Category Archives: Luno

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Dip in South African Economy Sees Rand Down and Rise in Bitcoin Trading

The South African economy is struggling with the Rand at a six-month low, but bitcoin continues to gain popularity with investors, writes bitcoinist.com.

In April of this year, the South African Central Reserve Bank (SARB) announced moves towards overseeing cryptocurrency and fintech developments in the country, suggesting rather than taking prohibitive regulatory measures, it would introduce an investigative unit which would promote growth and innovation. The South African Revenue Service also announced a new framework for cryptocurrency taxes.

As a result, cryptocurrency adoption has started growing in the region. AsiaCrypto puts Bitcoin’s continued popularity in South Africa down to the fact that some of the country’s larger asset holders are moving into crypto. “Bitcoin” is now reported to be the trending term on SA Google search.

Other factors according to AsiaCrypto is that South Africa actually benefited from the recent dip in crypto prices during 2018, as this has enabled the creation of new startup businesses. The struggling economy has also aided Bitcoin’s rise in popularity as massive selloffs in the financial market due to the Rand losing value has pushed some investors towards alternative markets, with cryptocurrency becoming a viable choice.

A recent survey conducted in South Africa maintained that one in four respondents confirmed they plan to invest in cryptocurrency in the future, and another 15% said that they would invest in mining equipment. Although, warnings of electricity hikes of up to 50% in the near future may well dampen the enthusiasm of prospective bitcoin miners.

Apart from a recent ATM being installed in Johannesburg, the cryptocurrency community has access to exchanges such as Luno and Paxful who are reportedly doing a healthy trade in Bitcoin with other pairs available. Also, the platform Coindirect enables users to buy and sell Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple.

A new trading platform is scheduled to be opened later this year by asset management company Sygnia.

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Indonesia’s First Blockchain Association Launches, Pushes For Fintech Regulation

The world’s fourth most populous nation today launched its first formal blockchain association, Asosiasi Blockchain Indonesia (ABI), at a press conference in the capital, boosting hopes that the Southeast Asian country may yet embrace blockchain technology.

Formed by six blockhain-related organizations with operations throughout the archipelago, the association aims to facilitate the adoption of blockchain technology in Indonesia by accelerating understanding, utilization, advancement and technological inventiveness in relation to the fourth industrial revolution.

Advocating structured blockchain regulation

During the press conference, it said that its early focus will be to work together with government and non-government institutions to assess, formulate and advocate policies for regulatory systems that would support blockchain development.

ABI supervisory board member Yos Ginting explained that despite its huge potential in Indonesia, blockchain companies operating in Indonesia currently faced challenges with the lack of a formal regulatory system relevant to modern financial technology: “This organisation was formed in order to become a platform for industry players so that they can serve as partners for the regulator and government in figuring out the most beneficial regulation.”

Its founding members are Blocktech Indonesia, Blockchain Zoo, INDODAX (formerly bitcoin.co.id, the largest exchanger in the country), Indonesian Blockchain Network, exchanger Luno, and Point-of-Sale (PoS) network PundiX.

Spreading awareness about blockchain benefits

ABI interim chairperson, also INDODAX CEO, Oscar Darmawan, acknowledged that blockchain technology and  cryptocurrency had an unclear status in Indonesia, with much of its society still having misconceptions about the two.

Despite Bitcoin getting negative press in the country in late 2017 when central bankers warned about its threat to the national currency, issuing bans on Bitcoin transactions, Darmawan said that more government agencies are looking into blockchain solutions to implement in business operations.

“The association aims to list industry players who are implementing the technology in Indonesia, so that we can build it into data that we can offer to the government,” he said.

Earlier in January, Bank Indonesia was reported by national daily Kompas to have been working on issuing a blockchain-based digital payments system to improve efficiency, while national postal service Pos Indonesia launched a current account service app built on blockchain, Digiro.in.

ABI is a member of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN Indonesia).

 

 

 

 

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