Xona Partners’ Riad Hartani: First blockchain applications are in Africa
CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero speaks to Riad Hartani of Xona Partners, who looks at how blockchain technology will impact markets across the world.
Even at such an early point in the history of blockchain, its real-world applicability is already being put to test by companies big and small. Yet to Riad Hartani, co-founder of tech firm Xona Partners, the potential for the technology’s mass adoption is particularly strong in Africa.
One present problem he sees is fundraising for small and medium enterprises. According to Hartani, “The whole process of raising money is very cumbersome, and basically difficult to put into practice. So this is a typical example, and with blockchain, you come up with a solution that facilitates all of that… Even if it’s a North American-developed technology, any advanced technology, teams and so on, but the first applications are in Africa, which is interesting.”
Xona Partners, according to Hartani, does three things to push blockchain technology: “We see blockchain as what we call a ‘leapfrog’ technology that just comes into markets and [is] given the opportunity to disrupt, basically. Solve problems definitely, one. Number two, since it’s new, basically the whole world’s probably at the same levels. You can take it, build it, and then go global with it. And number three, it’s mostly open-source, so the knowledge is very much accessible if you have talent. You can have access to it without any restrictions. So these three things make it very valuable for Africa and building technology ecosystems in Africa, in our opinion.”
Hartani sees the Transform Africa summit as part of the necessary gatherings among people that will make the technology thrive. “I see overall the value is really building this connectivity between people and ideas, and this is ideal. Because what is technology these days? Basically being able to be close to those that understand it and have it, right? So building that connectivity model between people and ideas is really the goal, and I think this event has been doing a lot of that. And meeting people from any part of the world that have that knowledge and keys to be able to work with them. So fundamentally, I see it as a way to basically get us closer to that, you know, ‘world is flat’ thing. We all work with each other,” he said.
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