There was a time when we all used to hear that “the world is becoming a global village”. Well, this is no longer the case as the world has long since become a global village and that is the very premise upon which this paper is written. The world has even become even smaller that we thought.
From the humble beginnings of the internet being merely a quick means of communication it has transcended its horizons to become a platform where almost every vital information (ranging from home addresses to credit card numbers) is written and even in most cases stored. Large businesses and corporate organizations use it for business transactions, youths and even the elderly post almost every detail of their everyday lives via pictures and videos through uploading, files and data are stored on the web and shared and this does not even compare to the vast amount of information that can be downloaded at the simple click of a button. Scary isn’t it?
We are fast approaching the 22nd century and it is amazing the amount of rapid development that we have observed from the 19th century. We have such a vast amount of information available at our disposal that almost everyone has access to any kind of information at the click of a button and I mean any kind.
There are more than a million websites providing and receiving access to vast information from job search websites to online libraries and e-book stores to social media websites only to mention a few. It is also no hidden fact that to register as an online member and enjoy the seeming privileges of any social platform or even business website, personal information will have to be inputted such as names, date of birth and emails. Even when purchasing products online which has become the new way to shop, bank accounts and even credit card details are imputed.
The fulcrum of most of these online activities are that online agreements to ‘terms and conditions’ containing voluminous information as to the rights of incoming users are usually in tiny print and are hardly, if ever read by most of the users. This agreements are simply just agreed to with just a click, granting access to personal information by the social media platform or internet service and with a consensual right to do so. Such imputations are then stated to be protected but then again, How truly safe is safe? How aware are we of the so called ‘security arrangements to ensure that confidentiality been put in place?
Is it not persons or organizations headed by persons that are actually in charge of the information that seems to be kept confidential? What rights do we have as online and active internet users on this web based platforms? *pause to consider*
This is not to say that there no numerous advantages of doing transactions online. It’s a very cheap means of communication and getting information across way faster than if it was done via phone calls or having to go deliver a document or a series of documents personally. There is access to a lot of background information concerning agencies, companies and organizations with whom business transactions are to be done with and this allows for proper knowledge about the other party. There is also no time limitation for accessibility to information and it can be accessed outside a formal working environment.
Indeed we live in a world where there is a need to become aware and take advantage of the internet and its many advantages but just as the biblical saying goes, ‘ Be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves” we need to be aware of some of the harsh realities and potential risks of active internet use so as to be properly guided. The truth is that most information that are stored online are permanent and most times non erasable. It may be deleted but then again, not so easily formatted and can be accessed at any time.
E-mails contain a written record of transactions and this can be made public if not properly encrypted. It is a terrible thing when a website of a company or a personal web page containing vital and secret information is hacked into. This can lead to a valuable loss of data acquired over a period of time which can be used for fraud or other illegal purposes. It has commonly been reported by many face book account holders that their accounts have been hacked into and pornographic and other harmful material has been posted on their pages without consent. Not to even mention the offensive and many at times libelous materials are posted online and can spread all over the world in very few minutes despite the fact that such information might be false. Social networking sites are very popular, with hundreds of millions of users between them.
However there has been growing concern over privacy violations caused by such sites. Some concerns relate to media and communications literacy, with many users unaware of the risks involved in revealing personal information to others. Many users do not exercise restraint about who they allow to see their data, and many users are believed to befriend people that they do not know well. This can have considerable implications given, for example, that on Facebook, the average user has 130 friends on the site.
A study was carried out in the UK and it was seen that of 191 largest international companies, 84% gave employees unlimited use of the internet. More than 8 out of 10 employees looked at entertainment, sports news, organized personal finances and booked holidays in working time. Half of the dozen using the internet at work visited chat rooms. This survey was done in the year 1991. The hidden but obvious question now is how did was this information gotten? Obviously there were monitoring systems able to access and track whatever site the employees were accessing. This is the reality of most internet surfing where records of pages and sites visited and can be retrieved. Shocking isn’t it?
