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Nigeria Blockchain Payment Startup, Bitmama Closes $2m Pre-See As It Scales New Market

Crypto-fiat exchange platform that allows traders to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum , Celo, and other digital assets, Bitmama, recently raised $2milion in pre-seed funding.

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Crypto-fiat exchange platform that allows traders to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Celo, and other digital assets, Bitmama, recently raised $2milion in pre-seed funding.

The latest round was led by Unicorn Growth Capital and Launch Africa Ventures, with participation from Adaverse and follow-on from Flori Ventures, which led its earlier pre-seed round.

New investors in the round include Tekedia Capital, GreenHouse Capital, ODBA, Five35 Ventures, Chrysalis Capital, Enrich Africa, Thrive Africa, Angellist Ventures, and angel investors including, CELO founders; Rene Reinsberg, and Marek Olszewski, and Honey Ogundeyi.

Currently in three African markets; Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, Bitmama’s users can trade several cryptocurrencies, and can as well use their debit cards for regular online payments, payment of utility bills, and performing transactions such as staking to hedge against currency devaluation.

From its inception, Bitmama has always had the dream to make everyone understand and enjoy crypto beyond trading. With this $2 million pre-seed raised, that dream is now a step toward reality.

This means new markets, loftier goals, and better crypto spending, trading, and living experience for all of its customers.

Commenting on the pre-seed round, Founder and CEO of Bitmama Inc, Ruth Iselema disclosed that the company is hell-bent on building Africa’s most innovative blockchain company, and they are glad to have gotten the backing of seasoned investors.

See what she said;

“Bitmama has made a number of strides in the past year. We’ve rolled out two products, both of which are fast closing in on 100,000 users across the African market and recording impressive daily active users across our range of product offerings despite the market dynamics.

“We are building Africa’s most user-friendly, innovative blockchain company, and we are glad to have the backing of seasoned investors and partners who have walked similar turfs.

“We are privileged to learn from their blended experiences across corporate and blockchain business verticals. We’re confident of the results we’ve achieved so far and we’re set to build the next big solution that the market deserves.”

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Blockchain: Lekki Free Trade Zone Partners Gluwa to Create Virtual Free Zone

Lekki Free Free Zone Development Company (LFZ) is collaborating with a California-based blockchain company, Gluwa to create a virtual free zone within the Lekki corridor. 

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Lekki Free Free Zone Development Company (LFZ) is collaborating with a California-based blockchain company, Gluwa to create a virtual free zone within the Lekki corridor. 

Both companies are looking for ways to explore blockchain technology for the use of trade collaboration, growth and sustainability among companies that operate within the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

LFZ head of innovation and special projects, Mr Tomiwa Idowu disclosed that the initiative will be a tripartite project between LFZ, Gluwa and the Nigeria Exporting Zone Processing Zones Authority. 

Tomiwa Idowu said that the partnership, when finalised, will create a dashboard for the tokenization of goods into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and provide digital asset-backed loans for new and existing enterprises that are looking to fund operations and/or expand their businesses. He stated that the project will be similar to the integration of Opeansea and Compound. 

Non-fungible tokens often abbreviated as NFTs are unique digital assets which can be bought, sold or borrowed. 

Idowu further stated that he is overwhelmed with the partnership and looks forward to the possibilities and prospects it will bring to Lagos State. 

He went further to commend the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu as a beacon of progress and hope not only for Lagos State but the nation in general. 

“Our Governor has always been a firm believer in fast-paced development, which involves using technology to leap-frog bureaucracy and going straight to solving immediate problems”. He said.

Gluwa Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tae Oh disclosed that he anticipates the partnership with the Lekki Free Trade Zone which is the most developed free zone in Nigeria. He noted that its proximity to Dangote Refinery and the Lekki Deep Sea makes the zone ideal for partnership. 

Incorporated in 2014, Gluwa is an open-source platform powered by blockchain technology to connect global capital to emerging market investment opportunities. Gluwa launched its stable coin in 2016 and has acquired more than one million borrowers. 

