Over the past few weeks we at KuBitX have been busy fine tuning our blockchain solutions while also working to raise some operational funding to help us go full blast with our marketing and scaling plans. The good news is that our efforts are finally paying off and you can rest assured we are taking this project further into the mainstream, where it needs to be. Remember KuBitX is all about adoption and inclusion?
In the past few months, we have also been working on how to ensure our supporters get the best value for their contributions. We understand one of the ways to do this is to bring more utility and relevance to our native exchange token (KBX – KubitCoin) and a number of business decisions have been made regarding the way forward especially when it comes to listing and getting it into the hands of more people both in crypto and the mainstream. We will talk more about KBX later but let us first discuss our issuance of Africa’s first usable stable coin.
Naira Stable Coin (NGNX)
Stable coins. We have all heard of them but they have either been associated with scandals or are typically merely used for trading against crypto pairs. We believe this amazing innovation of blockchain technology can be put to better use such as facilitating real life merchant payments, instant currency swaps and cross-border remittances. It is for this reason that we created NGNX, Africa’s first usable stable coin — a digital asset pegged 1:1 to the Nigerian Naira.
Why did we start off with NGNX? Nigeria boasts the highest population, highest youth population and highest mobile device penetration in all of Africa. It has the biggest economy and it’s teeming youth population are strong adopters of crypto — an evidence which can be seen in the volume of Bitcoin traded by Nigerians monthly. By creating this Naira pegged asset, we are not only helping more mainstream people to embrace certain applications of Blockchain tech, we are also facilitating further adoption of the technology and thus helping it mature better and faster in our own way. Our NGNX will be “swappable” in real time with other pegged tokens we plan to create once all the business and audit procedures are set in place.
Today, people who own NGNX can currently use it on KuBitX PROW to:
- Send XLM to their peers in any part of the globe
- Receive funds from their peers across the globe via XLM swap pathways. More pathways are being created starting with other countries in Africa.
- Pay for airtime, internet, entertainment, utility and other services for over 3000 merchants in Africa’s largest economy
- Fund their KuBitX Exchange account to exchange for other kinds of assets listed on the Exchange.
Fiat Payment Gateway Integration on Exchange
A major challenge crypto adopters in Africa and other emerging markets have is the difficulty in obtaining the top crypto (BTC, ETH, XLM etc) or the fact that they usually buy them at a premium, and often with steep transaction fees. Since we pride ourselves in helping adoption and fostering inclusion, we have decided to integrate a fiat payment gateway to the Exchange so that people can more easily invest in promising assets and projects they want without losing time and money due to the volatility in a high frequency trading environment. Our fiat gateway also ensures people can buy assets closer to the real price without having to pay the steep 2–3% fees being offered by the likes of MasterCard or Visa. It is another way of showing how much we care about how much we can give to our community and not merely what we can take from them.
Currency Conversion on KuBitX Exchange
For the sake of ease and convenience of portfolio management, we have added currency conversion to the settings so that our users can decide to see the prices of assets as well as their wallet balances in any of the currencies we have made available most notably the NGN, KES, ZAR, UGX, USD, GBP, RUB, EUR and CAD.
You may have noticed the reduction of the available trading pairs on the exchange, but you will have also noticed that the available pairs are coming alive. In the following weeks, we will be working to ensure there is more liquidity for the projects listed on the exchange. We do not believe in listing every project out there, we only want to list the most viable ones we can access. As our operations stabilise even further, we will be conducting community voting events as well as initial exchange offerings to bring on board high quality projects for our esteemed users.
Bonus referrals and Loyalty Discounts for payments using KBX
We believe in giving back, we cannot emphasize this enough. For this reason we will be giving back money to our users whenever they or their referrals pay for their bills on KuBitX PROW. When a referred person pays a bill, the referrer gets 5% of the transaction fees. A referrer is also eligible to earning 3% of the transaction fee of his/her downline’s first referral. People will always pay bills so we believe this is a good way for mainstream adopters of our KuBitX PROW to earn passive income.
