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Cryptocurrency

  • SA platform Bitfund claims hundreds of signups since yesterday’s launch

    SA cryptocurrency investment platform Bitfund has had "hundreds" of investors sign up since its launch yesterday claims one of its founders, Josh Miltz. The founders of the Joburg-based startup claim that the new platform gives investors exposure to index portfolios of more than 20 of the largest cryptocurrencies. "We think a lot of people are excited by the technology," Miltz told Ventureburn today. However, Miltz -- a software engineer, who founded the startup with three former school friends last year -- declined to say how much the platform was able to raise in funding from three local entrepreneurs last year. He could say only that the platform received a "significant" amount in seed...

  • Joburg hub Blockstarters on hunt for $450k to assist blockchain startups

    Newly launched Joburg hub Blockstarters is looking to raise $450 000 to help fund business support services for at least eight blockchain startups, the hub's CEO Kreaan Singh revealed today. The hub officially launched on 5 June and is currently assisting seven blockchain startups, including Zimbabwean crypto exchange Golix -- which last month told Zimbabwean customers that they would not be able to use the exchange to draw currency like US dollars or Euros (see the story here). Speaking to Ventureburn today, Singh confirmed that corporate companies are among those the hub has so far approached to raise the funding which would cover mentorship as well as technical...

  • SA man’s UK-based fintech nets ‘good interest’ in £15m pre-sale – BVNK official [Updated]

    A UK-based fintech -- that allows consumers to buy, store and use cryptocurrency and which was founded by South African Kyle Redelinghuys -- received "good" initial interest from users in a pre-sale that kicked off in May, says a top official at startup BVNK. The pre-sale aims to raise £15-million*. "We haven’t raised any significant amounts through these users as (we) have been focusing on private deals to lead the pre-sale. Once these deals are concluded we will focus on the public sale," BVNK head of business development, Kyle Hauptfleisch, told Ventureburn in an email last Friday (8 June). The platform -- founded by Redelinghuys (pictured above), a former...

  • Swarm Fund aims to raise raise $35m in loans for African farmers with FarmCoin

    Blockchain for private equity the Swarm Fund is likely to raise $35-million in revenue for 87 500 African farmers in the initiative's first year by helping sell their surplus crops, says the co-chairman and founder of commodities exchange platform FinComEco, Hirander Misra. Misra's company is partnering in with the US-based Swarm Fund in a joint venture together with Block Commodities, (formerly African Potash), which is a vertically integrated platform for the mining, production, and distribution of fertiliser. In an email to Ventureburn following the announcement of the initiative last week, Misra said he based the estimates off his organisation's experience in investing $10-million for smallholder farmers in Malawi using traditional...

  • Ekasi Bucks to launch ‘world’s first crypto-mall, bitcoin taxis for townships’

    Just months after a failed initial coin offering (ICO), South African blockchain consultancy Ekasi Bucks plans to launch what it calls "the world's first crypto-mall and on-demand transport service for townships". The two services will be unveiled this Monday (21 May) by the startup in three launches in Gauteng, namely in Mabopane, Soshanguve and Soweto. The launch comes after the Gauteng based startup last year sought to raise R50-million in an ICO to fund a blockchain-based rewards programme for township residents that buy from certain affiliated township businesses. But the ICO raised just R500 000, most of which was returned to investors. Read more: SA’s Ekasi Bucks ICO falls short of R50m target,...

  • You won’t be able to draw dollars – crypto exchange Golix tells Zim customers

    Five days since the Zimbabwe central bank issued a circular prohibiting banks from processing transactions linked to cryptocurrencies, crypto exchange Golix today informed Zimbabwean customers that they would not be able to use the exchange to draw currency like US dollars or Euros. In a blog post addressed to its customers today, Golix said "unless the central bank changes its position prior to the expiry of the 60-day window, you will not be able to send or receive fiat currencies for cryptocurrency trades". It follows the launch last month by the Harare-based exchange launched of the country's first Bitcoin ATM. As of Q4 2017, the...

  • The Sun Exchange in $25m ICO to allow investors to earn income off solar projects

    SA startup The Sun Exchange, a blockchain-based solar micro-leasing marketplace, will launch an initial coin offering (ICO) next week to allow investors to earn an income off small solar projects. It aims to raise $25-million in the ICO. The ICO will also help seed, what the startup calls "the world’s first crowd-sourced default insurance fund for clean energy projects in emerging markets". The Sun Exchange Solar Project Insurance Fund (SPIF) will be established shortly after the close of the token sale. The SPIF will help safeguard Sun Exchange solar cell owners against costs associated with potential solar project defaults. In a press release today the startup said...

  • Ex-Visa man, Vio Digital founder plans US move if remittances app takes off

    Johanneburg-based Praga Govender, the man behind a new blockchain app aimed at lowering the cost of remittance payments to Africa, says he plans to relocate to the US should his fintech Vio Digital take off. Govender, a former Visa products manager, founded the startup in January. While the app is currently available for download on the Google Play Store, it is expected to launch first in four countries -- Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon -- in May, before further countries are added While he is currently working from his home in Bryanstan, Johannesburg, Govender says should the company take off he may consider moving to...

  • Krypteum ICO for ‘world’s first AI investment cryptocurrency’ nets just $1m

    SA startup Krypteum has raised $1-million in an initial coin offering (ICO) which ended last month and that aims to develop what it claims is the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) powered investment cryptocurrency. However, the amount is far less than the $4-million Krypteum hoped to raise, its founder Priven Reddy said today. The month-long ICO for Durban-based Krypteum ended on 31 March and the startup made available 400 000 tokens -- which in its white paper is valued at $112 each. Reddy, who is also the CEO of SA mobile app development group Kagiso Interactive which owns Krypteum, told Ventureburn today in a call from Paris that...

  • Bitcoin, blockchain rules must evolve as sector matures – cryptocurrency expert

    Regulations around initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin should be flexible enough to enable them to be regularly updated as regulators gain a better understanding for the sector. So says cryptocurrency expert David Orban. Regulations on cryptocurrencies and ICOs differ from country to country, with some like Korea and China having banned ICOs and others such as Russia and France planning to bring out regulations on cryptocurrency (see this Bloomberg story published yesterday). Bitcoin and other tokens are not regulated in South Africa. Speaking by telephone from an event held today the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) by SA fintech startup...