Each computer, mobile phone or other device attached to the Internet has a unique IP address, which provides unique identification for every device and which means in turn that they can be traced. The ability to locate any device creates significant new privacy challenges. Let me shock you more…. Statistics from the ITU, show that between 2005 and 2010 alone, the number of Internet users doubled. In 1995 only 0.4% of the world’s population had access to the Internet, by March 2011 that percentage had erupted to 30.2%.15. This corresponds to more than two billion Internet users, 1.2 billion of whom are in developed countries. The rise in usage of mobile phones has been even more extraordinary. Today there are more than 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide. Access to mobile networks is available to 90% of the world’s population, and some commentators believe that universal availability may be achieved within the next five years.
Currently there are about 5 billion online users of internet facilities. The current facebook Third quarter 2015 summary of active users Daily Active Users were 1.01 billion on average, an increase of 17% year over year. Mobile Daily Active users were 894 million for September 2015, an increase of 27% year over year. And by this time tomorrow it would have increased still. It makes users vulnerable to unilateral changes made by Facebook and also other social networks to their privacy policies and privacy practices. Users are sufficiently locked-in to the social network that even if they fundamentally disagree with social network privacy policies, they are unlikely to leave the network. This substantially increases the leverage of the social network over their users’ privacy.
In developed countries it as recently reported that there are more mobile subscriptions than there are people (113.6 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants), and while the number is much lower in developing countries, it is still very high, with 56.8 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. One can only imagine the rapid growth of ICT now in the year 2015.
Even Internet service Providers (ISP’s) have also been culprits in the way personal information has been exchanged and used. Due to the fact that most ISP’s are state owned and is subject to licensing agreements that mandate them to provide data to public agencies, they become more vulnerable to share and give large amounts of personal data to state authorities for some reasonable amount of consideration such as more and exclusive access to additional internet content. Other forms in which privacy of data has also become a concern is through forms such as cloud computing; where large amounts of personal data are being stored in an online ‘cloud’, personal data is transmitted across the Internet and this most definitely poses a risk to how that data is controlled by that individual. Some of the risks of this is that a “cloud provider may, without notice to a user, move the user’s information from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, from provider to provider, or from machine to machine.”
Another source is the use of search engines, this resource allows persons to navigate through an incredible amount of data and information online so it will not be strange to find out that they would have vast amounts of personal data available due to the nature of their business model.
Similarly, mobile phones which also include smart phones give undeniable access to personal data and can negate the concept of user privacy and this includes unique mobile device (IMEI) and SIM card (IMSI) identifiers, the ability to regularly ascertain the approximate geographic location of mobile device and the ability for third parties to intercept wireless mobile communications as they travel through the air. This is the situation as long as the mobile phone is connected to the internet.
Social media and networking also poses its challenges to privacy as it can be sufficient for personal data to be publicly available only for a short period of time before it is already distributed onto many other sites and online spaces.
With current technological advancements there is no doubt that the Internet, in turn, inevitably reshapes what we understand privacy to be in the modern world. A UNESCO publication series on internet freedom recently stated that and we will all agree that :
“There are significant new developments in biometrics, such as facial recognition, finger scanning and iris-scanning, which are becoming increasingly popular as a method to secure identification. Such biometric devices have a wide variety of uses – they are used to prevent fraud by retailers and restaurant owners, to identify voters in elections, to provide immigration access (rather than use a passport), to maintain attendance records in workplaces or to gain access to high-security areas. While there is a great deal of social utility in these applications there are concerns about the control of such digital data, particularly questions of storage and access. There has been a particular controversy about whole body imaging used at airports following attempts by terrorists to smuggle
bombs on planes inside their clothing. Many travelers dislike the use of technologies which penetrate clothing and produce what is essentially a nude image of an individual which is viewed by others. Many find this to be an invasion of their privacy. Against these privacy concerns must be balanced the safety of passengers of course but in these fast moving circumstances striking the right balance is fraught with difficulties.”
