Business 14 February 2019Dennis Wafula
Crypto in Africa: Kenyan breakthrough and justice for Ghana scammers
Even with a growing following in Africa, the crypto community is still facing everyday challenges with crypto frauds being at the top of the list. Unsuspecting investors continue to lose millions to illegal entities in the industry.
Kenya’s water Blockchain project to save California
IBM partnership with USAID on a blockchain research project in Kenya and Ethiopia show promise in helping solve water problems in California.
The two organizations have been working on underground water usage with works already started in Kenya. According to reports, the project has shown great prospect in helping drought-prone states in California.
In addition to USAID and IBM, two other companies; The Freshwater Trust (TFT), a nonprofit working to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems and SweetSense Inc., a provider of low-cost satellite connected sensors are working on the project. Reportedly, these companies came on board to create technologies that can accurately track and monitor groundwater in California.
Already, SweetSense Inc has provided the sensor technology, which is currently monitoring the groundwater supplies for communities in Kenya and Ethiopia. The sensor technology works by transmitting data over satellite networks to an online data analysis platform.
Reportedly, the project seeks to show stakeholders how blockchain and remote IoT sensors can accurately measure groundwater. It also aims at showing how transparency can be achieved in real time.
Dr. Solomon Assefa, the Vice President, Director, and Emerging Market Solution of IBM research Africa stated:
“Based on a research project in Kenya with USAID, the Millennium Water Alliance and other partners we are now applying our expertise in building decision support systems for water management for surface and groundwater data aggregation, workflow optimization and analytics to address similar challenges in California. With the addition of the blockchain, we can bridge critical trust and transparency gaps making it possible to build a robust, scalable and cost-efficient platform for managing precious groundwater supplies anywhere in the world.”
The companies will create a web-based dashboard that will allow customers to monitor and track the use of groundwater. The project will also allow people to purchase more groundwater from other users who do not require a lot of water. Buyers and sellers will use market regulated rates.
Ghana investors become victims of a Ponzi scheme
The Economic and Organization Crime Office (EOCO), an anti-graft body in Ghana has taken the directors and shareholders of an illegal crypto firm -Global Coin Community Help before an Accra High Court.
Kwaku Damate Kumi and David Opatey, who are the directors at Global Coin Community Help, and some three other shareholders of the firm, were charged with 51 charges, including defrauding by pretenses. They all pleaded not guilty to the counts.
According to the local reports, the five had initially received a licensing for Global Coin Community Help to operate under the objects of real estate development, transportation services, e-commerce, e-trading, mobile money services among others. However, they decided to go into deposit-taking services for investment purposes. Allegedly, authorities suspect that the company was intentionally created with the aim of defrauding investors.
According to reports, the company has allegedly been operating under a false name and does not have the necessary licensing from the Bank of Ghana or the Securities and Exchange Commission to work in the country.
Reportedly, the authority suspects that over 3000 unsuspecting investors have fallen victims of this scam. Records show that Global Coin Community Help has collected about GH¢47,239,000 (about $9.1 million.)
Global Coin Community Help started having issues last year after investors tried to access their cash with no avail. By January 2019, the number of victims had risen and was calling on the government to take action against the company.
The suspects are out on a GH¢80 million bail (about $15 million) with two guarantors each and are expected back in court on March 19, 2019, for the hearing.
Global Coin Community is among six financial companies that the Bank of Ghana had earlier issued warnings about to the public.
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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