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Africa Blockchain Institute Announces Strategic Partnership with Government Blockchain Association



Blockchain Africa

The Africa Blockchain Institute (ABI) — a Pan-African Institute, that is focused on building blockchain capacities in Africa, through certified training courses, incubation programs, and researches, has announced a five-year strategic partnership with Government Blockchain Association (GBA) — an international non-profit organisation that advocates and implements blockchain technologies to public and private sectors professionals and enterprises. 

“The partnership between the Africa Blockchain Institute (ABI) and the Government Blockchain Association (GBA), is targeted at bringing global resources and opportunities to Africa. At the same time, it gives the rest of the world access to the rich and vibrant resources of African talent, culture, and perspective. It is a major step in building bridges to a more transparent, ethical, and prosperous future.” said Government Blockchain Association (GBA) President, Gerard Dache. 

In emerging markets like Africa, there is no doubt that innovative technologies like blockchain, possess the potential to address numerous challenges on the continent. 

Whilst blockchain offers tremendous potential for the commercial world, it also likewise, has as much potential for governmental services. Governments exist in a competitive, rapidly-changing and uncertain environment, where companies are attracted by efficiency and cost-reductions. Attracting these companies requires a different attitude and increasingly, governments need to be run like a business. As a consequence, those governments that can apply the latest technology to offer innovative services for companies operating around the globe, will develop a competitive advantage that could be worth billions.

Countries like Estonia, Dubai, and Netherlands, for example, having recognised the enormous potential of blockchain, are already implementing the tech across their public and private sector. 

Estonia, for example, asides creating an enabling environment for the technology which has helped to attract notable blockchain and crypto companies to headquartered in the country, the government of Estonia is also currently implementing the technology across different sectors. The most recent example is the country’s e-residency program which is built on blockchain. 

Partnership and Collaboration: Key to Promoting Blockchain Adoption in Africa

It is widely believed that the impact of cutting-edge technologies like blockchain will be felt more in places like the African continent, not necessarily in the developed world. And one of the ways these can happen is through strategic partnership and collaboration between governments, public and private sectors across. This where the strategic partnership such as that of the Africa Blockchain Institute (ABI) and Government Blockchain Association (GBA), becomes helpful. 

Africa, with its vast opportunities, is tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have greatly limited its growth and development. Third world needs are still prevalent on the continent. A fast way to address these critical problems is to leverage on technologies. African countries have an immediate advantage to leapfrog other regions, when it embraces modern techs like blockchain. To make this happen, African governments must through innovative technologies like blockchain, position the continent as a hotspot for investment and innovation.

Commenting on the impact the partnership will bring to the continent, Government Blockchain Association (GBA) Africa Lead, Armand Gaetan NGUETI, has this to say:

“The MoU between the Africa Blockchain Institute and Government Blockchain Association with the objective of promoting the adoption of Blockchain Technology in Africa, through capacity development, and research, is a game changer as it sets the framework for multidirectional and multilateral technical and strategic collaboration between both institutions and African governments.”

With the continent’s continuous increase in its adoption of modern technologies, there is a strong possibility that the industrial landscape will transition from what we are currently witnessing. This means more innovation, which will definitely require African governments, organisations and professionals, to improve their digital literacy about the working potentials and capabilities of  new technologies like blockchain. This is exactly what the Africa Blockchain Institute provides. Speaking on the partnership, the Executive Director of ABI, Kayode Babarinde, highlights what this means for blockchain adoption in Africa.

“We are very excited about this partnership as it goes a long way in raising Blockchain capacities across African governments. Similarly, we’ll begin to see supporting policies and regulations, thereby, enabling the growth of Blockchain innovations in Africa.

“The MoU will further strengthen the adoption of Blockchain in Africa, plus cross-continental access to more opportunities.”, Babarinde added. 

About Africa Blockchain Institute (ABI)

Africa Blockchain Institute (ABI) is a Pan-African Institute which has its headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda. It was founded on the premise of promoting the adoption, development, and use of Blockchain Technology, by building Blockchain capacities in Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

About Government Blockchain Association (GBA)

Government Blockchain Association (GBA) is a US-headquartered non-profit that promotes blockchain technologies by empowering individuals and organizations to connect, communicate, and collaborate to solve public sector challenges around the world.



Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency e-Naira Gain Traction




According to Governor Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) digital currency, the eNaira, which was officially revealed on Monday, has garnered immense interest and a positive response from both within and beyond Nigeria, with 33 banks fully integrated on the platform. The CBN has successfully minted $500 million, with N200 million going to financial institutions, according to Emefiele, who spoke at President Buhari’s historic launch in Abuja.

In addition, over 2,000 clients have been added to the eNaira platform, and over 120 merchants have successfully enrolled. Since its launch, the eNaira website has had approximately 2.5 million daily views. Customers who download the eNaira Speed Wallet App will be able to complete the onboarding process and build their wallet, locate their eNaira wallet from their bank account, transfer eNaira from one wallet to another, and make payments at registered merchant locations.

In terms of maintaining a robust payment system, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) feels that the eNaira will make a big difference to Nigeria and Nigerians. The eNaira will also lower the cost of processing currency, allowing for more direct and transparent welfare interventions for citizens, as well as increased revenue and tax collection, easier diaspora remittances, lower the cost of financial transactions, and improved payment efficiency.