This is the million dollar question, Do individual Internet users have control over their own personal data, including over how it is collected, retained, processed, used and disclosed?
At this point it will be wise to state that the word privacy in its real sense is related to internet and cyber space can be regarded as having a dual aspect – it is concerned with what information or side of our lives we can keep private; and also with the ways in which third parties deal with the information that they hold – whether it is safeguarded, shared, who has access and under what conditions. This however differs in definition to what is known as data protection.
Data protection on the other hand although it is related to the concept of privacy and the internet, it is of more recent origin as a result of the increase in how personal data of individuals was collected by the government. The idea behind data protection is that individuals have the right to control the collection and use of data by which they are identified. This simply means that the gathering and holding of personal information by public or private bodies must be regulated and individuals can as of right choose who holds their information, for what purpose and what kind of information might be held.
One of the exception towards this is police investigations into crime here personal information will definitely be needed and gotten. However, there is a slight distinction, data protection principles are not totally subsumed under the human right to privacy as will be popularly thought, its principles can however be derived from it and this is recognized on an international scale. Data protection rules are also different from privacy, both in their scope and substantive rules. Data protection applies to all personally identifying data, while privacy, although it has never been comprehensively defined, applies only to a narrower scope of information, normally information about which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. This simply means that data protection is limited in relation to processed information while privacy in itself relates to any event or matter an individual expects should be kept private.
Despite the challenges of protection user information due to the transnationality of the internet and some of the issues raised above, many states have enacted data protection laws since the 1980’s even till now but then again it should be noted that legislation and public policy have had significant difficulty in keeping up with rapid growth of technology.
Let us see some international and domestic legislation on these concepts ;
Privacy finds direct and explicit protection under international human rights law. Article 12 of the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) states:
“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”
Within the United Nations, General Assembly Resolution 45/95, Guidelines for the regulation of computerized personal data files, sets out ten key principles on data protection. These are relevant primarily to national legislation but are also binding on intergovernmental organizations, with appropriate modifications. They apply to publicly and privately held computerized files containing data on individuals, and may be extended to cover manual files and/or data on legal persons. Some of the guidelines of this law include; Lawfulness and Fairness which states that the collection of data should be fair and lawful and not contrary to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Accuracy which means that information gotten should by data controllers should be checked regularly to ensure that information gotten are relevant and accurate and should be complete for the purpose for which it was collected. Purpose-Specification meaning that the purpose for which data is collected should be legitimate and brought to the attention of the data subjects, the data should not be used for other, incompatible, purposes, and the data should only be kept for as long as necessary to serve this purpose. Interested-Person Access meaning that data subjects have the right to know when their data is being collected or processed, to access that data in an intelligible form, without undue delay or expense and to make appropriate rectifications or deletions.
Non-Discrimination which states that any exceptions to these principles may not be discriminatory in nature. Security, a guideline which states that appropriate measures should be taken to protect data against both natural and human risks, including unauthorized access, misuse or physical contamination. The Guidelines recognize that there may be a need for exceptions from the first five principles, but only as necessary to protect national security, public order, health and morals, or the rights and freedoms of others.
Here in Nigeria, Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides:
“The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.”
Section 45, however, provides that this shall not invalidate any law that is “reasonably justifiable in a democratic society (a) in the interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or (b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom or other persons.”
However there is little jurisprudence on how these actually applies in practice in relation to this internet law in practice.
Section 12(4) of the Computer Security and Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Bill, 2005 does provide for a very limited form of data protection as follows:
“Any data retained, processed or retrieved by the service provider at the request of any law enforcement agency under this Act or pursuant to any regulation under this section, shall not be utilized except for legitimate purposes. Under this Act, utilization of the data retained, processed
or retrieved shall constitute legitimate purpose only with the consent of individuals to whom the data applies or authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction or other lawful authority.”
There is a need for Nigerian legislation to keep up with the current rate of technological development and just as other countries have established frameworks to ensure that the society is kept abreast of the legal implication of internet and illegal use of it, there is indeed a call for the respective governments to make up to date legislations and Nigeria is not excluded.
