Bitcoin Adoption Explosion in Africa, Led by Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa

Bitcoin continues to gain traction in Africa, with Kenya being the most bitcoin maximalist country, with 94.7% dominance. The top 10 list also contains Nigeria at the 5th spot and South Africa at the 6th spot.

As per Blockchaincenter, Bitcoin remains the most searched coin in all countries, accounting for 90% of all the search volume on Google Trends.

South America is the most “bitcoin Maximalist” continent, but Bitcoin adoption in Africa has been exploding for some time now and setting new highs every week.

In just three months, the peer-to-peer volume has been up 125% in Nigeria, 199% in Kenya, 194% in South Africa, and 257% in Ghana shared Kevin Rooke.

Compared to other African countries, Nigerians transacted the most with Bitcoin in Q2 2020.

As per Usefultulips, during the last quarter, Nigeria transacted $34.4 million in Bitcoin, followed by South Africa at $15.2 million, $7.8 million in Kenya, $640k in Ghana, and $600k in Tanzania.

“Africa sees another weekly record on P2P markets. 4th week in a row,” said Matt Ahlborg, creator of the crypto data providing site.

“Bitcoin premiums remain high in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and others,” he added, sharing how remitters buy BTC in the USA and then send them to families in Africa where they can sell BTC for a 5-10% premium.

Making it Easier

Recently, Nigerian startup BuyCoins also opened up crypto to everyone with its new product, Sendcash, reported Disrupt Africa. With this platform, people can receive money into their bank accounts from any country abroad using Bitcoin.

“Basically, we map a bank account to a Bitcoin wallet address, and when anyone sends Bitcoin to that address from anywhere in the world, we convert it to Naira and credit the bank account within a few minutes,” said BuyCoins product manager Teju Adeyinka.

Sendcash is processing around $300,000 from about 400 users so far and continues to see growth.

BuyCoins enable Nigerians to easily buy, sell, and use crypto and trades about $7 million worth of digital assets each month.

Back in May, it traded more than $17 million in cryptocurrencies, which have been its “best month ever.” They also saw a huge spike in OTC trades that month.

What’s driving this demand in Africa is the high inflation rates, depreciating local fiat currencies, political instability, capital control, costly remittances, and lack of financial infrastructure.

If the ongoing trend continues as Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey recently said, “Africa will define the future (especially the Bitcoin one!).”

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Author: AnTy

New Theory Claims ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ Helped Run Drugs for Kingpin Pablo Escobar

Since the launch of the Bitcoin mainnet back in 2009, the most intriguing aspect of the top cryptocurrency has been its pseudo-anonymous founder, Satoshi Nakamoto.

The creator of Bitcoin has remained anonymous even after Bitcoin peaked at its highest back in 2017, which has given rise to speculation, conspiracy theories, and of course, impersonators. Many Bitcoin pundits and crypto veterans have claimed to know the real identity of the Satoshi Nakamoto, but none have yet revealed his true identity.

There are several theories behind who could be the actual creator of Bitcoin and people have pinpointed several individuals, but none have been convincingly proven to be the original creator. However, a new theory has hit the market which could link the anonymous Bitcoin creator to one of the most infamous drug lords Pablo Escobar.

The theory suggests that one Yasutaka Nakamoto who held a high-ranking engineer post for Pacific West Airlines before going on to work for the notorious drug kingpin Escobar himself. The theory suggests that Yasutaka first disappeared from public life back in 1992 after an assassination attempt, and later emerged towards the second half of the 2000s to create Bitcoin. The theory was put forward by Olof Gustaffson, CEO of Escobar Inc.

Apart from running a multinational company associated with the former drug kingpin, Gustaffson also worked as a right-hand man to the brother of Pablo Escobar. When inquiring about the motivation behind this absurd Satoshi Nakamoto theory, he said that he was revealing all this now because of the self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright’s continuous lies and failed attempts to prove he is the original creator of Bitcoin.

Gustaffson further claimed that Yasutaka could be a perfect fit for the role of Satoshi Nakamoto since he agreed to help Escobar smuggle drugs through the airline he was working with, but never pledged his loyalty. Gustaffson also claimed that being an engineer, Yasutaka had access to microprocessors and semiconductors which acted as a building block for him and apply his knowledge for the creation of Bitcoin.

The Dorian Nakamoto Connection

The only publically available profile for Yasutaka Nakamoto that matches Gustaffson’s story is that from a 1992 Los Angeles Times article which talks about the probable Nakamoto working for Hughes Aircraft, managing to escape unscratched from a pipe bomb found in his car and possibly planted on a directive from Escobar. Since that incident, Yasutaka disappeared from the public eye.

