Libra, Facebook’s brainchild, continues to split opinion among regulators, crypto enthusiasts, blockchain experts, and basically every other sphere of the general public. Libra’s mission as per their white paper is to create a financial infrastructure that will expand access to capital, provide a platform for financial services innovation and increase efficiency of sending money seamlessly.
Accordingly, this will unlock new frontiers by bringing financial inclusivity inclusion to the over 2 billion unbanked and underbanked people across the globe. The announcement of these ambitious plans by Libra has resulted in divergence in opinions in regard to the project legality, capability, user rights, and control among other issues. From some quarters the Libra coin is perceived to be the usher in a new era of the internet of value with Libra serving as the ‘money of the internet’. In other quarters, Libra is seen as Facebook’s attempts to seize control over user’s finances and subsequently, roping them in an inescapable web of dominance.
What is Libra?
According to the Libra white paper, the Libra cryptocurrency is to be built on a secure, credible, scalable, and trustless blockchain that will facilitate speedy, cheap, and reliable payments on its robust network. This ecosystem will be governed by the Libra Association -currently comprising 27 firms- that will ultimately comprise 100 members drawn from different industries, countries, and sectors.
The Libra idea has been developed by Facebook and as such it bears the greatest responsibility for this project. With Facebook battling with regulatory issues relating to data privacy breaches, and generally losing trust among its users, Libra may fail to take off.
Facebook, however, continues to give assurances that they will not have direct control of the Libra project and as such users should not be concerned about breach of their privacy and data. Suffice to say, not many people are buying this.
Being Facebook’s and Zuckerberg’s baby, Libra brings with it significant baggage from its parent company. Facebook has been fined a record $5billion to settle an investigation into data privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal where data of over 87 million users was shared illegally. This coupled with other issues such as spread of Fake News and Election meddling are just like a foul stench that won’t go away. And it is weighing down on Libra.
Facebook has publicly declared and reiterated that it will have no access to users data. According to a Facebook news release, their interest in the Libra project will be represented by, Calibra, a subsidiary of Facebook, Inc. Calibra will provide financial services by providing a gateway to the Libra blockchain. The Calibra will be available as a standalone app as well as having accessibility via buttons on Messenger and Whatsapp. Through a release in its newsroom, Facebook insists that it will not have access to Calibra users’ data and will ensure protection of privacy. Despite these assurances, some statements in the release do not inspire confidence.
Aside from limited cases, Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent. This means Calibra customers’ account information and financial data will not be used to improve ad targeting on the Facebook family of products.
Such statements are better left to interpretation. But we have been down this road before. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Despite the continuous assurances given by the Facebook executives, there isn’t much conviction to go around. Facebook seems to have outlived their trustworthiness and the public do not seem too eager to lend them a lifeline even with the promise of a currency of the internet. Once bitten, twice shy. So they say.
Facebook understands that their past actions may have placed Libra on a very precarious position. Hence, the company is working with regulators and lawmakers seeking to address their past wrongdoing and try to initiate Libra on a clean slate. However, skepticism is high with Zuckerberg’s motto at Facebook ‘Move fast and break things’ does not seem to sit well with the gatekeepers this time round.
Facebook seem to have understood this and is trying to do this Libra project the right way with the Libra project making arrangements to get approval from different countries before their planned launch in 2020. How this will play out, is what we are about to find out.
Thus far the signs are not looking good for Libra.
Already, Libra is being faced with strong resistance from governments and lawmakers across the work. In the US, Maxine Waters, a Democratic Congresswoman, has proposed a bill aimed at preventing big tech firms like Facebook from venturing into the financial industry and developing digital currencies.
Earlier in July, Facebook announced that it would not launch Libra in India due to strict government opposition of digital currencies. Given that India is Facebook’s biggest market this is a major blow for Libra.
Other countries such as South Korea, Japan, and Germany have all raised their concerns about Libra and its existential threat to the stability of their respective nation’s financial systems.
Looking deeper into the briefs given by the authorities in these nations, there is a shared aversion about allowing Facebook to develop, a cryptocurrency. In the regulatory spheres, opponents of the Libra project have cited issues such as user privacy protection, financial stability, sovereignty of national currencies, money laundering and terrorist financing in varying degrees.
