Category Archives: Middle East Cryptocurrency news

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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, 26th October to 1st 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 African Revenue Service changes crypto tax laws: The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced a new amendment to the tax code that can potentially increase taxation on cryptocurrencies.

Currently, cryptocurrencies are classified as tech assets and thus they are eligible for tax breaks from the government that is reserved for research and development projects. Now that the tax code is going to be changed, traders will have to pay increased income taxes on their profits.

Blockchain to aid water regulation: A local blockchain company, HashCash, is working with the government to help regulate water in the country. The high-tech infrastructure deployed by the company will allow the government to monitor the water usage which is a critical issue in the country which was hit by severe drought recently.

Cape Town was the worst city affected by the drought. As a result, various blockchain companies are looking to work on water conservation systems, including HashCash.

Kenya

Kenya opening up to crypto: Cryptocurrencies are getting more and more traction in Kenya especially in the financial sector where it is disrupting the status quo.

Adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country will hope to increase financial inclusion in not only Kenya but other parts of the continent where there is little or no financial inclusion. The increased use of smartphones in the area is allowing the people to move to a cashless, bankless future where cryptocurrencies will play an important part.

Tanzania

Government looks for blockchain solutions: The Tanzanian government is collaborating with academics and researchers to produce blockchain regulations and solutions, according to South African news source The Citizen.

As part of an annual conference on information technology 2018 in Dar Es Salaam, Dr Jim Yonazi, a senior member of Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, spoke to the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in devising new use cases of blockchain to devise regulatory moves.

While Tanzania has a practical approach towards cryptocurrencies, progress in this sector has so far been painfully slow, though it had its first baby birth recorded on the blockchain and a few other innovations. The central bank is also studying DLT for effective regulatory practices.

United Arab Emirates

Government recognizes crypto assets as securities: Recently, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) of UAE has approved a resolution to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICO tokens as securities.

It had been deliberating on a regulatory framework for a while and has now declared cryptocurrency assets as real assets of value and thus, they fall under the framework of the SCA. While the framework itself has not yet been updated for the cryptocurrencies, deliberations are underway to do so.

With the new regulatory status, UAE could become home to more and more cryptocurrency startups in the region. The evidence is out there as the country witnessed the launch of the first officially recognized and registered cryptocurrency exchange recently: The Crypto Bulls Exchange (CBX).

The CBX is not only the first cryptocurrency exchange in UAE but in the whole Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It also became the first cryptocurrency exchange to offer UAE dirham trading pairs for cryptocurrencies.

 

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 19th to 25th October 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.

Kenya

Restaurant accepts Bitcoin and Dash for food and crypto classes: A new restaurant in Kenya is offering food and cryptocurrency classes in exchange for cryptocurrencies. Situated in the small town of Nyeri, the local tech-savvy restaurant embraced cryptocurrency payment as a first in the region.

The town itself is 150 km from the capital Nairobi and lies near the popular destination of Mount Kenya. According to the proprietress of the eatery, Wambagu: “Since the world is becoming more global, my place is also becoming a global restaurant.”

Wambagu prides herself on being a cryptocurrency pioneer in the country and people flock to her restaurant because of her excellent food. She has also introduced cryptocurrency education classes for interested individuals inside her restaurant every Sunday and attendees can also pay the nominal fee in Bitcoin.

South Africa

South Africa deemed most crypto-friendly country in region: South Africa has been deemed as the most pro-crypto country in the African continent according to a report by French banking group BNB Paribas and Capgemini IT company.

According to the report, South Africa has allowed cryptocurrency payments, trades and investments without too much regulatory backlash. The country is also investing a lot in blockchain and crypto education as well as becoming home to an increasing number of Bitcoin ATMs and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Other African countries are also progressing but a relatively slower pace. Kenya and Ghana are also catching up with South Africa and allowing a pro-crypto culture within the countries.

African Union

Blockchain and crypto making a difference in Africa: Cryptocurrencies and DLT are paving way for economic inclusion and stimulating growth in the African countries. Many public sectors are weighing up the option to use cryptocurrencies to battle corruption and inefficiency in government departments.

While globalization and mercantilism have happened largely at the expense of African nations and exploitation of their resources,  it is refreshing to see that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are helping African people and governments push back. The recent adoption of blockchain systems for rare earth metal tracking in Rwanda is a good example because of rampant labor violations going in the mines that provide the world with much of the metals that are used in electronics manufacturing.

Turkey

CoinText Introduced in Turkey: Turkey, along with Argentina, are now within the operational coverage of CoinText, an offline SMS-based cryptocurrency trading solution. With the new service, Turks will be able to use Bitcoin Cash (BCH) through an SMS rather than a wallet which is connected to the internet and thus susceptible to intrusion.