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Binance Charity Partners With Women In Tech, Offers Free Blockchain Courses For Women

Binance has partnered with women in tech to provide blockchain education courses to 2,800 women from vulnerable communities across Brazil and Africa.

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In today’s technology-dependent world, just 25% of women in tech get the support they need, as the tech industry is majorly dominated by the men fondly called “Tech Bros”.

Despite growth in the size of the global blockchain market, which is forecast to grow from $2.93billion in 2021 to around $200billion by 2028, the gender gap in tech has widened over the past four decades, with only one woman in every five people working in the industry today.

To bridge this gap, Binance Charity, the philanthropic arm of Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure provider, has partnered with women in tech to provide blockchain education courses to 2,800 women from vulnerable communities across Brazil and Africa.

The philanthropic arm of the cryptocurrency provider, Binance Charity is donating the sum of $250,000 BUSD for a six-month pilot project to empower women with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a Web3 future, with the first courses taking place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and Cape Town, South Africa, in October, this year.

Courses will be offered in classes of 25 to young women aged 15 to 25 by qualified trainers in-person, online, or as a hybrid. The Web3 courses will be designed by Binance Academy and adapted to meet the local context.

These Courses will include the fundamentals of cryptocurrency and the blockchain, decentralization, Web3, and the Metaverse.

There will also be classes designed for beginners which will include skills such as web development, front-end development, full-stack development, and complete with the Blockchain modules.

According to the VP of Binance and Head of Charity, Helen Hai, she disclosed that this initiative was set up to eliminate existing barriers for women especially those in vulnerable communities.

In her words; “Binance believes the future of crypto should be built by all, not the few so we’re creating certified courses and removing financial barriers for women, especially those from vulnerable communities, to study and train”.

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Transforming the Dispute-resolution Process in Banks Require Blockchain Technology, Says Appzone Co-founder – Uche Elendu

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With the increased rate of fraud and dispute claims between customers and financial institutions across Nigeria, Uche Elendu,  Co-founder and COO of Appzone has made the call for the adoption of blockchain technology to not only decentralise the process of moving money from one bank to the other but to help increase the level of visibility and transparency of the procedure.  

Uche Elendu shared this thought during his presentation at the recently concluded Digital Pay Expo summit – a two-day event, sponsored by Appzone, which sought to discuss the possibility of accessing finance without a third party across the African continent through Decentralized Finance (DeFi). 

As more Nigerians get financially included, customers have continued to move away from cash and checks toward electronic payments. This trend is a positive development for banks and the central bank of Nigeria (CBN); however, as card and online transactions grow, so does the number of disputable transactions and the incidence of fraud, putting pressure on dispute processes. 

Speaking about the adoption of blockchain technology to foster a speedy payment settlement process, Uche Elendu, said “Financial institutions across the continent have continued to evolve, leveraging technology. They have metamorphosed from the days of a heavy analogue process to a more digitized era, and with the continuous increase in the volume of banking transactions, It remains pertinent to continuously adopt newer and more sophisticated technology infrastructure to remain dependable, especially with payment settlements. For us at Appzone, we are firm believers in blockchain technology. Its decentralized nature not only makes it faster, cheaper, and transparent but also makes it sophisticated enough to enable real-time settlement”. 

Speaking further, Uche said “Having rolled out Zone – Africa’s first blockchain platform for payment processing in 2021, partner banks who have onboarded with us have seen a drastic change in their payment settlement process. Zone’s innovative architecture will reduce complaints from customers and provide banks with an opportunity to deliver delightful experiences on payment channels while also driving down costs”.

Developed in line with Appzone’s recent evolution into a payment infrastructure company, Zone is Africa’s first decentralized payment network that allows inter-bank transactions to be processed directly between banks on the Blockchain without the involvement of any intermediary. With Zone, players in the industry should expect a reliable and scalable payment network that enables frictionless and instant payments, within and between every African country.

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