Governor Godwin Emefiele outlined these advantages during the historic debut in Abuja, saying that Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is the first in Africa and a digital version of the actual Naira. 

What is eNaira?

The eNaira is the same Naira with considerably more possibilities, Emefiele asserted emphatically, guaranteeing that the new payment system is one of the most robust in the world, sufficiently safeguarded, and thus nothing to worry about.

In 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began an intensive study, consultations, identification of use cases, and testing of the CBDC idea in a Sandbox environment, in response to increased interest in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) around the world.

The goal of the study was to provide a strong argument for the introduction of a digital currency in Nigeria so that all Nigerians can benefit from a more successful and inclusive economy.

Following the completion of preliminary research, the CBN’s researchers and experts were able to clearly establish that a digital currency will promote a more paperless, inclusive, and digital economy, complementing the successes of prior policy initiatives and our rapidly increasing payment systems.

As a result, the CBN decided to create its own CBDC, dubbed the eNaira. Like the physical Naira – eNaira is a legal tender in Nigeria and a liability of the CBN, which will have the same value and always be exchanged at 1 naira to 1 eNaira

To reduce the risk of the process, the CBN has carefully considered the entire payments and financial architecture, and has structured the eNaira to complement and improve these ecosystems, as well as implementing security protections and policies to ensure the financial system’s integrity.

To maintain the integrity and stability of Nigeria’s payment system, strict adherence to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations would be enforced, according to Emefiele.

The eNaira, like other digital revolutions, is a journey, and Nigerians should expect more features in the coming months. Accessibility and onboarding of consumers without BVN, as well as the usage of the eNaria on the phone without access to the internet, are among them. 

Nigeria will be one of the first countries in the world to implement the CBDC using USSD on phones, bypassing the need for internet access. The CBN also plans to use the eNaira platform to onboard revenue collection agencies in order to increase and simplify collections, as well as to create sector-specific tokens to support the Federal Government’s social programs and distribution of targeted welfare schemes in order to lift millions of people out of poverty by 2025.

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Market Watch

Jack Dorsey‘s Square to develop open source Bitcoin mining



Jack Dorsey Bitcoin

On Friday, October 15, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that American fintech company, Square, would be looking to get into Bitcoin mining. Jack Dorsey who is also Square’s CEO announced this on Twitter which subsequently sent waves through the bitcoin market, surging its price to almost a record high, rising over $62,000 over the weekend. According to the Twitter boss, Square is looking to building an open source Bitcoin mining system that would be available to individuals and businesses.

Sharing his thoughts further on the initiative, he stated that “Mining needs to be more distributed” and that “the more decentralized [mining] is, the more resilient the Bitcoin network becomes. He also mentioned the apparent inaccessibility of mining stating that “Bitcoin mining should be as easy as plugging a rig into a power source.

Dorsey also believes that bitcoin mining “needs to be more efficient and that “clean and efficient energy use” would be undoubtedly beneficial to the digital currency in the long run.

Dorsey ended the thread by saying that a “technical investigation would be undertaken by a Square team led by Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s hardware lead. If successful, this initiative would be another of Square’s bitcoin focused projects which includes a Bitcoin hardware wallet.


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Financial Leaders from G7 Release Guidelines for Central Bank Digital Currency



Source: World Atlas

At a meeting that was held in Washington, yesterday, October 13, G7 leaders discussed central bank digital currency and endorsed 13 public policy principles with regards to their implementation. The financial leaders from G7 agreed that CBDCs would complement cash and should not be detrimental to the monetary system. The G7 leaders have been discussing CBDCs this week concluding that they should do no harm and meet rigorous standards.

It should be noted that G7 includes finance leaders in advanced economic nations comprising of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S and the U.K. the G7 leaders make it mandatory that any newly launched CBDC should not harm the central bank’s ability to perform its duty of maintaining financial stability. In a joint statement by the G7 finance ministers and central bankers, they said that, 

“Strong international coordination and cooperation on these issues help to ensure that public and private sector innovation will deliver domestic and cross-border benefits while being safe for users and the wider financial system.” 

The joint statement further states that CBDCs are complements to cash and could serve as a liquid or safe settlement assets with an added advantage of anchoring existing payment systems. CBDCs issuance should be entrenched in a long-standing public commitment to transparency, rule of law, and sound economic governance. The statement added at CBDCs must be so efficient that they are fully interoperable on a cross-border basis. 

The G7 leaders agreed that they had a duty to minimize the incidence of ‘harmful spillovers to the international monetary and financial system” 

The G7 statement reiterated a similar statement earlier made by G20 that no global stablecoin project should begin operation until such a token has addressed legal, regulatory and oversight requirements. 

Countries like China and Nigeria are ahead of the pack with regards to the adoption of digital Yuan and Naira respectively. China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency may be a step forward for the country’s plan to promote its digital Yuan. Nigeria, on the other hand, postponed the launch of its eNaira in deference to the 61st anniversary of Nigerian independence on Oct 1. 

However, countries like the US and the UK are dragging their foot with regards to the introduction of CBDCs to their financial system. There are insinuations that America is in danger of being left behind technologically and financially if it doesn’t get serious with the implementation of CBDC in its financial system.

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