We also have the Cyber Crimes Law in 2013. This enactment of this bill is to curb the activities of internet scammers who always give the country a bad name locally and physically, it also ensures protection of critical national information infrastructure and therefore allows for detection, prevention and prosecution of cyber crimes and other related matters. The criticism against this enactment however was the fact that it was observed the CEO of Mobile Software solutions Chris Uwaje that the law is fundamentally flawed by the fact that the foundation for the ICT Legislation Architecture of Nigeria which is the “National Information Technology (IT) Bill” and its enabling acts has not been laid.
This is a very important observation to look into because like the legal saying goes “you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand”. It is my suggestion that a basic foundational frame work and adequate legislation to cover lacunas of the previous laws should enacted be must adequately be taken care of. Some of the recommendations I suggest are:
Firstly, our legal frame work should be well equipped to handle and clearly point out the extent, limits and restrictions towards the use of personal information by both private and public organizations alike. The United Nations, General Assembly Resolution 45/95, Guidelines for the regulation of computerized personal data files should be if not already enacted into our domestic laws, this will go in no small way to define the concept of privacy and its relationship to data protection. Constitutional safeguards to individual privacy must be respected and should be backed up with providing for recourse to civil action for breaches of privacy.
Secondly, states should put in place strong data protection regimes which should also include broad applicability, the right of consent, the right to access and correct, obligations on data controllers and the right of redress.
Thirdly, corporations should commit to developing clear privacy policies and make users of this various social media outlets be aware of their existing privacy policies and notify the users if there will be any change in such policies. Corporate and public initiatives should also do well to ensure the encryption of data information through the use of strong encryption technologies.
Finally in this 21st century the biggest role player in tackling and handling this issue is the media and the educational system. The media should play a role in informing the public about the importance of internet privacy and the various challenges that arise as a result of the development of the internet, such as the sometimes careless approach towards privacy some of which has been pontificated in this paper. Journalism has a vital role to play here as well as they need to be aware and create awareness on how the rate of development of internet technology can affect the public in relation to its privacy concerns.
There is also the need to be updated about current user privacy policies being used by corporations and companies alike many of whom provide internet and social media services. An example of this can be done through developing awareness campaigns, raising resources and making them accessible online and in other places where adults can access them. Nigeria as a country should include Media and Internet literacy as a basic life-skill in the education system, starting from quite an early age to even the university level as part of broader civic education or human development courses so as to be equipped with the requisite technical knowledge.
Parents should not neglect teaching their wards on proper use of the internet and its facilities and the dangers of improper use.
When the government including Domestic and International state actors, the media, corporate bodies and companies including Internet Service Providers and even parents cooperate, there will be a sizeable achievement towards the protection of privacy not only domestically but on a global scale.
Rosemond Phil -Othihiwa (LLB.HONS. BL)
- Ani, L. Cyber crime and national security: the role of the penal and procedural law T.G. George-Maria Tyendezwa , Legislation On Cybercrime In Nigeria: Imperatives And Challenges.
- Facebook, (2012) “ Statistics” published online http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
- Turow, J. Americans and Online Privacy: The System is Broken
- Electronic Privacy Information Center. (2011). Face Recognition. (EPIC). Retrieved December 13, 2011, from https://epic.org/privacy/facerecognition/ http://www.securitymanagement.com/archive/library/Anneberg_privacy1003.pdf
- Toby M, Andrew P, Ben W, Dixie H, Natalia T, UNESCO SERIES ON INTERNET FREEDOM, Cultural Organization, Internet Privacy and Freedom of Expression communication and Information Sector, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
- Privacy International, (2006) “Privacy and Human Rights 2006: An International Survey of Privacy Laws and Developments”http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd=x-34765435&als[theme]=Privacy%20and%20Human%20Rights
- Privacy International. (2006). Privacy International 2006 – Executive Summary. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from https://www.privacyinternational.org/article/phr2006-executive-summary
- Hargittai, E. (2010). Trust online: young adults’ evaluation of web content. International Journal of Communication, 4.