At the individual user level, discussions about Libra continue to revolve around the protection of users’ data and privacy. Following Facebook’s much publicized scandals for selling private user data, it is plausible that individual’s likelihood to adopt Libra will be influenced primarily by their safety concerns.
The agreement in opinion between regulators and users about privacy protection is beginning to form a pattern of the general dislike of Facebook being at the helm of the next generation currency. Ultimately, Facebook’s past, and the damage it has caused may become the poison chalice that kills the Libra coin.
A remarkable CAGR of 38.4% predicted for global blockchain technology market between 2018 and 2025
Leading players are focusing on strategic collaborations and product diversification to leapfrog smaller counterparts and gain competitive edge.
IBM Corporation’s diversification strategy focused on building a strong network, enabled it emerge dominant in blockchain technology market.
BFSI segment takes lead in adoption and implementation of the blockchain technology.
Digital technologies such as blockchain are flagbearers of a new era of productivity in banking and financial institutions. Besides this, an increasing number of industries, such as consumer goods, aerospace and defense, and healthcare are adopting blockchain to push their boundaries of novelty. Even at a nascent stage, the technology has caused disruption across diverse sectors. Its features such as transparency, decentralization, and immutability are deemed highly lucrative by a multitude of businesses.
Early Adoption in North America Proves Chief Growth Booster for Blockchain Technology Market
Blockchain technology is riding high on popularity, with a considerably large section of financial executives showcasing their familiarity with the technology. North America boasts a considerably larger percentage of familiarity of the technology. Fortune Business Insights in a recent study has pegged the North America blockchain technology market at US$ 820 Mn in 2017. Globally, the blockchain technology market is forecast to rise at an astounding 38.4% CAGR, reaching US$ 21,070.2 Mn by end of 2025. Some of the leading names in the market are domiciled in the U.S., which is a prime factor boosting the blockchain technology market in North America. Besides this, the dominance of manufacturing industries will give tailwinds to the growth of market in Europe. In Asia Pacific, the technology is likely to discover lucrative markets in China, Japan, and Korea.
IBM’s Diversification Strategy Catapults it to Market’s Forefront
Start-ups and smaller companies are mostly adopting organic strategies to strengthen their foothold. For instance, partnerships and strategic collaborations are extremely popular among start-ups looking to consolidate market share. For instance, R3 teamed up with HSBlox in 2018 to develop novel blockchain initiatives and offer blockchain solutions to the Corda Healthcare Community-based healthcare industry. Meanwhile, their multinational counterparts seldom leave any stone unturned to gain competitive edge. However, experts often tout growth strategies by leading players as non-organic. For instance, IBM announced a joint venture with Maersk Group to implement blockchain technology to the benefit of global trade. They also aimed at digitizing supply chain.
Besides collaborations, biggies like IBM Cooperation are focusing product diversification to stay competitive. They are also taking keen interest on making their frontline Blockchain products easily accessible. The company’s effort is evidently directed towards strengthening their distribution network, subsequently penetrating deeper into untapped markets. Moreover, IBM’s has over 8 ongoing projects with over 130 associates across 25 countries, working in harmony to develop Hyperledger Fabric Project. Reiterating IBM’s stronghold, Fortune Business Insights has touted IBM as the leading market player in 2017.
Blockchain Technology is Becoming Increasingly Attractive for Global Financial Institutions
Back in the days, blockchain technology was treated with cynicism in bank and financial institutions. However, success registered across diverse sectors has impelled the banking sector to actively seek novel applications of the blockchain technology. With companies such as JP Morgan Chase placing their faith in the technology, experts foresee promising growth on cards for the overall market. JP Morgan Chase has recently started a facility called the Quorum division, dedicated to conduct researches on and implement the blockchain technology. In addition to this, Goldman Sachs is actively engaged in the research and development of distributed registry technology. The company has already invested in Circle – a cryptocurrency project. Circle is touted as one of the most well-funded projects in the blockchain space.
Blockchain technology offers security of transaction, while eliminating the involvement of any third party trustee. This one characteristic greatly helps in curbing cost incurred on financial transactions. Apart from this, the technology is beyond bitcoins and can be implemented across a plethora of operations, such as document verification or sending encrypted messages securely. Furthermore, it allows integration of smart processes such as “smart contracts,” which potentially automates manual processes. These are indicative of secure transaction offered, which is fueling the demand for blockchain technology worldwide.
