The 45-page document describes Akoin as a cryptocurrency “designed for entrepreneurs in the rising economies of Africa and beyond; with a mission statement to “unlock the potential of the world’s largest growing workforce using blockchain technology.”
The whitepaper highlights Akoin as a utility token that powers atomic swaps between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies and mobile phone credits on the Akoin network.
According to Akon, the subject of mobile credits used as currency in Africa is a key utility of the Akoin cryptocurrency, He explained:
We have so many currencies in Africa – a lot of them are unstable, and most of them are untrusted. It got to the point where the day-to-day African people don’t even use the currencies anymore, they’re using their cell phone minutes and credits as a way of trading for basic goods like produce, fish, fruits and things on the market.”
“Ultimately, outside of the villages, you really can’t trade cell phone minutes for anything. So we want to utilize that same mindset to take advantage of that mechanism outside of Africa – so even when they leave the continent, they can be able to utilize all of their credits and really be able to purchase real things.”
Akoin will be launched on the the Stellar (XLM) network, and will be used to pay for transaction fees, advertising fees on the platform, fees for listing applications and for other exchanges across the network.
The platform will focus on decentralized applications (Dapps) for the African market including apps for – mobile credit trading, micro-lending, phone credit trading, solar energy trading, media sharing, and healthcare.
For its Initial Exchange Offering (IEO), only 10% (45 million) Akoin tokens will be distributed at $0.15 each; with the IEO to be conducted in partnership with a top cryptocurrency exchange during the second quarter of 2020.
Akon also shared insights into his “Akoin Crypto City” project located on a 2,000 acres land provided by the President of Senegal. Akon says the city project will be complete within a 5-10 years span.
He also expressed interest in expanding Akoin cities to every major African country in a bid to unify Africa’s economy.
The Reserve bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central bank is set to regulate cryptocurrencies, making a u-turn from its 2018 ban which prevented local banks from processing crypto payments.
According to reports by local media – The Chronicle, Zimbabwe’s central bank has started drafting a new policy framework to guide the operations of crypto companies in the country; as it admits that crypto is indeed a reality.
Speaking at a recent Economic Forum, RBZ’s deputy director for financial markets and national payment systems, Josephat Mutepfa, revealed that the bank is working on a proposal that would see companies involved with cryptocurrency go through a special regulatory sandbox.
The sandbox will reportedly help the bank decide if a particular company can be allowed to operate independently. Mutepfa is quoted:
“We have already started to come up with a fintech framework because in regulation everything should be well structured. The framework, which is a regulatory sandbox, will be assessing the cryptocurrency companies as to how they are going to operate.”
“Once you enter the sandbox you either exist as a bonafide product to enter the market or you are guided to say that you need to partner a bank, a mobile money platform or your product needs to be licensed like a microfinance company,” he added.
The Director noted that the decision to regulate crypto has been motivated by its growing popularity with the country’s younger generations, who he says are “facing challenges of having capital.”
Zimbabwe has become known for its hyperinflation which has seen its fiat currency – the Zimbabwean Dollar undergo 3 re-denominations since its introduction in 1980.
In 2009, Zimbabwe removed its fiat money to become the first country without a legal tender, resorting to using a combination of foreign currencies like the South African rand and U.S. dollar.
However, this lack of its own monetary identity did not solve the country’s currency woes, prompting the RBZ to issue a complete ban of foreign currency (Forex) and cryptocurrencies in 2018; as it began plans to re-issue its own Zimbabwean dollars in 2019.
Despite the announcement and return of its own fiat currency, Zimbabwe’s monetary issues still persist. A recent report by the IMF stated:
“Macroeconomic stability in Zimbabwe remains a challenge. Inflation is very high; and international reserves are very low. With another poor harvest expected, growth in 2020 is projected at near zero, with food shortages continuing.”
To this effect citizens are now opting to deal in cryptocurrencies to curb the effect of their failing currency and economy.
This trend has now increased peer to peer trading of crypto in the country, pushing the central bank to now seek ways to foster adoption under a guided regulatory sandbox rather than ban.
Will the new cryptocurrency regulations help Zimbabwe revive its economic situation? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The Italian Red Cross in partnership with the Colli Albani Committee and Helperbit – a blockchain platform for charities, are raising donations in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as they look to combat the coronavirus epidemic in the country.