Cryptocurrency trading in the country has reached record levels after a recent plunge in the demand of local currency lira.

Israel

Central banks wants to help blockchain companies: At the Israeli Blockchain Summit in the capital of Tel Aviv, Bank of Israel Head of Innovation and technology, Daniel Hahiashvili, said that the bank is looking to facilitate blockchain companies in the country.

His statement echoed change occurring in the system after the Bank of Israel banned cryptocurrencies five years ago.

United Arab Emirates

Government finds solution for ICO liability: The UAE regulator Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) has announced a plan that will recognize cryptocurrencies as securities and thus make them liable for SCA’s jurisdiction.

While such a move may be detrimental and less encouraging for cryptocurrencies and new ICOs, it is still one of the more popular ways to regulate new ICOs and their tokens. The SCA has also warned about investing in cryptocurrencies before.

 

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 12-18 October 2018

Africa and the Middle East

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

Nigeria

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Increasing Security Layers to Prevent Fraud: Nigerian cryptocurrency exchanges are working to improve their security features following multiple exchange hacks in recent months.

While Nigerian exchanges have escaped largely unhurt, they are working to improve the security of their funds. Exchanges including Luno have added additional security layers for unsuspecting customers, many of whom are not knowledgeable about cryptocurrency hacking activities.

Zambia

Central Bank Says Bitcoin Is Not a Legal Tender: The Central Bank of Zambia has toughened its stance on cryptocurrencies and declared that they are not legal tender and those investing in it will have to bear the entire responsibility in the case of a market failure.

But, at the same time, the Bank has also said that it neither has the power or legal backing to enforce a complete shutdown against cryptocurrencies in the country and would need legislation from the government to enable any future actions. The warning comes at a time when many Africans are looking towards cryptocurrencies as a safe haven against inflation and other fiat-related issues.

Rwanda

Government Tracking Tantalum Metal Mining With Blockchain: The Rwandan government has announced a new blockchain-based project to help track Tantalum mining operations in the country. Tantalum mining is crucial for the electronics industry but the operations are often dogged by claims of mistreatment of workers and labour violations.

Rwanda itself is one of the biggest exporters of the rare earth metals in the world and is now looking towards blockchain technology to regulate the industry. The system was developed by Circulor, a London-based DLT startup and the blockchain used for the purpose was Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain system.

Kenya

Blockchain Being Used for Fair Distribution of Housing: Kenya is using the transparency of the DLT to help create a fair distribution of housing projects and prevent misuse of funds. The move comes after the East African country was rocked by government corruption scandals in the public projects.

The new housing project with more than 500,000 units being proposed by the government has raised eyebrows regarding transparency as a recent Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) indicated that the bribe culture is getting worse in the country. Blockchain Technology is being eagerly pursued by the government to help end this epidemic in the country.

Turkey

Text-based Crypto Service Launched: Turkey saw the launch of the first SMS-based cryptocurrency service for Bitcoin Cash by Cointext. As the popularity of Bitcoin grows, Turkey and other countries are getting more and more innovative with ways of using cryptocurrencies, both online and offline.

Offline Bitcoin transfer facilities allow users to bypass exchanges and create a P2P trading environment that is crucial for the future of cryptocurrency development in the world.

United Arab Emirates

Government Planning New ICO Rules: The Emirates government is working on new ICO rules in the country following dangerous security lapses by cryptocurrency companies in the near past. According to Reuters, by 2019, the government will allow firms to raise capital through ICOs instead of IPOs.

The Emirati regulators, however, are working to bring ICOs under their control by that time and have designated cryptocurrencies as securities. According to Obaid Saif Al-Zaabi of the securities watchdog, the regulations will be in place by the first half of 2019 thus opening gateways for everybody to use this option for raising capital.

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 11th October 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

Crypto regulation rising in many AU countries: Cryptocurrency regulation is being pursued more and more rigorously by the African governments in recent times as they set to curtail the powers of decentralization and borderless options advocated by cryptocurrencies.

Zimbabwe is an interesting case study as the official policy flip-flopped between deregulating and over-regulating the industry. Kenya is also considering placing more regulations on the industry. Other countries like Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda and Ghana have shown openness in cryptocurrency adoption but they are also planning regulation in the near future.

South Africa

Crypto investors urged to be responsible: With the increase in the number of cryptocurrency investors in South Africa, the investor community is being urged to be responsible by international family office Stonehage Fleming.

Eran Brill, Director of Stonehage’s Investment Management division in South Africa has urged all the investors to give their beneficiaries a full picture of their holdings because in the event of their death, they will have a hard time accessing these assets. He also outlined several ways in which this can be achieved without comprising the security of the wallets and exchange accounts.