Blockchain Technology offers a host of advantages to the banking and financial institution. Some of them are discussed below:
One of the most interesting aspects of blockchain technology is that it combines cryptography and databases, while allowing simultaneous access to multiple parties from across the globed regularly update digital ledger.
Implementing the technology will empower banks and financial institutions to tackle with frauds.
A considerably large section of financial intermediaries is vulnerable to cyberattack. Implementing blockchain technology can shield a company against a number of potential online threats.
Blockchain disruption is slated to transform payment processes, ascertaining greater security to banks.
It also significantly reduces the cost incurred on processing payments.
The blockchain technology is yet to be capitalized on to its full capacity and it is already leveraged across multiple industries. As more companies realize the benefits of implementing the technology and agree on common solutions, the impact could be ground-breaking. With leading financial institutions experimenting with the technology across fields as diverse as anti-money laundering, syndicated loans, CRM, and payments, the future could be nearer than expected.
Author’s Bio –
Panchali Mallik Tripathi
Panchali Mallik Tripathi is currently heading the content writing/ editing team at Fortune Business Insights. Panchali’s extensive experience as a content expert in the IT industry has stirred her inquisitiveness to research on the historical, contemporary, and unexplored nuances of the novel technologies and scientific developments. Other than this, she also enjoys investigating the latest advances in the digital world and how the same is likely to impact economies worldwide.
The program was launched to give developers in Africa the opportunity to gain the skills to become industry-ready blockchain developers and empower them with the tools they need to leverage blockchain to solve some of the pressing problems in Africa and the world.
The first cohort of the program is graduating in July 2019 and applications are now open for the second cohort starting in August 2019. Africa Blockchain Alliance is looking to increase the number of developers and country representation with this next cohort and will also be awarding scholarships to a number of developers for the program, thanks to a $10,000 grant from ConsenSys Grants, which was announced during the 2019 Ethereal Summit in New York in May 2019.
The program, which is mostly online with in-person sessions in select cities, gives developers in Africa access to ConsenSys Academy’s Developer course at a significantly discounted rate. Developers on the course will have access to dedicated mentors who will have weekly office hours with them for 1 to 2 hours per week and answer their questions daily. Developers will also have unlimited access to an online forum with over 2,000 developers who are all current and past developers trained by Consensys Academy. The program will run for a period of 11 to 12 weeks (approximately 3 months) starting from August 2019. On successful completion of the program, graduates will be issued certificates on the Ethereum blockchain and given the opportunity to work on blockchain projects in Africa and around the world.
Here is what some of the developers from the first cohort had to say about the program;
Kwadwo Amo-Addai (Ghana)
“The Africa Blockchain Developer Program is one of the best online education programs I’ve taken in my life. It has successfully initiated me into the Blockchain space, and fully-prepared me for venturing into this emerging technology sector.”
Allan Katongole (Uganda)
“The Africa Blockchain Developer Program was quite informative both in a theoretical and practical aspect. The mentorship and office hour sessions were top notch and provided efficient and quick solutions in situations where I was stuck technically.”
Wael Yousfi (Tunisia)
“Three months ago, I joined the first cohort of the Africa Blockchain Developer Program. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about ethereum blockchain development. I learned to develop solidity smart contracts and I built my own decentralized application using solidity and truffle. Thanks to Africa Blockchain Alliance for giving me the opportunity to be part of this program.
I highly recommend it to every African developer interested in blockchain development.”
Recent news that Facebook with other partners are going to launch Libracoin continues to gain press coverage. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are quickly moving from niche mysterious digital assets and starting to gain global attention. Many corporations are working to see how to leverage the underlying blockchain technology while governments are grappling on ways to regulate the industry.
The last couple of weeks have generated a lot of interest around the announcement that Facebook alongside 27 other partners are launching a new digital currency called Libracoin in 2020. They launched the whitepaper on June 18, 2019. We broke down the contents of whitepaper in a previous post. Subsequently, crypto and non-crypto news media have heavily covered the story. Indeed with 2.7 billion users across its family of apps-Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook’s entry into the digital currency market with Libracoin would have a major impact. The debate has degenerated as to whether Libracoin is indeed a ‘real cryptocurrency’ like say bitcoin.
