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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 2nd to 8th November 2018

Africa and the Middle East

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.

South Africa

South Africans turn to crypto to avoid inflation: More and more South Africans are starting to own cryptocurrencies as a means to avoid the volatility of the local fiat currency, the rand, which has fallen as much as 20% against the USD last year alone.

According to a survey by Luno, a local cryptocurrency platform, more than 29% of the people surveyed owned cryptocurrencies in the country and almost 70% have heard about virtual currencies. While trading is not commonplace, it is because most see cryptocurrencies are a way to hedge against inflation and instability of the rand.

While cryptocurrency ownership numbers are quite high, only 23% stated that they had used cryptocurrencies for transactions and only 12% had used them for cash transfers to friends and family. This shows that the ownership numbers have not translated to actual market penetration but only act as a buffer against inflation.

Ghana

Local entrepreneur calls Bank of Ghana’s attitude towards crypto “worrying”: National Banking regulator Bank of Ghana’s attitude towards cryptocurrency transactions has been termed as negative and worrying by a local blockchain entrepreneur. He made these comments after the bank repeatedly stated that blockchain is unreliable and people should stop using it.

According to Eric O A Annan, blockchain innovator and entrepreneur of KuBitX, the regulator should come up with necessary regulations to mainstream the industry rather than having a defensive posture. He argues that millions of transactions are taking place through cryptocurrencies and blockchain daily.

He made these comments during the first Blockchain Ghana conference in Accra earlier this week. The innovator also urged the central bank to adopt blockchain technology for efficiency and transparency.

Uganda

Binance signs up 40,000 Ugandans in opening week: Binance got as many as 40,000 sign ups in Uganda within its first week of opening in the country. The massive response indicates that Ugandans are ready to invest in cryptocurrencies by the thousands as it presents viable alternatives to the public.

There are only two cryptocurrencies available for trading right now on Binance Uganda: Bitcoin and Ether. The country may see their use in the microfinance sector as more than 70% of Ugandans remain unbanked.

Israel

Bank of Israel decides against state crypto: The Bank of Israel has official decided against issuing a state cryptocurrency in the country after a government study group recommended against it.

The study group was formed by the governor of the state bank and included members from different government departments, banking community and blockchain industry. The move is in line with the attitude of many other central banks towards state cryptocurrencies.

Abu Dhabi

Securities exchange releases blockchain paper: The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has published a thought paper on cryptocurrencies and blockchain infrastructure digital assets, according to state news agency WAM.

According to WAM, the paper discusses the required technical and operational criteria for setting up digital assets as well as supporting financial institutions though cryptocurrency assets. The document itself was prepared with the help of Central Securities Depositories under the supervision of International Securities Services Association.

UAE is looking at blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies with excitement and now the national regulator believes that ICOs will be allowed by 2019 in the UAE market for investments. ICO regulations are currently being drafted by the Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets.

 

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 14th to 20th September 2018

Africa and the Middle East

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.

Namibia

Wildlife conservationist using crypto for preservation activities: A wildlife conservation expert based in Namibia is using Bitcoin Cash to help save the precious wildlife in the country.

Nadja Leroux is using Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for faster transactions and raising capital for her efforts. The idea is to create a fund to help raise money for crucial conservation technology in the wilderness. The main species she is trying to save include African wild dogs.

South Africa

South Africa gets perfect score in crypto interest study: While the pace of cryptocurrency adoption is increasing in African countries, South Africa has surprising outperformed countries like USA and Russia in this particular search interest, according to a published report of Google trends in the world.

South Africa got the perfect score of 100 in the study out of a possible 100 for cryptocurrency search-related activity. The US got a paltry 52 while countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia got 13 and 7 respectively. While cryptocurrency interest is increasing a lot in the country, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done on the ground to facilitate and educate the masses on digital currencies before this interest can be converted into actual investments and startups.

Zimbabwe

Finance minister calls for greater crypto investment: The new finance minister of Zimbabwe has called for increased participation in the local cryptocurrency community as he sees them as a way out for the country from troubled economic times.

