Africa’s Blockchain Companies Get Global Awards And Recognition For Real Applications
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By Bolaji ONIBUDO
The recently concluded Global Blockchain Congress in Johannesburg was attended by a number of upcoming Blockchain and Cryptocurrency companies that showcased a diverse mix of speakers, panelists and engagements with exhibitors.
A unique participant was a native Botswana blockchain provider, Satoshi Centre, which presented its platform for fundraising for start-ups. A product of Satoshi Centre that was presented at the event is Plass, an application that enables individual farmers or co-operatives to manage their daily farming productions and stocks on the blockchain. The success of Satoshi Centre earned it the award of Excellence in Blockchain Incubation Facilities.
As expected, some of the participants were start-up companies that were primed for the new cryptocurrency based venture funding known as Initial Coin Offering or ICO. In particular, KuBitX cryptocurrency exchange and Subaj global network operating from Malta and Germany respectively were promoting their platforms for private sale investors.
Also, the capabilities demonstrated by KuBitX and Subaj bagged the start-ups' respective awards of Most Promising Crypto Exchange and Excellence in Application of Blockchain in Consumer Rewards.
The atmosphere at the conference for start-ups was further made exciting by investors and blockchain advisory firms such as the US-based Austin Texas native, Decentra-group, which focuses on advisory services for Blockchain and ICO development with strong expertise in legal, marketing and funding for ICOs.
The participants and organisers were also able to recognize the commitments of Decentra-group to the African continent with the award of Best ICO Services Debutant. Similarly, Cryptovecs capital and Liquid-crypto Money which are both based in Johannesburg also demonstrated specialization for Blockchain related investment and advisory services.
Although the conference took place in Johannesburg, there was strong attendance from other regions including eastern African Blockchain Advisory firm, Azure Blockchain Consultants based out of Nairobi, Kenya. The array of investors and advisory companies confirms that the Blockchain industry is gaining more interest for both adoption of applications and investments.
Africa also boasts of its own favourite cryptocurrency, Monero, which is maintained by a group of developers led by a native of Johannesburg, Riccardo Spagni. Monero has remained among the top 10 to 20 global cryptocurrencies with market capitalisation exceeding $8 Billion in February 2018.
Furthermore, at the event were other specialized providers such as the non-custodian XendBit Decentralized Exchange (DEX) and Financial Services platform.
According to the founder and CEO, Bolaji Onibudo, “XendBit DEX was developed out of a growing need to de-risk cryptocurrency exchange services by eliminating the possibilities of hacks so as to ensure better security and control to users.”
The XendBit platform whose services also include aid and credit disbursement through the Blockchain will be fully available at the beginning of the Q4 of 2018 with its ICO launch. XendBit which was awarded Excellence in Application of Blockchain in Financial Inclusion is also a member of the West African Blockchain council (WABC).
WABC comprises of Blockchain organisations collaborating towards a Blockchain ecosystem with other leading members such as Seso Global, a Mortgage Blockchain platform. The continent is also attracting other foreign Blockchain practitioners like Australia’s Lavish Crypto which also bagged an award of Excellence in Application of Blockchain in Tourism.
On Blockchain education, the continent is also exhibiting a number of active providers such as Blockchain Academy of South Africa, the Cape town based Crytotraders and Code Lagos sponsored by Lagos State Government of Nigeria.
Coincidentally, African governments are also making necessary investments in Blockchain such as the South Africa's Reserve Bank recent announcement of a successful trial of its blockchain-powered interbank clearance and settlement system.
In a similar vein, in an attempt to improve revenue assurance, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) concluded a proof of concept in Blockchain Application for its Excise Trade Department. The NCS Excise Trade Blockchain was designed and co-developed by Blockchain Asset Management Ltd based out of Lagos, Nigeria in partnership with the Oracle Blockchain Service.
This further suggests that the Blockchain landscape in Africa is attracting big tech giants like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM who are all now looking to offer solutions. This might also be attributed with Africa not having a strong legacy system in place, as is the case with the developed world, which perhaps makes Africa more prime for blockchain adoption.
**Bolaji Onibudo is founder and CEO of Digital Transaction Services (DTS) Ltd