Bitcoin has continued to gain mainstream attention since its introduction in 2009. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that enables the transfer of value between people without reliance on a third party custodian such as a bank. It has also heavily been used a store of value, digital gold, with its value experiencing high levels of volatility. It exists exclusively in digital form and anyone can create a wallet and get started with bitcoin either to trade it, send to someone or a store of value. The price value of bitcoin is volatile and fluctuates and has nonetheless continued to grow. For example during the last week of June, it was trading around $11,000 down from a few hours prior $13,800 but was also trading at $9000 day earlier. There are other thousands of cryptocurrencies that have been introduced such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin among others. However, none has been able to eclipse bitcoin in terms of a number of users, growth of the network and value. Libracoin promises to challenge bitcoin in terms of adoption and usage, nonetheless, a closer look at its core fundamentals reveals key differences.
It is not easy to compare Libra with bitcoin since Libracoin has not been launched yet. When it’s officially launched in 2020, they could have changed some features. Furthermore, recent reports indicate Libracoin is likely to face a lot of regulatory focus and the outcome will definitely have an impact on the larger blockchain and cryptocurrency market.
Nonetheless, based on the published whitepaper as well as community debate and input on the social platform and niche communities, I have tried to break down how Libra could differ from bitcoin. I have summarized the results in the table below.
Initial Exchange Offerings (IEO) are taking over fundraising in the blockchain space and the figures allude to this fact. IEOs have become the preferred mode of crowdfunding since the debut of Bittorrent Token (BTT) that raised $7million on the Binance Launchpad in January 2019. Bitfinex own IEO raised $1 billion in just 10 days signifying the rise of a new trend in the crypto space. Since then, IEO projects have succeeded in raising over $3billion within the first 5 months of 2019. In May alone, IEOs raised $1.19billion dwarfing amounts raised via ICO, STO and even venture capital. Moreover, some IEOs have succeeded in raising millions of dollars within seconds of their listing.
5 IEOs that spent up to seconds to raised necessary amount of funds (www. icobench.com)
What is an IEO?
IEO is a fundraising event conducted on an exchange with investors able to buy tokens using their exchange wallet. Find a detailed article on IEO here.
So why are IEOs becoming so popular in the cryptocurrency and crowdfunding spheres?
IEOs are considered to be much safer bets than ICOs in that they are conducted on existing and well-known exchanges that usera are already familiar with. Crypto exchanges such as Binance, OKEx, Bittrex, Huobi, KuCoin, Coinebe, Probit, and ExMarkets have developed own platforms to facilitate new token purchases for crowdfunding purposes.
Total funds raised in May-19 (www.inwara.com)
From an investor’s perspective, having the backing of a well-known, trusted, and familiar exchange serves as an endorsement for projects. Naturally, it is assumed that the exchanges conduct due diligence on each project that they proceed to list as an IEO. This is viewed as a ringing endorsement for the project and a worthwhile investment hence becoming easier for them to raise funds. Needless to say, it is imperative for investors to do their own research so as to ensure their investment is safe based on their own due diligence. However, with IEOs, not many investors are following this advice and are rather riding on these exchanges reputation making IEOs seem like less risky investments than they could potentially be.
From a project team perspective, conducting an IEO is considered to be cheaper, marketable, and more credible as compared to alternative methods such as ICOs, STOs or even VC funding. On the downside however, IEOs may take longer to get to market as projects are vetted to ensure they meet the very stringent requirements set by the exchange platforms. Also, competition is high with multiple projects seeking to get listed on very few platforms. Nonetheless, once they are able to prove their viability, then projects can rest assured of success as investors are rushing to purchase IEO tokens. This is due to considerably high ROI recorded so far and the ease of disposal as they are already listed on exchanges.
Current and ATH Average Returns since IEO (ROI) by Exchange Platforms in USD (www.cryptorank.io)
Seems like a bed of roses, right?
There are downsides to IEOs too. The exclusivity of IEOs means that tokens are only listed on the exchange that runs the fundraising. Therefore, investors are required to create, and successfully verify each account which may be time consuming and a bothersome exercise. Secondly, IEOs are basically, self-regulated ICOs that seek to address the flaws of a deregulated and often chaotic market. As such, the standards and regulations set by individual exchanges do not absolve the market of nefarious activities- reputation at stake or not. The possibilities of pump and dump schemes, questionable ownership, sketchy individuals, and scams still loom large. As such, as a potential investor you MUST always Do Your Own Research.
