Crypto in Africa: Blockchain’s potential in play across Africa
Blockchain has shown great promise in Africa. There are many blockchain based projects across the continent. With the growing blockchain and crypto activities, a few people are in the industry for all the wrong reasons.
Bank in South Africa developed the blockchain financial system
South Africa’s Standard Bank has established a private blockchain and permission blockchain system that shows promise in reducing problems related to economic trade and foreign exchanges. The bank is launching this blockchain system on behalf of its corporate clients as reported by FinExtra.
According to reports, the system is expected to speed up the processing of international trades, settlement, and foreign exchange payments. The bank hopes that with this new system, they will be able to increase transparency of transactions. Parties will be able to view documents in real time.
The system is based on the Hyperledger Fabric, and is set to go live in the second half of 2019. In addition, Standard Bank is also planning to connect the system to its foreign currency-trading app, Shyft.
While speaking on the new platform, Richard de Roos, the head of foreign exchange for Standard Bank stated that this blockchain system would be the solution for reducing the number of incidences of trade failure within the banking industry. He said:
“We can offer clients a fully integrated end-to-end blockchain solution that would dramatically reduce the incidence of trade failure while also increasing regulatory transparency and improving the visibility of liquidity.”
Reportedly, the system will be used by Standard Bank and Static Bank, its partner in Uganda. Third parties directly involved with the banks will also get to use this system. The Standard Bank hopes to have the solution work within the Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) of China. De Roos confirmed that they the bank together with 20 of its franchises are currently in talks with ICBC to extend the system into the Asian region.
Hackers in South Africa
Authorities in South Africa are working to create a friendly and secure environment for both investors and traders in the cryptocurrency market.
Recent reports show that some individuals in the countries have come up with a new way of mining cryptocurrency without being detected. These hackers are using malicious malware to access computing power from these devices and use them to mine cryptocurrency. In turn, they end up getting cryptocurrencies without having to incur high electricity costs.
Authorities in the country have issued to the public asking them to be cautious. They added that people should check to see whether their devices have been hacked. Device owners have been asked to check for the following signs; the machine is running slow and overheating.
Blockchain power to stop corruption in Africa
The level of corruption in Africa is quite alarming. A few countries on the continent have already been ranked among the top ten corrupt countries in the world. Some have wondered if blockchain can help solve this problem.
Blockchain has shown great promise in a different industry. However, when it comes to corruption in Africa, one project seems to be providing a solution. Last year, Aid:Tech introduced a blockchain based system to help pregnant women in Tanzania get access t proper medical treatment and eventually with the safe delivery of their babies.
This was achieved by using blockchain to stop the problem of fraud in charities. Initially, money donated to the charities aimed at helping pregnant women in the region ended up being used for other purposes. This caused, Joseph Thompon to explore blockchain technology.
The project works by giving each participant a digital ID which helps the organizers track mothers from registration, appointments and eventually birth. With the help of blockchain, medical practitioners ensure all pregnant women get the drugs they need and attend all their appointments.
So can blockchain help check corruption in Africa? Even with use cases, many things need to be done before this can be achieved. Governments in Africa must be willing to allow this technology to make changes to their systems. So far, few governments have made the initiative of allowing blockchain into their systems.
Last year in August, the Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya (IEBC) announced its plans to use blockchain technology to improve voting integrity. Kenya has suffered election violence because of corruption and other injustices. Hopefully, with the help of blockchain Kenya will be able to avoid electoral violence in the next elections.
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