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Bitcoin Prosper competes in the Blockchain and fintech hackathon | Johannesburg | 18/10/2018

Blockchain and fintech hackathon | Johannesburg | 18/10/2018

24 hours | 15 pitches | 4 winners

This past weekend marks one of the biggest blockchain and fintech hackathons attended in South Africa to date. Developers, entrepreneurs and designers flocked to BCX’s head office in Centurion on Saturday morning to show what the local talent has to offer. We’d like to congratulate and commend every participant for sticking out a gruelling race against time whilst having to overcome the obstacles of bugs, API integrations and sleep depravation.

I was very impressed with the amount of energy and effort that all the participants put into the solutions that were presented at the end of the Hackathon. We saw a number of commercially viable solutions that we would like to explore with the innovators/entrepreneurs. The teams achieved so much in such a short space of time! — Frank Rizzo, Managing Executive, BCX

What made this particular fintech hackathon unique was the focus on solving problems in Africa by leveraging blockchain technology. Rehive was used by several teams as an application layer on Stellar for issuing assets, hot wallet management, account creation etc. Read more about Rehive’s Stellar Service here.

There was also a focus on education and rapid learning. Participants were awed by Blockchain Academy’s 2-hour deep dive session in which a broad spectrum of knowledge was shared and consumed in a short space of time. Rehive then presented both a fintech and crypto workshop which equipped participants with a platform and toolkit for making development on a complex underlying technology both simple and possible. (Not to mention fun!)

Featured Guests

In order to keep things local and encourage aspiring developers and entrepreneurs, we had Ndabenhle Ngulube and Matthew Smith, co-founders of Pineapple as featured judges to share their story, learnings and knowledge of growing a startup.

Pineapple is a technology company that has created the first decentralised peer-to-peer insurance platform in South Africa.

Mandla Magagula from RMB’s Foundery as well as Jacques Booyens and Keru Naidoo from BCX completed the judge panel, making for a serious pool of knowledge and expertise.

Winners

Of the ±80 participants, 15 teams pitched their products on Sunday morning. The criteria was split between 33% product, 33% tech and 33% pitch — requiring a well rounded delivery of all 3 in a mere 5 minutes. The following teams featured in the top spots.

(1) Usizo | First place | R20k

Usizo meaning help in Zulu is a donations marketplace for connecting patients who are suffering from a range of conditions, with donors wishing to make a difference in the lives of others in a transparent and auditable way.

Team Usizo walks away with first prize.
Usizo’s mobile application

Usizo presented both a web and mobile application. Check out their product here.

(2) Skoloto | Second place | R15k

Skoloto is a P2P lending platform targeting informal markets where it’s super hard obtaining a loan from FSPs without a credit record. Millions of South Africans remain unbanked and as such, P2P lending happens in cash between individuals whose credit score is based on relationship or a word-of-mouth synopsis.

Team Skoloto taking second prize.
Skoloto’s web app

Skoloto presented a mobile application where some of the key features of their solution includes a rating system for users wishing to lend or borrow from individuals outside their existing ecosystem as well as transaction record keeping. Over time, their profile on Skoloto may serve as valid transactional data for an informal but factual credit score for these unbanked individuals to obtain loans.

Third place was shared between two teams, as the competition was simply too rife for the judges to make a call on only one team to take the podium stand.

(3) Sequoia | Third place (1/2) | R5k

Sequoia is financial management application that teaches users to budget and rewards them for reaching their goals. Sequoia embodies Warren Buffet’s quote, “If you can’t buy it cash you probably shouldn’t” by encouraging users to save and not spend and reward them by doing so based on milestones reached.

Team Sequoia claiming 3rd prize.

(3) Sigma | Third place (2/2) | R5k

Sigma built a marketplace for crowd-purchasing goods in bulk. Their model encourages the public to collectively purchase products that are offered by merchants or retailers in bulk volumeThis helps the retailers sell large amounts of product at a price that’s cheaper for the group who collectivelypurchased the stock than if they had to purchase their desired units of that stock individually.

Buy bulk and save .. as a group
Team Sigma claiming 3rd place with Team Sequoia

Two additional teams featured as top teams although they just missed the podium. These are;

(1) Grapevine | USSD service for sending money via a blockchain.

(2) AssetWise | Upload, track and manage assets on a blockchain.

Well done to all teams who participated, the competition was tough but everyone who pitched showed tenacity and perseverance and we are sure that everyone learned a bit more about solving problems in Africa using fintech.