All things considered, IEOs seem to have brought a mild sobering effect in the cryptocurrency space considering the billions lost through hundreds- potentially thousands- of ICO tokens that never got to see the light of day in an exchange. With, IEOs, at least investors have the recourse of selling their tokens if they find that the projects they invested in are not worth their salt. From a project’s side of view, IEO provide an avenue for separating wheat from the chaff and could potentially open doors for valuable projects as well as pave the road for cryptocurrency regulation. Where the road leads us, no one knows. But, I bet it’s worth taking a ride to the foreseeable future.
Today Facebook finally unveiled its plans that it’s working on introducing a new digital currency called Libra coin. The announcement was made by launching whitepaper which details the project goals and ambitions.
What is it?: a cryptocurrency backed by reserves (essentially a stablecoin) designed as a medium of exchange. The stablecoin will be pegged on a basket of currencies such as USD, Euro, yen, etc and not only the USD. The value of Libra coin is yet to be determined. What stablecoins enable is stability in value meaning that merchants would be enticed to accept it as payment since the value will be stable. The aim is to create global currency mainly targeting the unbanked in developing nations.
It, therefore, seems like marketing efforts could be directed more in developing nations. To start with, this is how it might work: users will be able to cash in a local currency, say KSH, get Libra coin, using wallet apps such as Calibra or other third party wallet apps. Then spend your Libra coin like you’d do dollars such as send to another person and when you want, cash out by selling Libra for local currency via a wallet exchange app. All this with a promise of low transaction fees. There are expected to be local resellers that could tap into this opportunity by exchanging Libra for local currency (fiat). The money that a user exchanges for Libra go into Libra reserve. Therefore it is expected that there will be minting of new Libra coin based on demand and when someone cashes out, the equivalent value of Libra will be burnt.
Consensus mechanism: Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)-based (LibraBFT) permission blockchain. Says they will eventually move to permissionless blockchain. Each partner will act as a validator node. These act as servers that operate the blockchain. 2/3 of nodes must reach consensus for a transaction to be valid. Transactions cannot be reversed and if an attack happens causing a fork, the Libra Association will temporarily halt transactions to ‘figure extent of the damage and recommend software updates to resolve the fork’. Similar to Ethereum gas, there will a small amount of transaction fee generated per transaction that will be used to deter spam, DOS (denial of service) attacks.
On Facebook controlling the project: In a twitter thread, head of Facebook’s blockchain division, David Marcus, reiterated that Facebook does not want to control the project mixing social data with financial data and therefore had created Calibra as a subsidiary to lead the team of partner companies in building services on top of Libra Network and currency. Each of the partners has invested $10 million in the project. Calibra will have a digital wallet that will be available in WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and as a standalone app next year. In a Facebook post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckbucks said that Calibra will be regulated like any other payment service provider separate from Facebook. In the same post, he said that
‘those who lose their Libra coins will be refunded’.
Other partners will be able to build and launch their own services using Libra.
A person will not be required to register on Facebook or be Facebook users to use the Libra coin, according to Coindesk. Facebook will be expected to have the same level of governance rights as the other partners in the project.
Partners: Libra Association is made of 27 partners and is expected to reach 100 by the time the project is fully operational. They are from tech & marketplaces, venture capital, payment companies, even NGOs. Each partner member has one vote or 1%. To join the partnership there are various requirements such as VC firms must have at least $1 billion under management, NGOs to have 5 year track record of poverty alleviation, operating budget of more than $50 million. More details on this here.
Facebook and other founding partners of Libra will earn interest on money users cash in that is held in reserve to keep the value of Libra stable. This could run into millions according to an earlier analysis by Forbes.
Regulation: Will comply with various KYC and AML regulations, mainly ID verification, in different countries. In the USA, Calibra is registered as a money transmitter license in states that ‘treat cryptocurrencies as the equivalent of money, according to coindesk. It is likely not to conduct business in jurisdictions that have outrightly banned cryptocurrencies. It is not very clear how they will be regulated in each country they operate.
