iAfrica

Be Smart About South Africa

Blockchain Innovators Flock To Joburg

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A Web3 wave comes to African shores this week and the continent is perfectly positioned to rise on this tide of innovation in ingenuity. The 9th annual Blockchain Africa Conference gathers together the brightest technology minds and captains of industry to help unlock the potential of blockchain to overcome the obstacles in the developing world.     

Blockchain has gained traction in Africa, with founders finding early success by bringing efficiency and delivering lower-cost cross-border payments for African businesses conducting trade abroad. A new age of the internet has dawned, and it is energising the continent.  

In South Africa the Reserve Bank has developed a blockchain-based payment system called Project Khokha1, which is being used to test blockchain technology for interbank settlements. While in the Central Bank of Kenya is also exploring blockchain technology for payment systems and promoting financial inclusion2.

Bitcoin Events’ flagship event, Blockchain Africa Conference, happening at The Galleria in Sandton on 16 and 17 March is the central space for collaboration and sharing ideas to build a better, more inclusive Africa by embracing the digital tools and resources.

This year the event welcomes back valuable in-person interaction following two years of the conference being held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic protocols. The conference has attracted over 9,000 attendees from 160 countries and helped frame the best in blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation and disruption from across the globe for the African context.

Over the past nine years South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana have seen a rapid uptake of crypto assets as citizens leverage this future-facing marketplace to access more efficient payment rails provided by blockchain networks and yield returns on income with assets like Bitcoin or stable coins pegged to the value of the US dollar3.

In 2023 the spotlight turns to global trends and disruptors, and how market players can capitalise on the opportunities and best respond to the threats.

World-class international and local experts, Briana Marbury, the Chief Executive Officer of the Interledger Foundation, Junde Ju the Head of Global Sales, Cobo, Rene Reinsberg, the CEO of Celo and Joaquim Predro Antunes, the Head of Crypto Engineering at Xapo Private Bank will be unpacking how blockchain technology and crypto assets are transforming business operations globally and how it can be mobilised on the African continent.

Recent crypto exchange news is driving the global conversation around regulations and those talks will also be well represented in Sandton. Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group’s (IFWG) Crypto Assets Regulatory (CAR) Work Group Ayn du Bazane and fellow SARB Senior Fintech Analyst Gerhard van Deventer will offer insights into the South African regulatory framework.

Du Bazane will be joined by blockchain industry policy experts Andrew Whitworth (Policy Director, EMEA at Ripple), and Cedric Ming (EY Senior Consultant for Legal, Regulatory and Compliance) for a vibrant panel discussion about measures that could help promote economic development while also preventing illicit activities.        

This dovetails well with the conference focus on how companies are implementing blockchain-based solutions in their business models, with special attention given to the many innovative real-world use cases of this technology by Mastercard and Xapo Private Bank.

Mastercard Director of Cyber and Intelligence solutions Robert Brine will share some of the payment giant’s crypto initiatives and how it is empowering people around the world.  

Xapo operates at the intersection of traditional finance and crypto with its industry leading secure storage wallet for and its partnerships with Mastercard and Swift allowing customers the fluidity to be currency agnostic by enjoying exposure to both digital assets and money markets. It’s a unique example of a harmonious coexistence.

“Xapo Private Bank developed a unique solution for digital asset holders to safeguard and grow their investments that could play a crucial role in flight to safety in developing markets,” explains Antunes.

“The Blockchain Africa Conference gives us contact with African founders who are leveraging blockchain technology in their projects. Blockchain innovation can cover the critical gaps in the financial sector and increase access to secure identity, supply chain and asset management solutions. These projects are crucial to help support growth in economies plagued with inflation and volatility.” 

Companies are no longer asking “why” but discussing “how to” use blockchain technology. The time for asking why this technology should be used is over, and the time to implement this technology in existing systems and build better systems and surf the wave is here.

Date: 16 – 17 March 2023

Venue: The Galleria, Sandton

Registration: Here

About Blockchain Africa Conference

Founded in 2015, and hosted by Bitcoin Events, Blockchain Africa Conference is an inimitable blockchain conference in Africa. The conference is known for its ability to attract the globe’s most highly-ranked thought leaders and pioneers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries worldwide. Over the years, the conference themes have evolved and aligned with the global adoption of blockchain technology: ‘Beyond the Hype’, ‘From Hype to Mainstream’ and most recently, ‘Ready for Business?’ Register here to take part in this year’s conference, or to learn more about Blockchain Africa Conference: https://blockchainafrica.co/

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