Blockchain Africa Conference Showcases How Tech Can Change the Continent

Industry experts tout blockchain as a development driver in Africa across a number of sectors at the Blockchain Africa conference.
Impressive use-cases of blockchain technology have come to the fore after the conclusion of the 2020 Blockchain Africa Conference in South Africa.The event went ahead as planned in early March despite the global coronavirus pandemic that has made headlines around the world. The viral outbreak led to keynote speaker Charles Hoskinson, founder of Cardano, cancelling his trip to South Africa due to travel restrictions.The event also suffered a drop-off in attendance due to fears around the virus, but there were still over 230 delegates present on day one while day two numbers dropped slightly.Renowned cryptocurrency investor and analyst Tone Vays managed to fulfil his commitment to the conference with an insightful presentation on the value proposition of Bitcoin. His talk was praised by event organizers for bringing back a focus on cryptocurrencies,  which has become a neglected talking point at the African event in recent years.The majority of speakers at the conference weighed in on a wide variety of subjects within the blockchain ecosystem with specific focuses on trade finance, self-sovereign identity and regulation.Binance launching rand support, donates $1million to blockchain devOne of the announcements made at the conference was Binance’s launch of a fiat gateway for South African users to make rand (ZAR) deposits on the global platform.Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao made the announcement in a pre-recorded message to the conference. The support would include initial trading pairs with Bitcoin (BTC), Binance Coin (BNB), Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD).The company currently has trading support in 35 African countries. Zhao believes the continent has massive potential for cryptocurrency adoption:“Africa illustrates one of the largest demands and instrumental use cases for cryptocurrency, notably for financial access. According to the World Bank, approximately 66% of Sub-Saharan Africans are listed as unbanked. So instead of trying to bank the unbanked, let’s try and Bitcoin the un-Bitcoined.”Trading support for the South African rand is expected to go live within the next few weeks. In addition to that announcement, the Binance Charity Foundation has also put forward a $1 million donation to support the growth and development of blockchain education in South Africa. The organization will be looking to partner with local companies in order to deliver effective educational programs to drive the development of the sector in South Africa. Binance South Africa country manager Tanya Knowles told Cointelegraph that the Foundation check that organizations that receive funding are making a tangible difference in the blockchain ecosystem: “We’ve got one or two NGOs that we are already having discussions with and the criteria is really the traceability of those contributions to beneficiaries to reach end users. We’re also trying to make sure that there is an educational element in that.”Blockchain can drive trade finance in AfricaTrade finance and supply chains were another major talking point at the conference that already have working use-cases being powered by blockchain technology.Tech industry heavyweight Microsoft was

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