Nigeria

Firm launches anti-fraud blockchain: A london-based firm has launched an anti-fraudulent blockchain network partnership with KAD ICT Hub based in Kaduna in Nigeria.

The main purposes of the partnership are microfinance and financial inclusion for tens of millions of Nigerians who do not have access to basic banking services. The move is part of a bigger initiative called Africa Blockchain Lab that was opened back in August 2018.

The anti-fraud network uses Confirm’s AMLT network to investigate suspicious cryptocurrency addresses. The anti-fraud option is important for Africa because many investors and public are inexperienced in cryptocurrency and financial matters.

Zimbabwe

WhatsApp trading hitting record levels: While governments are taking hard measures against cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency trading in African countries like Zimbabwe are hitting new highs thanks to unconventional means of trading like the popular messaging app WhatsApp.

Zimbabwe is one of the unfortunate countries suffering from hyperinflation and many citizens are turning to cryptocurrencies to help circumnavigate the rampant inflation in the country. A recent insight into the cryptocurrency trading scene based on WhatsApp reveals trading agents using groups and private chats to connect sellers and buyers of Bitcoin. They charge a 5% commission for each trade for their services.

WhatsApp circles saw increased trading after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe banned two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country: Golix and Styx24.

Israel

Government may lower crypto taxes: The Israeli government may just lower cryptocurrency taxation in the country by 50% after months of hostility towards cryptocurrencies.

The announcement was made by the deputy director general for Israel Tax Authority Roland Am-Shalem and it said that it will not insist in calculating FIFO for taxation of cryptocurrencies.

This is finally some good news for cryptocurrency traders in Israel who have suffered due to lack of official recognition of cryptocurrencies in recent times.

United Arab Emirates

Government announces securities status for crypto, plans ICO legalization by 2019: The UAE government is working to legalize initial coin offerings (ICOs) by 2019 and has declared cryptocurrencies to be a form of securities. The latest pro-crypto move is to increase blockchain-related investment in the country and attract DLT-based businesses.

According to the country’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), Obaid Said Al-Zaabi, head of the top regulator said:

“The board of the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority has approved considering ICOs as securities. As per our plan, we should have regulations on the ground in the first half of 2019.”

However, the utility-security conundrum of cryptocurrencies has not been addressed fully as of yet.

 

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 21st to 27th 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.

African Union

SWIFT usage drops 5% from 2013-2017: The appeal of the US dollar as the currency of choice for the money transfers is decreasing in Africa as the dollar’s usage dropped from 50% in 2013 to 45.1% in 2017. The reason behind the drop in demand is attributed not to cryptocurrencies right now but more to the adaptation of local currencies and mobile payments.

The diminishing usage of SWIFT code for money transfer is opening up new possibilities in the continent and cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly play a big part in the dismantling of the current SWIFT system in the near future. Africa will have almost 725 million subscribers by the end of 2020 and thus, a mobile generation is expected to look to alternative solutions for currency transfer and management. British pound sterling and other global currencies are also showing a negative trend in the continent.

South Africa

South Africa leading the way for Bitcoin ATMs: South Africa is leading the way in getting more and more Bitcoin ATMs in the African continent. The first cryptocurrency ATM opened in Johannesburg in the country that operated Bitcoin, Dash and other top cryptocurrencies. More ATMs are now being installed across the country.

It is estimated that there are 3,000 ATMs in the world but in Africa, these are limited to a handful of countries including South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Zimbabwe and others. There is tremendous potential for growth in the continent.

Zimbabwe

Finance minister wants Switzerland’s approach in the country: Zimbabwe’s new finance minister is known for his pro-crypto stance and has now called on the country to embrace cryptocurrencies, citing the example of Switzerland.

Mthuli Ncube is the newly appointed finance minister of the Western African country and he has recently urged the Central Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to follow the example of the Swiss Central Bank on cryptocurrencies.

He said:

“Zimbabwe should be investing in understanding innovations and often central banks are too slow in investing in these technologies. But there are other countries which are moving faster. If you look at the Swiss central bank they are investing in and understanding Bitcoin.”

He has also promised to push the central bank to establish a cryptocurrency division in the country. While Zimbabwe is already one of the most open-minded countries when it comes to cryptocurrencies, the appointment of a progressive finance minister and his new policies will help the country become a crypto hub in the continent.

Israel

Israel not keeping up with regional crypto trends: While Bitcoin continues to get more and popular, Israel is still lagging behind other tech-savvy nations in embracing cryptocurrencies.

