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Bitcoin Companies Tackling The African Market

Bitcoin Companies Tackling The African Market

Bitcoin Companies Tackling The African Market Luke Parker , 29 May 2015 - Bitcoin , Africa , Remittance Bitcoin adoption in Africa faces a unique struggle not found in any other market. Rare factors that both help and hurt the digital currencies adoption come into play in just about every country on the dark continent. There are a range of factors that may help drive Bitcoin adoption in Africa; Local banking appears to be of little use in some areas of the continent, with only 2% of firms in Nigeria using banks to finance investment; Government fiat currencies are often unstable, Zimbabwe abandoned their national currency all together in 2009 ; And legacy remittance services charge fees that are among the highest in the world, with sub-saharan Africa rates costing 10% on average. Not only does this sound like an ideal breeding ground for bitcoin disruption, 85% of Africans already have cellphones, lagging behind the US by only 6%. According to SafariCom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya and Tanzania, smartphone usage on their network grew by 98% last year. Any cell phone, smart or not, provides access to the Bitcoin ecosystem . SafariCom has been targeting this mobile rich user base for almost a decade. The company provides a mobile-phone based money transfer and microfinancing service launched in 2007, called M-Pesa. In March 2013 Safaricom reported that M-Pesa had 15.2 million customers, with revenue from the service increasing 22.8% during 2014. The well established M-Pesa service has shown that the region is receptive to mobile based currency, and the service enjoys a strong following. Users of the entrenched service may be resistant to change when presented with an alternative such as Bitcoin. The key to this hurdle may well be the fees charged by curr Continue reading >>

Volatile Fiat Drives Bitcoin Adoption In Africa

Volatile Fiat Drives Bitcoin Adoption In Africa

Volatile fiat drives bitcoin adoption in Africa Despite trading at huge premiums in some markets, the digital currency is seeing massive growth in the continent Central Bank of Nigeria's headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. The country does not have a great reputation for welcoming foreign investors. Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters Of the top 30 countries in Cambridge professor Garrick Hilemans 2015 Bitcoin Market Potential Index, which measured propensity for bitcoin uptake, 14 were in Africa. And tech pioneers in the continent see much to be excited about, including Luno, founded in South Africa in 2013, which has plans to become one of the leading cryptocurrency traders in the world. Chief executive and founder Marcus Swanepoel has a goal that would leave many bigger companies in the shade: 1 billion customers by 2025. There are very few industries in the world for which you could say that is a reachable goal, but because bitcoin is so open and global, it is really an achievable goal. Were excited to pursue it, he told CNN Tech last week. Given the complex history of financial crises, political turmoil and informal economies in countries such as Nigeria, Angola and Zimbabwe , Prof Hilemans results are of little surprise. In numerous African cities particularly financial hubs like Lagos in Nigeria and Nairobi in Kenya a growing number of investors are turning to bitcoin, which has been trading at a premium on the continent. Relatively unscathed by global market jitters, and with fiat currencies as erratic as ever, hunger for African bitcoin shows no sign of abating. Recent demand growth in Nigeria is second only to China, with peer-to-peer transactions rising nearly 1,500 per cent in 2017. But the countrys government has expressed concern. Cryptocurrency or bitcoin is like a gamb Continue reading >>

