Cape Town Finance – Bungeni http://bungeni.org/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 16:28:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://bungeni.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/bungeni-icon-150x150.png Cape Town Finance – Bungeni http://bungeni.org/ 32 32 National Assembly passes first of two anti-greylisting bills https://bungeni.org/2022/11/22/national-assembly-passes-first-of-two-anti-greylisting-bills/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 15:51:49 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/22/national-assembly-passes-first-of-two-anti-greylisting-bills/ With the exception of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the African National Congress (ANC) received virtually no support from opposition parties to push the bill through.

FILE: A hybrid plenary of the National Assembly sitting in accordance with COVID-19 regulations on August 27, 2020. Photo: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN — The National Assembly has passed the first of two bills to remove South Africa from the Financial Action Task Force’s notorious gray list.

With the exception of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the African National Congress (ANC) received virtually no support from opposition parties to push the bill through.

They argued that the General Laws Amendment Bill, aimed at strengthening anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws, had been too rushed and that the nonprofit sector would bear the brunt of the overly strict regulations.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said the General Laws Amendment Bill demonstrated the government’s commitment to eradicating financial crime and its revenue.

“In addition to the laws we are in the process of passing, the country is also working to improve the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing system. This represents the second half of the examination that we must pass.”

But opposition parties said parliament was being treated only as a rubber stamp.

Wouter Wessels of Freedom Front Plus: “The legislation is rushed, thoughtless and will have unintended and damaging consequences, especially for NGOs. And who will suffer the most? Poor people.

Much of the backlash was in response to a provision that will require nonprofit organizations that send money or receive money from foreign sources to register with the Department of Social Development.

Dion George of the Democratic Alliance (DA): “This dysfunctional department cannot even fulfill its current mandate of providing social grants.”

But Godongwana said those concerns could still be discussed and that political differences should be put aside in the national interest.

The bill will now be sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for approval.

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Bitvo cancels agreement to acquire FTX, Trust Wallet integrates with Binance Pay, the new Ethereum climate platform https://bungeni.org/2022/11/17/bitvo-cancels-agreement-to-acquire-ftx-trust-wallet-integrates-with-binance-pay-the-new-ethereum-climate-platform/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/17/bitvo-cancels-agreement-to-acquire-ftx-trust-wallet-integrates-with-binance-pay-the-new-ethereum-climate-platform/
Source: AdobeStock / Andrii Yalanskyi

Get your daily digest of crypto-asset and blockchain-related news – by investigating stories that fly under the radar in today’s crypto news.
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Exchange news

  • BitvoComment announced that its shareholder, Pateno Payments Inc.terminated its previously announced acquisition agreement with FTX Canada Inc. and FTX Trading Ltd., the statement said. Bitvo has no material exposure to FTX or any of its affiliated entities, he added.
  • Binance announced that users can transfer crypto between exchange and decentralized Trust Wallet with Binance Paymentof the new integration. When users transfer assets from Binance Funding Wallet to their Trust Wallet accounts, they won’t need to scan/enter a wallet address – just click “Deposit from Exchange” on the Trust Wallet app. There are no additional fees except blockchain gas fees, he said.
  • BitfinexComment announced the Bitfinex Freedom Manifesto during the Adopt Bitcoin conference in El Salvador, “outlining the exchange’s vision for a new era of self-sovereignty made possible through the use of peer-to-peer solutions and decentralized ledger technologies,” the press release reads. The full Bitfinex Freedom manifesto can be accessed here.

Ethereum News

  • At COP27, a group of Web3 companies brought together by ConsenSys and Allinfrareaches out to civil society leaders and UNFCCC Climate Innovation Center to announce the creation of Ethereum climate platform (ECP) – an initiative to address Ethereum (ETH) legacy proof-of-work (PoW) carbon emissions, a press release said, adding, “Its mission is to encourage and fund the development of real projects that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and have a positive long-term environmental and social impact.Founding members include AAV, Art blocks, Celo, Codegreen.Org, Ethereum Alliance Company, GRE, Filecoin green, Gitcoins, Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), Houbi, digital laser (Nomura), Microsoft, Polygon, The Climate Collective, UPC Capital Venturesand W3bcloudin collaboration with gold standard.

