Crypto-currencies and Blockchain
Mastercard and Web3 Players Join Forces on Blockchain Transactions Trust
Mastercard is teaming up with Web3 players on an on-chain identity and verification framework covering a variety of applications in payments, remittances, ticketing and NFTs.
Mastercard Crypto Credential is designed to help companies, developers, and individuals to realise the full potential of powering payments, commerce, and economic value on-chain and across borders.
Among the partners onboard are crypto wallet providers Bit2Me, Lirium, Mercado Bitcoin and Uphold, which are working on an initial project to enable transfers between the US and Latin America and the Caribbean corridors.
The company is also teaming up with public blockchain network organisations Aptos Labs, Ava Labs, Polygon and The Solana Foundation. Aptos says it is among the shortlist of blockchains to enable the identity and attestation element of sending and receiving funds through Web3.
The partners also intend to explore the utility of identity-oriented Web3 solutions use cases like NFTs, ticketing, enterprise, and payments.
Raj Dhamodharan, EVP, digital asset and blockchain product and partnerships, Mastercard, says: “With Mastercard Crypto Credential, we can help ensure that those interested in interacting across Web3 environments are meeting defined standards for the types of activities they’d like to pursue.
“Mastercard Crypto Credential will not only define verification standards and levels, but also provide necessary enabling technology to help bring more use cases to life.”
Separately, Mastercard has signed up another six blockchain and digital asset startups for its StartPath programme, giving participants training, access to channels and customers as well as subject matter expertise, and an opportunity for technical collaboration. The new members are Axelar, Cheeze, Coala Pay, Qonbay.io, RociFi Labs and Suberra.
Crypto-currencies and Blockchain
Cryptocurrency: Binance Introduces Crypto Price Widget
Binance has announced the introduction of the Binance Crypto Price Widget as part of its ongoing effort to make cryptocurrency trading both more accessible and more widely understood.
The Binance Crypto Price widget is an easy to install, easily integrated tool that provides value to website visitors by sharing live, reliable updates on top cryptocurrency prices from the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
“Websites benefit from the widget because it offers an engaging, interactive experience for visitors,” points out Binance’s Director in West & East Africa, Nadeem Anjarwalla. He further explains that the widget delivers news around prices, data and developments in the crypto world. “By providing this information, visitors are encouraged to spend more time on the site. But, more than this, because the information is credible and reliable, the website gains a reputation for credibility and reliability, too. In this way, it is able to build an audience who are regular to check in regularly with a source they trust.”
The information on offer is extremely comprehensive, offering live prices of up to 10 cryptocurrencies as well as fiat currencies. The widget is flexible, too, with website owners able to choose a customizable price, while the appearance can also be customized to match the website design and branding. Owners can also choose to integrate the widget as a ticker providing real-time feeds, or a blog.
Anjarwalla says that the widget can be installed directly onto a website with just a few clicks, starting with a visit to the Binance Crypto Price Widget page. “From there, website owners choose the appropriate code and paste it onto the location on their own website where they would like visitors to access it.”
The benefits for visitors are clear, too: having access to up-to-the-minute information for the most popular cryptocurrencies, from the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is a major advantage for those wishing to build their crypto portfolio.
“We realise that, for many would-be investors, the world of crypto remains difficult to understand and somewhat daunting. Tools like the Binance Crypto Price Widget have been made available specifically to change this mindset and to make investing more simple for everyone,” Anjarwalla concludes.
Crypto-currencies and Blockchain
As currency devaluation impacts African consumers, Stablecoins offer a safe and reliable alternative￼
In recent years, many countries across Africa have been grappling with the growing challenge of currency devaluation. Currency devaluation refers to the decline in the value of a country’s currency relative to other currencies in the world. It can be caused by various internal or external factors. For example, weak economic fundamentals, such as high inflation, low GDP growth, high levels of debt or low foreign reserves, can erode investor confidence and lead to a decrease in demand for the currency, resulting in it losing value.
According to Nadeem Anjarwalla, Director for Binance in West & East Africa, while currency devaluation can be used as a tool by governments to boost exports, stimulate economic growth, or reduce trade deficits, it can also have negative consequences for the economy and people of the country concerned.
“Currency devaluation can erode the purchasing power of people’s money, cause inflation levels and the costs of living to increase, and create uncertainty in financial markets,” Anjarwalla explains, “all of which can result in reduced standards of living for consumers and less certainty when it comes to growing their money through traditional savings and investment vehicles.”