- Google. (2011). Google Transparency Report. Google. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from https://www.google.com/transparencyreport/
- Fitzpatrick, M. “Mobile that allows bosses to snoop on staff developed” BBC News 10/03/2010 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8559683.stm
AI Expo Africa 2021: Demand surges for 4IR tech as 4,600 register for Africa’s largest AI trade event
AI Expo Africa – the continent’s largest annual gathering of buyers and suppliers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) smart technologies – is set to have its biggest edition this year as 4 600 delegates and several international and local sponsors have already registered to attend the trade show and conference which takes place between 7 to 9 September.
AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE will mark the fourth edition of the annual trade event. Dr Nick Bradshaw, AI Media Group CEO and AI Expo Africa founder, pointed out that this year’s event will – like last year’s edition – also be held online to circumvent COVID-19 event restrictions. “Based on the early interest in AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE, we know our community likes the event’s online format and mix of content, vendors and innovators. AI Expo Africa 2020 ONLINE attracted more than 2 400 registered delegates and hosted 80 speakers and 80 exhibitors. This year we are on track to set a new benchmark as the audience grows.”
Head of Show Production Daniel Mpala stated that AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE is on track to host the largest mix of global vendors and cutting-edge startups for its curated audience of business practitioners. “Our event has now grown in the last three editions, starting this year, we will be dedicating Day 1 of the event to showcasing our vendors. AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE will again feature our specialist eZones, labs, poster wall and several country ePavilions from vendors outside the Africa region making for a truly global 4IR technology festival we think our community will really enjoy.”
Early sponsors that have signed up include US-based Future Tech, Czech-based IBA Group, UK-based Elzware, as well as South African firms Aizatron, COGO People Analytics, CompariSure, ecosystem.Ai, WizzPass, and Amathuba AI.
Premier diamond sponsor Future Tech, an Accubis company which specialises in Blockchain, AI, RPA and Digital Transformation, said it is excited to be part of this year’s edition of the expo. “We already have a range of projects underway in the Africa region and are actively looking for startups to invest in with funding partners wanting to co-invest. Africa is seeing a surge in uptake of these 4IR technologies and we see community engagement via this event a key part of our strategy for the the region in 2021,” explained Future Tech co-founder and Blockchain / AI Practice Manager Daniel Sloan.
COGO People Analytics managing partner Elmen Lamprecht commented that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it cannot be “business as usual”. “The world of work has changed irrevocably and People Analytics will play a huge role in the workplace going forward. We are excited to be part of the Africa’s leading AI event and to showcase how we can help organisations adapt to the new world of work by harnessing the capabilities of AI in their HR departments,” added Lamprecht.
ecosystem.AI commented that it had found new ways for businesses to understand and interact with their customers. “Through the use of of machine learning and behavioural predictions, we give businesses the tools to better engage with their customers in real-time. Exploring and understanding the behaviour behind the choices that their customers make,” the company added.
Ulrich Stark, the co-founder and executive director of WizzPass — which supplies highly configurable visitor & contractor management, employee desk booking, office capacity management, employee parcel management and Covid-19 screening services — commented, “As a returning supporter of AI Expo Africa 2021, this event is a great way to reach new business customers and we look forward to meeting the delegates and partners in September for a truly amazing experience.”
Aizatron said it looks forward to demonstrating its latest smart IoT and edge solutions. “We will be showcasing our latest computer vision technology, smart agri-tech, and intelligent safety and security systems. We will also demonstrate how we have coupled AI with RPA technology to create smart self-healing operations, that react quickly to alerts and deal with them quickly and effectively improving SLAs and reducing business outage due to system failures. Large companies attending the expo will also be shown how they can easily access our technology through our secure APIs”.