Sponsors

We’d like to thank BCX who sponsored this event as well as the warm up hackathon earlier this year. BCX continue to play an instrumental role in incubating talent and new technology innovation as the largest IT company in South Africa.

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Bitcoin Prospers Top 10 exchanges for South Africans to buy Bitcoins (and other alt currencies) in 2018 

The boom in the cryptocurrency market itself stands for what a great time it is to make an investment in one of the leading as well as the maiden cryptocurrency – Bitcoin – which is said to be digital gold. Also, when it comes to dealing in cryptocurrencies – it involves a lot of risk because of the volatile world it comes from but it is worth taking the risk.

Given the ease of buying and selling of these currencies – a lot of people have indulged in its trading in South Africa. Although, the government has not declared the cryptocurrencies as a legal tender – we should make sure that we trade in these cryptocurrencies on popularly genuine platforms. However, you cannot trust on just any exchange in order to purchase a Bitcoin. Hence, we have a list of the world-reputed bitcoin exchanges which you could make use of without any fear since they are one of the most trusted exchanges to resort to.

  1. CoinMama

Coinmama is one of those bitcoin exchanges which serves not only in the South African region but also in the global marketplace – thus – making the exchange a lot more reliable. However, this bitcoin exchange is one of the priciest ones that prevail in the market for they charge 6% for each purchase so made. However, this also implies that the chance of scam has reduced since only reliable people will be able to make such investments.

  1. Luno

This exchange is marked due to its global presence and also because it barely charges anything for the exchanges. One of the most essential things that need to be mentioned about this particular exchange is that it is focused on the exchange of Bitcoin alone. Thus, it gives you a leverage in learning the basics if that is what you intend on doing.

 

  1. ICE3X

This is a “homegrown” exchange for cryptocurrencies which was launched in the year 2013. The basic focus of the exchange is on Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. The scope of this exchange is limited since it has not gone worldwide yet but it is a safe zone for people looking to buy cryptocurrencies in South Africa.

  1. CoinCorner

This exchange is not only available in South Africa but also has its presence in the UK, Australia and other powerful countries. Thus, allowing an increase in the scope of the trade to take place. Along with this, this particular exchange offers a huge number of payment options making things easier for the consumers.

  1. Bitit

By the means of Bitit, it is possible for consumers to purchase the Bitcoin in person as well due to its offline presence around the world. The exchange platform also allows online purchases of the cryptocurrency by the means of using Credit as well as Debit card. However, the fuss that is involved in the whole process makes it less desirable to be used by the users.

  1. Changelly

This is another exchange which is very well known throughout South Africa, apart from this – the exchange has its roots in the rest of the countries as well. However, the concept of this exchange is that in order for you to buy a Bitcoin you must be in possession of alternate cryptocurrencies so that you can buy a Bitcoin out of that. Thus, this would allow you exposure to other alt coins.

  1. Bittrex

One of the most user friendly tokens that is available in town is none other than Bittrex. Bittrex inculcates a very simple process in order to exchange the cryptocurrencies. The best thing about this exchange is that it trades in a lot of cryptocurrencies and is available throughout the world, thus, making the platform really competitive.

  1. Binance

Binance is an exchange which could be considered as reliable in order to use to purchase Bitcoin. The exchange has a very easy to use design and the menus allow you to navigate between your portfolio with regard to trade. The exchange allows you to trade in 30 markets as well as in 20 different coins. Thus, this is something that you could put to good use in accordance with what you desire.

  1. Kraken

If you are an advanced trader then this is your go-to option because the interface has been developed in such a manner in order to suit those who have had knowledge in this field. The presence of this exchange is throughout the world and that adds to competition edge which one must be thoughtful about while getting into the buying and selling business of Bitcoin.

  1. LIQUI

The exchange involves a 0.25% for its traders, however, the fee is less as compared to other exchanges, thus, increasing its competitiveness. The competition of this exchange can be felt throughout the globe, thus, exposing the South Africans to the highs and lows of the cryptocurrency market. This is yet another highly recommended exchange to make use of in order to buy Bitcoin.

These exchanges can be seen as safe resorts for buying Bitcoin and the chance of con decreases a notch when you use these exchanges. Also, since they have their presence nearly all over the world they would expose you to the desired competition. However, we recommend readers to check the commissions, fee and other terms and conditions before finalizing the platform.