The probable Satoshi Nakamoto also has a connection with another personality whose face is still used as a representation for Bitcoin creator in numerous articles and publications, Dorian Nakamoto.

Dorian Nakamoto was subjected to intense media exposure in 2014 when an article back in 2014 claimed that he could be the actual Bitcoin creator. Dorian denied being involved in the creation of Bitcoin and asked for privacy.

However, Gustaffson pointed towards Dorian’s white page entry which mentions his age, area of residence along with six relatives one of whom is Yasutaka A. Nakamoto. Gustaffson claims that the Nakamoto listed by Dorian and the one he has been talking about are the same person and the actual Bitcoin creator the world has been looking for. He commented:

“We believe his middle name is Akiko, and that he later went by the name Akiko. A man by the name Akiko was registered at the address of Dorian in California.”

The likelihood deepens when one goes through a US phonebook search for the same name, which lists four of Dorian’s relatives for one Akiko Nakamoto and both Dorian and Yasutaka lived at the same listed address. Gustaffson claimed that Dorian knew about bitcoin all along and has even come to Colombia to do business with Roberto Escobar in 2014.

While a majority of conspiracies about Satoshi’s identity looks quite close and this one is no different, but there is no conclusive evidence to verify the claims or negate any doubts.

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Author: Silvia A

Enjin Rolls Out Minecraft Plugin, EnjinCraft, to Drop Blockchain Assets into the Game

One of the most popular video games in the world, Minecraft, now has a plugin that lets its players spawn blockchain assets.

The plugin is called EnjinCraft, and has been built by Enjin, a well-known gaming startup. EnjinCraft is open-source and allows players to place blockchain assets in the Java Edition of Minecraft without the need for any code.

When it comes to how the tool works, users put the file ‘EnjinCraft’ into the players server folder for plugins, where the integration and distribution of blockchain assets as tokens can begin.

It’s Not the First Minecraft Plugin by Enjin

EnjinCraft is the second Enjin release for Minecraft. The first Minecraft plugin by Enjin was released in 2013 after a collaboration with Bukkit. It’s called DonationCraft and has reached 5.1 million downloads, as it allows Minecraft players to grow their servers through the creation of a donation store and server website.

With this new offering, server hosts can create localized Minecraft economies. Providing players with tangible ownership over currencies and in-game items. Furthermore, they can securely trade assets in the peer-to-peer (P2P) manner on the server, via chat rooms or in the Enjin Marketplace, which is a digital trading platform.

Enjin Also Released a Java SDK

Enjin has also released a Java open-source development kit (SDK) that allows developers the ability to implement the blockchain into Java-based web, mobile or desktop apps. Here’s what the company’s CTO and co-founder, Witek Radomski, had to say about what’s happening at Enjin at the moment:

“EnjinCraft is the beginning of a new era for sandbox games. Players now have a tangible stake in their gaming worlds, and server owners can create new kinds of addictive experiences by using branded collectibles and items with scarcity and value in the digital universe.”

Expansion into Asia

Back in February, Enjin introduced its development platform on Ethereum to allow developers the integration of their crypto assets into apps and games without any blockchain coding.

The startups gaming project became active this year. In April this year, Enjin said it’s going to open its crypto wallet in China, as it wants to expand into Asia and already asked for the China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s approval to do so.

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Author: Oana Ularu

DapperLabs’ CryptoKitties Moves From Ethereum To Its Custom Made Flow Blockchain

  • CryptoKitties, one of the most popular crypto collectable games developed by Dapper labs is all set to make its move to the Flow blockchain from its current platform Ethereum.

CryptoKitties made headlines when it partnered with the NBA to create digital collectables for the NBA and players. It also crashed the Ethereum network when it was launched back in 2017. The game would remain interoperable with Ethereum but it would move to flow with new upgrades and game features.

The new features would include animated 3D attributes, scalable nature due to the custom-built blockchain and users could also use the digital assets of the game in other games on the Flow blockchain.

While scalability was one of the key reasons behind the move to Flow, the CEO of Dapper Labs, Roham Gharegozlou, also mentioned that the platform was getting costlier for generating new cats in the game. The CEO further explained:

“Everyone on Ethereum will be able to take their cat to Flow. They’ll get upgraded powers, and will be able to be used on all kinds of Flow applications. The vision we had with KittyVerse: Hats on Cats, Kitty Races…will be much easier to be created around the kitties, in a way that millions of people, hundreds of millions of people can actually play with.”

