Digital currency innovation is getting hot in Africa. As we saw at the first-ever Bitcoin Africa Conference earlier this year, innovation is being seeing everywhere, from the remittances space and anti-piracy industry, to forward-thinking utility meters and smart grids.
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In order to harness and leverage these technologies, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) will be launching a new space dedicated to digital currency innovation at the Bandwidth Barn in South Africa this week.
Ian Merrington, the CEO of the Cape Town tech incubator, explains the value this space will bring to the digital currency space:
BitHub will be the physical space where coders, designers and developers can meet, work out of and collaborate. There are many viable digital currency ideas in South Africa that are not coming to market because they lack the infrastructure and support to take it further. BitHub is that space.
The organiser of the recent Bitcoin Africa Conference and collaborator, Sonya Kuhnel, explains in a press release that technologies such as bitcoin are important leverage to address South Africa’s unique challenges. “BitHub will guide and mentor entrepreneurs whilst they develop and shape their bitcoin businesses to fit our unique market needs,” she says.
Merrington goes on to point out the important role tech innovation is going to play in the local region’s financial space. “We particularly believe that innovation within fintech has the ability to dramatically reduce transactional fees and lower barriers and the cost of remittance,” he notes with excitement. “The decentralised blockchain technology also has huge transformative potential. Reducing corruption is one potential application that comes to mind!”
The launch event will take place on 11 June with confirmed keynote speakers Andrew van der Nest from Landmark Computers and Roslyn Lavery from PayFast. The aim of the event is to educate people about digital currencies, understand regulation in the space and to foster general acceptance.