Africa Bitcoin: Bitpesa Plans On Expansion To South Africa, Ethereum | Fortune

Africa Bitcoin: Bitpesa Plans On Expansion To South Africa, Ethereum | Fortune

Elizabeth Rosiello knows the frustration of financial exclusion. On the latest episode of Balancing The Ledger , Fortunes show covering all things cryptocurrency, fintech, and blockchain, Rosiello discussed her inability to invest in the recent initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange of a friends company: Hut 8 , a cryptocurrency mining company backed by Bitfury, a Bitcoin mining giant and mutual investor in Rosiellos own Bitcoin startup, BitPesa , based in Nairobi, Kenya. I had been living for 10 years in sub-Saharan Africa and I couldnt open a [U.S.] brokerage account quickly because I didnt have a utility bill, Rosiello said. My physical presence in another region excluded me from engaging in investment. Thats a privileged persons problem, Rosiello said. But it is also indicative of the constraints imposed by geography; think about all of the diverse, amazing economies and people and businesspeople across the 54 countries across the African continent and how they are routinely excluded in many ways from participating in global markets, she said. Imagine if you just cut Hong Kong off from the rest of the world or just cut off Tokyo, Rosiello told Fortunes show hosts, Robert Hackett and Jen Wieczner. Thats how a lot of businesses feel about living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. In recent months, governments around the world have been cracking down on cryptocurrency ventures. China banned so-called initial coin offerings and imposed stricter regulations on exchanges. Kenya, where BitPesa is based, has forbidden cryptocurrency companies from transacting with local banks since 2015. Most recently, the central banks of India and Pakistan decreed that local banks must end their relationships with businesses dealing in cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, when there Continue reading >>

$50 Million Gone? South African Police Probe Suspected Bitcoin Ponzi

$50 Million Gone? South African Police Probe Suspected Bitcoin Ponzi

$50 Million Gone? South African Police Probe Suspected Bitcoin Ponzi As much as $50 million may have been lost by an international group of investors after putting their money into a bitcoin investment group called BTC Global. A report from South African news outlet Sunday Times indicates that "more than 27,500 people" may be impacted, with investors spread across South Africa, Australia and the U.S., among other areas. Some victims have reportedly claimed that they lost as much as $117,000 to the scheme. A spokesperson for South Africa's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation - popularly known as the Hawks - said the commercial crimes unit is investigating the matter as a potential Ponzi scheme. The spokesperson did note that the group was being investigated for failing to abide by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. Further complicating the situation, individuals in control of the official BTC Global website have posted a statement claiming that the group's funds manager, Steven Twain, had disappeared on February 18. The message further claims that there has been no contact since that time. "Steven did not acknowledge receipt of the information. Steven has not contacted anyone in leadership or admin team," the post states. "No payments have been made by Steven ... If anyone has ANY information on how we can get in contact with him please get in touch and let us know." Yet allegations that BTC Global is a Ponzi scheme have been floated in the past, including a February 16 post on Medium byJessie Holmeswhich claimed that Steven Twain is not a real person. The collapse of the investment group has reportedly triggered a series of death threats against those involved.According to the Times , one of the site's administrators, Cheri Ward, has been gr Continue reading >>

Bitcoin: Africa's First Exchange Aims For 1 Billion Users - Feb. 14, 2018

Bitcoin: Africa's First Exchange Aims For 1 Billion Users - Feb. 14, 2018

The company, backed by some big investors including Naspers, was created by a small group of people with backgrounds in tech and finance who, like Swanepoel wanted to give up their corporate jobs. The atmosphere in Luno's Cape Town offices is casual -- some of the staff walk around barefoot. But the relaxed approach ends when it comes to protecting Luno against hackers who have made off with bitcoin worth millions from other exchanges. "We take security as seriously as big banks do but when we're at the office we're about working together and creating a collaborative environment," Swanepoel said. The firm has developed substantially over the last five years. It began building systems for banks before switching its focus to consumers. "We realized the banks were going to take too long to embrace the technology, and they were getting confused about what the technology can do," the CEO said. His team has developed a mobile wallet, exchange and merchant integration services for bitcoin and one of its biggest rivals, ethereum. Related: Cryptocurrency regulation is inevitable, says IMF chief Luno is now headquartered in Singapore , partly because of the importance of markets in southeast Asia. But the company attributes much of its early success to its South African roots and experience in countries like Nigeria where most internet users are mobile. "Unlike other companies, because we set up in Africa originally, we built truly mobile-first products," Swanepoel said. He believes that has given Luno an edge, particularly over European competitors. CNNMoney (Cape Town, South Africa) First published February 14, 2018: 6:03 AM ET Continue reading >>