DapperLabs Aims to Make Digital Collectables A Valuable Asset

The move to Flow is seen as a small step towards a long term goal of making digital collectables mainstream and valuable. Dapper Labs aims to continue in its aim of providing its users with true in-game ownership, thanks to its underlying Non-fungible tokens. All of which can be traded, exchanged and used to play within the game and community.

Dapper Labs hopes that as development progresses, and people and developer communities realize the potential, more games with similar digital collectables will be launched on Flow, making it a complete ecosystem and a marketplace of its own.

In the past couple of months; in the run-up to the Flow launch, Dapper Labs made several new announcements and promotional events.

It also invited developers to its new platform PlayGround and created a new programming language called Cadence specifically meant to ease the process of developing new smart contracts for creating Non-Fungible Tokens on the Flow blockchain.

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Author: Silvia A

Atari and Arkane Network Partner to Allow Developers to Integrate Digital Assets Into Gaming

Atari, one of the most recognizable gaming brands has partnered with Arkane Network which offers blockchain as a service to help developers integrate digital assets into the gaming ecosystem.

The partnership would see the launch of the Atari token on the Arkane network which can be used by the players to buy, sell, and trade assets. The developers would be able to build various utility tokens based on the Atari token that can be integrated on a number of decentralized gaming applications. Tim Dierckxsens, co-founder and CSO of Arkane network commented on the partnership saying,

“Atari has always been a pioneer in the video game industry, and it is great to see how they understand blockchain technology’s increasing role in the development of the economic landscape within video games and entertainment.

With this partnership, we will bring game developers, the gaming community, and the Atari brand together to embrace blockchain technology as a solution to record digital assets and value transactions.”

Atari Plans to Lead the Decentralized Gaming and Entertainment Industry

Atari has been a flag bearer of the gaming industry for quite some time and has transitioned to incorporate one of the fastest evolving blockchain industry. The gaming brand announced its token offering back in March in the form of Atari token, and also revealed about their plans of exploring a decentralized platform that would offer movies, music, and games through a single platform.

Atari is currently holding a presale of its native token which will be followed by several other presale rounds before it is open to public sale. The firm plans to mint 7.72 billion Atari tokens along with launching their own exchange by the end of this summer. Atari believes Arkane is the perfect partner to help them propel in the decentralized ecosystem

Arkane Network, on the other hand, is a BaaS provider that offers a developer framework for crypto wallets, APIs, and multiple other services. The blockchain firm also helps developers to integrate decentralized elements into different games and is also a member of Blockchain Game Alliance founded by another gaming giant Ubisoft and comprises of Enjin and Forte as other notable members.

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Author: James W

Economist Alex Krüger Strikes at Bitcoin Stock-To-Flow (S2F) Model Again

PlanB’s Stock-to-Flow is one of the most popular models in the bitcoin market. Much of the popularity and devotion to the model could be attributed to its price target. This scarcity-based model predicts bitcoin’s value over $100,000 before December 2021.

And the opposers of this model have voiced the “cult around S2F” the very reason for their disagreement.

“Selling S2F as having absolute predictive power is not only ‘waste of time’, it’s dangerous for tens (hundreds?) of thousands of retail crypto traders who don’t understand statistics and substitute DYOR by varied guru dictums,” previously said Bitfinex Bitcoin whale Joe007 who has long been criticizing the model.

In PlanB’s defense, he does acknowledge the opposing views and encourages the community to read the analysis of those who have contending views.

But given that the bitcoin market is still a speculative one, people remain more interested in the information pieces that talk about prices mooning to million dollars.

Recently, the quant analyst updated his model to include the BTC S2F cross-asset (S2FX) model that takes phases of an asset into account and enables valuation of different assets like silver, gold, and BTC with one formula.

“S2FX model shows a significant relationship between S2F and market value of these six assets (low p-Values F-test and low p-Values coefficients) with a perfect fit (99.7% R2),” wrote PlanB.

Notably, it also projects a higher Bitcoin value in the next bull cycle at $288,000.

May as well use Moon Cycles to Predict BTC Price

Economist and trader Alex Kruger, who is also an S2F model critic and believes it to be “massively overhyped” yet again took to Twitter to share his opposing views including this model cannot be used to predict BTC price.

Those using S2F to predict bitcoin may as well be using the moon cycles to predict BTC, he said.