Some other interesting features from the whitepaper are:
The Libra Association says it will not hold personal data on users. Transactions will be pseudo-anonymous meaning that transaction details such as amount, blockchain address will only be visible to partner companies in the network.
Launch: the project will be officially launched sometime in 2020 so in the meantime, you can’t use/receive or send Libra coin. What they have done is to launch the whitepaper and generate buzz about the project in anticipation for the official launch.
The prototype is expected to run in beta mode until it is launched officially. Libra developer site. The programming language used is MOVE eventually aimed at implementing custom transactions and smart contracts. The Libra ecosystem and Move says they are open sources and developers can build on top of it.
We will be keenly following Libra coin in the run-up to the launch in 2020. More to come.
Payments and settlements continues to be the main areas of growth for blockchain-based projects. A post shared by Binance research also shows that operating systems or blockchain as a service (baas) constitute the second biggest area of growth. Banking services come third while stablecoins round up the top 4.
Payments & settlements is easily the area attracting most projects because of the enormity of the market opportunity. For example, cross-border payments is a $125 trillion market$125 while remittance market is a $600 billion market. Capturing just a small percentage of that market would constitute substantial gains for blockchain companies that get it right.
A look back at 2017, which could be termed as a landmark year for ICOs, show that blockchain infrastructure, banking and payments , computing and data storage were the top industries in terms of capital raised as well as popularity. This shows that interest in blockchain infrastructure and payments has been consistent for a while now.
Further analysis shows that ethereum continues to be the birthplace of most decentralized applications (Dapps) more so the decentralized finance (DeFi) projects. As per the latest June 2019 Binance Research Maker Dao is the cornerstone of ethereum’s decentralized finance projects. Lending/borrowing protocols continue to be attractive because of the attractive incentives offered to market participants. Even though the crypto-lending space is still nascent, it provides compelling value proposition of providing new credit models commensurate with increasingly digital world. Transparency, ease of access and immutability are some of the attractive features while technology risks and low liquidity are some of the existing challenges.
Meanwhile stablecoins have gained the largest market value in the period under study, 2018-2019 Q1. Recently many legacy institutions such as JP Morgan and Facebook have announced plans to launch stablecoins as they prepare to make in-roads into crypto. It is expected that interest in stablecoins especially for non-blockchain based institutions will continue to be attractive in the near future. On the other hand, supply-chain projects have showed least growth in 2018-19. Supply-chain based projects came into the limelight in 2017 when IBM and Maersk announced that they were working together to look into ways of leveraging blockchain to improve transparency in the supply chain process. Later in 2018, they launched Tradelens with other partners.
Even super retailer chain Walmart announced that it would start tracking its suppliers from farm to consumers using smart contracts in a bid to increase transparency. No new developments have been announced in this area. Also showing little progress is retail e-commerce and healthcare. Nonetheless these types of implementations would require more study, partnerships and testing before working at scale. It is easier to implement payments or trading-based projects than say, supply-chain or medical healthcare. On a longer time-frame, say 3-5 years, further analysis based on outcomes would showcase the viability of such projects.
Over the last few weeks of May, new developments have come up relating to crypto regulation in a few African countries: South Africa, Egypt and Malawi.
South African bank digital currency: In a tender notice, South African Reserve Bank (SARB) sought out applications for prospective solution providers in anticipation of feasibility project on issuance of a central bank’s issued digital currency (CBDC). The project is termed as broader fintech programme by the bank and the digital currency would be backed by central bank. Some of the details about it would be:
-should be a complementary to cash and is not intended as a replacement
issued in a highly secure and trusted modern cryptographic mechanisms
-distributed to commercial banks and other licensed service providers
-one on one parity with the South African rand
-should be ubiquitous and accepted as means of payment
-no risk of distabilizing the existing financial sector
provide stakeholders with opportunity to innovate in terms of payment solutions
consumers should be able to transact in CBDC without need of a bank account.
enable person-to-person settlement, physically and online without need to rely on current settlement terms.