In an interview with ITWebAfricanewly sworn-in minister Mthuli Ncube said that most central banks around the world are rejecting these innovations and or taking time in adopting them while smart countries like Switzerland are adopting them and wasting no time in doing so.

Elaborating further he said, “One can pay for travel using Bitcoin in Switzerland. So, if these countries can see value in this and where it’s headed, we should also pay attention. We have innovative youngsters so the idea shouldn’t be to stop it and say don’t do this, but rather the regulators should invest in catching up with them and find ways to understand it, then you regulate it because you now understand it.”

Zimbabwe is currently in a currency crisis and that has made public access to money extremely difficult. Mthuli believes that the answer to the current crisis lies in the adoption of popular cryptocurrencies across the country.

Israel

Israel and Switzerland work together for crypto regulation: The Swiss government is looking to work with the government of Israel for cryptocurrency regulation and opening up of trade.

According to a Reuters report, Swiss finance minister Ueli Maurer recently visited Israel for talks regarding opening up trade between the countries and Swiss banks gaining access to Israeli markets. The two sides have also agreed to collaborate on financial technology and cryptocurrency regulation as part of the opening up of trade.

UAE

Abu Dhabi calls for international crypto regulation efforts: The top financial regulator of Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, has called for an international approach towards regulating cryptocurrencies in the world.

The National reported that during the recent Fintech Abu Dhabi event, Ricard Teng, the head of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), said that negative news impact cryptocurrencies as assets.

He said, “This space needs to be properly regulated, otherwise there is the risk of financial crime.”

While other sections of the UAE have called for a speedier adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country, Teng is one of the first to have voiced caution.

 

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 31st August to 6th September 2018

Africa and the Middle East

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

South Africa

Gold-backed interest-free crypto launched in South Africa: A gold-backed interest-free cryptocurrency was launched in South Africa recently called the OneGram and is Sharia-compliant, primarily to attract investment from the Muslim community.

The move was started a year back by a local company that aimed to bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and precious commodities markets. Muslims and other members of the public who believe that currency should be backed by gold or any other asset of value may be interested in the commodity. It is worth mentioning that the Muslim community is divided on the matter.

Ibrahim Mohammed, the founder of the project said:

“Our approach to OneGram was to create a bridge between commodities and crypto using physical gold and package it together using innovative blockchain technology. This way we are able to give our users the best of both worlds and provide a degree of certainty around the notoriously fickle cryptocurrency market.”

OneGram was founded in Dubai, UAE last year and completed a successful coin offering but it remains to be seen whether the company can deliver on its promise because asset-backed cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy.

Nigeria

Financial exclusion being tackled through blockchain technology: US-based software development company HashCash has announced that it is collaborating with Nigerian banks to solve the lingering issue of financial exclusion.

Financial exclusion is a chronic problem present in many parts of the world including Europe and the Americas. It is a problem through which a sizeable chunk of the population remains unbanked and devoid of electronic means of payment and bank accounts.

HashCash is looking to use the power of the blockchain technology to solve the problem that has plagued the development of many countries and hampered growth.

Zimbabwe

Bitcoin ATM inoperational despite sky-high demand for Bitcoin: Despite high demand for Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies, Zimbabwe’s only Bitcoin ATM is not in operational condition.

Back-breaking inflation has reportedly motivated many Zimbabweans to look to cryptocurrencies as a way to circumnavigate the whole situation. Increased activity on Golix, a popular local crypto exchange, is proof of that but the only ATM installed in Harare by the company is inoperational, as a result of its ongoing legal tussles with the banks.

Still, Golix hopes that the crypto trading ban will be reversed and the ATM will start working again.

Kenya

Economic institute to hold public forum for crypto: The Institute of Economic Affairs of Kenya (IEA-Kenya) has announced that it will hold a series of public hearings, forums and other activities regarding cryptocurrencies to devise public policy proposals in the country.