He pointed to Sebastian Kripfganz, Assistant Professor in Econometrics at the University of Exeter who “debunked” the cointegration by arguing that considerations can only be among non-stationary variables and S2F is a stationary variable.

Kruger’s personal arguments are based on the S2F not being a stochastic process, “not random, but rather deterministic.” It is rather based on a spurious regression with a high r-squared.

However, PlanB mentions in his article that “many have verified the non-spurious relationship between S2F and BTC price.”

“The S2F analysis is interesting. But the S2F model is useless for predicting price, as the underlying assumptions of the model are not met. Now and always,” concluded Kruger.

But according to PlanB, the economist is “jumping to conclusions too fast” that involves “zero analysis.”

What the analyst is interested in is an article with his analysis, data, and reasoning. As per Kruger, “Stock to Flow and Price are NOT cointegrated because Stock to Flow is not a unit root process, i.e. not random” will be here before the halving.

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Author: AnTy

Sony’s BCDB Uses Blockchain Technology for Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Blockchain technology has emerged as one of the most sought after emerging technology in recent times. Even though cryptocurrencies that brought the technology to the forefront is looked with scrutiny in many countries and industries, Blockchain has unanimously managed to impress one and all. Both the veteran and established tech players, as well as emerging startups, are actively investing in the technology to find new use cases daily.

Sony is one such tech firm that has been working on a blockchain-based data accumulation system for the transportation industry. According to an announcement made on 23rd May, the new blockchain-based system would integrate system and provisions across various modes of transportation be it trains, cabs, buses, rental vehicles, and many more.

The news system called Mobility as a Service (MaaS) would import data from all the types of transportation and provide the consumer with various levels of info like optimal routes for their desired commute, cost-effective service to reach the destination or the safest route to carry the commute.

The MaaS system aims to become a universal transportation solution and replace dozens of applications on user devices where they need to install a specific application for a specific mode of transportation.

MaaS Can Process 7 Million Users Data Per Day

Sony’s MaaS Blockchain system makes use of a new database developed by Sony themselves called Blockchain Common Database (BCBD) which enables MaaS to process 7 million users data per day including their anonymous travel history and revenue allocations. Sony also revealed that the MaaS is the only project which has been chosen by the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management last year after they appealed to firms to develop a blockchain-based solution.

Sony also revealed that the BCDB database won’t be limited to just MaaS and can be utilized for a number of purposes in smart cities. These smart cities need these kinds of transparent data to feed a network of large scale sensors.

Sony is also working on a number of other blockchain ventures which include a hardware wallet technology for storing and securing digital assets, blockchain-based digital content rights management (DRM), and many more projects in the pipeline.

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Author: James W

Binance Burns Biggest Volume of BNB Supply After Registering Highest Quarterly Volume

Binance, one of the largest and most popular crypto exchanges in the world has revealed that the first quarter of 2020 brought in the highest volume that the exchange has recorded since its inception.

Binance also went through its quarterly exercise of burning a portion of the BNB supply which has been a regular task as mentioned in their white paper. However, there was a slight change in the burning process where instead of 20% of the total profit, the amount of BNB is now decided with respect to the trading volume.

Binance burnt a total of 3,373,988 BNB, worth $52.4 million in its 11th quarter which is the highest amount of BNB burned to date and represented 1.69% of the total supply. For comparison, it burned 2.2M BNB worth $38M for its 10th BNB Burn. Binance has now burned 20.12 million BNB in total for 11 quarters which is estimated to be worth $298 million or 10.1% of its total supply of 200 million.

Binance BNB Burn q1
Source: Binance

Binance Has Been Dominating All Sectors of Crypto Verse

Binance has grown in leaps and bounds and that has been possible mainly because of its dominance in almost any sector it sets its foot into. The crypto exchange has grown to become the number one player in the futures market in terms of trading volume with 24 perpetual contracts. The exchange is also leading the spot trading market with over 600 trading pairs.

The platform has added fiat-to-crypto gateway for over 42 fiat currencies thus making it easier for traders of these countries to directly trade crypto using their native fiat. The platform has also developed a great acquisition model where a significant portion of their profit is dedicated to the acquisition of new ventures.

Binance Ecosystem is Growing

The coronavirus pandemic has crippled most of the financial institutions and has started to show its effect on the crypto ecosystem as well, where many firms have resorted to cost-cutting and staff layoffs. However, Binance, on the other hand, has made several significant acquisitions in the past couple of months including one of the prominent crypto data provider CoinMarketCap.