Mining News

  • Bitcoin (BTC) mining hosting provider calculate north sells 11 containers for some $1.55 million to Crusoe Energy Systems. The US Bankruptcy Court in Texas approved the sale, according to documents filed Wednesday. Crusoe had already made a deposit worth $187,000 on October 28.

real estate news

  • South Africa will soon have its first non-fungible token (NFT) apartment complex for sale, according to an announcement. Evolution Properties, a Cape Town property developer, is releasing 294 NFTs that entitle token holders to purchase one of 294 units in a building in Salt River this month. The development is called Spectrumand the project is carried out in collaboration with the Web3 marketplace Moment. NFT integration aims to speed up the sales process and eliminate middlemen, while making the property more investable and reducing administration, he said.

Investment News

  • Global Broker Stone Wall FX announced the integration of a “Bitcoin funding” method into their payments index, allowing customers to make deposits in BTC.
  • Material laboratoriesthe team behind zkSynca zero-knowledge Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution (ZK-rollup), announced that it raised $200 million in a Series C round co-led by blockchain capital and Dragonflywith an additional contribution of LightSpeed ​​Business Partners, Variantand existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). This latest round brings the total to $458 million, which includes the $200 million raised in Series C, a $200 million dedicated ecosystem fund, $50 million in Series B led by a16z and $8 million of previous investments. The team also announced the upcoming MIT open-source license and the latest partnership with Open Zeppelin.

NFT News

  • Yuga Laboratoriesthe team behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), CryptoPunksand Meebitsannounced the Punk Legacy Project. The program’s inaugural giveaway is CryptoPunk #305 in Miami Institute of Contemporary Art. The Punks Legacy Project will oversee the donation and installation of several CryptoPunks to major contemporary art museums around the world. Russian punk/protest band Pussy Riot will perform at the unveiling and installation of CryptoPunk #305 on December 2.
  • sologenan ecosystem using on-demand tokenization of a wide range of assets, announced the adoption of XLS-20, the protocol design for NFTs on the XRP Ledger (XRPL). This new standard introduces native support for NFT transactions on the XRPL, enabling the Sologenic NFT market to offer profitable minting, he said.

DeFi News

  • THOR Chain, a decentralized non-custodial exchange (DEX), has launched its unilateral staking capabilities, allowing community members to take advantage of decentralized finance (DeFi) while retaining full ownership of their native bitcoin (BTC) or other assets. Saver Vaults are enabled for the following assets on their native chains to earn a similar return: BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, DOGE, ATOM, and AVAX.
  • ManufacturerDAOa DeFi lending protocol and creator of the DAI stablecoin, said he launched Maker Teleport, a multi-chain infrastructure to teleport DAI across different blockchain networks. Maker Teleport is now available on smart contract chains Arbitration and Optimismallowing users to almost instantly transfer DAI between these channels, dramatically reducing time and expense, he said.
  • dStorage Project 0String became Zus, offering fast solutions for DeFi, NFT and Web3. Züs is an open-source protocol and high-performance decentralized storage network, and this latest change reflects the increased power of the chain through product development and maturing of the business model, the press release said. The team also announced a dapps ecosystem that will be available soon.

Career news

  • AltLayera paid blockchain provider for Web3 scaling, announcement that Amrit Kumar, former scientific director of Zilliqa, will join the company as Chief Operating Officer. Kumar will execute the company’s global operating strategy and support CEO Yaoqi Jia in pursuing business development verticals, the press release said.

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Africa Energy Week announces dates for 2023 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/14/africa-energy-week-announces-dates-for-2023/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 16:30:03 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/14/africa-energy-week-announces-dates-for-2023/

EQS-News: African Energy Week / Keyword(s): Miscellaneous
Africa Energy Week announces dates for 2023 – Road to Cape Town
14.11.2022 / 17:30 CET/CEST
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Africa Energy Week Announces 2023 dates – Road to Cape Town

The African Energy Week 2023 conference and expo, which runs from October 16-20, will bring together African energy policymakers, companies and investors with global partners to address the challenges of the oil and gas industry of the continent and seize the opportunities.

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) – the voice of the energy sector in Africa – is proud to announce that Africa Energy Week (AEW) (https://AECWeek.com) – the first African event for the oil and gas sector – will return in 2023 from October 16th to 20th to stimulate the growth of the energy sector in Africa and to abolish energy poverty on the continent by 2030.