While the growth of cryptocurrencies is being witnessed in the country, a lack of regulations and resulting regulatory unclarity has made things difficult. Since blockchain and cryptocurrencies are complex issues, the private think tank IEA-Kenya believes public forums could further discussion around them.

The Middle East

Turkey

Turkish stock exchange develops blockchain-based customer database: Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange has announced the development of a blockchain-powered customer database and resource center.

The stock exchange became operational back in 2013 after a merger of Istanbul Gold Exchange and Turkish Derivatives Exchange (TurkDex) and has a total market cap of USD 133 billion. The recent development was done in customer databases of Borsa Istanbul, Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank), and the Central Securities Depository of Turkey (MKK).

Turkey has demonstrated overall positivity to adopt blockchain technology in recent years.

 

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Africa and Middle East Cryptocurrency News Roundup 17-24 August 2018

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. Next up is Africa and the Middle East.

Africa

South Africa

Cryptocurrency Mining Still Popular Despite Price Tank: Bitcoin may not be profitable to mine in many places but cryptocurrency mining equipment is still seeing popular demand in South Africa as people continue to buy a wide range of mining rigs in the country.

According to the BitSmart CEO Jacques Serfontein, crypto miners still have a strong appeal in the South African mining community because of a decent return on investment over there.

He said:

“People are still buying miners, a 7%-30% ROI per month based on the different cryptocurrencies out there is still a great ROI,”

While both ASIC miners and GPUs were popular in the country, the focus has now shifted towards ASIC chips rather than gaming chips, much to the relief of the gaming community because it resulted in expensive gaming equipment for them.

Government Targeting Cryptocurrency Traders: The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is researching ways through which they can track down cryptocurrency traders in the country who are not paying taxes.

According to the acting commissioner Mark Kingon:

“The key thing is identifying people who are trading because it’s easy to say cryptocurrency gains must be deductible, but there are also those who lose. That’s why it’s important to identify the trader,”

The expected tax dodgers are likely to be identified by tracking credit cards that they use for purchasing cryptocurrencies with fiat for trading purposes. There are other ways under deliberation as well.

Nigeria

Nigerian Bitcoin Stake Drops Down to N1.3 Billion: The Nigerian crypto investors are feeling the brunt of a bearish coin market as the total unofficial holding of Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency is down to N1.3 billion. 

The total bitcoin holdings are on a downward trend overall, partly because of falling prices in the Bitcoin market as the currency has reached the $8,000 figure twice, only to disappointingly return to the $6,000 mark. The total holdings in the country are down from N1.6 billion earlier this month to N1.3 billion currently.

Middle East

Turkey

Bitcoin Being Promoted as the Answer to Turkey’s Financial Crisis: Turkey’s recent spat with the USA has resulted in its national currency lira crashing in the currency market in anticipation of sanctions. But, while the situation is becoming worse, it is proving to be a fertile ground for cryptocurrency adoption in the country that can help Turkish citizens circumnavigate the issues in the currency market.

Bitcoin P2P trading platforms like LocalBitcoins.com have experienced a flood of activity in recent times as soon as the lira started to spiral out of control. While the government made appeals to the Turks to liquidate their dollar reserves, many are paying as much as 25% premium to buy Bitcoin through lira.

United Arab Emirates

Realtors Looking to Add Cryptocurrency Options: UAE realtors are looking to add cryptocurrency payment options to boost investment in the sector. The country is already a real estate haven in the world but it is facing increased competition from other areas and now the sector sees cryptocurrencies as a game changer.

Dubai-based IMKAN Properties is considering a cryptocurrency payment alternative for home buyers in the business. Imkan is among other realtors who are looking to add the cryptocurrency feature.

CEO Walid El-Hindi said:

Imkan is looking into new ways of approaching financials… We’re looking into cryptocurrencies and new technologies when it comes to putting together financial packages in relation to real estate,”

Bitcoin is regulated fiercely in the region, but in UAE it has some legal protection.