However, Anjarwalla points out that there is a solution to the challenge of currency devaluation and the impacts that a declining currency can have on people’s financial well-being. “Stablecoins provide a practical solution for African consumers to hedge against the currency devaluation that many countries on the continent are facing,” he explains, “by offering a stable way of growing the value of their money, easy digital access to their funds, and a steadily increasing number of opportunities to use Stablecoins to do secure cashless transactions.”
Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that is pegged to a stable asset, like a traditional currency such as the US dollar, or a commodity like gold. This allows Stablecoins to maintain steady value and be less susceptible to the volatility often associated with other cryptocurrencies. These attributes make Stablecoins a reliable hedge against currency devaluation, even in uncertain economic conditions.
“One of the most valuable aspects of Stablecoins in an environment of currency devaluation is that they offer a secure and efficient means of saving and growing money, making them a reliable option for long-term savings,” Anjarwalla explains, “So, African consumers can save their money in Stablecoins, secure in the knowledge that its value will remain relatively stable over time, and even have the potential to grow, regardless of the fluctuations happening in their country’s local currency.”
And the benefits of Stablecoins are not limited to their savings potential. They also offer fast and low-cost cross-border payments and transfers, making them a convenient option for remittances and international transactions. “African consumers can use Stablecoins to send and receive money across borders quickly and efficiently,” Anjarwalla says, “without being faced with a situation where currency devaluation in the recipient’s country means that the money is worth less when it reaches its destination.”
Anjarwalla points to the convenience and accessibility of Stablecoins as another compelling reason why growing numbers of consumers in Africa are turning to these innovative currencies to enhance their financial resilience in difficult economic times. “People can easily convert their local currency into Stablecoins through peer-to-peer exchanges or decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms,” he says, “ and they can then easily access their Stablecoins through cryptocurrency exchanges, like Binance (Binance.com), which provide a user-friendly platform for buying, selling, and trading the coins. What’s more, an increasing number of fintech companies in Africa are incorporating Stablecoins into their payment systems, enabling consumers to transact directly with them to pay bills, invest, and purchase everyday goods and services.”
He points out that, as the demand for Stablecoins continues to grow in Africa, leading cryptocurrency exchanges, like Binance, are actively supporting their adoption on the continent as a viable way to counteract growing economic uncertainty and ongoing currency devaluation. “As one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Binance offers a wide range of Stablecoins, including Binance USD (BUSD), Tether (USDT), USD Coin, TrueUSD, and Dai (DAI),” he says, “which are pegged to the US dollar and provide a reliable hedge against currency devaluation for African consumers.”
“By providing a secure and convenient platform for buying, selling, and using Stablecoins, Binance is not only offering African consumers a reliable and accessible option to safeguard their financial future by countering the negative impacts of currency devaluation,” Anjarwalla says, “but we are also contributing to greater financial inclusion and economic empowerment and resilience on the continent.”
Crypto-currencies and Blockchain
Luno launches Luno Expeditions For Fintech, Crypto Startups
Luno, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (“DCG”), announces the launch of Luno Expeditions, a global, early-stage investment arm to support the best fintech and crypto/web3 founders on their journeys to build the next generation of financial services.
Building on DCG’s -year track record in early stage crypto investing, Luno Expeditions will now spearhead all of DCG’s early stage investing (seed and pre-seed). The dedicated team will scale up investments (targeting 200-300 per year) and expand the focus beyond crypto into the broader fintech space, globally.
Luno Expeditions will be led by Jocelyn Cheng, who takes on the role of CEO. Speaking about her new role Cheng said: “I am thrilled to join Luno Expeditions as Chief Executive. These are incredibly exciting times in cryptocurrency and the broader fintech ecosystem. We’ve got ambitious plans to build a leading fund designed around the needs of early stage founders. It will be a privilege to work with ambitious entrepreneurs from all over the world, all intent on solving problems and building the next generation of financial service companies.”
Marcus Swanepoel, Luno co-founder and CEO commented: “We know how hard it is to build a company, especially in the fintech space, and with our deep experience building, scaling and operating fintech businesses in some of the hardest markets in the world, we’re looking to support a new generation of entrepreneurs from all over the world do the same.”
Whilst in stealth mode over the past few months, Luno Expeditions has already invested in over 20 leading crypto and fintech companies globally, including a crypto compliance solution in Israel, an NFT marketplace in the United States, a bank dedicated to women in Pakistan and a ground-breaking remittance solution in Tanzania.
Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of DCG, and Marcus Swanepoel, co-founder and CEO of Luno, are both closely involved in the initiative and will be part of the Investment Committee.
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