Crypto Africa Roundup: Bitcoin in South Africa, Hashcash Looking to Nigeria, and ConsenSys Ramping Up

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In our weekly Crypto Africa Report, YouHash take a look at the latest stories unfolding in one of the fastest-growing crypto continents.

South African Reserve Bank Wins International “Best Distributed Ledger Initiative” Award

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At a gala dinner held in Singapore, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) was presented with an inaugural award in recognition of Project Khokha’s (a SARB initiative) proof of concept designed to trial a distributed ledger technology based wholesale payment system.

Deputy Governor of the SARB and executive sponsor of Project Khokha, Francois Groepe, said:  “I am proud of the efforts made by the South African community in deepening knowledge of, and leveraging off, new technologies such as distributed ledger-based systems, especially those that are core to our economy such as wholesale payment systems.”

Hashcash Eyes Blockchain Banking Solutions for Nigeria

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Hashcash Consultants, a USA based blockchain development company, announced that it is actively working with Nigerian financial institutions to introduce blockchain solutions to the Nigerian financial services sector.

Using blockchain technology to address the financial exclusion of a large portion of Nigeria’s 180 million population, Hashcash aims to take advantage of the fact that the use of mobile phones is widespread in Nigeria.

ConsenSys Appoints Financial Markets Veteran to Boost African Operation

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New York based ConsenSys, the world’s largest Ethereum production studio, made its intentions in Africa clear by appointing Ian Bessarabia as Head of South African Operations to support the implementation of enterprise blockchain solutions.

Monica Singer, the South Africa lead at ConsenSys, said that: “It provides me tremendous pleasure to take someone with the abilities and experience as Ian on board. We are on such an incredibly exciting journey and having Ian provide his input is a real boon for us."

DENT Wireless Launches Blockchain Driven Mobile Top-Up Service in Ghana

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Hong Kong based DENT Wireless, creator of the world’s first Global Mobile Data Exchange, announced that it is launching a mobile top-up services to Ghana through multiple .

Using an Ethereum blockchain, DENT has created a transactional platform and smart contracts that provide a sure and trusted mechanism of defining top-ups and the buying and selling process.

Ghanaian DENT customers can now purchase airtime top-ups and send them to mobile users across 74 operators in 25 countries.

South African Bitcoin Interest

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Perhaps proving how much interest and potential application there is for cryptocurrencies and blockchain in Africa in general, and South Africa in particular, Google Trends data reveals that thus far in 2018, South Africa leads the world in ‘Bitcoin’ search interest.

South Africans search on ‘Bitcoin’ twice as much as Americans, and 50 times as much as the Japanese

Vitalik Buterin Supports Freeing Ethereum Dev Arrested for Visit to N. Korea

  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin published a series of tweets supporting Virgil Griffith.
  • Griffith, a developer for the Ethereum Foundation, was arrested last week after visiting a conference in N. Korea.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has voiced his support for Virgil Griffith after the latter was arrested for visiting North Korea and allegedly using his knowledge of crypto to help the country avoid sanctions. 

On Thanksgiving Day, Virgil Griffith was arrested by U.S. authorities at the Los Angeles International Airport. Griffith, who has been a research scientist with the Ethereum Foundation since 2016, was charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), by reportedly sharing his expertise in crypto and blockchain at a conference in N. Korea. 

Buterin took to Twitter on Dec. 1 to provide support for Griffith. He disclosed up-front that he is friends with Griffith and clarified that the Ethereum Foundation had nothing to do with the trip to North Korea. 

Buterin called it “admirable” for Griffith to risk visiting N. Korea, despite the country’s connotations, and applauded his “geopolitical open-mindedness.” 

Ethereum’s co-founder also argued against the idea that Griffith had provided the N. Koreans with special technology that would allow them to avoid sanctions. 

Buterin concluded his series of tweets by asking the US to show “strength rather than weakness” and focus on issues larger than a programmer delivering public information at a conference. 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com