Saudi Arabia

Government Puts Blanket Ban on Cryptocurrency Trading: The Saudi Arabian government, after banning the use of cryptocurrencies in the country has now put a blanket ban on their trading as well and tasked competent authority to limit cryptocurrency market dealings.

A statement released by the government said:

“The committee warns all citizens” against investing in cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for their high-risk consequences. One should not give the illusion of getting rich quick, there are risks in terms of regulation, security, and volatility”

The kingdom’s attitude towards cryptocurrencies follows a regional trend but many citizens are reportedly involved in cryptocurrencies.

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th August 2018

Africa and the Middle East

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.

South Africa

Crypto regulation needed to settle inheritance, divorce cases: The South African government is moved to attend to the issues arising from the ambiguity of cryptocurrencies in the country when it comes to settling inheritance claims and divorce cases.

Cryptocurrency has been around for a decade now and South African Revenue Service (SARS) designated them as an asset of intangible nature as far back as 2009. While it may have granted Bitcoin some legality, issues remain as legality of cryptocurrencies are unclear in comparison with other assets like shares and bonds and that can complicate things.

VAT may not be applied to Bitcoin in South Africa under new regulation: According to a draft being prepared by the South African Revenue Service (SARS), cryptocurrencies in the country will not be liable for Value Added Tax (VAT) but other regular tax laws will be applicable.

SARS has been deliberating on cryptocurrency regulation for some time and according to it, transactions of cryptocurrencies are seen as a service and thus it will be exempt from a VAT for now, something that is often a damaging perspective for cryptocurrencies in a country. All crypto dealers, however, will have to declare their gains and losses in crypto transactions and trades and pay relevant taxes.

Nigeria

Crypto exchange Luno educating users on identifying scams: Cryptocurrency exchange Luno is trying to educate the masses to help them avoid scams in the cryptosphere.

Luno’s country manager while speaking in a conference in Lagos said:

“The Central Bank of Nigeria while presently studying the market to enable it come up with a regulatory framework that will protect every player, Luno will not hesitate to guide present investors against scams.”

The exchange is advocating for self-regulation right now but welcomes regulation from the government in the future to help secure a better future for crypto.

Government launches blockchain hub: The Nigerian government’s blockchain innovation KAD ICT Hub, in collaboration with UK Blockchain company Coinfirm, has announced a new blockchain hub in the country called Africa Blockchain Lab.

The initiative is to launch a program to help bring together Blockchain companies across the continent to bring solutions to various problems in the continent and Nigeria itself. Some startups like Kora, a blockchain marketplace and digital payment system, have already signed on the new project.

Middle East

Turkey

Bitcoin popularity soars as lira freefalls: The recent freefall of Turkish lira has resulted in cryptocurrencies becoming more and more popular in the country as Koinim, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country, recorded more than 63% increase in trades last week alone.

Turkey is currently embroiled in a diplomatic tussle with the United States as the latter recently imposed sanctions on the country that followed up with a sharp decrease in demand for lira, the national currency. More and more Turks used platforms like Localbitcoins.com to save themselves from inflation. However, with the recent USD 15 billion loan from Qatar on the cards, it is yet to be seen how the future of cryptocurrency trading will look like in the short term as lira might bounce back.

12,000 investors affected in TurCoin scam: Turcoin, self-styled national cryptocurrency of Turkey has been revealed as a Ponzi scheme and more than 12,000 investors have been affected.

TurCoin offered swift dividends and even claimed backing of the Turkish government,resulting in excitement in Turkish crypto circles. Many investors invested some money in it only to be left out in the cold as it was eventually revealed to be a scam. Investigators have frozen company founder’s assets and he is now awaiting trial.

United Arab Emirates

Investor takes $140K loan and loses 85% in crypto trading: The risks of cryptocurrency investment are evident after the recent case of an Emirati investor borrowing USD 140,000 to invest in cryptocurrencies and lost most of it.