According to reports, the proceeds from the crypto donations will be used to set up a second tier advanced medical post for pre-triage COVID-19 cases in the country. The program targets €10,000 in donations to buy necessary medical equipment and infrastructure, with excess to be used for payments of medical staff.
Across Europe, Italy currently ranks as a priority-struggling nation with the virus. Infected cases in the country are over 17,000 persons; with economic and activities grounded and more citizens resorting to self isolation.
Speaking on the Bitcoin fundraiser, Bruno Pietrosanti President of the Colli Albani Committee stated:
“We believe that an innovative fundraising tool like Bitcoin can help us find the necessary economic resources, that are very difficult to obtain in this historical moment.”
Pietrosanti added that the program will further reduce the pressure on Italian hospitals due to the number of infected patients.
Crypto exchanges, entrepreneurs and other industry players have continued contributions in form of education and donations to countries affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
In Italy, Young Srl – crypto focused fintech firm and the Blockchain Education Network Italy (an NGO that shares information about Bitcoin and blockchain in Italy), have all come out to support the Red Cross cryptocurrency project.
Crypto and Blockchain technology have both been pitched as better alternatives for charity donations as they offer “transparency” in funding courtesy of their trace-ability feature.
Did you know? In October 2019, UNICEF launched a cryptocurrency fund which now accepts Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) donations.
Libertarian candidate for the U.S 2020 Presidential Elections – Adam Kokesh has expressed interest to develop a sovereign cryptocurrency named once elected.
Kokesh made the announcement at a ceremony where he appointed Alastair Caithness as his chief blockchain policy adviser. Adding that the new role will focus on development the cryptocurrency known as “AmeriCoin”. He remarked:
Details say AmeriCoin will be pegged to all assets of the United States Federal Government, including land, energy resources, gold, timber and mineral reserves.
According to Kokesh, he aims to create a new decentralized monetary system hinged on cryptocurrency; with the hopes that through AmeriCoin citizens will receive universal basic income benefits for existing government tax and policing policies, all geared towards achieving their American Dream.
Speaking on the initiative, Caithness who had previously worked on a security token dubbed ZiyenCoin for the oil sector, stated:
“AmeriCoin has the potential to restore liberty to all people in the United States, and we are building a dream team of blockchain experts to join me in developing this important project. There is no better way to return power to the American people than by democratizing ownership of the Federal government’s assets through tokenization.”
With former crypto proponents Andrew Yang and Mike Bloomberg suspending their race for the United States Presidency, Adam Kokesh currently remains the most vocal of all candidates on the subject of cryptocurrencies.
Across the crypto community, it is believed that having innovation friendly policy makers and leaders would promote adoption of the industry.
In this publication, we’ll discuss the key differences and similarities between Bitcoin/cryptocurrency trading and Forex. We’d also take a look at the bitcoin trading advantage. First, let’s define both.
Forex trading: refers to Foreign Exchange (Forex) trading. It is the over-the-counter market in which foreign fiat currencies of the world are traded. It is considered the largest and most liquid market in the world.
Cryptocurrency trading: involves exchanging one cryptocurrency for another, buying and selling coins for profit.
At a first glance, both sectors seem similar but there are several fundamental differences between these two markets which will be discussed in this article.
First, the lucrative benefits of the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry attracts interests from a lot of new entrants; with benefits which include its independence from undue government and economic influence, zero inflation rates, immunity to geopolitical tensions and monetary policies of central banks.
There is also the benefit of making big profits from cryptocurrency trading and a diversified market which allows you trade over 5000 coin pairs at this time; in direct contrast to Forex which avails fewer currency options.
Additionally, there is the narrative that Bitcoin (crypto) serves as digital gold, a safe haven asset and substitute against any country-specific economic crisis or Forex (foreign fiat currency) limitations.
That said, let’s dive into the similarities and differences between both markets.
High Volatility of Crypto Markets
The bitcoin and cryptocurrency market has a very high volatility ratio, when compared to Forex which is about 0.5% to 1% for extreme currency pairs.
For the crypto trading, Bitcoin and altcoin prices are subject to huge fluctuations around 5% to 15% as seen on the charts; and could in many cases result to huge price dips or rocket pumps in a single day.
This assertion does not in any way suggest that the crypto market is solely for high-risk traders as these daily price highs and lows provide the opportunities to enter or exit profiting trades and losses respectively.
With the right trading guide and portfolio management, day traders, scalpers and position traders benefit greatly from cryptocurrency volatility, and fortunately tools for making informed decisions with minimal risk are also readily available.
Large Number of Trading Pairs
Bitcoin trading is available in a large number of trading pairs, that is – trade currency A against currency B – BTC/XLM, BTC/ADA and many more.
At this time, there are about 5000 cryptocurrencies and tokens which are all available for trading, conversion and utility on various crypto trading platforms.
This is in contrast to Forex trading which offers a lesser number of currency pairs – 8 major currency pairs, 180 legal currency pairs; meaning fewer options to trade from and a restricted profit scope.
Round-the-Clock Trading Hours
Forex markets are open 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and are closed during the weekends. The cryptocurrency market on the other hand is open all through the week, 24 hours/365 days a year – no closing hours. However time zones affect trade volumes, with fluctuations during the day as different countries enter the market at varying hours.
Crypto Price Deterministic Factors
Monetary inflation and huge government influences do not wield power against crypto prices especially as cryptocurrencies have a definite or fixed volume; hence they cannot be printed or added to at any time.
In the case of Forex or fiat currency, governments can print more money at any time which portends inflation.
For cryptocurrencies there are a number of coin price determinants; which include:
Community news or Rumour – these are cases where positive news or negative FUD about a particular crypto or the market, leads to a pump in price or triggers panic sell-off or drop in coin prices.
Demand and Supply factors – Crypto coins are essentially limited in supply hence; the rate, at which they are mined, circulated in supply and subsequently demanded takes effect on their prices.
Mainstream Adoption – increase in public utility, interest and adoption of cryptocurrencies is sure to drive coin prices up and stands as its most important target at this time.
Forex trading is completely regulated by financial institutions hence its traders are subject to very minimal risk of being swindled or losing capital and profits.
Cryptocurrency trading on the other hand is not subject to any specified regulator at this time even as a few institutions looking to implement regulatory measures. Hence, there is potential risk of losing capital and profits as seen in cases of hacks and fraud due to cryptocurrency transactions being private and irreversible.
Market Capitalization: Forex has a larger market cap than crypto, it ranks as the largest marketplace in the world.
Supply: Cryptocurrencies have fixed supply. For example there can only ever be 21 million Bitcoins. Forex (fiat) currencies have unlimited supply.
There are lots of profits to be made in both spheres, and each industry carries its own pros and cons.
While forex trading is more stable, the crypto market offers the most versatile options and instant gains in multiple cases. This means bitcoin trading is well suited for the skilled trader with a large appetite for risk.
In all, the two markets involve trading electronic forms of currency and provide good earnings. However, do kindly note the following:
New to crypto trading? Buy and sell Bitcoin on Nairaex.com.
Crypto software firm Zabo has announced its successful seed funding round. The company, based in Dallas, Texas has been able to raise a staggering $2.5 million.
The software-as-a-service startup was able to raise the money in a funding round led by Moonshots Capital. Investors such as Blockchange Ventures, Digital Currency Group, CoinShares, and Tezos Foundation were present at the event.
Zabo creates technology for financial services, both centralised and decentralised. It expects to grow its customer base with the funding provided. It also plans to increase its work force and number of partners.
According to partner at Moonshots Capital, Craig Cummings,
“Zabo has put together an impressive team and have been experts in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space for years. They have built an incredibly important piece of technical infrastructure that will enable cryptocurrency financial services to touch billions of people. We’re excited to support the team to bring cryptocurrency to mainstream financial services,”
According to Zabo co-founder, Christopher Brown
“Despite being on a path to touch billions of customers and be an asset class measuring in the trillions of dollars, cryptocurrency is very underserved relative to other financial services. This is partly because connecting cryptocurrencies, wallets, and exchanges to the traditional financial system is highly technical and complicated.”
Zabo launched in September 2019 with the intention of solving issues related to infrastructure gaps in the financial sector. It also began raising for funding during the same period.
Investors’ appetite for cryptocurrency firms is growing steadily. More organizations recognise the need to innovate or die in the blockchain space. A report by Reuters suggests that JPMorgan could soon add more members to its 25 strong blockchain entity, Quorum. JPMorgan Chase & Co is in talks to merge its blockchain unit with Brooklyn-based startup ConsenSys.