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Has the “Crypto Revolution” reached SA?

by , 04 July 2018
Has the “Crypto Revolution” reached SA?
We all know the “Crypto Revolution” has taken the world by storm. And on many occasions, I've revealed some of the game-changing events happening in the global crypto market.

Events like, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) opening up a bitcoin exchange and Goldman Sachs moving ahead with a crypto trading desk.

And how the absurdly wealthy Rockerfeller and Rothschild families were stocking up on cryptos.

But what I haven't yet revealed is the huge events happening in South Africa's crypto market. In fact, these events show how this “crypto revolution” has hit South African shores.

Let me explain…

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A fourth JSE listed company plans to diversify into crypto
Earlier this year, I explained how JSE listed companies, RMI, Naspers and NET1 have diversified into cryptos.
Recently a fourth company announced its intention to enter the crypto space.

JSE listed financial services group, Sygnia announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange later in 2018. This will allow Sygnia’s clients to trade in crypto assets.

In its 2018 financial results, the company said,
“We aim to launch SygniaCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange. The cryptocurrency market is evolving at a rapid pace internationally and domestically, and is attracting both domestic and international flows”.
Will this happen, we’ll have to wait and see, but if it works, it could give South Africans a much wider access to many cryptocurrencies.

But there’s an even bigger crypto development in South Africa.


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Crypto ATMs in SA: You can now buy and sell cryptos for cash
A recent article on Business Insider SA uncovered the opening of SA’s first cryptocurrency ATM by Northwold Spar. It apparently supports multiple cryptocurrencies like Dash, Ethereum, and Bitcoin.

Although this is huge news for SA’s crypto market, this really isn’t the first one.

In 2017, a Bitmart cryptocurrency ATM was installed in Nelspruit.  It supports multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and ZCash.

How cryptocurrency ATMs work is, they allow users to buy and sell cryptos for cash without requiring a bank account.

You simply supply a QR code containing their chosen cryptocurrency wallet address, either through a smartphone app or by printing it out. The machine then scans the user’s QR code, accepts the cash payment, and deposits cryptocurrency into their wallet.

And the thing is, they don’t abide by the same regulatory rules that apply to normal bank ATMs, which makes it hard to track them.

But according to CEO of Bitsmart, there are a few cryptocurrency ATMs around Jo’burg. In fact, you can now even buy a cryptocurrency ATM online called, Douro. But you’d have to fork out R150k for one.

What’s great is, it’s now becoming easier for South Africans to buy and sell cryptos.  And if this news doesn’t prove that the crypto revolution has reached South Africa’s shores, then check this out…

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The biggest SA crypto news right now and what it means for one crypto
Earlier this year, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) revealed it launched a new project called “Project Khokha”.

Simply, Project Khokha experimented with distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), which is basically blockchain.

An article from tech website Mybroadband explained the project,

The aim of the project is to understand DLTs through the development of a proof of concept (POC) in collaboration with the banking industry.

The objective of the POC is to replicate interbank clearing and settlement on a DLT, which will allow the SARB and industry to jointly assess the potential benefits and risks of DLTs. The POC involves the processing of wholesale payments using Quorum, an Ethereum enterprise DLT.

So, why’s this big news?

Well, SARB runs a system called SAMOS (South African Multiple Option Settlement system) to perform real-time gross settlements between local banks. Project Khokha aims to replicate some of the functionality of SAMOS in a distributed ledger.

In other words, it could change the face of banking in South Africa!

In fact, SARB recently released its findings on the project and the conclusions were simply staggering. Mybroadband explained,

Project Khokha tested whether the following is true of an Ethereum-based real-time gross settlement system:
  1. Real-time gross settlement transactions can be executed using standard payment message formats (ISO 20022).
  2. Messages can be processed at sufficient scale, and in line with the current system processing times.
  3. Blocks should be propagated within 1s to a 95% confidence level, and within 2s to a 99% confidence level.
  4. The confidentiality and privacy of transactions between commercial banks is maintained.
  5. The visibility of the system for the SARB is sufficient for oversight and operational management.

    All of these requirements were met. Project Khokha was also able to process the typical daily transaction volume of South African financial institutions within two hours. The network was configured in such a way that the SARB does not need to check and approve all the transactions.

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Additionally, even if SARBs systems fail, banks can continue to make settlements using this Ethereum-based settlement system.

SARB will release the full findings later this year, but as it stands, this is great news for South Africa’s financial system and the local crypto market.

More importantly, this also proves that ethereum-based technologies can solve global financial problems. And this means ethereum could see massive demand and of course, a massive price surge.

Although all these major events are happening in the crypto markets, we haven’t quite seen it reflect in their prices. In many cases, cryptos have fallen.

 But this is the nature of crypto. It’s a wild ride.

But as you can see, there are huge things happening in the crypto space right now – not just in South Africa – but globally too!

See you next week.
Joshua Benton, Managing Editor, The South African Investor
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Has the “Crypto Revolution” reached SA?
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