The amateur currency investor based in Abu Dhabi is 85% down from his USD 139,500 bank loan that he took a while ago. The investor goes by the name of Cryptohomie on Reddit and he shared documents regarding the loan online which he used to fund his cryptocurrency trading at the height of the 2017 bull run that brought Bitcoin to as high as USD 20,000. He is currently giving monthly payments of USD 3,381 that run till 14 December 2021.

Saudi Arabia

Government warns against use of crypto: The Saudi government has warned against the use of cryptocurrencies, describing them as illegal due to their perceived role in fraud and unauthorized payments.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) gave the statement that included (cryptocurrencies) as “illegal in the kingdom and no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices”.

While the cryptocurrency use is currently deemed illegal, it is unclear to see what kind of authority the SAMA has to enforce a full ban in the country.

 

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th July to 2nd August 2018

Africa and the Middle East

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

Nigeria

Public stake in Bitcoin drops: Amid to a price slump in recent week, the Nigerian market’s share dropped significantly from NGN 1.733 billion to NGN 1.51 billion since the beginning of last month.

The drop in market share of Nigeria was due to a row of negative news and developments coming from the cryptocurrency circles in addition to the overall drop in price, according to an analyst at FXTM Lukman Otunuga. The maximum capitalization was back in December 2016 with NGN 2 billion invested in the cryptocurrency.

ICOs are becoming increasingly commonplace but investor confidence in them is taking serious hits. According to researchers, Hugo Benedetti and Leonard Kostovetsky:

“People often look at returns and say this is a great deal, but we teach in finance that return is a compensation for risk. These are stakes in platforms that have not yet been built, that have no participants yet. There’s a lot of risk. The majority of ICOs do fail.”

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean exchange Golix’s token sale ends: Popular cryptocurrency exchange Golix announced that its token sale had ended and the numbers are finally coming in what seems to be an overall moderately successful public funding campaign.

Golix almost went out of business at one point due to regulatory hurdles but then it set its eyes on nearby countries and their markets and has been planning to expand aggressively ever since. The token generation event was a move to raise money through an ICO and help propel the exchange to markets outside the country.

However, the ambitious USD 32 million funding target was not met and Golix is yet to release official figures. But, analysts predict that the exchange raised around USD 10 to 12 million overall even though the central bank was against the raising of the capital by the exchange. It is yet to be seen if Golix can execute its plans to expand based on the performance of the ICO.

Middle East

Egypt

Egypt crypto coin launched: A new crypto token and ICO called Egypt CryptoCoin is launched in Egypt. It is a gold-backed decentralized payment network that is in its advanced stages of development. An ICO has been launched for the project but it is yet to be seen how practical and disruptive this new coin and its tech can be in the future.

One of the reasons why there is skepticism is that the Egyptian government and banks have historically cracked down on cryptocurrencies and declared cryptocurrencies illegal. The Egypt CryptoCoin is designed to be used by the vibrant Egyptian coin community but it is yet to be seen how the local government will react to it.

Israel

Largest cannabis market to accept cryptocurrencies: The largest cannabis market in Israel, Telegrass, has announced that it will start charging its customers for services with special discounts for Bitcoin payments.

Telegrass is a 100,000-strong community in Israel that promotes recreational use of marijuana. The new fees are meant to pay the Telegrass staff that have been working as volunteers until now. Bitcoin payments are discounted to encourage decentralized payment approach to an industry that is constantly under threat by the Israeli government regarding regulations.

United Arab Emirates

Blockchain court announced in Dubai: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has announced a partnership to jointly develop a Court of Blockchain for improving the judicial system, according to local news outlet Arabian Business.

The partnership has been signed with Smart Dubai and together, the two organizations will see how the technology can be used to aid verification of court judgments and cross-border enforcement.

According to Dr Aisha Butti Bin Bushr, the Director General of Smart Dubai:

“An invention of this calibre and potential requires an equally disruptive set of rules and an empowered institution to uphold them. This is where our partnership with DIFC Courts comes in.”

