Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 19 to 25 January 2019

Africa

Africa and the Middle East

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

South Africa

South Africa Looks to Regulate and De-Anonymize Bitcoin Transactions: As per a recent consultation paper published by the South African Reserve Bank, the government is set to regulate cryptocurrencies in the region while de-anonymizing cryptocurrency transactions. The paper states factors like price volatility, cybercrime attacks, market illiquidity, and fraudulent transactions as risks associated with the cryptocurrency market and thus justifies the new regulations that aim to mould the crypto market into a banking-like structure.

After the implementation, banks will account for cryptocurrencies as crypto “assets” over the last term, which will make it easier for the authorities to enforce protection laws and tax policies.

Nigeria

Nigerians See Value in Cryptocurrencies, Despite Slow Adoption: According to a recent survey by Luno, an online platform for trading cryptocurrencies, the future of the digital currency looks bright despite a sluggish start and adoption in Nigeria. The report elaborates on how Nigeria’s payment landscape is slowly but surely changing, as more and more people rush towards adopting cryptocurrencies.

According to the survey, over 65% of the participants were familiar with the concept of cryptocurrencies, and although 48.09% of the participants admitted not to own any cryptocurrency, they expressed their desire to buy in the future. These heartening numbers, along with the 38% of respondents claiming they already own cryptocurrency, exhibit positive signs for the future of crypto in the country.

Israel

Jerusalem’s High Profile Crypto Owner Sued by Chinese Investor for Alleged Fraud: A Chinese cryptocurrency investor has filed a lawsuit against STX Technologies Limited (STOX) and its owner Moshe Hogeg, worth about NIS 17 million (USD 4.6 million). The lawsuit claims Hogeg swindled and misappropriated millions in cryptocurrency from the company’s investment. It adds that the investor and plaintiff, Zhewen Hu, invested a total of about USD 3.8 million worth of Ethereum in the Stox prediction market platform after being promised in the company’s white paper that if it were to raise $30 million worth of Ethereum, it would invest it back into the development of the prediction market platform.

This would have meant an increase in the value of Stox tokens in secondary markets. The company managed to raise $34 million, but Hogeg only reinvested 14% of that amount, a paltry $5 million, and directed the rest into other ICOs such as Telegram. It also accuses Hogeg of selling his own tokens in Stox before the promised date and thus devaluing the tokens of other investors.

Turkey

Turkey Lends Weight Behind Petro Crypto by Supporting Maduro: The political turmoil in Venezuela has taken a turn for the worst, as the people have erupted on the streets demanding the ousting of current President Nicolas Maduro. But even in these testing times, Maduro has received full support from his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been a long time supporter of the regime.

Turkish President reassured Maduro that his country stands by him after the US, Canada, and Brazil expressed support for opposition leaders Juan Guaidó as head of state. Other than the transport of gold from Venezuelan mines to Turkey for refinement, the backing of Maduro’s regime has increased the legitimacy of Venezuela’s cryptocurrency Petro, which was created by Maduro in a bid to alleviate the economic tumult and circumvent US’ economic sanctions.

Saudi Arabia:

Saudi-UAE Council Explores Blockchain: The cryptocurrency market is up for a proper shake-up, as the executive committee of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council has recently announced plans to start the development of their own joint cryptocurrency.

The Saudi-Emirati Pilot cryptocurrency is to be used by the banks of both countries to facilitate cross-border payments. The cryptocurrency will also act as a database for both countries’ central banks and other participating banks. Along with protecting consumers and standardizing the usage, it will also observe the risks and effects of the cryptocurrency on monetary policies.

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