Prior to that Binance managed to fulfill its dream of opening a physical office in China where the educational subsidiary Binance Academy partnered with Blockchain Technology and Industry Research Institute (Lingang Research Institute) with Lingang Group. The exchange also launched its Binance smart chain which would run on top of Ethereum blockchain and offer a truly decentralized experience

The exchange also launched a global peer-to-peer.platform with 12 fiat currencies making it easier for anyone to buy or sell crypto.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Cash Is “Not the Safest Asset to Hold” With the Printing Press Rolling: Ray Dalio

  • “We are in an era of the most massive MP3/helicopter money monetary stimulation since WWII” said Billionaire investor
  • Cash is trash and US dollar is on short squeeze, he said

Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates thinks cash is not the best asset to hold in a world where central banks are printing money and keeping interest rates low in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cash, non-interest-bearing money, “will not be the safest asset to hold,” said the billionaire investor during a Reddit Ask Me Anything event on Tuesday as “We are now in an era of the most massive MP3/helicopter money monetary stimulation since WWII.” And this money and credit creation cannot produce goods and services or employ people.

Cash is trash or king?

Clarifying his stance of “Cash is trash” while it is currently being seen as the king, Dalio said he believes central banks will print a lot of money and keep cash interest rates at such low levels that they will have negative real returns.

When the coronavirus hit and had a negative impact on earnings and balance sheets, asset value plummeted making cash look comparatively attractive. But central banks only created a ton more cash to buy debt and push interest rates lower.

“When you think about what assets are safe to own, and you think of cash, please remember that while it doesn’t move around in value as much as other assets, there is a costly negative return to it in relation to goods and services and other financial assets that amounts to about a couple of percent a year, which adds up.”

As such he still thinks cash is trash in relation to gold and some stocks that will retain or increase their value during reflationary periods.

What’s happening with the US Dollar?

When it comes to the US dollar in the backdrop of the rolling of the money printing press, the world’s currency is currently having a “short squeeze.” Dalio explained that,

“the world desperately needs dollars and, as a result, there is a global shortage of them, which supports the dollar.”

But with the “world’s printing press” producing more dollars, it is having a short squeeze which will eventually end because enough creation of USD will satisfy the shortage of dollars or it won’t in which case, there will be debt defaults and restructurings reducing the need for dollars. And at that stage, the dollar will weaken.

Are debt assets good storeholds of wealth?

In response to the global crisis, Dalio said he’s been surprised and inspired by healthcare workers, teachers and small merchants, and those on the front lines. He said,

“I think that pursuing peace and savoring life, rather than fighting over wealth and power, is much wiser.”

In one of his quotes, the bitcoin critic said,

“increasingly there will be questions by bondholders who are receiving negative real and nominal interest rates while there is a lot of printing of money about whether the debt assets they are holding are good storeholds of wealth.”

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Author: AnTy

BTC Proposes a Greater Value Than Gold; $670M Transferred For 26 Cents Within Its Network

Bitcoin’s value proposition in fund transfers is so far one of the most cost-friendly avenues to send money globally. A recent transaction within its ecosystem recorded a low of 26 cents in fees to transfer $670 million worth of BTC. Given the prevailing market rates in banking and International payment networks, this BTC transaction rate poses quite a threat to the existing financial institutions.

A number of cryptocurrencies have come up since Bitcoin’s launch a decade ago. Some of these projects present better use cases and cheaper rates than BTC but the pioneer crypto has maintained a strong market dominance. According to CoinMarketCap data, Bitcoin’s market share stands at $127 million which translates to 65% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization.

Some analysts in the space have attributed this success to the coin’s security and liquidity in a volatile and young market.

The latest cost-friendly BTC transfer according to a tweet by one crypto enthusiast (@sunnydecree) suggests that this digital asset may actually compete against bullion markets dynamics favorably;

This transaction took place on April 1 where an unknown sender transferred 106,857.24571944 BTC to two digital wallets. It, therefore, follows that Bitcoin provides a convenient transaction option compared to Gold as per the analyst views. As it stands, the whole world is uncertain given the Coronavirus pandemic, this situation only makes it harder to transfer a physical asset such as gold whose logistic costs is beyond most bullion market enthusiasts.

Despite Bitcoin’s market dominance, other altcoins are on the rise to displace this number 1 digital asset as of press date. The fruits of these innovations are however yet to be significantly felt within the crypto market given BTC’s popularity. This network’s value proposition in fundamental functions such as hash rates and security are yet to be fully challenged by one comprehensive digital currency ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui