One of South Africa’s biggest banks, Investec announces its new digital asset custody product at the Blockchain Africa 2020 conference. The announcement was made by the Blockchain lead at the private bank, Chris Becker.
While on stage, Becker described Investec’s ambition to bring banking full circle and introduce a custodial service that banks were known for in the past.
The service promises to be safe. However, Bitcoin author and cryptocurrency expert Andreas Antonopolous has questioned the trustworthiness of banks in the past with respect to financial assets.
According to Becker,
“Our blockchain team have been extremely busy over the last 3 years building the right products that one would expect from an innovative bank like ours, but products that would be most utilised and make the most sense. We believe offering custodial services of digital assets for our clients is indeed what makes the most sense.”
The RMB/BER Business Confidence Index fell by eight points to eighteen index points, exceeding expectations that there would only be a two point drop. For South Africa, this means that eight out of ten survey respondents, believe business conditions in the nation to be poor.
The news comes as South Africa’s business confidence hit a 21-year low. With scares compounding in relation to the coronavirus, this could spell trouble for the land of the rising sun.
According to Chief Economist at Rand Merchant Bank, Ettienne Le Roux,
“We survey five sectors and there’s not a single sector in the first quarter that actually showed an improvement in confidence. The highest index level among those five sectors is 25 – in other words four out of them, 80% of our sample has sub-20 index levels, which is extremely poor. What is very troubling is that you can also have these big declines – eight in one quarter – so late in the economic downswing and, remember, if your starting point is 26 and you fall eight basis points, that is a substantial decline.”
Cryptocurrency has served as a saving grace in nations where confidence in businesses and economic conditions are low. However, other factors such as legal frameworks have been necessary for improvement in business conditions.