Africa ❤️ Crypto 💔Africa
Africa fell in love with crypto. Then it all went turtle. Is Metaverse dead? Not now, not that easy. Have universities worldwide missed the Web3 boat? It's developers vs CEO at ParaSpace protocol.
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Africa used to love crypto
Around 53 Million Africans owned crypto in 2022.
Nigeria had 22 Million users, ranking fourth globally.
Blockchain deals in Africa raised a total of $474 million in 2022 - 429% increase from the $90 Million raised in 2021.
Nigeria among the top 20 countries in terms of crypto adoption in 2022.
But now, not so much.
Africa's crypto landscape is a bit different and not so pleasing.
From the hype around non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) to regulatory setbacks and funding woes, Africa has seen it all.
Apparently, "You can't just draw a monkey and sell it for a thousand dollars" anymore.
Blame it on FTX 💔: Many of these setbacks can be traced back to FTX's collapse, which triggered scepticism in the crypto community. It sent shockwaves through the African crypto space, leading to layoffs, closures, and overall uncertainty.
Remember Nestcoin? Well, they had to lay off about 30 of their employees because a whopping $4 million in operational capital was held hostage by none other than FTX.
Luno, a crypto exchange born in South Africa but based in London, had to downsize its team by 35%. Slow revenue growth.
Chipper Cash, the Pan-African fintech company, laid off a third of their workforce.
Paxful, a popular U.S.-registered crypto exchange with a massive Nigerian user base, had to temporarily shut down its marketplace.
LocalBitcoins, a popular exchange operating in Rwanda, shut down - Because Rwanda's National Bank banned financial services providers from engaging in any crypto-related activities until a regulatory framework is in place.
But hope is still not lost
Experts at the Blockchain Africa Conference in Johannesburg have said that bitcoin and stablecoins are the two most likely cryptocurrencies to drive mass adoption in Africa. Marius Reitz, general manager for Africa at crypto exchange Luno, said that bitcoin could become a regional or common currency across the African Union.
Jonathan Ovadia, CEO and co-founder of South African crypto exchange Ovex, said that stablecoins are one of the biggest innovations in the crypto ecosystem. The IMF predicts that Africa's population will double to 2.6 billion by 2050, making it an attractive market for cryptocurrencies.
Regulation on the horizon in Nigeria and Kenya 📜🔍
The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is preparing new regulations for digital asset platforms. The SEC aims to allow licensed exchanges to list tokens backed by assets like equity, debt, or property, excluding cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. It's a step toward clarity in the Nigerian crypto market.
Meanwhile, Kenya is considering a bill that would introduce a 3% tax on cryptocurrency and NFT transfers, along with a 15% tax on monetized online content. The bill is still in the legislative process, undergoing rounds of readings and committees. It remains to be seen how it will shape the Kenyan crypto landscape.
TTD Blockquote 🔊
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO Epic Games.
“The metaverse is dead!”
Sweeney took to Twitter to mock a newly published article from Business Insider titled “RIP Metaverse, we hardly knew ye.”
In April 2022, Epic Games announced a $2 Billion funding round to accelerate company’s plans for the metaverse.
The investment included a $1 Billion investment from Sony Group and KIRKBI, the holding company behind the LEGO Group.
He is optimistic about the metaverse.
Billionaire video game entrepreneur poking fun.
How did we get here?
TTD Numbers 🔢
Of family offices currently hold investments in digital assets. This category includes cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DeFi and blockchain-focused funds.
Goldman Sachs - Eyes on the Horizon Family Office Investment Insights
“Opinions on cryptocurrencies seem to have crystallized: a greater proportion of family offices are now invested in cryptocurrencies, but the proportion that are not invested and not interested in investing in the future has grown more.”
Survey was conducted between January and February 2023 via questionnaires distributed to home offices by email. Overall, 166 home offices participated, 95 of which are based in the Americas, 34 in Europe and the Middle East, and 37 in the Asia Pacific.
Team vs Management
NFT financialization protocol ParaSpace team is unhappy.
What happened? Protocol developers demand that CEO and CTO Yubo Ruan step down over alleged whereabouts of protocol funds. While Ruan has accused the development team of an "illegal takeover."
Here is what we know
On March 18, ParaSpace suffered an exploit that was quickly resolved. Blockchain security firm BlockSec intercepted the hack.
It moved 2,909 ETH from the protocol before malicious actors could obtain the funds and subsequently returned the assets to ParaSpace staff.
Developers allege that Ruan had "exclusive control and management" of a portion of protocol funds returned by BlockSec. And that a portion of the 2,909 ETH believed to be in control by Ruan has not been returned in full. With over 50% unreturned, leaving a hole in the protocol treasury.
Team statement issued on ParaSpace_NFT Twitter.
Ruan denied any wrongdoing, writing: "manufacturing claims with the intent to take over and force me to step down as CEO. This is highly problematic and the legal team has taken action."
Ruan explanation on Twitter.
What a pickle 😞
TTD Adoption 🎺
In 2021, blockchain-related job postings went boom.
We're talking a surge of nearly 400%.
Despite a market downturn in 2022, companies were still hiring like crazy, with a 10.5% increase. But, just 14 universities in the United States offer blockchain and crypto courses.
While some universities have caught on to the Web3 wave and started offering mind-expanding courses, most of them are still living in the Stone Age.
Why should universities jump on the Web3 bandwagon?
Money talks: Web3 initiatives are like a long-term investment jackpot for universities. They open the doors to premium compensation packages for employees, which means they can shower their alma mater with generous donations.
Sure, Web2 and Web3 startup salaries may seem comparable, but here's the secret sauce: equity and upside potential! In the world of Web3, being an early employee can be like discovering a hidden treasure chest.
Partnering with nearby accelerators and incubators can benefit students, universities, and outside entities. These places may not be all about Web3, but by joining forces, you'll create a buzzing environment where students and educators can rub shoulders with like-minded individuals.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi has been sentenced to two years in prison in first ever crypto insider trading case.
Actors Rosario Dawson and Tony Revolori to star in NFT-backed Ghosts of Ruin, a western anime series from Web3 startup Gala Games.
Bitcoin mining company Cipher Mining strikes a deal with Canaan to expand its fleet with 11,000 new A1346 model machines.
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The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @13:00 GMT. Almost always.