Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 30 November – 6 December 2018

Africa

Africa and the Middle East

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

South Africa

Cryptocurrency may get Government Approval with Payment System Review: The South African government is looking to legitimize cryptocurrencies in the country through a series of policy changes for the purpose.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is intending to go for a complete overhaul of the National Payment System (NPS) which is the national infrastructure that allows the transfer of funds between individuals and entities. The need for updating the system was felt after the previous system was found inadequate for modern requirements and was set up back in 1998.

The review will also cover the cryptocurrency space and allow regulation of the sector like never before.

The Reserve Bank is also reportedly going to launch a crypto law consultation process that will help the upgradation of NPS and pave way for the integration of space into the national financial fabric.

Nigeria

Government Watchdog to Monitor Risks of Digital Currencies: Nigeria’s financial watchdog Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has reportedly started monitoring the digital currency space and risks posed by it. 

A Deputy Director of the NDIC Kabir Katata gave this opinion and he said that resolving these concerns for protecting funds of the general public is important:

“We should continue to monitor developments in digital currency so as to resolve any concern on legal, financial and consumer protection,” 

It is yet unclear what kind of measures the agency will take for this purpose.

African Union

Top African Blockchain Events in Africa: Africa’s growing blockchain industry is conducting several important events across the continent this week. They include workshops and seminars in South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia with thousands of participants expected.

The whole list of events can be found here.

Ghana

American Government Warns Ghana of Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Activities: The US government has sent a warning to Ghana and five other African countries for their involvement in cryptocurrency frauds according to the Head of the US Cyber Crimes Division.

Head of the Cyber Crime Division John Hooks said:

“I would like to inform the public, especially in the following African countries and their government: Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, DRC Congo that one Mr. Junior Capputti and Mr. Emerson Pires in the name of president and vice-president respectively, in one programme that they call a company that is known as Mining Capital Coin (MCC). The above-mentioned names are con artists running a non-existence company to lure the public into investing their hard-earned money in the cryptocurrency market,”.

Israel

Tax Agency to Reportedly Target Cryptocurrency Tax Dodgers: Israeli Tax Authority (ITA) is now cracking down on cryptocurrency traders who are accused of tax evasion and has since issued hundreds of warnings to these individuals for failing to report the right numbers.

The Israeli law defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as financial assets and taxes them up to 30%, but the government believes that many of the traders are not reporting their income right.

Saudi Arabia

Bank Announces Blockchain Islamic Financial Solutions: Saudi bank ICD is reportedly trying to develop a blockchain banking product that is sharia-compliant. The new system will allow Islamic banks to manage their liquidity needs in a transparent manner.

While cryptocurrencies are officially banned in Saudi Arabia, the government has found blockchain to be an interesting technology and is thus encouraging industries to adopt it.

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