Despite Volatility, Bitcoin Finds Growing Support In African Economies

Despite Volatility, Bitcoin Finds Growing Support In African Economies

Despite volatility, bitcoin finds growing support in African economies Bitcoin has fielded criticisms from governments around the world for its unpredictable market value, but in some African countries, supporters of the cryptocurrency are seeing growing interest in its trade. Bitcoin miner Godfrey Kabaka Mumpe lectures fellow Ugandans about the cryptocurrency on March 8, 2018 in Kampala, Uganda. A small community regularly attends presentations around the city that are put on by bitcoin adoptees like Mr. Mumpe. Kampala, UgandaIn a sleek new high-rise in Uganda's capital, an enthusiastic lecturer described his financial success with the cryptocurrency bitcoin while his earnings were projected on a screen. "What I have earned in one-and-a-half years from bitcoin is more than I earned in 10 years as a teacher," Richard M. Bagorogo told his audience. "I am living on bitcoin because getting a job in this country is not easy." Some tech-savvy Africans are embracing bitcoin, the most popular virtual currency, despite the warnings of a few governments, seeing the volatility in its value a better risk than the usual hustle amid the continent's high unemployment. Many bitcoin adoptees are professionals aiming to supplement their salaries, but others are jobless Millennials hoping to make a living by trading the cryptocurrency, which isn't tied to any bank or government and, like cash, allows users to spend and receive money anonymously or mostly so. In Kampala, Uganda's capital, and elsewhere a small community turns up at events where stars like Mr. Bagorogo preach what they call "the gospel of bitcoin." Ready to invest in Bitcoin? Test your knowledge with our quiz. On a recent morning Bagorogo explained how he once could not afford to enroll his children in the international s Continue reading >>

An African Revolution Being Borne Of The Back Of Bitcoin And Blockchain

An African Revolution Being Borne Of The Back Of Bitcoin And Blockchain

An African Revolution Being Borne of the Back of Bitcoin and Blockchain Africa is and has been ripe for revolution for some time and financially Bitcoin is changing the game. The stereotypical thought of an African revolution, one that breaks the chains of oppression and domination, sparks images of bloody battles of liberation. But now, with a new tool that does not discriminate or exclude, Bitcoin is helping African millennials free himself from financial repression. Armed with only a smartphone everyday African citizens are able to tap into a growing ecosystem and profit from it. But it is more than that; businesses are looking to use Blockchain technology as a cheaper alternative in order to build a better business. In order for an individual to enter the stock market or to invest in a company or idea, it requires more than just know how. The traditional money market has been for so long an elitist environment that subtle excludes those who are not of its ilk. A thirty-something woman from the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda, does not exactly fit the bill of a savvy investor. However, Bitcoin is opening up that world to everyone and all. Peace Akware, that every 30-something from Kampala, told the BBC : "I check my Bitcoin every day and any chance I can get. Any minute, any hour, anytime, as often as I can." Merely making a living in a place like Uganda is a much harder task than on the streets of New York. Employment is a lottery even for graduates, like Peace, which leads people into looking for alternatives to make ends meet. So-called side hustles are daily bread for many in impoverished nations, but they are often unsuccessful, time-consuming, and difficult. However, Bitcoin offers an alternative which is not time-consuming, and while it comes with risks, it is a Continue reading >>

South Africans Instructed To Pay Tax On Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency Earnings

South Africans Instructed To Pay Tax On Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency Earnings

