Crypto Fest 2023 took place in Cape Town, celebrating the next evolution of digital assets and locally built solutions.
International headlines may be cheering the fall of some of crypto’s early superstars, but strong attendance at Africa’s premier crypto industry meetup demonstrates that digital solutions can still make a significant and positive difference on the continent.
Crypto Fest 2023 invited Web3 enthusiasts to experience Cryptopia at Cape Town’s exclusive Cabo Beach Club and hundreds answered the call, a testament to the community’s resilience in the face of a harsh reality.
Hannes Wessels, Managing Director of Southern Africa and Francophone at Binance – title sponsor of Crypto Fest 2023 – reiterated the role of blockchain as a tool for innovation during the event’s keynote speech. He also didn’t shy away from breaking news about the company and its former global CEO, Changpeng Zhao.
“I know as much as you do, and that’s what we’ve all read in the news,” Wessels admitted before explaining that he can’t discuss topics about the international business, only the Binance local operations.
Business as usual
It’s business as usual in Africa and, judging by the quality of the solutions presented at the African Web 3.0 Pitchfest, business is booming. The startup pitch competition was organized in partnership with CV VC, NODO and MZANSI WEB3 ICP.HUB SA.
Payroll sufficiently impressed the judges with a user-friendly application designed from the ground up to access global financial services and went home with top honors sponsored by NODO.
The service is designed to make it easy for anyone, everywhere to own global assets and create wealth. With the Payroll app, you can easily access global currencies via fiat-backed stablecoins, earn interest, and increase your savings.
Innovations like this are consistent with Crypto Fest’s mission to create an environment where users from all backgrounds can interact with these life-changing technologies to strengthen economic security.
And nowhere in the world are these solutions more needed than in Africa.
“Bitcoin dominates cryptocurrencies in sub-Saharan Africa because it is seen as a better way to preserve wealth as a store of value,” explained Zakaria Ellaoui, Principal Solutions Architect of Chainalysis, during his analysis session market driven business. Cryptocurrency Adoption Index.
“Nigeria has seen a 9% year-over-year increase in crypto transactions and there is significant demand for stablecoins across the continent as people view them as safer options. There is, however, an appetite for risk. We have seen an increase in altcoins in the region.
The path to regulation
Ellaoui praised South Africa’s efforts to establish crypto regulation and said the country is a leader on the continent in this regard. “It was a great decision to allow crypto companies as we are seeing a migration of fintech startups to South Africa.”
Nonkululeko Musa Ntuli echoed his sentiments during his session which presented the evolution from Web2 to Web3 in an easily accessible way. “Regulators want to control crypto because it will ensure compliance and create stability. This is not necessarily bad for the market.
Although South Africa’s recognition of crypto financial products was a big step in the right direction, there is still work to be done to legitimize this asset class as legal tender.
Gideon Rossouw, Head of Web3 Enablement at Nedbank, said about the panel discussion on the future of Stablecoin regulation. “As banks, we cannot take risks because if we go bankrupt, the economy will definitely be affected. Regulators are looking at the issue from the perspective of applying a level of control proportional to the effect on the market.
Cryptocurrencies do not have widespread legal tender status, but they are considered assets in South Africa and can be presented to a creditor as a valid and legal offer of payment, if you can find a seller who accepts crypto.
The Lightning Network and related payment technologies have successfully bridged the gap in retailer acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Many developments are underway in anticipation of future changes in the regulatory landscape.
Cryptopia lives in Africa
Rossouw also addressed the challenges of creating a single stablecoin for the continent, suggesting that it may be a utopian idea, but practical implementation would quickly become dystopian.
“There are currency blocs that can be seen all over the world, like the euro. Each country has different political and tax processes, making it difficult to establish a single currency in which to trade. Even in Europe it doesn’t work very well.”
In the heart of Cape Town, Crypto Fest 2023 emerged not only as a celebration of digital assets, but also as a testament to Africa’s unwavering commitment to innovation. While global headlines may focus on the challenges facing crypto giants, the thriving turnout at this premier industry gathering paints a different picture: one of resilience and determination within the community African cryptography. Beyond the challenges, the crypto community remains united, ready to turn discussions into reality and usher in a digital utopia that extends far beyond the shores of the Mother City.
Cryptopia’s presence in Africa is not just a momentary affair; it is an emerging force that promises to grow stronger.