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Bitcoin & Blockchain

  • Akon’s building a Senegalese ‘Smart City’ with his cryptocurrency ‘Akoin’

    There's a new cryptocurrency soon to be launched, but it won't be taking its name from any memes or computer jargon. Instead, it'll be launched by Senegalese musician Akon. Not a stranger to investing in new ventures, Akon will name his cryptocurrency Akoin. (Get it?) However, it's not simply a marketing scheme. The rapper believes the technology has benefits for those on African soil, disadvantaged by political and social circumstances. "I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people and brings the security back into the currency...

  • Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies shed even more value this weekend

    It must suck if you've bought Bitcoin any time this year. The cryptocurrency, along with a slew of its competitors and peers, crashed in value this past weekend. This comes after a cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea dubbed Coinrail was hacked. The hack only saw US$40-million in cryptocurrency lost -- around 30% of the exchange's value -- but the implications were far reaching. According to Coinmarketcap, the price of Bitcoin was hovering at the US$7400 mark late Saturday. By Monday morning, the price dropped to US$6700. Its market cap now stands at US$116-billion, but that itself is down from US$130-billion two days...

  • Bitcoin is pretty cheap right now (compared to its peak)

    February has not been a good month for Bitcoin traders, or traders of any cryptocurrency for that matter. According to CoinMarketCap's figures at the time of writing, Bitcoin's value has fallen by nearly 16% in the past 24 hours, hitting a new three month low. It will now set you back just US$6704 to purchase 1 BTC, this compared to its peak of nearly US$20 000 in December 2017. Overall, its market cap has also fallen to US$112-billion, while the cryptocurrency market cap as a whole is below US$300-billion once again. This is a far cry from the late 2017 value surge. But...

  • 4 apps to monitor Bitcoin, cryptocurrency prices

    The trickiest skill when trading and investing in cryptocurrencies is keeping track of their violent price fluctuations. Bitcoin is a great example of this, rising to beyond US$13 000 early January, only to tank below the US$10 000 mark on Wednesday evening. But how can you keep up to speed with the ever-changing world of digital currencies? Simple. Use an app. Android and iOS users have a choice between a bevy of apps designed to list some of the popular cryptocurrencies around the world. We list four notable examples. CrypTick (Android) CrypTick is a newcomer to the Android app space, but that doesn't...

  • South Africans are selling their houses, cars online for Bitcoin

    So I hear Bitcoin is a pretty big deal right now. After its late-2017 rally, the cryptocurrency is now valued at over US13 600, or R167 768.25. That means one could easily purchase a car with a single Bitcoin. And it seems that's what some sellers are offering on second-hand marketplaces like Gumtree and OLX. According to the former's head of core Claire Cobbledick, the site has seen an increase in cryptocurrency-only sales and swaps recently. "This is particularly true for high-value items like cars, bikes and boats. Many sellers are willing to take a gamble with their assets in hopes of a...

  • One Bitcoin is now worth over R133 000

    While you may be smarting over the current Dollar/Rand or Euro/Rand exchange rate, spare a thought for those wanting to purchase a single Bitcoin. The price of the digital cryptocurrency has this weekend surged to US$9602 -- or just under R133 800 at the time of writing. That means that a single Bitcoin could buy a small family hatchback, around 130 return flights between London and Cape Town, or a Big Mac meal for every meal of the day for nearly three years. The latest record-high price comes after the currency gained more than 17% this week, after it broke the US$9000...

  • Mastercard opens its blockchain APIs for B2B payment solutions

    Blockchain technology is all the rage right now, but slowly it's becoming less of a fad and a more commonplace solution for big technology and financial firms. The latest to adopt it wholeheartedly is Mastercard. Already using the technology in-house, the company today announced that it will open up its blockchain APIs to developers looking to build solutions on top of its product. "Mastercard's blockchain solution provides a new way for consumers, businesses and banks to transact and is key to the company's strategy to provide payment solutions that meet every need of financial institutions and their end-customers," the company noted...