South Africans Instructed to Pay Tax on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Earnings South Africans Instructed to Pay Tax on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Earnings South Africa has joined a growing list of countries that expect citizens to pay income tax on their cryptocurrency earnings. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) released a statement today, April 6, 2018, making it clear that, even though the country does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender, you still have to pay taxes on the gains. That means that anyone who is paid for goods or services in bitcoin must declare that just as they would ordinary income. Also, traders who make money buying cryptocurrencies at a low and selling at a high will have to pay capital gains on any profits. Further, anyone who mines cryptocurrencies will have to pay taxes on the money they make as well. The onus is on taxpayers to declare all cryptocurrency-related taxable income in the tax year in which it is received or accrued. Failure to do so could result in interest and penalties, SARS said. SARS still has yet to make clear the value added tax (VAT) status of bitcoin. "The 2018 annual budget review indicates that the VAT treatment of cryptocurrencies will be reviewed. Pending policy clarity in this regard, SARS will not require VAT registration as a vendor for purposes of the supply of cryptocurrencies," SARS said. South Africa is not alone in taxing bitcoin. Many countries , including the U.S., Japan and South Korea, tax all gains arising from selling, trading and purchasing items with cryptocurrencies, as well as gains accrued through mining and chain-splits . As reported by the Wall Street Journal, bitcoin use has surged in South Africa amid political and economic instability in the country, where it can be used to transfer mo Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Is Trading At A 40% Premium In Africa Heres Why

Bitcoin Is Trading At A 40% Premium In Africa Heres Why

Bitcoin is Trading at a 40% Premium in Africa Heres Why This week bitcoin surpassed $19,000 on global exchanges, with the exception of one continent Africa. Customers of the worlds second largest and second most populous continent were already paying that much per coin back in November. Prices at Africas Golix.com exchange have been 40% higher than the rest of the word for months. Now news.Bitcoin.com can reveal why. Also read: European Union Terror Fears Drive New Crackdown on Bitcoin Across Member States On November 15, it was revealed that Zimbabweans were paying $13,500 for bitcoin, a sum that was described at the time as eye-watering. Last months expensive bitcoin is this months cheap bitcoin, and the intense demand for the digital currency has since pushed it to over $19,000 globally as of this writing. The premium thats been in place at the continents Golix exchange remains in place though. As a consequence, one bitcoin there is currently trading for around $32,000, down slightly from a peak of $34,000. Whos talking about us? runs a banner on the homepage of Golix alongside logos for media organizations that include CNN, CNBC, Reuters, and news.Bitcoin.com. Everyone in bitcoin is talking about Golix and theyre all asking the same question why? Why is it so expensive to acquire the virtual currency in Africa? The answer comes from a recent blog post on Golix which outlines the factors that have contributed to the premium price. Bitcoin has always traded higher in nations such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Nigeria apparently, but previously only by around 10%. One reason why buyers will pay over the odds for their cryptocurrency in Africa is due to a lack of liquidity. When theres a shortage of sellers, its easy for players to set higher prices in the knowledge t Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Trading Booms In Nigeria, Like In Zimbabwe Quartz

Bitcoin Trading Booms In Nigeria, Like In Zimbabwe Quartz

In July 2016, Manasseh Egedegbe, an Abuja-based investment manager, was caught in the cross hairs of Nigerias dollar crunch and had some difficulties making an international payment. At the time, with Nigerias foreign reserves and revenues shrinking amid an economic slump, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) put up currency controls to restrict access to dollars. For Egedegbe, and many other Nigerians, that presented a problem. In his desperation, he turned to the cryptocurrency wave of the moment: bitcoin. I was able to use bitcoin to do just one transaction and then I got hooked, Egedegbe tells Quartz. Over the past 18 months, due to reasons ranging from needing to make international payments, like Egedegbe, or simply wanting a slice of the next big thing, bitcoin adoption in Nigeria has spiked. This year, peer-to-peer bitcoin trading in Nigeria has increased by nearly 1,500% surpassed only by China. Data from LocalBitcoin, a popular bitcoin exchange available in around 200 countries, shows weekly bitcoin trade volume in Nigeria crossed 1 billion naira ($2 million) in August. Seeing the price skyrocket has drawn a lot of Nigerians who want a piece of the action, Egedegbe says. The situation in Nigeria is not too dissimilar from Zimbabwe, whose unstable economy and depleted foreign exchange markets saw locals turn to bitcoin as a storage of value this year. At one point Zimbabwe had the highest bitcoin prices in the world. A new crop of local bitcoin exchanges are proving central to the growing local adoption. Timi Ajiboye co-founded Bitkoin Africa in October after experiencing some difficulty trying to buy the cryptocurrency on foreign exchanges. The inability to pay with a Nigerian bank account or card drove Ajiboyes decision to start Bitkoin Africa to make it much ea Continue reading >>

Op Ed: Can Solar Power Drive Bitcoin Mining In Africa?

