Bitcoin has been celebrated as the flagship cryptocurrency and is undoubtedly the most widely used altcoin. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have yet to reach their full potential as a means of carrying out transactions, the tech that powers it, blockchain, is being harnessed to provide alternative solutions across a wide range of industries.
The Success of Bitcoin and What It Means for the Startup Ecosystem
The success of Bitcoin has led to its gradual inclusion in trading markets across the globe, with online trading sites and major mobile trading apps like IG Markets allowing traders to buy and sell contracts for difference (CFDs) to speculate on its price changes. Bitcoins themselves are not purchasable on many trading markets; however, this is set to change, especially since Bitcoin surged to surpass gold in value last year.
Bitcoin can be traded or mined, just like gold – but its total amount is predetermined, unlike the precious metal. 190,040 tonnes of gold have been mined to date, according to the World Gold Council, with 2/3 having been mined after 1950 and roughly 5,000 tonnes of that stored in Fort Knox, but there are only 21 million Bitcoins up for grabs – and its inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, arguably owns 1 million of it. Australian startups have caught up and are using Bitcoin and its underlying tech in a variety of ways in order to forge strong partnerships with emerging African companies.
Australian and African Tech Startups Team Up
Now fintech companies like Australian startup Power Ledger are combining renewable solar energy and blockchain tech to deliver P2P energy trading solutions. They have already expanded their activities in India, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the US and are looking for more opportunities. They have attended ACTAI & Bitfury’s Annual Blockchain Summit in Morocco last year, discussing how blockchain and bitcoin-based tech can help transform the region and the world.
Last year, Tanzanian fintech startup ClickPesa joined forces with Australian fintech and telecom leader Novatti Group to facilitate cross-border transactions for Australian mining companies based in Tanzania. They used an AUD utility token and the blockchain-based Stellar protocol, which provides a model for allowing cryptocurrency-to-fiat-currency transactions. ClickPesa, which aims to serve the East African region, including Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Congo, has started working on a pilot project with the Australian company.
Using Blockchain to Develop Unique Tokens
The Stellar protocol is also embraced by companies such as IoT blockchain company Quantoz and tech giant IBM. African fintech startups like Nigerian SureRemit also use blockchain tech through Stellar to power transactions through their own tokens, inspired by Bitcoin. As the blockchain circle grows, so do cutting-edge tech partnerships. Just a few months ago, Australia-based startup NaturesCoin announced that it was in talks with organisations in West Ghana with the aim of joining forces with NGOs in West Africa to implement its stablecoin economy plan. The startup has developed a new blockchain cryptocurrency linked to real-world assets that promote accountability, sustainability, and ecology for corporates.
These success stories are providing an impetus for a new generation of Australian and African startups looking to work together in the field of blockchain-powered fintech products, as well as fostering a solid economic relationship between the two regions.