Amathuba AI Chief Commercial Official Nomsa Nteleko said the firm’s vision is to advance African culture and humanity through the assimilation of Artificial Intelligence technology. ” We hope to achieve this by changing the African narrative through our progressive technology. We believe AI can be a collaborative partner to humans. Our solutions include; Medical, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Auditing, Data Enhancement & Cyber Risk. There has never been a better time to embrace the 4IR technology opportunity and as a returning supporter of AI Expo Africa we look forward to meeting new clients and partners at the show,” she added.
Matt Kloos, CFO at South Africa based CompariSure, stated, “At CompariSure, we aim to connect consumers with premium product providers, while using our proprietary chatbot technology to build the “automated insurance agent” of tomorrow. We see AI Expo Africa as a great way to reach new business customers and showcase our conversational technology to new users who are perhaps considering this kind of technology for the first time. We are really happy to be joining over 4 000+ delegates who are keen to see what Africa has to offer in this rapidly growing segment of the market”.
IBA South Africa managing director Dimitri Denissiouk said the company is excited to be involved in the high-profile event, and about what it can bring to African businesses in terms of automation and digital transformation. ” Intelligent automation has been the company’s focus since 2013. The IBA Group’s Center of Excellence has implemented 500+ RPA solutions and our developers have been working for years with a variety of RPA platforms, including WorkFusion, UIPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism. Based on this expertise, we built our EasyRPA platform. We look forward to seeing you at AI Expo Africa and invite you to attend our presentation on EasyRPA,” said Denissiouk.
Elzware founder and managing director Phil D Hall said he was excited to have engaged with AI Expo 2021 ONLINE. “We are looking forward to the event where we will be bringing our long experience in conversational AI into the sight of the leading hearts and minds in the African AI ecosystem,” he added.
AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE delegates can expect to hear from 80 thought leaders in AI, Data Science and Robotic Process Automation on the 8th and 9th of September. In addition, delegates will this year be treated to unique online experiences that will form part of the social programme on Day 2 and Day 3 of the expo. Like last year, the 2021 edition will also include a 30-day OnDemand Show archive which will be accessible from the 10th of September.
Bradshaw concluded, “We are going to market with a tried and tested format that will negate all the problems the world is experiencing because of the pandemic, while at the same time broadens the buyer audience and makes the event more accessible and diverse as our reach is essentially global and the tickets are free. We again hope to deliver on our promise of curating the best business trade event go its kind on the continent and look forward to showcasing the best of Africa 4IR innovation.”
Those interested in attending AI Expo Africa 2021 can register to claim free tickets here.
Swvl ex-founder launches Telda, Egypt’s First of its kind Money App
Telda ATM Card (Source: Ahmed Sabbah)
Swvl co-founder and former CTO; Ahmed Sabbah and Youssef Sholqamy; former Uber engineer alongside a Silicon Valley team from Facebook, Uber, Amazon and Noon are building this next generation payment app “Telda” known as “The Money App”.
Telda is the easiest and fastest way to send, spend and save money. It’s the first digital banking experience app in Egypt moving it one giant step closer to achieving the vision of digital transformation in the economy offering various features to ease the daily payment pains.
The Fintech company is officially launching in Egypt providing locals with a digital banking experience platform enabling customers to create a free account by only using their phone numbers and national IDs. By signing-up; they receive a free Mastercard to their door steps with zero hassle. They can use it everywhere for online payments, in-store purchases and cash withdrawals from any ATM worldwide.
Through Telda, sending money to family and friends is as easy as sending a whatsapp message. By syncing their contact list; users will be able to send & request money instantly. They will also be able to control their spending with the most iconic money management features helping them to stay on top of their finances with simplicity and ease.
The new social money app gives its users all the insights about their spending habits to better manage their expenses. The app displays all users’ transactions and divides them into smart sub-categories making saving easier than ever. Telda tackles all the daily payment pains; from splitting cheques, trips, birthday gift shares to paying bills, topping up phone credits and using the telda card for all online and in-store payments.
