Business 27 July 2018Dennis Wafula
Crypto in Africa: Kenya hot on heels of South Africa in crypto expansion
Africa frequently makes the headlines for its rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies and its underlying technology, the blockchain. In recent months, South Africa has appeared to be on the lead when it comes to adopting the new technology, with Uganda recently joining the crypto party. Now, the crypto gathering in Africa finds a new member—Kenya.
Sun Exchange partners with Powerhive to light Kenya
Communities in the interior parts of some African countries have little access to electricity, although some were lucky enough to own a solar panel while others can only afford to use kerosene lamps.
Sun Exchange, one of South Africa’s pioneer blockchain startups, has collaborated with the American solar minigrid Powerhive to accelerate clean energy development in the East African country. Combining efforts through their established networks, the two firms intend to help up to 175,000 people in Kenya get access electricity. They have developed a token named SUNEX, which shall be offered for crowdfunding to finance the initiative that intends to set up 150 solar projects.
This initiative is meant to help the country circumvent the inefficiencies of funding through development banks and institutional investors. Through the joint effort, Sun Exchange and Powerhive hopes to raise $23 million. All of the proceeds will be given to Powerhive, which, in turn, will set up solar-powered rural electrification equipment. Once set up, they will be offered to Sun exchange members for purchase. The members will subsequently lease them to communities.
Through this model, investors will receive returns from solar equipment lease for 20 years. Additionally, they will receive 1 Solarcoin for every MWh generated as well as 1 SUNEX for every $10 spent on the platform. This is a step towards helping over 1 billion in rural Africa without electricity tap economically from electric power.
Weetracker report confirms cryptocurrency rise in the continent
Countries all around the world have embraced the blockchain technology, and Africa is quickly following suit. Since the beginning of 2018, the technology has penetrated deep into the Heart of Africa, making changes wherever it lands.
According to a recent study done by Weetracker, Africa’s interest in technologies like blockchain and fintech grows each day. Crypto investment in the continent appeared in the most searched in Google topics. The study showed that Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt highly contributed to ICOs. Fintech startups are the most attractive in Africa and are poised to bring changes, as it is important to the economy.
According to the study, even in the face of regulatory confusion, the continent has held successful funding through ICOs. Kenya’s SureRemit made $7 million in its ICO, while South Africa’s Sun Exchange raised $5 million. Zimbabwe’s Golix announced it would be launching its ICO with agoal of raising $32 million.
Different institutions have are setting up base in various parts of the country. From crypto exchanges to setting up blockchain-based startups, business people have started joining the blockchain space. Last month, Binance set up base in Uganda to open up a cryptocurrency exchange. According to reports, the exchange is meant to help grow crypto trade and financial situation in the country.
Blockchain technology is reportedly opening up spaces with Nigeria securing the most blockchain funding deals with Capital Venture Companies at 29 deals. Kenya follows a close second with 23 deals, while Egypt takes third with 21.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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