Op Ed: Can Solar Power Drive Bitcoin Mining In Africa?

Op Ed: Can Solar Power Drive Bitcoin Mining in Africa? Op Ed: Can Solar Power Drive Bitcoin Mining in Africa? While many in the West often overlook Africa as an emerging blockchain innovation center, a deeper look across the continent tells a very different story. The Blockchain Africa Conference came to a close last month in Johannesburg, South Africa. Around the same time, the Kenyan government set up a task force to study the impact of the technology. There are plenty of other blockchain communities growing around Africa too, in places like Nigeria , Sudan and Algeria . Although not without difficulties, the growing connectivity and an advancing computer science field especially at institutions like Makerere University in Uganda show the African blockchain ecosystem is evidently building agency. And it has the potential to make a massive impact on local economies and communities alike. During a speech, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde noted , So [blockchain] is not just about saving money, it is also about creating more transparency, promoting stronger accountability, and in the end, delivering a better life for every citizen. For many, cryptocurrency mining is providing a big leap forward. Communities have sprouted up across the region. But with global bitcoin mining using more power than most African countries (only South Africa, Egypt and Algeria consume more), its hard to see how its going to be sustainable on the continent. On the flipside, solar power just might have the force to push bitcoin mining in Africa to the next level. Heres how. A Snapshot of the Bitcoin Mining Community in Africa Bitcoin mining farms have begun popping up around the world to mine bitcoin in bulk. But while Egypts hot c Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Is Being Taken Up In Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa And Venezuela Among Developing Countries Quartz

Bitcoin Is Being Taken Up In Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa And Venezuela Among Developing Countries Quartz

When I began to teach in 2012, I decided to start my course with an analysis of how money affects social order. What my students found particularly fascinating was the then-nascent world of cryptocurrencies, which I described at length as a crucial feature in the future of money. Some colleagues criticized my approach. They accused me of indirectly encouraging students to invest in what they saw as a shady, crime-ridden financial underworld. But I was simply exposing young minds to a fast-evolving, complex phenomenon that in my view would have a major impact on power distribution in the global economy. Behind most cryptocurrencies is a simple technology known as blockchain , a system residing in multiple computers that allows for peer-to-peer financial ledger recording of all transactions occurring in a network. In Zimbabwe, the collapse of the formal financial system has made Bitcoin an attractive alternative.This results in a transparent open-access registry of monetary flows which makes the intermediation of banking authorities unnecessary. Thus it challenges the conventional belief that money can only work through central planning. As I explain in my book, Wellbeing Economy: Success in a World Without Growth , money systems are undergoing an unprecedented transition from centralised authority to decentralised networks. Conventional money is managed by states and banks, with users on the receiving end of monetary policy decisions. By contrast, most alternative currencies are peer-to-peer. That means they are managed by users themselves and do not require intermediaries. Some of them have global outreach thanks to digital technology, while others are locally based. Take Bitcoin, the most popular peer-to-peer currency in the world, with a market capitalization above 4 Continue reading >>