UAE continues to be the center of excellence in the region in blockchain development and adoption.

 

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 20th to 26th July 2018

Africa and the Middle East

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

South Africa

Startup lets South Africans invest in crypto for as little as 70 Rands: SAFCOIN, a digital currency startup, is giving South Africans the opportunity to invest in their latest coin project with a minimum investment of 70 rands (SAR) per token valued at USD 18.6.

Neil Ferreira, the co-founder of the coin project said:

“We want to make cryptocurrency trading as accessible as possible, to as many Africans as possible. So it was crucial that our platform was easy to use, secure, and that the tokens were affordable. For the price of a takeaway meal, South Africans can be part of the growing cryptocurrency movement.”

However, South Africans are more interested in investing in Bitcoin rather than other ICOs and cryptocurrencies at the moment, according to latest surveys.

South African community launches own crypto: A small white community living in a remote town of South Africa of Orania and notorious for its closed population consisting of Afrikaners is considering launching its own cryptocurrency according to their Twitter, one of the few communication sources within the community.

The community living in remote area Northern Cape, a province in South Africa, includes just about 1,600 people and almost everybody knows each other. The Town’s Chamber of Commerce published a post on Twitter that it has decided to launch its own cryptocurrency which will present itself as an alternative option to the local Ora currency that may be subject to inflation in the future.

Now, the E-Ora as the new cryptocurrency is called is not an alternative to a cryptocurrency but just fiat currency in digital form under the security and transparency of a blockchain. Daniel James, the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce said:

“If the rand became so weak that one were to decide to walk away from it, one could perhaps couple (the E-Ora) to something else, such as a basket of currencies out there. Or something inside Orania. Something comparable that has value.”

The digital currency is currently being tested out but there are no concrete plans of its full adoption presented by the Chamber.

The largest city of South Africa gets a crypto ATM: The city of Johannesburg, the most populous one in South Africa, is now home to its first cryptocurrency ATM.

The ATM has been installed in the North Western Part of the city’s metro area and is compatible with all major coins. Customers can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin with fiat cash using this ATM. The ATM was installed by the Spar store manager, George Neophytou who said:

“I asked permission to use this location because I work here. What better place to set it up, so that if a user required help, I’d be on site to help.”

Cryptocurrencies are becoming popular in South Africa and more and more stores are now accepting direct cryptocurrency payments as well.

Kenya

DASH looking to expand to Kenya and East Africa: Dash Hub Africa, a project of Dash’s Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is looking to establish a Dash ecosystem in Kenya and work towards other areas of East Africa according to the project’s coordinator, Abduallah Adeleke.

The project aims at increased adoption of Dash around the world and Africa, in particular where businesses and consumers can use the cryptocurrency on a daily basis. Adeleke is also trying to form an enthusiastic Dash community in the region that will accept it.

Dash Hub Africa is also active in 17 other members including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Togo.

Ethiopia

Blockchain and crypto being used to help refugees: Ethiopia, one of the largest homes of refugees in the world (almost 750,000 from Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea) is trying to use blockchain to help organizations cater for the needs of the displaced people.

Humanitarian organizations are now finding new ways to use blockchain in providing support for African refugees in Ethiopia. The new uses include using the technology as a means of identification that could help solve the issue of refugees being stranded between borders.

Middle East

Israel

Bank of Israel studying crypto adoption: The Central Bank of Israel’s Deputy Governor Dr Bodo-Trachtenberg has said that the bank is optimistic about adopting cryptocurrencies in the central bank’s operations, according to Finance Magnates.

The move comes after increasing tussles between financial institutions and cryptocurrency circles due to lack of regulations had created an environment of hostility in the country. The words of the deputy governor who spoke at the Bit2C Coin Conference in the country have largely been received positively by the crypto community.

United Arab Emirates

Crypto regulations discussed in judicial review: Dubai’s top Judicial Institute in its annual judicial review has addressed the rise of cryptocurrencies and regulations in the country.