After a successful 2022 edition, AEW 2023 – the official venue where the entire hydrocarbon ecosystem of Africa will be discussed and optimized – will build on discussions held, agreements signed, partnerships formed and relationships cemented. in 2022 to maximize energy investments across the continent’s energy. while paving the way for free markets and increased private sector participation in the expansion of the energy sector.

Bringing together African presidents, ministers, public and private sector representatives, energy companies and investors as well as global partners, AEW 2023 is the official venue for the continent’s energy market players to meet. , be inspired and continue to create an enabling environment to maximize energy investments for a secure energy future. We will sign other contracts this year.

Investments in fossil fuels, including oil and gas by developed countries, including G20 members, increased by 16% to $693 billion in 2021, penetration in Africa has been and continues to grow be limited by the policies related to the energy transition implemented by some of these countries, yet the continent suffers heavily from chronic energy shortages and high fuel prices.

In this regard, AEW 2023 will promote Africa as a global energy investment destination and address the continued underinvestment and difficult financial conditions in the African market. AEW 2023 aims to ensure that Africa reduces its overreliance on external finance and energy imports while meeting its growing energy needs by harnessing local resources.

AEW 2023 will make a strong case for the role Africa’s hydrocarbon resources play in improving access to energy and driving socio-economic developments across the continent.

Through high-level roundtables, networking forums, technical workshops, one-on-one meetings, projects, technology and partnership launches, and more, AEW 2023 will explore business, agreements, and political necessities for that Africa maximizes the exploitation, development and monetization of its oil. and gas resources for energy mix diversification, job creation, industrialization and energy security.

“The Chamber is proud to host AEW 2023 in partnership with industry players and government officials as part of our efforts to continue to fight for Africa’s energy independence and security. As the number of people living in energy poverty in Africa continues to rise, we believe that Africa has and must harness its entire energy base, including oil, gas, hydropower and renewable energies. renewables, to move away from poverty and development,” says NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

Distributed by APO Group for African Energy Week (AEW).

Contact details:

For sales related inquiries, please contact sales@aecweek.com

For participation-related inquiries, contact registration@aecweek.com

For speaker inquiries, contact speakers@aecweek.com

For media related inquiries, contact media@aecweek.com

About Africa Energy Week (AEW):

AEW 2023 is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2023 brings together African energy players with international investors and partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as an energy investment destination.

Download picture: https://bit.ly/3tq6BYO

14.11.2022 CET/CEST Broadcast of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News – a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

EQS distribution services include regulatory announcements, financial/corporate news and press releases.
Archives on www.eqs-news.com

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Parliamentary committees finalize two bills to prevent greylisting https://bungeni.org/2022/11/11/parliamentary-committees-finalize-two-bills-to-prevent-greylisting/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 12:19:52 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/11/parliamentary-committees-finalize-two-bills-to-prevent-greylisting/ The government is racing against time to avoid punishment by the global watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

FILE: Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Photo: Christa Eybers/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN — Parliament is moving quickly to strengthen laws that will keep it off an international gray list and make it even harder for the country to do business with international partners.

The government is racing against time to avoid punishment by the global watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

On Friday, the finance and police committees each put the finishing touches to bills aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist activities.

As the government scrambles to avoid being added to a gray list of more than 20 countries in February next year, the finance standing committee is under heavy pressure to finalize an anti-money laundering bill. money in just a few weeks.

President Joe Maswanganyi: “We didn’t want to take a shortcut just for compliance because someone over there was going to challenge the bill and the Constitutional Court was going to throw it out the window.”

The police committee also finalized amendments to a bill aimed at curbing terrorism-related activities, including banning online offers of terrorism training.

Committee Chair Tina Joemat-Pettersson: “We took views from all points of view. I don’t think there is a single stakeholder who can claim to have been overlooked or overlooked. We have given enough time.”

The bills must now be submitted to the National Assembly in the coming weeks for adoption.

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African heritage sites at risk as the planet heats up https://bungeni.org/2022/11/09/african-heritage-sites-at-risk-as-the-planet-heats-up/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 16:13:31 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/09/african-heritage-sites-at-risk-as-the-planet-heats-up/

By Nita Bhalla

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – From the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro to the ruins of Tunisia’s ancient city of Carthage and Senegal’s slave island of Gorée, Africa is teeming with iconic cultural and natural heritage sites.

But the impacts of climate change, from rising temperatures to worsening floods, now threaten to doom these African monuments and dozens more in the history books.

As wealthy countries scramble to protect their cultural monuments from extreme weather and rising seas, African countries face additional hurdles such as funding shortages and a shortage of archaeological expertise, advocates say. environment and researchers.

“These sites are places we learned about in school – they are our identity and our history. They are irreplaceable. If we lose them, we will never get them back,” said Nick Simpson, associate researcher at the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town.

“Africa has already suffered tremendous loss and damage from human-induced climate change: biodiversity loss, water shortages, food loss, loss of life and reduced economic growth. We cannot afford to lose our heritage as well.

Some historical monuments have already succumbed.

For visitors to the historic colonial slave forts scattered along the West African coastline, an important ritual is to walk through the “gate of no return” – an age-old gate that leads directly from the citadel to the shore. .

The custom pays tribute to the millions of Africans who were forcibly driven from their homeland during the transatlantic slave trade, retracing their final steps as they were led from dungeons through the doorway of slave ships – never to return.

But at the 18th century Danish slave post in Ghana, Fort Prinzenstein, the original metal gate and an adjoining passageway are now missing.

“The main ‘gate of no return’ was washed away by tidal waves a long time ago,” said James Ocloo Akorli, custodian of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Africa has about a fifth of the world’s population, but produces less than 4% of global carbon dioxide emissions, the main driver of climate change.

Despite this, the continent is disproportionately affected by climate impacts such as droughts and floods, highlighting the need for countries to invest in projects that protect infrastructure and improve resilience.

At the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt, which kicked off on Sunday, world leaders will debate how much financial aid rich countries should provide to developing countries to help them cope with the effects of global warming. climatic.

TYPHOONS, FLOODS AND EROSION

There is no comprehensive data on the total number of African heritage sites at risk, but research co-led by Simpson on coastal sites found that 56 sites are already facing flooding and erosion exacerbated by the sea ​​level rise.

By 2050, if greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory, that number could more than triple to 198 sites, according to the study, published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change in February.

Places at risk include the imposing ruins of the Numidian-Roman port of Sabratha in Libya, the ancient Punic-Roman trading post of Tipasa in Algeria and archaeological sites in Egypt’s North Sinai, according to the study.

The island of Kunta Kinteh in The Gambia and the Togolese village of Aneho-Glidji – both linked to the history of the slave trade in Africa – are also at risk, he added.

A wide range of sites of outstanding natural value are also extremely vulnerable as higher temperatures melt glaciers, raising sea levels and leading to increased coastal erosion.

These include rich biodiversity hotspots such as the Curral Velho wetland in Cape Verde with its unique vegetation and migratory birds and Aldabra in the Seychelles, one of the largest raised coral atolls in the world and home to the Aldabra giant tortoise.

“African sites are really, really in danger because of climate change,” said Lazare Eloundou Assomo, director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

“We see typhoons, we see floods, we see erosion, we see fires. I would say that climate change is one of the main challenges facing World Heritage today – and in the future.

Assomo said he was particularly concerned about sites such as Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, which is set to lose its glaciers by 2040 and is experiencing an increase in wildfires.

HERITAGE, TOURISM AT STAKE

As climate change threatens the future of Africa’s natural and cultural wealth, jobs and tourism linked to heritage sites are also at risk.

This could spell disaster for attractions such as Ghana’s slave forts, Namibia’s indigenous rock art and Kenya’s Maasai Mara wildebeest migration, which together draw crowds of visitors and millions of dollars in revenue. annual tourist.

In Ghana, for example, castles have not only shaped the country’s history, but have also become places of pilgrimage for the African diaspora seeking to reconnect with their roots and honor their ancestors.

Events such as Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’ in 2019, to mark 400 years since the arrival of the first registered African slaves in the Americas, saw record numbers of African Americans and European Africans visit the country for heritage tours.

In Namibia, tens of thousands of visitors arrive every year to see some of Africa’s greatest rock art collections, generating much needed income for local communities in the sparsely populated southern African country.

Ancient rock paintings and carvings, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein, were created by San hunter-gatherers long before the arrival of Damara herders and European colonialists.

But archaeologists fear that climate-related flash floods, dust, vegetation growth, fungi and desert animals seeking water near these sites could threaten the art’s survival.

From Indonesia to Australia, archaeologists have found that the impacts of climate change, such as more variable temperatures, flooding and wildfires, are causing rocks to blister, spall and even explode on important sites of ancient art.

