Crypto Africa Roundup: Africa Leading the Way in Bitcoin Interest and EBnet Technology Conference 2018

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In our Crypto Africa Roundup, YouHash take a look at some recent developments on the fast-growing crypto continent.

SA EBnet Technology Conference 2018 Focuses on Blockchain and AI  

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Johannesburg based EBnet, the country's only independent employee benefits portal, is running the EBnet Technology Conference 2018 on 5 November in Sandton.

Backed by major industry sponsors including Alexander Forbes, Sanlam, BrightRock, and Prudential, the conference highlights blockchain and artificial intelligence, and the roles that these nascent technologies are bringing to financial services.

'Pepper', SA's first Artificial Intelligence Robot, will be making a special on-stage appearance during the conference.

Binance’s Ugandan success

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3 out of every 4 Ugandans do not have a bank account, little wonder that according to Coin Desk, there is huge demand for cryptocurrencies with Binance Uganda signing up 40 000 users in its opening week.  Offering Fiat to Crypto and vice versa, off a low cost base, Binance CFO Wei Zhou also cited inflation hedging as an added cryptocurrency benefit. 

Notwithstanding the crypto scamster hangover of prior, the Ungandan people have an increasing appetite for the cryptocurrencies, with Royal Ugandan Prince Kudra leading by example.

Africa leads way in Bitcoin interest

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Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful, a peer-to peer Bitcoin marketplace that connects buyers and sellers globally, reported to South African media in Durban recently that the transactions attributable to African consumers has increased to ZAR948-million per month ($66,2-million).

Consistent with rising interest on the continent in terms of the Googling of Bitcoin, where South Africa has recently been reported by Google as the country that searches on the word ‘Bitcoin’ the most in the world, and a number of Africa countries making the top ten in terms of number of citizens owning Bitcoin, Paxful reported a 225% increase in users on the continent in the last 12 months.

The widespread demand for cryptocurrency in African, according to Paxful, is invariably used as a more suitable alternative to local currencies, and Africans use cryptocurrencies for a range of needs, including personal reasons, buying goods and services, and to a lesser extent, speculation

Getting to Know Africa’s Blockchain Movers and Shakers

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Sonya Kuhnel is a classic early adopter and started a BitPay affiliate company in South Africa in 2013 called Bitcoin Payments, which allowed online merchants in South Africa to accept bitcoin as a payment method for goods and services.

In 2014, Sonya went on to co-founded Bitcoin Events, which hosts the biggest Bitcoin & Blockchain Africa Conferences on the continent.  The conference attracts local and international venture capitalists, government delegates, top level executives as well as industry experts.

In 2015, Sonya founded the Bitcoin Academy, later renamed to the Blockchain Academy, which provides training and consulting for financial institutions, corporates, developers, entrepreneurs, startups, schools, government and interested individuals on digital currencies such as bitcoin and the blockchain technology in South Africa.

Sonya is also the Co-founder of Bitsure, a company that utilises blockchain technology for retail payments.