Australian and African Tech startups forge Blockchain-Powered partnerships
Bitcoin can be considered as the “premiere” coin in the cryptocurrency world. The fact that it is the most popular coin makes it the de facto benchmark when talking about blockchain based digital currency. Although bitcoin and other altcoins still appear to have a long way to go before they can genuinely establish themselves as the mainstream mode of transaction. However, the technology behind them, blockchain, is proving useful in providing various alternative solutions across many types of industrial sectors.
How the Success of Bitcoin is driving the Startup Ecosystem.
Bitcoin is opening up a new pathway in the world of technology. Bitcoin’s success has resulted in its steady inclusion in trading markets around the world. Online trading sites and mobile trading apps now allow traders to trade in contracts for difference (CFDs) while speculating on its price changes. Although Bitcoins can’t yet be bought on many trading markets, this is likely to change very soon as the price of Bitcoin has surged pass gold in the past year.
Australian Startups are not left out of this Bitcoin revolution as they are now utilizing Bitcoin and its underlying technology in various ways to partner with upcoming African companies.
The Australian-African Tech Startup Linkup
We are getting to see more interest, deals and partnership in the Africa fintech ecosystem, especially from the Australian fintech companies. This could be due to the fact that both regions have seen a booming growth in their fintech ecosystem. Australia and Africa experienced a 396% and 376% (year-over-year) growth in vc-backing funding for fintech startups respectively in the past year. This is huge when compared to North America and Europe that experienced 43% and 24% respectively.
In addition, the financial regulations in Africa which were formerly a significant deterrent for firms aspiring to enter the African market, are improving. The Australian government has also made a marked effort to improve on its strategic partnership with Africa. This was most notable when the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade created Australia-Africa Relations (AGAAR) in 2015. The Advisory Group’s aim, according AGAAR’s strategy is to capitalise on “Africa’s influence… [and] increasing regional and world-wide impact”.
Many Australian Fintech companies are following AGAAR’s lead into the continent. Several are using blockchain technology to partner with their African counterparts. For example, Fintech Company like Power Ledger is combining blockchain technology and renewable solar energy to deliver P2P energy solutions. They already boast of presence in Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America and are seeking to expand further. They were present at both the Athletes, Conservationists, Technologists, Artists and Innovators (ACTAI) and Bitfury’s Annual Blockchain Summit in Morocco which took place last year. At the latter event, they spoke of how blockchain and bitcoin-based technology can contribute to the transformation of the African region and the world.
Another example is the collaboration between ClickPesa, a Tanzanian fintech startup, and Novatti Group, a fintech and Telecom Company based in Australia. They facilitate cross-border transactions for Australian mining companies operating in Tanzania using an Australian Dollar utility token and the blockchain-based Stellar protocol that enables the transactions of crypto-to-fiat currency. ClickPesa, which is targeting East Africa, primarily Congo, Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi, carried out a trial transaction in conjunction with Novatti to test the AUD utility token as a form of new payment protocols. It will help facilitate a faster, cheaper and more transparent business transactions between companies as well as the government .
Utilizing The Blockchain Technology for Developing Unique Tokens
As mentioned earlier, the Stellar protocol used by ClickPesa and Novatti group is also used by other industries. Companies such as IBM and Quantoz, an IoT blockchain, company have also embraced the Stellar protocol. Startups such as SureRemit, a Nigeria Fintech company, make use of Stellar based blockchain technology to carry out various types of transactions such as mobile top-up, paying a utility bill, donating to a cause, etc. as well using the company tokens, which is inspired by Bitcoin.
That is not all! The growing strength of blockchain technology is creating new and exciting partnerships in the fintech sector. Recently, NaturesCoin, which is an Australia based Startup Company, announced they are meeting with organizations in Ghana. The company stated its intention to partner with NGOs in Western Africa to establish its stablecoin economy plan. The company created a crypto coin connected to assets, which promote ecology, accountability, and sustainability for corporations.
All these successful partnerships are creating momentum for a new set of Africans and Australian fintech companies aiming to collaborate on blockchain based fintech products and services and promoting a stable economic relationship between the two regions.
As blockchain and bitcoin-based technology expand, so will the technology partnership among fintech companies. Many success stories are now prompting new set African and Australian fintech to explore partnership in blockchain-powered fintech products and services.