Independent Namibian archaeologist Alma Mekondjo Nankela fears the same lies for his country’s rock art heritage.

“We can really see that the artwork is deteriorating and it’s actually deteriorating very quickly,” she said, adding that most of the factors causing the deterioration were “probably related to change. climatic”.

She added that urgent funding and resources were needed to better understand and track long-term climate change over time.

In Kenya, one of the world’s most famous natural heritage attractions – the wildebeest migration – is also under threat, wildlife advocates say.

The migration, one of the greatest shows of animal movement on earth, sees hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle making their annual trek from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park across the border to the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

The sight attracts hordes of safari-goers every year, eager to witness the iconic scenes of wildebeest running the gauntlet of hungry Nile crocodiles as they cross the Mara River.

Tourism – largely centered on Maasai Mara safaris – is a key economic mainstay for Kenya, providing jobs for more than 2 million people and accounting for around 10% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). East Africa.

But conservation experts say the great migration is under threat due to increased droughts and flooding in the delicate Mara ecosystem, which deprives the wildebeest of grazing land.

This has affected the number of animals migrating to Kenya and the length of their stay.

“The wildebeest migration happens later and they stay for a very short time,” said Yussuf Wato, wildlife program manager at WWF Kenya, a nonprofit conservation organization.

“And then because the rain has been slow to come to the Mara, or the rainfall in the Serengeti is prolonged, they don’t come to the Mara because they have enough pasture on the other side.”

MORE RESEARCH, RESOURCES NEEDED

But despite the potentially far-reaching consequences of climate-related loss and damage to African heritage sites, the threats have attracted far less attention than the risks to other cultural and natural sites in wealthier countries.

A study estimates that only 1% of research on the impacts of climate change on heritage is related to Africa, despite the continent being on the front lines of global warming for decades.

“We need more national archaeologists,” said David Pleurdeau, assistant professor at France’s National Museum of Natural History in the department of man and the environment, leading an archaeological team in the Erongo region in Namibia.

“We need more training for Namibian students, funding, and for the Namibian Heritage Board to employ more archaeologists,” said Pleurdeau, who works with Namibian archaeologist Nankela.

Some countries like Ghana and Egypt have made large investments in the construction of sea defense walls and groynes to protect their coastal sites.

But Simpson said these “hard protection” strategies often don’t take into account future sea levels and can distort the site’s natural ecological balance.

Hybrid protections that include natural infrastructure such as rock faces associated with salt marshes, seagrass beds or restored mangroves to slow wave action, may be more effective.

It is also essential to improve governance around endangered sites and ensure that local communities are involved in preservation and protection efforts, he added.

Back at Fort Prinzenstein, Warden Akorli points to a few words carved into the dilapidated back wall of one of the few remaining slave dungeons: “Until the lion has a historian, the hunter will always be a hero “, we read.

“A lot of times history can be twisted,” Akorli said. “Sites like these tell us the painful truth. That’s why we need to take care of them – we need to know what happened in the past, so that we can learn in the future.

Originally posted on:

(Reporting by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla; Additional reporting by Kim Harrisberg in Namibia and Kent Mensah in Accra. Editing by Helen Popper. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters. Visit https://context.news/)

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South African Solar Energy Company Pays Crypto Investors https://bungeni.org/2022/11/05/south-african-solar-energy-company-pays-crypto-investors/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 06:05:38 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/05/south-african-solar-energy-company-pays-crypto-investors/

Sun Exchange funds the installation of signs in schools and farms.

Content of the article

(Bloomberg) – When Abraham Cambridge flew to South Africa in 2014, he was struck by how few solar panels he saw in a sunny country with unreliable electricity. Soon after, he started Sun Exchange Inc., a company that finances panel installation, eliminating the need for customers to raise the often prohibitive amount needed to purchase and install equipment.

“You need to install solar panels where you have the most environmental and social impact,” says Cambridge, who previously ran a panel installation business in the UK. “It drew me to South Africa, where there is fantastic solar radiation and growing energy problems.” He focused on schools, nursing homes and shopping malls as potential customers, places that often find solar energy costs prohibitive.

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Sun Exchange invites investors to purchase solar cells, a building block of panels, for as little as $4, in a project of their choice. Customers who receive renewable energy still pay a fee on a 20-year contract, but the cost is lower than what would have been charged for grid electricity.

