Blockchain Weekly: New Tools for EMEA Crypto Trading, Use Cases Expand Beyond Currency

Blockchain, EMEA, technology, startups

In the story of blockchain, the initial emphasis on currency still maintains a firm grip on the public imagination of the technology. Yet proponents of non-monetary use cases have long talked up the potential of smart contracts and tokenization to transform a wide variety of processes.

For instance, Owen Odia, the Nigeria country manager at global cryptocurrency business Luno, recently told PYMNTS that she believes “blockchain could have an impact on every sector, from the government sector to logistics, to retail business because of [three advantages], transparency, access to information,  [and] speed of transaction.”

Watch the interview: Emerging Market Consumers Lukewarm on Value of CBDCs

Certainly, for believers in blockchain’s transformational potential, the last week has seen some exciting developments. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as cryptocurrencies gain mainstream acceptance, additional use cases are also emerging on the scene.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Made Easier

In EMEA, crypto firms continue to deliver solutions for cryptocurrency exchanges and payments in an evolving regulatory and economic environment.

One of Europe’s largest digital asset investment groups, CoinShares, launched a new platform this week — HAL. The new service allows users to access CoinShares’ trading algorithms on a platform of their choice, helping to put professional trading strategies into the hands of a greater number of investors.

In the same week, the crypto exchange FTX announced that it has been granted a new license from Cyprus’ Securities and Exchange Commission, which will allow it to offer a range of services throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).

On Thursday (Sep. 22), PYMNTS reported that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is said to be in talks with investors to secure a new funding round that would raise as much as $1 billion, valuing the firm at approximately $32 billion.

Read more: Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Asking Backers for Up To $1B at $32B Valuation

While FTX is now fully licensed in the EEA, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority has warned consumers that the platform is operating in the country without the proper authorization.

More on this: UK FCA: FTX Not Recognized to Conduct Business in Region

Meanwhile, in Africa, the Nigerian startup SafeSenda has recently launched an application that simplifies the management, exchange, conversion, spend and settlement of cryptocurrency into naira bank accounts.

In widely-reported comments, the company’s co-founders Nkechi Iyke-Ukaegbu and Ikechukwu Ukaegbu said that said the startup was inspired by the lack of a safe and simple process for crypto-to-naira exchange and settlement to local bank accounts in the country. They added that SafeSenda offers a simpler alternative to peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms.

Booming MENA Blockchain Market Expands Use Cases

As a recent report on the state of the blockchain industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) highlights, the technology has the potential to transform the telecoms sector in the region.

One MENA-based company pioneering the application of blockchain outside the financial sphere is the Egypt-headquartered Web3 communication firm Pravica, which last week launched its decentralized networking platform Pravica Club.

Pravica, which uses the Stacks blockchain to ensure the security of communications, added the new platform to its existing secure messaging service. A kind of on-chain Discord, Pravica club is designed for communities that want to mobilize a decentralized architecture for chat, payments and identity.

Users of Pravica Club are on-boarded with their decentralized identity from BTC domains which are registered through a smart contract on the Stacks blockchain. This makes it ideal for groups that prioritize privacy, as it means no personal information is needed to join and all communication is secured by the blockchain.

Announcing the new product,  Mohamed Abdou, founder and CEO of Pravica, highlighted its value to the “Web3 creator economy.” He said that blockchain media is “especially relevant in the era of the metaverse where individuals will need decentralized identities, secure communications and P2P financial transactions.”

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