Africa in Focus: Blockchain Technology and Africa
Blockchain Association of Africa which is based in South Africa has recently made it known that it will be joining hands with Afriplains Digital, a next-generation technology services company in Tanzania, and Blockchain Worx which is a FinTech-RegTech venture based in Singapore which render services like anti-money laundering transaction monitoring systems and securities tokenisation platform, in order to provide Africans with blockchain education, expertise, and equipments required to creating a better future for the continent.
South Africa Set to Launch State-backed Stablecoin
It is also important to highlight that South Africa is now one of the few countries with a vision to build a virtual currency that will be supported by the state. If this dream come to realisation, it will serve as a turning point for the country which is currently an Africa leader on crypto matters, and the African crypto market at large.
Reportedly, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is hoping to create a central bank cryptocurrency which will be utilised in the country and in its bid to make this dream come to realisation, the SARB reportedly released a publication which contained invitations for a selected set of people which included software developers and one virtual currency exchange, to an indoor meeting which reportedly took place on the 14th of May 2019.
The publication stated that:
“Request for expression of interest from prospective solution providers in anticipation of a feasibility project for the issuance of electronic legal tender – a central bank digital currency issued and backed by the South African Reserve Bank.”
During the course of the meeting, SARB reportedly agreed that the future of commerce depends on virtual currencies in that it will increase consumer safety and reduce the effort required to manage physical cash.
“During the latter part of 2016, the Currency Management Department of the SARB mandated a core project team to investigate the case for a domestic central bank digital currency, issued and backed by the SARB.”– SARB
They then went ahead to envisage the importance of “financial inclusion” stating that a virtual currency could be good for the country’s population. However, the project might be faced with numerous challenges which include the stability of commercial banks in the country as they intend to create cryptocurrency without disrupting anything in the commercial bank’s industry.
Crypto Usage in Africa is on the Rise
Furthermore, it has recently been discovered that the enthusiasm put into crypto has not at any point reduced even when the prices were relatively low. The general manager at Luno’s African Operations, Marius Reitz revealed during an interview that the platform was bringing on new users even when the market was very bearish.
“Even during the flat or declining market of the past 6-12 months, thousands of people bought cryptocurrency, for the first time, every day. We are picking up some of this interest through high engagement rates on the Luno platform, where people constantly checking the prices were not yet buying.”– Marius Reitz
He further revealed that one of the reasons for the continually increasing number of investors is that they want to be part of the next wave. Even though the rest of the world were in despair when the prices of crypto sank in 2018, this did not seem to bother African investors as they continued to buy and sell.