As the world looks towards blockchain applications, one of its exponents is turning against the tide to concentrate on bitcoin.
The topic of cryptocurrencies, and bitcoin more specifically, tends to stir up diverse opinions. Some feel that the emergence of these currencies with no central control and no respect for national boundaries poses a real threat to the security of nations, while others feel that bitcoin represents the future of global banking.
Ahead of today’s Strate Africa Blockchain Summit in Johannesburg, focused on how blockchain technology will emerge as one of the biggest disrupters of this age, two speakers have shared their views on potential uses of blockchain technology in Africa. .
Lorien Gamaroff, the founder and CEO of Bankymoon, stated that most organizations in South Africa are actively investigating the potential of the technology. Bankymoon, a software company focusing on blockchain technology, helps companies integrate distributed ledgers into their businesses.
Bitcoin pundits say 2017 will be another strong year for the cryptocurrency, which posted dollar returns of 129% in 2016, as the hunt for alternative asset classes and institutional money boosts its value.
Several use cases of the Blockchain technology have been promised or are being explored by the Fintech and, as well as, other sectors such as health, entertainment and public sector, but none has come up with something concrete despite all the hype.
For the record, and at the time of writing, reports of the demise of bitcoin appear to be premature. On any day, there are thousands of transactions being processed and the market cap is around $6.5 billion. One bitcoin is worth around $415, and is traded on South African exchanges for around R7 400.
IT Web Africa
The urge to improve the lives of people is the major factor driving the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) towards the blockchain technology says Lorien Gamaroff, CEO of Bankymoon, who has been working with the apex bank on blockchain and cryptocurrencies using his consulting business as a case study.
CFO South Africa
“There is a lot of hyperbole about blockchain right now: blockchain will change everything and become the beating heart of finance. Finance is a big thing for blockchain. Banks have a lot of interest in the potential for cross-border remittances, for instance. There are many other applications. Blockchain can replace letters of credit and be used for smart contracts. I think it is going to create new business models and surprise us,” says BankyMoon CEO Lorien Gamaroff.
Large South African enterprises, especially banks, are beginning to dabble with blockchain technology, as they look to simplify their transactions.
Industry players say interest in blockchain among local banks is rapidly growing. They point out that blockchain technology, best-known for underpinning Bitcoin, is being explored by major organisations around world as a way to streamline the transaction process, saving time and money.
Lorien Gamaroff, CEO and founder of Bankymoon, a software company providing blockchain solutions to the financial services industry, explains the blockchain works similarly to the Internet.
Late last month, the non-profit MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge hosted an event focused on new developments in clean energy distribution and how blockchain technology could play a role in how electrical grids of the future are built.
The event was sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a government-funded agency that promotes clean energy expansion in the state, and included presentations from companies like IBM and startups like Consensys, Lo3 Energy and Grid Singularity.
Arguably the most notable demonstration of the night came in the form of Usizo, a crowdfunding platform designed to facilitate energy payments between donors and select schools in South Africa. The project was first announced last fall.
CFO South Africa
Blockchain is going to be a massive disruptive force. This is the next revolution, the next Internet, if you like. It is not an understatement to declare that a new technological revolution is upon us,” says Lorien Gamaroff, founder and CEO of Bankymoon, a software company focusing on Blockchain technologies. Gamaroff will be one of the speakers at the much-anticipated FinTech Africa Blockchain Event, taking place on 25 February in Cape Town.
With global stock markets tumbling, and the beleaguered Rand on a dizzying rollercoaster ride, South Africans are worried. The general sentiment is overwhelmingly negative, and business owners are casting worried eyes at shrinking profits and escalating costs. So what does this all mean for entrepreneurs? And particularly for entrepreneurs making their big move in financial services and fintech?
The Commonwealth is urging member nations to confirm the legal status of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
A report published by The Commonwealth Working Group on Virtual Currencies on February 3rd 2016 said: “Member countries should be encouraged to make a positive determination on the legality of virtual currencies in their respective jurisdictions.”