Israel continues to be an innovative country but the lack of cryptocurrency and blockchain focus is affecting its standing as other countries are landing the initial coin offerings (ICOs) by the dozens while the Israeli government has banned them. Experts are suggesting that Israel should become more open to cryptocurrency adoption to not miss out in the latest tech trend.

Turkey

Finance minister embraces ICO hype and offers possibility of adopting Petro: The finance minister of Turkey, Berat Alybayrak, has embraced the ICO hype and has said that the country is looking into the crypto world to boost the ailing economy. Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also reportedly recognized the creation of Petro cryptocurrency of Venezuela and seemed keen on using it.

While Turkey is embroiled in a foreign currency crisis, its dependence on the SWIFT system established by the US and the use of US dollar as the primary international currency is all too evident as Turkey reels off from the effect of recent US sanctions.

Many believe that the cryptocurrencies offer a way out for ending the dependency on the hegemony of the USD, but banking on unproven systems like Petro’s is largely seen as a negative.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai announces first blockchain payment settlement and reconciliation platform: Dubai has launched the first platform for payment reconciliation and settlement purposes that is based on blockchain technology.

The system will eventually be used by Dubai Police, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) according to the plan. The system is already in pilot version and is being deployed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, or the KHDA, and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA.

 

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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, 7th to 13th 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.

South Africa

Reserve bank bags award for best distributed ledger initiative: The South African Reserve Bank (SARS) has bagged the award for the best DLT initiative at the Fintech RegTech Global Awards 2018.

The project called Khokha saw seven banks conduct gross settlements of the native currency rand on the Quorum blockchain from JP Morgan’s Byznatine fault-tolerant system. The system is designed as a high-throughput blockchain-based interbank payment system that adheres to the country’s principles for Financial Market Infrastructures.

While the initiative is good, the bank overall has been reluctant to adopt blockchain and said:

“This is only the starting point… Key considerations that need to be addressed include the evaluation of supporting frameworks and other systems that integrate with the RTGS system, as well as the legal, regulatory and compliance factors.”

Blockchain technology is seen by many as a solution to overcome South Africa’s financial woes.

Egypt

Blockchain startup Elkrem receives $75,000 for blockchain development: Egypt’s blockchain startup Elkrem has managed to secure crucial funding of USD 75,000 from the ConsenSys Tachyon blockchain accelerator to create a smart kit for blockchain Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Elkrem hopes to launch its products across the globe soon.

The company started back in January 2018 and got a seed investment of USD 250,000 from Endure Capital. The company also won the competition at EthDenver Hackathon that featured over 100 teams from around the world.

Nigeria

US company aims to bring blockchain banking to Nigeria: US blockchain development company HashCash is looking to engage financial institutions in Nigeria to set up potential blockchain solutions in the banking industry.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency’s popularity is increasing in the country and HashCash is aiming to profit from it. The case of financial exclusion of millions of Nigerians is a big point of concern for many and the government is keen on solving it. The company aims to use the wide accessibility of mobile devices to implement a blockchain-based banking solution. The move will be especially important for far remote areas and their mainstreaming.

Kenya

Blockbank purchases stake in local Bank to provide blockchain banking: Blockbank, a cryptocurrency banking startup, has purchased a stake in local Kenyan bank Spire. This strategic acquisition will allow the startup to provide global blockchain and cryptocurrency payments and other banking services to the customers of the bank.

The bank’s aim to is to provide users with a platform for faster transactions and increased transparency.

Turkey

Currency crisis forces Turkey to focus on blockchain and crypto: Turkey’s lira has been suffering from a crisis in recent weeks due to sanctions imposed by the US after a diplomatic row. To counter these effects and move towards a crypto future that is free from US intervention and sanctions, Turkey is working to adopt blockchain and cryptocurrencies into its fintech space.

The Turkish Borsa Stock Exchange has announced the development of a first blockchain-powered customer database for the exchange services and a result, the Istanbul Gold Exchange and the Turkish Derivatives Exchange (TurkDex) will both move forward to a blockchain-based future.

Cryptocurrency trading is also becoming more and more popular in the country as people look to circumnavigate the effects of lira depreciation.

United Arab Emirates

Market watchdog recognizes crypto as securities: The UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority has unveiled new regulation to give cryptocurrencies the status of a security.

According to the regulator’s statement:

“In light of the rapid development of the digital tokens market and the response thereto by the regulators in a number of countries worldwide towards regulating the initial coin offerings (ICOs), the SCA Board of Directors has approved the SCA plan to regulate the ICOs and recognize them as securities.”

UAE has become one of the crypto hubs of the region, allowing more and more blockchain companies to grow under its umbrella.

 

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