In addition to the bonus referral payments, we have also negotiated discounted transaction fees for our users when they pay their bills on the PROW using our KBX tokens. This helps the user get a good deal as well as adding more utility to the token itself which benefits all owners.
Work is also ongoing to allow our esteemed community to be able to stake their KBX tokens for periodic rewards. More information will be provided on this at a future date.
One more thing (One Big Partnership)
We signed a huge deal to co-create something that can change the way funds/value is moved across Africa by people and especially mainstream businesses. We are super excited about this partnership and we believe it is positioning us further in an influential place within Africa and beyond as far as Blockchain innovations is concerned. We will share more details of this after the Easter break.
Yet one more thing (#BWCLagos19)
Women across Africa attended the maiden Blockchain Women Conference held in Lagos, Nigeria which was attended by the likes of Eric Annan (KuBitX CEO) and Reggie Middleton (Veritaseum CEO). At the event, KuBitX CEO pleaded with Africans to let go of a scarcity mentality and start collaborating to build strong and meaningful blockchain projects so that in the next few years, Africans can look at themselves as Blockchain solutions co-creators and not merely consumers as has been the typical trend with past major technology waves. When also puzzled about why KuBitX was giving so many top notch features out so cheaply, Eric Annan responded to say
“we are focused in bringing value to the entire continent, because Africans have been saddled with exorbitant charges, poor customer support including random unexplained closure of accounts by some platforms. We are more concerned about the people and the value we can bring them, hence we will continue to strive to make it easier for the continent to have easier access to useful and reputable digital assets in the coming months. We plan to do this with features such as card payment and direct bank deposit. This is only possible as a result of our commitment to strategic synergies and partnerships with the mainstream”
Thanks for your patience and support so far. Keep supporting us as we work to bring you value both in how we serve you as well as how we make KuBitX bigger and stronger. We have a few other things cooking which we would only be at liberty to share once all the background and paperwork has been completed. For now, the team will just keep doing what they know best — work, innovate, collaborate,deliver, improve, rinse and repeat.
Happy Easter Holidays
OWS Capital Launches Glassie In The Middle East Region
Glassie Co-founder Neels Visser (Press Release and Images: Adlink PR)
Glassie, LA-based start-up unveiled its personalized mobile screen protectors earlier this year and instantly caught the attention of celebrities such Adriana Lima, Delilah Belle Hamlin, Presley Gerber, Winnie Harlow, and Dubai favorite Fai Khadra amongst many more.
What’s made the Glassie brand popular so quickly is its dual functionality. The protective mobile screen covers feature tempered glass screen protectors as well as a personalized message that disappears once your phone screen lights up.
OWS Capital choose Glassie as its first tech collab due to its innovative appeal. Glassie co-founder, model-turned-entrepreneur, Neels Visser’s simplistic, essential yet funky product has immediately become a must-have accessory.
“As I came up with the concept for Glassie, I wanted to find a way to introduce something new and exciting to the consumer electronics industry that has not been done before. Understanding that mobile phones are the most valuable real estate…I wanted to find a way to innovate a user’s connection and experience with their phone,” explains Visser.
Middle Eastern consumers will soon be able to get their own personalized premium glass protector screen covers for US$39.99. Michael Cardone, Director of OWS Capital said: “Personalization is the direction that most brands are going for now. This ability to create a sense of togetherness is what we at OWS Capital love most about it, as it taps into our brand mission of creating a sense of synergy between Middle Eastern and Western cultures, using unique business ventures.”
‘Your phone is your world. Your wallet will thank you’ – that’s the simple yet trendy solution Glassie is offering all its customers.
(L-R) Delilah Belle Hamlin, Elisha Herbert and Meredith Mickelson with their personalized Glassie screen protectors. (Press Release and Images: Adlink PR)
Watch this space for more cool concepts being introduced in the Middle East by OWS Capital.