As Egypt is approaching a digital transformation in the economy focusing on the adoption of technology and the need for tech-savvy solutions, Telda is aiming to make life easier and quicker for consumers to open an account, make instant payments and real-time transfers from the comfort of their homes.
Download App from App Store and Google Play or click to visit their website Telda app
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to be launched on Vertex P2P Market
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) will be launched on Vertex, the first and only p2p platform to implement the fastest growing blockchain.
“The most important thing for users to note is that BTCB and USDT issued on Binance Smart Chain will be available for exchange on the Vertex peer-to-peer market. An added advantage for traders on our platform is that they can boost profits due to the lower fees.” – Alessandro Pecorelli, CTO of Vertex.
BTCB, a BEP2 token pegged to Bitcoin. Pegged tokens such as BTCB, are 100% backed by the native coin in reserve, which is Bitcoin (BTC) in BTCB’s case. Tether (USDT) is a stablecoin intended to make digital currencies a viable form of payment as it is pegged in values equivalent to traditional currencies like the US dollar.
What is Binance Smart Chain?
Binance Smart Chain, also called BSC is a blockchain issued by Binance. It is not to be confused with Binance Chain, which is a different blockchain! Even though it is issued by Binance, BSC runs independently from Binance. BSC has been launched late 2020 and has since then at times conducted more transactions than Ethereum and was the reason for the price jump of the BNB coin as BNB is required to pay for gas and demand soared. BSC is 100% compatible with Ethereum, meaning the same smart contracts work on both blockchains and most wallets start to support both blockchains.
What are the benefits for users?
Some of the benefits of Binance Smart Chain include:
- Participating in a growing digital asset ecosystem powered by Binance DEX, the leading decentralized exchange
- Cheap transaction fees that reach as low as 1 cent
- High performance with a network capable of producing a block every 3 seconds
- Cross-chain DeFi mechanisms that increase DeFi interoperability
- A supportive Binance ecosystem that funds and bootstraps many DeFi projects
- A growing ecosystem of millions of users across Binance.com and Binance DEX
- A network of major crypto projects already collaborating with BSC
Why is Vertex launching Binance Smart Chain on Vertex?
To put it simply, BSC is fast and cheap. Much faster and cheaper than Ethereum at time of writing. This is not limited to BNB (Binance Coin) transactions only as almost every major coin is issued by Binance on the BSC as a wrapped coin as well. This means, you can easily transfer Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT or any other major crypto from and to Vertex almost instantly for less than $1.
What is a Wrapped coin (token)?
Wrapped coins are tokens issued on a certain Blockchain, that represent a token on another Blockchain. Binance for example has issued over 21,000 Bitcoins (BTC) on the Binance Smart Chain called BTCB. To not create money out of thin air, those 21,000 Bitcoins are owned on the “real” bitcoin blockchain by Binance and held in custody. Meaning, every BTCB is backed 100% by a real BTC. It is the same concept as for stable coins such as USDT and USDC but in case of Binance they transparently show the Bitcoins they hold in custody on their website for everyone to see. Wrapped coins also exist on Ethereum (wrapped Bitcoin) but those are rather useless by now, as Ethereum is more expensive than Bitcoin to send around (Thank you, Uniswap).
Difference BTC and BTCB Explained
There is none, at least not for Vertex and Binance. If you buy or sell Bitcoin on Vertex, it is Bitcoin! You can deposit 1 BTC and withdraw 1 BTCB without any conversion. You will not see BTCB as a new coin on Vertex but when withdrawing, you can chose between a Bitcoin blockchain transaction or a Binance smart chain transaction, giving you the option to decide.
How can you profit as a crypto trader?
With the high network fees out of the way, Vertex Market has solved a big problem and removes a huge burden from you, the traders, by offering a cheap alternative that improves the profitability of your business operations and trading activities. If you want to know more about how BSC will make things a lot easier and cheaper for you, join the official Vertex Telegram group.
You can trade a range of cryptos on Vertex including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, USDT, Bitcoin Cash, and USDC.