According to the ‘Emirates Law, Business & Practice’, the magazine in question, it will dedicate some space for the future of cryptocurrencies in the country and discuss the necessary regulations that need to be passed by the government from a legal perspective.

 

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 4th to 10th May 2018

Africa and the Middle East

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.

African Union

Solar power could push blockchain forward in Africa: Africa receives the most sunlight in all of the large land masses and in the 2018 Blockchain convention in South Africa, the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the continent was heavily discussed. Africa is seen by many as an emerging blockchain center, with rapidly developing markets in DLT in Nigeria, Sudan, Algeria and Kenya.

South Africa

How much money have South Africans made or lost in crypto? According to a recent survey by MyBroadband 2018, Bitcoin was the currency of choice for making the biggest profits and incurring the biggest losses in South Africa. The survey included 1244 broadband readers in April and shows the inclination of the South African tech-savvy community towards cryptocurrencies.

The survey found that 78% of respondents have owned cryptocurrency at one point or are owning them right now. 57% have made a profit for themselves but a large percentage made SAR 50,000 or less, so none were big profiteers from the market, although individual losses were not more than SAR 50,000 either.

Bitcoin was the most popular cryptocurrency and had a 50% share in the market with Ethereum taking the second place.

Rwanda

Bitcoin founder backs unified African crypto: One of Bitcoin’s original founders, Australian computer scientist Dr Craig Wright, once rumored to be Satoshi Nakamoto himself, addressed a Bitcoin conference called Transform Africa in Kigali, Rwanda this week.

He presented a simple Powerpoint presentation titled ‘Bitcoin Cash: The Crypotocurrency and Blockchain for Africa‘ and discussed the future of the continent in the Blockchain economy.

The idea of a unified African cryptocurrency has been in the pipeline for some time. Wright believes that blockchain and P2P trade is the answer to Africa’s issues with the economy as there is not even a need to use the internet as even SMS can be used effectively for the purpose.

Nigeria

Country’s first blockchain tech incubator: P2P cryptocurrency trading company Paxful has announced that it is opening a major incubator in Lagos, Nigeria to help streamline operations.

The company chose Nigeria because of demographics. The country has the highest numbers of Paxful users in the region.

Kenya

Blockchain to settle real estate sale/purchase: Land ownership is one of the biggest problems in Kenya today despite the technology and computerization. The country still suffers from double ownership of land issues due to governmental corruption. To fight this problem, the Kenyan minister of information Joseph Mucheru has formed a team to investigate how blockchain technology can be used to put an end to the land theft cases.

Mucheru said in a BBC interview:

“We missed the internet wave, caught up with mobile technology… blockchain is the next wave – and we must be part of it.”

Ethiopia

Ethereum co-founder launches coffee project: Ethereum co-founder and Cardano chief Charles Hoskinson has recently launched a new decentralized coffee project in Ethiopia in a partnership with the country’s ministry of science and technology.

Coffee is an integral part of the economy of the country with 60% foreign income coming from the sale of the brown caffeinated drink.

Israel

Bitcoin mining company sues bank for closing account: Israeli Bitcoin mining company Israminers has registered a lawsuit against Union Bank of Israel, the country’s sixth largest fiat bank for a unilateral decision of not accepting funds from Bitcoin exchanges after months of operations.

According to the mining group’s lawyer Guy Penn:

“Banks in Israel are currently refusing services to companies that operate in the crypto field, without even checking or understanding their business activity. The banks’ overwhelming refusal leaves us with no choice but to take our case to the courts of law, otherwise the entire Israeli crypto field will have to relocate its business model abroad.”

Palestine

Palestine mulling over crypto launch: In order to be economically independent, Palestinian authorities are considering launching their own cryptocurrency to break away from the fiscal control of Israel.

According to a recent report in Reuters, the Palestinian Monetary Authority may call the new currency Palestinian pound and it will have the currency in use in the next five years.

 

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The post Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 4th to 10th May 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.