AI for Good Global Summit founder Stephen Ibaraki confirmed as AI Expo Africa 2021 keynote speaker
AI for Good Global Summit founder, Stephen Ibaraki (Source: AI Expo Africa)
AI for Good Global Summit founder, Chairman of the AI for Good Outreach Committee, industry analyst, venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Stephen Ibaraki has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE which takes place 7th to 9th September.
Ibaraki is the first VIP keynote speaker to be confirmed for AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE. In his keynote address, entitled, “5th Machine Age Driving Digital Reshaping” he intends to explore the “Society 5.0” and “Smart Humanity”.
Ibaraki who is a 16 time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award, most recently in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) category, is also the chairman and managing general partner of REDDS Capital. In addition to more than 300 awards and recognitions as well as over 300 global engagements impacting over $100-trillion in sustainable investments, Ibaraki is also a contributor for IT World Canada and Forbes on issues around AI.
Ibaraki’s keynote abstract states, “In popular stories about Chaos Theory, the wing beats of a butterfly in Geneva, are connected to the violent storms in your hometown in Africa. Global ecosystems, all interconnected thus force multiplied and amplified, are at an historical inflection point. These are founded on technology acceleration, with more disruption in 5 years, than the last 10,000 years. This Digital Reshaping will forever change governments, industry, academia, education, investments, startups, media, society, culture, our lives and our children’s future. What will the world look like, advanced by Smart Humanity, Society 5.0, 5th Machine Age, AI and innovation trends addressing global challenges and opportunities? What are the exponential change making innovations you must track, implement, and resources you must use to ensure success and not failure during these chaotic next five years?
Now entering it’s fourth successful year, AI Expo Africa is Africa’s largest B2B / B2G AI, RPA and 4IR smart tech trade event and conference, with the 2021 edition building to be the biggest yet with over 5000 delegates registering interest and expected to join the three-day online event.
Dr Nick Bradshaw, founder of AI Expo Africa and CEO of AI Media Group commented, “It’s a real honour to welcome Stephen as one of our VIP keynote speakers. We have been working with the ITU, Geneva since 2019 around partnering with the global AI4Good movement and the Africa region and this is another great commitment towards growing collaborations around AI4Good in our region. This announcement follows the recent conclusion of the first African focused ITU AI4Good Innovation Factory Challenge that received 44 applications from 12 African countries & 5 finalists using AI-powered innovation for diverse sectors in Africa covering Fintech, Agritech, Cleantech, and Insurtech.”
Over 30 organisations have so far signed up to exhibit at the expo. These include headline event partner Intel, Darktrace, Future Tech, Automation Anywhere partner 1ai, The Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, InstaDeep, Aizatron, IBA Group, Zindi, Versus, Comparisure, Robotiq AI Africa, ecosystem Ai, Cognizance, Inspired Testing, Atura, Amathuba AI, COGO People Analytics, Elzware, WizzPass, Fliptin, Kosa AI, Learning Machines, Social Lab, Ashanti AI, and Curacel. In all about 80 speakers will make up the speaker list at AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE, with more keynotes set to be announced in the coming weeks.
Lessons Learned: Social Media Platforms and Blockchain Mass Adoption
The inception of blockchain as a solution to secure data is a welcome change. All the more now, as social media platforms have leveraged their pervasive presence to abuse people’s privacy constantly. It is a fact. A fact that has attracted massive public outcry in the last few years.
Just last year itself, Facebook came under heavy fire for misusing the personal data of 1 million users in England and Wales. The Mark Zuckerberg-led social media giant was also implicated in the notorious Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal that involved harvesting the data of 87 million folks (globally) to polarise political opinions and target political advertisements for donations during elections.
Only if there was a blockchain -based social media platform immune to such malversations. Life would be so much better.
Moving on, although CA drew the ire and criticism of the entire world, an article published on Vox on May 2, 2018, explored why this was more “a Facebook scandal more than a Cambridge Analytica one.”