Part of the revenue goes to Sun Exchange, which can fund installation and maintenance and make a profit. The rest is paid to investors. They can choose to receive South African Rand or Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency enabling easy cross-border payments to the more than 35,000 people in 180 countries who have participated so far. “I bought some solar cells for a Sun Exchange project in 2018, the installation at Sacred Heart College in Johannesburg,” says Nick Hedley, a 34-year-old communications consultant and writer from Cape Town. “The income generated since represents 23% of my initial investment. It’s an awesome operating model.

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South Africa has seen its worst blackouts this year as debt-ridden utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which generates almost all of its electricity from coal, struggles to keep its aging plants running.

Made in Africa

Follow Bloomberg Green’s coverage of COP27 to learn more about the people designing new ways to fight global warming.

Until recently, there were few alternatives for small businesses and homes to fund their own solar power. “What this business model does is basically use every available roof for solar power, to enable everyone to invest in solar power,” says Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the non-profit research association RMI.

Sun Exchange has installed signs for more than 60 agricultural businesses, schools, nursing homes, shopping centers and facilities for the visually or educationally impaired in Southern Africa.

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One client, Eric Brown, owns an isolated farm in the semi-desert Karoo region that is not connected to the grid. It used to depend on diesel generators, but in September switched to solar. He expects his electricity costs to drop by more than 60%. “The biggest infrastructure problem is the electricity supply, because you can’t pump with diesel, it’s just too expensive,” he says. s.

Cambridge’s first project, in 2016, was the Stellenbosch Waldorf School, which caught the attention of investors in the United States. Initial funding of $60,000 came from Boost VC in California. Subsequent rounds have grossed over $8.3 million. It took just three days for Sun Exchange to raise the 9.5 million rand ($525,282) needed to install signs at Pioneer School in Worcester, 70 miles east of Cape Town, which teaches approximately 120 blind or visually impaired students. “It’s cleaner, cheaper energy, and we sell any excess we don’t need back to the municipality,” says Michael Bredenkamp, ​​director of Pioneer. “We’re saving around R10,000 a month and helping the environment.” —With Eric Roston

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Rising-rate environment tests DeFi’s stickiness https://bungeni.org/2022/11/04/rising-rate-environment-tests-defis-stickiness/ Fri, 04 Nov 2022 05:13:32 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/04/rising-rate-environment-tests-defis-stickiness/

With benchmark DeFi yielding less than lower-risk assets like US Treasuries, blockchain-based finance has entered uncharted territory.

After the Federal Reserve’s fourth consecutive 0.75% hike on November 2, the benchmark US interest rate stands at 4%, its highest level since January 2008.

Crypto, like most risk assets, thrives when interest rates are low and capital is plentiful. The last cycle of monetary tightening saw rates peak at 2.5% in early 2019. Meanwhile, 2018 saw a crypto bloodbath, with the overall market capitalization falling from $850 billion in January to just $108 billion. dollars at the end of the year.

Federal funds rate. Source: St. Louis Fed

Crypto markets have been relatively calm since the last rally – Bitcoin and Ether are down less than 1%, and Binance’s BNB is up 5%.

President Powell’s statement asserts that continued interest rate increases are appropriate, indicating that the world’s largest central bank is unlikely to become dovish in the near term.

Rising rates pushed yields on short-term Treasuries to 3.5%, according to YCharts. This is higher than the rates available on the three major stablecoins deposited on DeFi’s three major lending protocols, Aave, JustLend, which is on the Tron blockchain, and Compound.

Capital Flight

And all things being equal, yield-seeking capital should follow the best low-risk rates, so it’s curious why investors are still lending to DeFi.

“There is definitely a capital base in DeFi that is very sticky,” Teddy Woodward, co-founder of Notional, a fixed-rate yield protocol with $91.7 million in TVL, told The Defiant. He said rising rates in traditional finance have somewhat drawn capital into DeFi, but that strength has had limited effect so far.

“This rate divergence pulls [capital] and the wider the rate divergence, the stronger the pull,” he said. Woodward pointed out that USDC’s outstanding supply has fallen 24% since June and suggested that higher interest rates may be to blame, as USDC’s yield is 2% or less on three main loan protocols.

Allan Niemerg, co-founder of Yield Protocol, another fixed-rate protocol, agrees with Woodward. He thinks frictions in the transfer of capital between traditional finance and DeFi explain why investors are still deploying their capital in crypto.