  • AI, blockchain and fake news: the next decade according to Gartner

    The world is set to change drastically in the next decade as technologies like the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain transform industries and lifestyles. Of course, that's if we as a species manage to make it to the next decade. Intelligence firm Gartner recently revealed how the aforementioned technologies will influence life on Earth, and the digital realm, beyond 2020. 2020 "Counterfeit reality" is set to become one of humans' and AI's biggest problems AI will begin to confuse itself Gartner doesn't think 2020 will be a good year. It mentions that artificial intelligence's ability to create content -- what it...

  • Blockchain & cryptocurrencies: gungho or hell no?

    Luno, the digital currency company with offices in Cape Town, had just announced a US$9-million Series B funding round, and its plans to expand to several new European markets, taking its Bitcoin wallet to 40 countries in total. It seemed like cryptocurrency and blockchain interest might be finally tipping from a fairly geeky quadrant of the internet to something a bit more mainstream. Until in walked Gartner with a hefty, and probably justified, dose of realism around blockchain during its Symposium/ITxpo last week. "We have not moved beyond financial services into some of the areas that we thought would have moved faster,"...

  • Behind Digital All-Stars: interviewing our blockchain, cryptocurrency picks

    Our blockchain and cryptocurrency-themed Digital All-Stars piece went live some time back, as we chose several South Africans who are making a name for themselves in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. How did they become interested in the scene though? What about their business interests? From the Bitcoin Foundation's Llew Claasen to The Sun Exchange's Abraham Cambridge, we interview some of our more prominent Digital All-Stars picks. Michael Deon The brainchild of Michael Deon (left) and Kyle Haffenden (right), Augmentors garnered attention after being backed via the Shark Tank TV show. The game, a turn-based creature battling title, stands out thanks to its use of...

  • Whoppercoin: Burger King launches its own cryptocurrency

    Ever wanted to eat fast food and invest in cryptocurrency at one place? No? What's wrong with you? Anyway, Burger King has announced the formation of a new cryptocurrency in Russia, dubbed Whoppercoin. Based on the Waves platform, Whoppercoin "will be used to reward customers for their purchases, and can be used to buy burgers in return when enough have been accrued", read an excerpt on the Waves Community website. It seems like just another rewards system at first glance. One billion Whoppercoins have been issued, with consumers receiving one for every rouble spent. Want a Whopper burger? It'll set you...

  • 10 South Africans to know in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. Cryptocurrency and blockchain are two much hyped technologies, but their impact on society can't be understated. From making profits to serving up land claims, the two technologies are inextricably linked. Who are the South Africans making waves in the scene though? Who are the people contributing to the cryptocurrency and Blockchain landscape? We take a look. Riccardo Spagni (Monero) Who says...

  • Blockchain to help secure US military networks?

    Perhaps 2016's most hyped tech phenomenon yet, blockchain is intriguing nonetheless - and the US military is curious about the technology as well. Blockchain, at its core, is effectively a distributed ledger, featuring code that allows parties to keep track of all changes. With high-profile hacks/leaks and ever-present nuclear weapons in mind, it might make sense to use the technology to shore up a country's defenses. That's exactly what the US military is investigating, QZ reported, as research agency DARPA has issued a US$1.8-million contract to "verify" a blockchain-based solution. The contract, issued to Galois and Guardtime Federal, will see Galois verifying the "correctness" of...

  • Fulfilling the promise of Blockchain: a future financial game changer

    An internet of finance. The renaissance of money. If the previous decade was the age of mobile banking, the next looks set to be the era of Blockchain. No other technology has more potential to change the very face of banking as we know it. People get tangled in Blockchain's technicalities -- skip to 29:00 of this podcast for a fantastic explanation from Stuff editor Craig Wilson -- so I want to rather focus on the incredible implications of this technology. Currently, our model for managing the flow of money is antiquated. Transactions take place across multiple payment engines that all...

  • Make no mistake, Bitcoin and Blockchain will disrupt financial technology in a big way

    Bitcoin and Blockchain technology has surged forward as the potential for the next biggest disrupter in the finance industry. Last year Wall Street showed just how serious it was about using their tech when larger financial institutions like Citi, Nasdaq, Visa and others invested in Chain.com, a Bitcoin Blockchain services provider. Bitcoin started off as a digital currency, it was a convenient way to transfer money without a ‘middleman’. However the tech that forms the foundation of Bitcoin, Blockchain, emerged to be the real disrupter. "A blockchain is a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions that have ever been...