The Blockchain Africa Conference kicks off in Sandton today, bringing together industry leaders to discuss the potential of blockchain technology and its ability to drive innovation and growth in Africa.
After two years of virtual events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ninth annual Blockchain Africa Conference is being held in person, with over 9 000 attendees from 160 countries expected to participate. The conference has attracted experts from around the world to share their knowledge and insights about how blockchain technology can be applied to real-world problems.
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Blockchain technology has already gained traction in Africa, with early success stories including lower-cost cross-border payments for African businesses conducting trade abroad. The Reserve Bank of South Africa and the Central Bank of Kenya are also exploring blockchain technology for payment systems and promoting financial inclusion.
The two-day conference features a range of world-class international and local experts, including Briana Marbury, the CEO of the Interledger Foundation, Junde Ju, the head of global sales at Cobo, Rene Reinsberg, the CEO of Celo, and Joaquim Pedro Antunes, head of crypto engineering at Xapo Private Bank. They will be discussing how blockchain technology and crypto assets are transforming business operations globally, and how it can be mobilised on the African continent.
Regulations around crypto assets will also be a key topic of discussion at the conference. Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group’s (IFWG) Crypto Assets Regulatory (CAR) Work Group Ayn du Bazane and fellow SARB senior fintech analyst Gerhard van Deventer will offer insights into the South African regulatory framework.
The conference also focuses on how companies are implementing blockchain-based solutions in their business models, with special attention given to the many innovative real-world use cases of this technology by Mastercard and Xapo Private Bank.
Robert Brine, director of cyber and intelligence solutions at Mastercard, will be sharing some of the payment giant’s crypto initiatives and how it is empowering people around the world. Xapo Private Bank will be presenting its unique solution for digital asset holders to safeguard and grow their investments, which could play a crucial role in flight to safety in developing markets.
Joaquim Pedro Antunes from Xapo Private Bank notes that the conference is crucial for contact with African founders who are leveraging blockchain technology in their projects. He highlights that blockchain innovation can cover the critical gaps in the financial sector and increase access to secure identity, supply chain and asset management solutions, which are crucial to support growth in economies plagued with inflation and volatility.
Companies are now looking to implement blockchain technology in their existing systems and build better systems to take advantage of this technology. The conference provides a central space for collaboration and sharing ideas to build a better, more inclusive Africa by embracing the digital tools and resources.
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