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Cape Town’s splendour has long been hailed, but the city is increasingly making a name for itself as a business capital. Swiss blockchain investor Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC) and its ecosystem company CV Labs have opened CV Labs Cape Town, the African region’s first in situ blockchain incubation and ecosystem hub.
The news follows the announcement that Canadian fintech CostCertified also chose the Mother City as its global headquarters.
As an initiator of Crypto Valley, Switzerland – described as the world’s most mature blockchain hub with 14 blockchain Unicorns – the opening of CV Labs Cape Town is a result of CV Labs actioning its renowned expertise to enable blockchain as a transformative tech in Africa.
CV Labs already has blockchain hubs in Zug, Switzerland and Vaduz, Liechtenstein. This new hub in Africa will soon be followed by an opening in Berlin, Germany. This expanding global footprint is exciting for the global blockchain start-up scene and is a testament to CV Lab’s growth and the strength of its international team.
As a blockchain investor and builder of international start-up ecosystems, CV VC & CV Labs commits to investing in the broader applicability of blockchain technology to solving problems and creating new markets beyond crypto. In Africa, CV VC has:
- invested in 12 African start-ups;
- published the African Blockchain Report;
- opened CV Labs Cape Town; and
- begun formation of an African Blockchain Early Stage Fund.
CV Labs Cape Town is the first dedicated place in Africa that will enable blockchain start-ups to flourish and intends to be the heartbeat of the African blockchain ecosystem. The launch and networking event was attended by luminaries in the blockchain space, including educators from the University of Cape Town and co-hosts Standard Bank, Polygon, and Binance.
The opening of CV Labs Cape Town is a culmination of Switzerland and South Africa’s engagement with blockchain technology in the ambit of bilateral education, research, and innovation cooperation which began in 2019.
It follows last week’s SECO visit to the universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch and Cape Town, highlighting the continuation and growth in the South African-Swiss collaboration around blockchain technology. SECO is the Swiss government’s centre of excellence for all core issues relating to economic policy.
Gideon Greaves, MD CV VC Africa, said, “Our commitment to Africa is to enable blockchain start-ups to catalyse greater socio-economic wellbeing for its people and industries. Following our investment in 12 African start-ups, and publishing the inaugural African Blockchain Report in association with Standard Bank, CV VC has demonstrated its deep commitment to the region by opening the CV Labs Cape Town hub.
“We are equally excited about the forthcoming launch of our African Blockchain Early Stage Fund, which will allow global investors to invest alongside CV VC in African tech expertise.”
CV Labs Cape Town holds great promise
Sharp minds and pure necessity are driving the rampant growth of the African blockchain sector. Africa is embracing the newfound independence that blockchain technology provides. Africans see new-age technology as a means of improving everyday life while solving fundamental difficulties.
With a very young, hungry for change, and techno-savvy population, Africa is no stranger to using digital means of transacting and exchanging value. While Africa has adopted cryptocurrencies rapidly, most notable is that blockchain technology use cases go far beyond crypto, reaching towards all industry sectors, from finance to agriculture, property to utilities.
“Standard Bank has been a pioneer in leveraging blockchain to bring speed and transparency to our customer base across Africa” says Ian Putter, head of the Blockchain Centre of Excellence at the Standard Bank Group, and regional director of the Blockchain Research Institute Africa.
He adds, “I believe that the real potential for exponential leaps in financial inclusion lies in the blockchain infrastructure that underpins crypto assets rather than in the assets themselves. One of the most powerful aspects of blockchain is the ability to create ‘programmable money’ that can assist in eliminating fraud and human error in transactions and foster transparency in financial records.
“We are very excited to see the opening of CV Labs Cape Town as it will enable the further emergence of blockchain as a resource from which Africa can build great blockchain enterprises.”
Philipp Weiling, business development lead for Europe and Africa for Polygon, commented: “Most notable at CV Labs Cape Town was meeting the brilliant mindset, energy, and tech capability of the many great founders who will come together at the hub to lead the African blockchain revolution in a manner that is exemplary to the rest of the world.”
Emmanuel Ebanehita, marketing director of Binance Africa added, “While actively participating in Africa, we are proud to have provided blockchain education to over half a million people on the continent. The determination of the African people to propel their future through engagement in new technologies such as blockchain is thrilling. As such, we are pleased to collaborate with CV Labs Cape Town to advance the ecosystem and drive the adoption of blockchain.”