Africa’s Standard Bank Joins Marco Polo Network

Africa’s Standard Bank Joins Marco Polo Network
August 27, 2019


The cryptocurrency market continues to remain range-bound with bearish bias. Notably, Bitcoin (BTC) hovers around $10,000 level. In the past 24 hours, Bitcoin, which has market capitalization of about $181 billion, has lost 1.3% to trade at $10,158.18. Ethereum (ETH), which usually follows the trend of Bitcoin, has lost 2.6% to trade at $185.97. Likewise, XRP, the native crypto of Ripple has lost 1.6% to trade at $0.2681. Other major cryptos which has lost ground in the past 24 hours include  Litecoin (LTC-$72.78, -2.4%), EOS (EOS-$3.54, -2.8%), Cardano (ADA-$0.0488, -1.30%) and Tron (TRX-$0.0175, -1.3%),  LEO (LEO-$1.18, -1.2%), Monero (XMR-$78.14, -4.6%), Bitcoin Cash (BCH-$304.95, -2.5%), OKB (OKB-$2.90, -0.7%), and Dash (DASH-$90.73, 1.8%) and Huobi (HT-$4.57, 3.90%).  Stellar (XLM-$0.0685, 0.9%) is the only major altcoin, which has recorded slight gains in the past 24 hours.


Government level initiatives

National Bank of Rwanda considering a central bank digital currency

The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) is exploring the option of launching a central bank digital currency. The central bank is basically interested in improving transaction efficiency and boost economic growth. To achieve the objective, the National Bank of Rwanda intends to issue a digital currency. In this regard, Peace Masozera Uwase, Director General of the Financial Stability Department of BNR, cautioned that there is a lot of work to be completed before turning the plan into a reality.

Uwase said: “There are still concerns about how exactly you convert the entire currency into digital form, how to distribute that and how fast can you process those transactions […] Challenges come in, if technology is down how do you deal with such issues? We will join in once we are ready.”

Furthermore, Uwase stated that the BNR would also closely watch how central banks of other countries move forward in creating a national digital currency, including efforts made by Singapore, Canada, and the Netherlands.


Private sector initiatives

Texl Technology releases a crypto SIM card

Telx Technologies, a cryptocurrency and telecom firm, unveiled crypto SIM card wallet that facilitates SMS based transactions, which is the first time such a card has been introduced.

The card permits its users to remit cryptos through SMS with their committed crypto phone number. Notably, such dealings do not necessitate a smartphone or an internet connection. The system also does not provide any control over the crypto wallet of a user.

Many crypto think tanks have pointed out that storing crypto assets in a wallet offered and administered by a third party contradicts the fundamentals of the crypto sector which upholds trustless and decentralized nature of blockchain technology. However, it can be argued that allowing private keys to be administered by a third party permits a greater degree of convenience. In its announcement Telx also highlighted that advantage.

“At Telx our goal is to make transacting digital currency as easy and accessible as possible. This means creating solutions that technical and non-technical people alike can adopt. We believe there is tremendous synergy between payments and messaging.”

The crypto SIM card is offered in more than 180 countries and permits unlimited SMS messaging and backs Bitcoin (BTC), DASH (Dash), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). To perform a crypto trade through this service, its users have to forward an SMS to the appropriate phone.

Finally, the enterprise guarantees to disallow SIM swapping and phone number porting, thereby ensuring transactions are carried out only from relevant SIM card. The wallet is also safeguarded with an assigned PIN and backup keys in case of an unforeseen rip-off.


Standard Bank in Africa becomes a member of the Marco Polo Network

Africa based Standard Bank has become a member of the Marco Polo Network, a blockchain-based trade funding platform. The largest African bank by assets will start create trade finance products by joining hands with banking giants such as Netherlands based ING and France based BNP Paribas.

Standard Bank has claimed that it is the first African bank to join Marco Polo Network, which is backed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest. Currently, the Marco Polo Network comprises of more than 20 worldwide financial firms such as Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, Commerzbank, Danske Bank, Alfa-Bank, NatWest, Bayern LB, RBI, Helaba, S-Servicepartner, and Bradesco.

The Marco Polo Network was created through a partnership between blockchain-centered enterprise software firm R3 and Ireland based tech startup TradeIX, which was set up in 2017. The network offers a multi-asset class platform for multi-currency transactions, broker-dealer services, including derivatives, equities, and related services.



MouseBelt launches blockchain initiative on campuses at the Uni of California

A blockchain coaching initiative has been made at the three of the campuses of the University of California by blockchain accelerator MouseBelt. The campuses who have joined hands with MouseBelt are UC Davis, UC Los Angeles, and UC Santa Barbara. The program will offer blockchain-focused education, and also aid in research and entrepreneurship. The three campuses will share the donation given by the company.

MouseBelt intends to spend $500,000 for projects undertaken by students and hopes to amass another $500,000 to support researchers. In this regard, five startup firms will be backed with early-stage funding of $100,000 through a program promoting entrepreneurship related to blockchain. Regarding the aim of the program, Ashlie Meredith, university outreach director at MouseBelt, stated as follows: “We aim to help these universities become a driving force for innovation in the blockchain space, as well as provide students and researchers with the opportunity for both theoretical and industry experience.”

The program also intends to bridge the gap between researchers and industry insiders to begin work on alternative cryptographics, quantum computing-resistance cryptography, blockchain-based p2p networks, and PoC (Proof-of-concept) for general business applications. MouseBelt has also expressed interest in funding a second UCLA blockchain engineering course.

Disclaimer: Any financial trading analysis offered here is our opinion and is not intended as advice or direction for investors. We cannot guarantee the success of any trades made as a consequence of this article, and we encourage traders to incorporate a strong money management strategy to limit losses when they enter the markets. Please use this article as part of your own research before formulating strategies prior to trading.


Andrew Wright

Prior to founding in 2014, Andrew worked as a proprietary trader, then as a market maker. As a market maker, he traded options in over 100 stocks, he then began trading currency pairs in 2013. Andrew still actively trades both, and prides himself on educating and informing traders on the benefits of both Binary Options and Forex.

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