Egypt new stance on cryptocurrencies: business dealing with promotion, creating and operating platforms for issuing or trading cryptocurrencies are required to obtain a license from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). In a new draft bill CBE seeks to have the right to issue rules governing trading and dealing with cryptocurrencies. (source:Egypt independent )
Malawi issues warning: Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) issues warning that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in the country and are outside the purview of the institution. RBM governor, in a statement noted the increased public interest in cryptocurrencies. While cautioning the public about participating in cryptocurrencies, RBM also noted that they are aware cryptocurrencies are used as a means of payment, medium of exchange, store of value or invested assets online. Nonetheless, the governor warned that RBM would not approve nor recognize any inbound or outbound foreign investment in cryptocurrencies. (Source:NyasaTimes)
Majority of countries in Africa have adopted the ‘wait and see’ approach when it comes to crypto regulation. Nonetheless, interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain seems to be growing. Outright bans have been issued in various countries. However, some countries have also began making progress by trying to establish regulatory sandboxes, forming taskforces and regulations governing crypto related companies such as exchanges.
The Credits blockchain platform meets the wishes of all crypto communities and presents the full source code of the most decentralized blockchain platforms in the space.
Credits publishes the entire source code that is aligned with the latest state of Credits software. All updates, optimizations and hotfixes will occur on GitHub. At present time the following list of components is available on GitHub:
– Consensus Protocol
– Smart Contracts
– Web Wallet and etc.
Credits team trusts that this move will increase the transparency of development process, will attract new audiences and will speed up the growth of Credits blockchain ecosystem.
Credits company is focused to invite all the partners and other developers to participate in the process of community development! Any developer will be able to track the whole history of Credits code updates on official GitHub, contact the developers and bring any suggestions in order to positively affect the development of Credits infrastructure. Go ahead! Be on the same wavelength with the most innovative technology!
About Credits Blockchain Platform
Credits is an international company that was founded in 2015 and is located in the USA, Singapore and Russia. Credits offers public and private solutions to its clients in any fields of business needs. The peculiarity of Credits is a high-speed decentralized blockchain platform that provides up to 1 million transactions per second with confirmation time of a single transaction around 0.1 second and low fees around 0,001 USD. The platform is intended to develop standalone smart contracts and decentralized applications.
Elk is on a mission to bring blockchain and decentralization into the physical world. Elk, our first product, is a hardware development board for building blockchain-connected devices. It is plug-and-play just like an Arduino, offers over-the-air upgrades, and includes a mobile app that allows you to communicate with your hardware privately through decentralized technologies.
Elk lets you start building the devices of tomorrow. Build an electric socket that people can rent with Ethereum, or lock Bitcoin into a treadmill that you can only get back when you work out, or build a serverless home automation system that respects your privacy using the Whisper messaging protocol. The possibilities are truly endless.
Elk is fully open-source and supports a multitude of decentralized technologies including Ethereum, Bitcoin, IPFS, IOTA, Whisper, and more. You can use it to build devices and sensors that interact with smart contracts, accept crypto payments, and communicate privately with no central servers.
We believe current blockchain development is subpar, let alone blockchain development for embedded devices. There’s room to make a 10x improvement in its UX, and that’s what we’re set out to do. With Elk, you won’t have to deal with wallet and keys management, fuss over setting up nodes, tune their parameters to run well on an embedded device, handle crashes, etc. We are delivering the Arduino-like experience to blockchain development, with all the libraries that Arduino already supports.
There are two major differentiators for Elk:
1. A 10x better UX for blockchain development
Elk makes blockchain development for embedded devices 10x more seamless. It offers the following:
a plug-and-play experience, just like an Arduino. You won’t need to deal with wallet and keys management, fuss over setting up nodes, tune their parameters to run well on an embedded device, handle crashes, etc.
an app for communicating with your devices privately. With just a couple of lines of code, you’ll be able to build devices that you can control remotely with no central servers using the Elk app and the Whisper messaging protocol. Here’s an example of how to control a lightbulb through decentralized technologies with Elk – no “cloud” or servers required.
over-the-air upgrades over WiFi for a seamless cable-free experience.
2. True Decentralization
Elk is a hardware development board that offers true decentralization. By default and when possible, Elk runs a light node and communicates directly with the blockchain and not through a hosted service. Elk pushes decentralization all the way to the embedded device itself.
Where To Get It
Elk will be available to pre-order next month (June 2019) onthrough a Kickstarter campaign, and will be shipped by the end of the year. You can sign up at elk.cc to get your early bird discount.