Two premier events of relevance to crypto enthusiasts were held in Cape Town recently, namely Seamless Southern Africa and BlockChain Africa.
Hashgraph Ambassadors were in attendance at the Seamless Southern Africa conference held in Cape Town from 11-13 March 2019. Cape Town’s local Ambassador, Roderick Ross, was there to network with like-minded people and get the latest ‘gossip about gossip’ on industry trends. He said, “the qualities that Hedera Hashgraph bring to the table are really exciting for this market, particularly around low-friction micro-payments”.
Also attending was Hashgraph MVP Jillian Godsil from Ireland. She was leading a workshop at the pre-conference (on accelerating Financial Inclusion through technology) as well as speaking in the main event and doing an educational seminar in the Exhibition hall.
Jillian said: “This is my first time in Cape Town and it was exciting to hear from many banking and payments specialists looking at the issues facing this continent. One thrust was to bank the unbanked using emerging technology to overcome challenges related to mobile penetration, lack of infrastructure and a youthful population curve.
“Another thrust came in the form of the ‘pro cryptocurrency brigade’ that wanted to go in the opposite direction – to unbank the world. They argued that just because developing countries leapfrogged technology, i.e. in telecoms terms skipping the land line and going directly to mobile – does not mean that they go in the same direction.
“This continent is very much going to change the way we adopt DLT – watch out world,” she said. Roderick agreed and said his favorite quotes from the Seamless conference were:
“Instant payments, instant feedback – Generation Z demands this! Any organization involved in digital payments should be thinking this.”
Leon Kiptum – Country Manager Betway
“If we can crack micropayments it opens up many industries, beyond just paying humans (e.g. paying drones to photograph a remote area etc.)”.
Kreean Singh – Founding Partner Blockstarers
The Seamless conference built on the momentum created by the Blockchain Africa event held a week before on 6 March, which Dr. Ross attended. Some noteworthy quotes from that event are:
“We haven’t even got our feet wet yet. 10 years from now, Blockchain will be mainstream”
PREMIER HELEN ZILLE
Premier Of The Western Cape
“Blockhain binds the hands of reckless policy makers”
Chief Economist In The Western Cape Government
“The human stories and practical implementation of an idea far outweigh its technical merits. What matters to humans is the stories they can tell around the technologies presented to them… The rules, borders, systems and views of the world are up for debate. A group of people can propose new rules.”
CEO Of Inves Capital, South Africa Radio Presenter
“Current crypto technology doesn’t lend itself to mass adoption yet. The fees for examples don’t make sense for small payments, when you consider that the fees are more than the coffee you might be wanting to buy. There is thus a need to develop. In Brazil we find that the crypto users thus prefer to hold the crypto coin and spend the fiat currency. We have also seen Venezuelans crossing the border to buy bitcoin out of necessity”.
Founder Of CoinBR, CEO Of Stratum And CoinPY
“Rural communities in Kenya have their own community digital currency. They actually use the country Fiat currency for savings but spend the community currency for day to day aspects – it is liquid and stable and it encourages people to spend the community currency and thereby participate in the community.
Director And Co-Founder Of Grassroots Economics
“If one analyzes Google search volumes for crypto, the top 4 countries are African. In the developed world. media coverage around price value/crash drives volumes, but in the developing world the volumes are driven around necessity.”
Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer At Coindirect
“Malta is a pioneer in embracing the forward-thinking regulation of growth industries. We believe blockchain is a force for good and Malta has acted as a Standards Setter in providing a regulatory framework that is sensitive to storing digital records, executing smart contracts and exchanging digital assets.”
JEAN PAUL FABRI
Managing Director At ARQ
“Digital currency provides an equal opportunity for citizens to be on par globally and be less dependent on good politicians. Low cost micropayments, cross-border remittance, digital identities are all important for the African continent. We can now tokenize and define what has value, thereby putting power into the hands of the people. However, lots of education is required and use cases will be found by listening to people, in particular understanding where it hurts for everybody.”
Panel Discussion: How are Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrencies Enabling Social and Economic Impact and Inclusion in Africa?
Seamless Southern Africa
Seamless is the region’s leading payments and commerce technology conference and exhibition. The event has separate conference agendas covering the world of Payments, Fintech, Ecommerce and Retail. For more information, please visit https://www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/seamless-africa/index.stm.
The conference in Cape Town focused on how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies can achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for economic growth and social inclusion by enabling and broadening access to a wide range of financial and other services, critical to the long-term reduction in poverty and achievement of economic growth in Africa. For more information, please visit https://blockchainafrica.co/blockchain-africa-conference-cape-town.