Friction between DeFi and TradFi

“DeFi is still relatively immature and not very well connected to traditional finance,” he said. “And so rates that move in traditional markets don’t necessarily have a huge impact on DeFi right now.”

Even as traditional finance rates continue to rise and draw more stablecoins out of DeFi, the two entrepreneurs don’t seem worried that this will threaten blockchain-based finance at its core.

ETH Price + BTC Price + BNB PriceSource: The Defiant Terminal

“It’s not that DeFi would die,” Woodward said. “It’s just that people should be borrowing at rates that reflect the macro environment and maybe that just means there would be less borrowing overall.”

Niemerg believes the true value of DeFi exists regardless of the pricing environment. Although he added that higher rates could lead to less venture capital investment and less high-risk financial strategies.

Two tariffs

For Niemerg, it’s usually just noise, though. “The signal, the hard work that I see happening every day in the ecosystem, which keeps growing,” he said.

Theoretically, as stablecoins leave DeFi, borrowing rates on loan protocols would increase to reflect the lower availability of dollar-pegged assets. In a world with less friction between the two financial systems, traders would arbitrate the two rates until they were broadly identical.

So far they haven’t converged, but that doesn’t mean they won’t if rates keep rising. “People don’t change their allocation on a dime,” Woodward said.

Fixed rates

Going forward, there are a few trends to watch in DeFi. On the one hand, the focus may be on yield on Ether, rather than stablecoins.

Notional is set to launch an ETH-based leveraged product, where Woodward sees returns staying high thanks to the ETH staking rate after moving to Proof-of-Stake consensus. “I think the yield on ETH and the sources of demand for ETH are just a lot less cyclical,” Woodward said.

Additionally, fixed rates can play a role in bringing more capital into DeFi. Businesses looking to invest in their future seek fixed rate loans to reliably forecast their cash flow. DeFi has so far only seen floating-rate protocols adopted due to their simplicity, but if the fixed-return market matures, it could bring new entrants into open finance.

“I can definitely see fixed rates as a very important part of the next cryptocurrency boom,” Niemberg said, adding that fixed rates could allow crypto to connect more fully to the traditional financial system.

For now, DeFi is in flux. With eye-popping yields harder to come by, and those that exist attract more skepticism, it will be difficult to attract institutional capital that can fetch near-risk-free rates in highly liquid bond markets.

But if Niemberg is correct, the high returns that characterized the last crypto cycle are not where the true value of DeFi lies.

“DeFi is going to be successful through innovation,” he said. “Because it builds something that people ultimately want. And we are still very, very early in this process.

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South African grocery giant ‘Pick n Pay’ intends to accept Bitcoin in all stores nationwide https://bungeni.org/2022/11/01/south-african-grocery-giant-pick-n-pay-intends-to-accept-bitcoin-in-all-stores-nationwide/ Tue, 01 Nov 2022 22:32:08 +0000 https://bungeni.org/2022/11/01/south-african-grocery-giant-pick-n-pay-intends-to-accept-bitcoin-in-all-stores-nationwide/

Pick n Pay, one of South Africa’s largest supermarket chains, is set to allow customers to pay for items in all of its stores using Bitcoin.

According to South African news outlet Tech Central, Pick N Pay plans to roll out its cryptocurrency payment service to its stores nationwide in the coming months, following years of experimentation in select stores. The supermarket chain reportedly started experimenting with bitcoin payments five years ago in Cape Town, but was stymied by high costs and long wait times for transactions.

The nationwide rollout will allow store customers to pay for items using cryptocurrency through “trusted apps” on their smartphones, or by simply scanning a QR code and accepting the rand conversion rate at the time of payment.

According to the report, Chris Shortt, IT Group Director at Pick n Pay, said advances and evolution in cryptocurrency technology over the years have now “provided an affordable service for high-volume transactions.” high and low value that will promote financial inclusion in South Africa.”

Pick n Pay reportedly partnered with Electrum and CryptoConvert during its pilot program to allow customers to pay for items through the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

Related: South African Crypto Landscape Primed for TradFi Growth After FSCA Ruling

South Africa seems to be making progress when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption in the African region. In October, South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) amended its financial advisory to define crypto assets in the country as financial products, allowing cryptocurrencies to be offered by financial service providers. national and international South African approved.

Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, released in September, also ranked South Africa 30th in the world for cryptocurrency adoption. Various estimates support the idea that around 10-13% of the South African population are crypto holders.