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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • SA Reserve Bank expects clarity on sandboxes, taxing bitcoin by middle 2018

    The SA Reserve Bank says it is still reviewing its position on cryptocurrrency and sandboxes, and anticipates that it will be in a better place to comment on this by the middle of this year. While the Reserve Bank’s current position on virtual currencies is set out in the Position Paper on Virtual Currencies issued in 2014, Ventureburn this week asked the Reserve Bank whether it would be allowing sandboxes for testing of blockchain and bitcoin applications. While at present coin exchanges are required to report cryptocurrency transactions to the Reserve Bank, Ventureburn asked the Reserve Bank if it had taken a decision on implementing any further...

  • Gron Digital betting on $57m platform to improve gambling operators’ image

    Tebogo Makamo, the former head of compliance at the Gauteng Gambling Board, is hoping that his blockchain platform Gron Digital will become an industry standard in making the gambling sector more transparent. The startup launched a pre-initial coin offering (pre-ICO) earlier this week. The platform, claims Makamo, will use blockchain (and smart contracts specifically) to among other things, improve transparency around gambling winnings and ensure that South Africans stick to the law and use only licensed operators to gamble online. The startup plans to launch the ICO proper on 6 February and raise the equivalent of 57 000 Ethereum coins (valued at $57.4-million on 24 January...

  • 8 Gauteng startups to watch in 2018 [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. The 2017 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers found that though the Western Cape is still the most popular region in South Africa in which to run a tech startup, it's losing ground to the country's richest province -- Gauteng. In this piece we take a look at eight Gauteng-based startups to keep an eye on in 2018. Pineapple This insurtech startup in August last...

  • SA tech startups to benefit from WiFi, fibre, hub support in main cities

    Tshepo Thlaku is one of hundreds of tech entrepreneurs in the country's main cities that will be getting a boost with the laying hundreds of kilometres of fibre internet, rolling out new WiFi hotspots and vamping up of entrepreneurial support. "I would say the hubs are driving startups to an extent," says Tlhaku referring to the Gauteng province's Innovation Hub and its various eKasiLabs township hubs, with which the City of Tshwane has partnered. His Pretoria-based company Pulego Communications in 2015 won a R300 000 grant from the City of Tshwane in an innovation competition, for a safety app that city metro police are now...

  • Former gambling board man behind Gron Digital says ICO is backed by experts

    The man behind an initial coin offering (ICO) expected to launch next month has played down the negativity surrounding the use of ICOs and claims his ICO -- which aims to tackle legacy issues of trust and fair competition in the gambling sector -- will be backed by "trusted" experts. In a press release today announcing the launch of its pre-ICO to develop an open gaming platform, CEO of Gron Digital Tebogo Makamo said ICOs have recently seen plenty of negative press surrounding them as they’ve been "overdone, overworked and have often under-delivered”. “However, not all ICO’s are created equal and the one developed by...

  • SA startup Luno’s Malaysian bank account still frozen as tax probe continues

    Almost a week in SA bitcoin exchange Luno's bank account in Malaysia remains shut, after being frozen by the country's tax authority late last week. It follows a statement issued last Saturday (13 January) by the company that its account -- held under the name of its local entity BitX Malaysia – was frozen by the tax authority pending an investigation. In a report in Malaysian newspaper The Star today Inland Revenue Board’s (IRB) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah said the tax authority is carrying out the audit to determine whether the cryptocurrency company has complied with the statutory requirement under the...

  • GoMetro wants to help firms generate millions from freeing up parking spaces

    Each day thousands of Cape Town commuters edge their way to work in a snake of traffic that winds beneath the slopes of Table Mountain into a crowded city centre. Many will end or begin their daily commute in a parking space for which they, together with their employers can easily pay well over a R1000 a month for. This got GoMetro founder and former civil engineer Justin Coetzee thinking. "Why does it (your car) stand there all day, taking up space and just like ruining the view, killing us with fumes, killing us with unsafe driving. I mean we're addicted to cars," he charges. Coetzee reckons however...

  • SA startup GoMetro to be part of ICO run by UK internet of mobility company

    Smart mobility startup GoMetro will be part of a UK initial coin offering (ICO) run by internet of mobility company Tsio Protocol, says the Cape Town based startup's founder Justin Coetzee. Coetzee told Ventureburn on Tuesday that GoMetro's new flex platform will form part of Tsio Protocol's minimum viable ecosystem and that the ICO will take place "towards the end of March". "They're raising it and we're part of their consortium," said Coetzee. "If they are successful in their fund raise, they will be integrating their token into our system," he said. It follows the announcement by Coetzee in November last year of plans to trial GoMetro's new...

  • Q&A: No plans for Bank Zero to use blockchain, bitcoin says Michael Jordaan

    Venture capitalist and former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan says his new app-based Bank Zero won't be accepting bitcoin or Ethereum when the bank launches later this year. It follows Jordaan's announcement yesterday that Bank Zero is expected to launch in the final quarter of this year. Read more: Michael Jordaan blown away by all the good wishes on app-based Bank Zero "Not at (the) launch but this could happen if there is customer demand," Jordaan told Ventureburn in an email today. When asked if the bank will make use of the blockhain, he said he and his six fellow founders were not considering this at this...

  • NYDA top official denies plan to bankroll app for local entrepreneur’s new company

    Mystery surrounds whether the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is involved in bankrolling the development of mobile apps for a local serial entrepreneur who recently acquired a local leg of a US company. Pretune Technologies Hloni Theko (pictured above) told Ventureburn last week that the agency was set to make an announcement that it would provide grant funding to 100 developers to develop apps for Verykool Africa, after he acquired 51% of the firm in September last year (IT wens. Theko claims the aim is to help support local app developers, with the idea of using the best apps as pre-built in apps on the handsets that Verykool Africa...

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