According to Alvin Chang, the author of the article:
“…this highlights a larger debate over how much users can trust Facebook with their data. Facebook allowed a third-party developer to engineer an application for the sole purpose of gathering data. And the developer was able to exploit a loophole to gather information on not only people who used the app but all their friends — without them knowing.”
What’s the solution to this egregious situation? A blockchain –based authentication system. Period.
How Can Blockchain Help Prevent Social Media Privacy Violations and Data Pilferage?
Usually, there is a tendency to connect blockchain technology to Bitcoin. But, it’s much more than just a ledger for settling BTC transactions. Along with payments, blockchain has sufficient potential to redefine supply chain management, data validation, and identity protection.
Now, you must be wondering how a nascent technology that appeared only 12 years ago can redefine all these sectors.
Well, that’s because every “block” of data on a blockchain is secured cryptographically through hashing algorithms. Data gets verified by a network of computers before entering the ledger, eliminating any possibility of manipulation, a hack, or a malicious network takeover.
Therefore, using blockchain for authentication makes perfect sense when it comes to social media platforms. Why? Because social media platforms use traditional infrastructure for personally identifiable information (PII) storage and management. This centralized infrastructure provides huge business advantages, but is also a massive target for hackers – as Facebook recently saw with the hacking of 533,000,000 user’s accounts.
Transparent Application Access Without Significant Digital Traces
Blockchain can solve this problem. , in a decentralized system, each user can control their own data, making a single hack of hundreds of millions of people almost impossible to achieve. The inclusion of public key cryptography further enhances data security, allowing people to use applications pseudonymously without leaving a significant digital footprint.
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) reduces third-party access to personal data significantly. It ensures that the application authentication process is transparent and that only the authorized person can access his/her data.
A blockchain-based social network would empower you to control your own identity by letting you control the cryptographic keys that allow access to your data.
The Marriage of Blockchain Adoption and Social Media
Blockchain adoption still faces crucial bottlenecks. The technology has proven itself ideal for protecting sensitive data, but the idea of actually going through the process comes across as daunting. People still don’t fully understand blockchain and seem to get intimidated by a whole lot of technical jargon, complex user interfaces, and reclusive developer communities.
Most of the available access points have a very high barrier for entry. Compared to social media platforms, the blockchain space is riddled with technicalities that ordinary people don’t understand. And the ecosystem has developed somewhat of a negative reputation for fostering scams and rug pulls (as they call it in DeFi terminology).
This has inhibited the blockchain industry’s growth. It has been over 12 years since Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to blockchain first, and despite its seminal potential, DLT still hasn’t found sufficient traction.
However, some platforms are helping ease the process of blockchain adoption by introducing workarounds that make decentralized apps (dApps) user-friendly and widen their access. One such platform is AIKON which simplifies blockchain usage through its proprietary solution called ORE ID.
The team at AIKON has designed ORE ID to enable the constructive integration of blockchain via social media platforms. People can utilize their social logins (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.) for blockchain identity verification.
Even organizations can onboard their clients into the blockchain ecosystem by seamlessly creating their (clients’) decentralized identities with their existing social media logins.
The idea behind it is to reduce the complexities in accessing blockchain applications. AIKON’s ORE ID solution makes logical sense and borrows from the already existing practice of traditional applications enabling access through social logins.
Why is a Smooth User Experience Necessary for this Marriage to Work?
Unlike social media platforms, complex blockchain app user interfaces are the most significant obstacles preventing blockchain technology from experiencing mass adoption. People who are not so technically sound feel left out and don’t feel motivated enough to move forward with using blockchain-based services.
Seamless integration of blockchain and social media platforms (through intuitive user interfaces) can help businesses and corporations effortlessly onboard their clients atop the DLT bandwagon, spurring the technology’s mass adoption. People should be able to use blockchain services just by logging in with their email, phone, or social login. There should be no need to understand all the underlying decentralized technologies’ intricacies.
That is if we want to achieve mass blockchain adoption.