Metering & Smart Energy International
Metering & Smart Energy International caught up with Lorien Gamaroff to hear more about his mission to bring Bitcoin technology to Africa, helping utilities to collect much-needed revenue along the way.
Bankymoon, a South African-based Bitcoin solutions company, is changing how people pay for utilities, making them more affordable. Bitcoinist spoke with Lorien Gamaroff, founder and CEO of Bankymoon, to find out more about the utility crisis in Africa and what Bankymoon is doing to solve it. Lorien, a South Africa native, shared with us about the crisis and how it is impacting Africans and the education system.
Metering and Smart Energy International
In South Africa, a Bitcoin solutions company is touting an ‘African metering solution for an African utility problem’.
South Africa-based Bankymoon has launched prepaid blockchain smart meter technology as a solution to electrical utilities struggling to collect revenue and African consumers lacking formal banking facilities.
Commonwealth governments should review their legislative response to virtual currencies such as bitcoin to ensure they are addressing associated risks and avoid stifling innovation. This was one of several recommendations issued today by a Commonwealth working group set up to address these currencies.
After a three-day conference in London, the newly-formed Commonwealth Virtual Currencies Working Group concluded that virtual currencies have the potential to benefit countries and drive development.
Brave New Coin
Bitcoin adoption in Africa faces a unique struggle not found in any other market. Rare factors that both help and hurt the digital currencies adoption come into play in just about every country on the dark continent.
Bankymoon is a bitcoin integration startup, primarily focused on providing bitcoin payment gateways to smart metering vendors, which allows the vendors to accept bitcoin payments for utilities. The self-funded startup is currently seeking capital so it can take the product to market.
“For years the smart metering company I worked for struggled to provide payment mechanisms for all customers,” Gamaroff said.
If we want to achieve a critical mass in terms of Bitcoin some day soon, we will need a lot more use cases for everyday consumers. Despite having the option to pay bills in Bitcoin and even receive [part of] your monthly wage in BTC, neither of these services are targeting a large market where Bitcoin payments could make a difference. But that is about to change, thanks to the efforts made by Bankymoon, a South African-based Bitcoin startup.
Bitcoin is gaining traction worldwide, with the first quarter of 2015 seeing record levels of investment pumped into Bitcoin startups globally. Africa is no exception to the trend, with startups springing up with innovative applications for Bitcoin in the African context – disrupting the remittance market, and making the cryptocurrency available over SMS. Here, Disrupt Africa names the five startups leading the way with Bitcoin in Africa.
South African Bitcoin startup Bankymoon has built the world’s first blockchain smart metering solution for modern power and utility grids.
Bankymoon, a South African bitcoin startup, is working on an application that would allow individuals to pay for utility bills using digital currency. The company unveiled its revolutionary plans during Bitcoin Conference Africa.
“You’d think that with all the smartness happening in our grid, that the problems are solved. But in fact this brings us to the most difficult and biggest problem of all, which is payments. Your grid could be as smart as you like but if all customers aren’t paying, it’s worthless and it becomes unsustainable and will collapse,” highlighted Bankymoon CEO, Lorien Gamaroff.
We’re living in a world where everything’s being labeled as smart. From our phones to watches and even our cars. But something that’s really being taken for granted is our utility grids — including gas, water and electricity. And while the majority of the world might be migrating onto the so-called smart grids, they are still filled with a lot of dumb problems. The biggest being payments.
South African bitcoin startup Bankymoon is boldly taking on this industry. That’s besides having a killer name for a bitcoin startup.
For Lorien Gamaroff, CEO of Bankymoon, a software company providing blockchain solutions, mainstream generally refers to existing organisations that are considering incorporating blockchain technology into their businesses.
He believes public adoption might happen much earlier than 10 years, particularly because the barrier to entry is so low.