It may not be Friday, but it is another news digest day. If you didn't catch last week’s important news of the African crypto scene, don’t worry. We’ve compiled the ones you can’t miss. This week was a strong one for NFT enthusiasts, so let’s start there.
We have seen a lot of developments in the African Blockchain space and NFTs which seemed slow to come to the limelight given global trends. It is now certain that the entertainment industry looks to break that barrier.
5th Avenue is an action packed thrilling movie. The storyline tells a remarkable experience of an ambitious man with good intentions for his political career who is faced with daunting choices to make which seem to counter his integrity.
The movie premiers on the 12th of December 2021 on OubFlix and the 5TH Avenue collections are now available on QLIP - a Nigerian-based NFT Platform built on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
There are two NFT drops for the 5TH AVENUE NFT available for purchase:
Pre-Movie premiere NFT-Comes with some utilities such as free entry to the launch of the movie and free access to the movie tickets.
Post Movie premiere NFT- available after the premiere and will carry utilities which will be announced later.
The 5th Avenue NFT collection pays tribute to Racheal Oniga, a fallen Nigerian actress who has played in several movies across the Nation for over 20 years.
And if that wasn’t enough to pique your interest in the NFT market, South Africa’s NFTfi raises $5M so people can use their NFTs as collateral for loans.
Once regarded as a fad, NFTs, digital assets that depict real-world objects, are becoming increasingly popular within and outside the crypto world.
But with large amounts of capital locked into illiquid NFTs, more people are looking for ways to unlock liquidity without selling their NFTs.
This market is one South African company NFTfi targets and it has raised a seed round of $5 million to continue pioneering the financialization of NFTs. Early-stage crypto fund 1kx led the round, with Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, Maven 11, Scalar Capital, Kleiner Perkins and others participating.
Founded by Stephen Young in February 2020, NFTfi acts as a marketplace where users can get a cryptocurrency loan on their NFTs and offer loans to borrowers against their NFTs. In other words, users can use their NFTs as collateral to get loans from other users on the decentralized and peer-to-peer system.
Moving on to another sector that is gaining traction in Africa as we see many argue that Blockchain Technology could solve many challenges in Africa’s payments space.
Over the past year, Africa has been widely reported as the next crypto frontier, helped by an under-developed infrastructure and a heavily fragmented digital payments ecosystem, making it a strong vector for virtual currencies and crypto-based remittance payments.
A recent report from blockchain research and analytics firm Chainalysis revealed that Africa’s cryptocurrency market grew by over 1,200% in terms of value received in the past year, with the firm estimating that African countries collectively received about $105.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency between July 2020 and June 2021.
It is no surprise, then, that one of Africa’s leading technology companies, Interswitch, has made blockchain technology a key part of its growth strategy.
According to Mitchell Elegbe, the firm’s founder and CEO, Interswitch's foray into blockchain started several years ago. Back in 2018, the company partnered with Microsoft to develop a blockchain-powered supply chain finance solution for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in its home market of Nigeria.
“We have noticed that blockchain technology as a concept could potentially solve lots of challenges — not only in payments, but also in other adjacent industries,” Elegbe said, adding that the technology is quite solid and lends itself to different challenges “that should be disrupted.”
To further tap into the market value of the blockchain market, the pan-African digital payments and commerce firm recently partnered with Interstellar, an Africa-focused blockchain organization, to develop blockchain-powered infrastructure services and solutions across Africa.
And it’s not just the private sector that is looking to tap into the opportunities of emerging technologies. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently launched a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-naira, to boost safe and fast transfers and cross-border payments.
Elegbe said the e-naira is a laudable objective but is not a new concept, and will only help to further accelerate what Interswitch has already been doing: “E-naira is basically digitizing the traditional naira, and that is what Interswitch and others in the payments space have been trying to do for years.”
Blockchain is not without its risks — and though beneficial, its unintended consequences are not lost on Elegbe. He said, however, that his “gut feeling” is that blockchain use in Africa has evolved to a mature stage where “we now know practically what it should do [and how it can] be useful.”
That does it for the Tuesday special News Digest. Stay alert and don't miss out on upcoming news. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media, so you get all the updates on our project, as well as a lot of fun content we have in the works. And if you haven’t already, send your questions for our AMA, tomorrow. You just have to join the conversation on Telegram: https://t.me/KamPayOfficial and send your questions using #KamPayAMA or follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KamPayToken