania and Uganda for free.
To send mobile money using Bitcoin one has to sign up or simply log into Bitwala. Click on Send Money and create a new recipient. Choose Mobile Money platform and select the payout currency of your choice. A user then enters the recipient details and amount.
Bitwala invoice pops up at checkout where a user can pay in bitcoins then goes to the dashboard to confirm the status of the payments.

In May last year, the bitcoin remittance and utility bill payment service raised $900,000 (800k Euros) from Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, Federal Ministry of Economics, the KfW Banking Group, Carl Zeiss, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL & Deutsche Telekom, among others for global expansion.Minckwitz said the funds will mainly be used for technical improvements and expanding globally which the firm is now embarking on.

“We are the market leader in Europe but in our next steps we are expanding to Asia, Africa and the US. We will grow massively within the next months,” he said.

The 2012 founded startup had bootstrapped until its May 2016 raise and serves over 10,000 customers and sending millions of Euros in transfer volume in Africa, Asia and Europe. The introduction of BTC to mobile money will even double this amounts and help the firm reach more users in a short period of time.