16-year-old Ghanaian Cashing In Big On Bitcoin As Africas Youngest Entrepreneur

16-year-old Ghanaian Cashing In Big On Bitcoin As Africas Youngest Entrepreneur

16-year-old Ghanaian cashing in big on bitcoin as Africas youngest entrepreneur 16-year-old Ghanaian cashing in big on bitcoin as Africas youngest entrepreneur While most people in Africa are struggling to understand the fundamentals of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, Elisha Owusu Akyaw, a 16-year-old Senior High School student is already cashing in the opportunities that these technologies have to offer. Currently, Elisha is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Token Media, a cryptocurrency marketing firm he set up in 2017 to help blockchain projects reach their target audience. Although his business is relatively small, he has worked with local financial firms to develop their projects. Token Media, according to Bitcoinafrica.io, has helped raise over $40 million in token sales through its marketing services. Elisha got into technology at age 12 after he received a mobile device that could access the internet. By exploring it, he was able to create a website all by himself. One of his first works was building a commercial blog for Firefox OS, Mozillas mobile operating system (firefoxcentral.com), but when the project ended he had to venture into other areas in technology which landed him into cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and Bitcoin. I got into the tech space sometime in 2013. I had my second phone after using a Nokia 3310 so I got access to the internet and began to explore what mobile phones, operating systems and websites were all about and in 2014 I learned how to create websites on my own through YouTube, he said. The Bitcoin fever is sweeping across Africa and young people especially males are investing in it. A report by financial services company Citibank ranked Kenya as the fifth highest bitcoin holder per capita in the world. Nigeria was Continue reading >>

The Complete Guide To Bitcoin In Africa - Bitcoinafrica.io

The Complete Guide To Bitcoin In Africa - Bitcoinafrica.io

While Africa has not yet witnessed the high level of cryptocurrency adoption that the United States, Europe, and Asia have seen, there are numerous start-ups, initiatives,and individuals in Africa that are building an African bitcoin ecosystem by leveraging cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to deliver innovative services to African consumers and businesses. Bitcoin in Africa is growing and in this guide, you will receive insight into this blossoming frontier market. In Africa, there are now several exchanges that offer Africans the opportunity to buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using local currency. Luno, Ice3X,Golix, andNairaEx are the longest-standing and most established exchanges on the continent. Since the start of 2017, several other exchanges were launched to service the African bitcoin community including Remitano , Belfrics , and CoinDirect . Regardless of the success of Africas local exchanges, one of the most popular ways to purchase bitcoin using local African currency is still the peer-to-peer exchangeLocalBitcoins.There is also a range of international exchanges that offer Africans the opportunity to trade cryptocurrencies. The main bitcoin economies in Africa are located in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. This can be determined by their local bitcoin trading volumes, the number of startups located in the region as well as community activity such as meetups and conferences. Furthermore, there are more and more cryptocurrency-based startups emerging across the continent and notable bitcoin communities have also emerged in countries such as Zimbabwe and Botswana. Below you will find a list of all leading African bitcoin and blockchain startups to give you an overview of Africas bitcoin ecosystem. Bitland (Blockchain-based L Continue reading >>

Blockchain Africa Conference 2018

Blockchain Africa Conference 2018

8-9 March 2018 | Microsoft South Africa, Bryanston, Johannesburg About the Blockchain Africa Conference 2018 Blockchain Conferences in Africa since 2015 Bitcoin Events is proud to announce that the fourth annual Blockchain Africa Conference will be held on the 8 & 9 March 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference 2018 will bring together a diverse range of local and international speakers to discuss blockchain and cryptocurrency use cases, the regulatory environment, technology hurdles and opportunities in innovation and disruption that can be leveraged using this technology... Microsoft Office, Corporate Hill, 3012 William Nicol Dr, Bryanston, Johannesburg, 2031 IBM is a leading global technology and solutions provider and the worlds largest consulting organization. Reinvention is a keyword in the companys history and, today IBM is emerging as a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company. After a century of contributing to Africas development, IBM is part of the continents technological fabric, business and community. IBM has considered South Africa to be one of its key markets since the inception of its first office in 1952. As a technology leader, IBM works with clients, business partners and independent software vendor communities to address Africas key priorities. Telcoinis a new cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum blockchain thatwillbe distributed and accepted by telecom operators, therefore available to billions of users worldwide without extra registration, only using their mobile phones. Dimension Data is a company specialising in information technology services. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the company maintains operations on every inhabited continent. Dimension Data focuses on services including network integration, security and data ce Continue reading >>

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