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Blockchain Africa Conference 2023: Gearing African businesses to compete in the global marketplace

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The adoption of blockchain technology has gained traction in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana – resulting in more efficient and lower-cost cross-border payments to facilitate African businesses conducting trade abroad1. This shift can be attributed to an increase in global ratification of the technology where approximately 44% of the top 100 public companies2, including tech giant Amazon, Tencent, Nike and MacDonalds. More and more businesses are venturing towards the new technology prompted by the need for increased trust, security, transparency, and traceability of data shared across business networks. Moreover, the most significant appeal of blockchain technology in an African context is that it is both cost-effective and efficient, for which there is a real need and can potentially accelerate the continent’s socio-economic growth. It is thus imperative that the development of Africa’s blockchain advancements be showcased to the rest of the world.

To champion this, Bitcoin Events’ flagship event, the Blockchain Africa Conference, is returning for its 9th annual edition. The continent’s most prominent blockchain event will take place from 16-17 March 2023 at The Galleria in Sandton, South Africa. The event promises to foster valuable in-person and virtual interaction following two years of the conference being held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic protocols. The prestigious event is set to bring together the world’s most innovative ideas, market disruptors, top industry trends, and technologies on which the future marketplace will operate.

The conference will spotlight global trends and disruptors, and how market players can capitalise on the opportunities and best respond to the threats. World-class international and local experts will be unpacking how blockchain technology and crypto assets are transforming business operations globally and on the African continent. 

Bitcoin Events Director Sonya Kuhnel noted: “Much is to be said about blockchain’s impact on Africa’s developing economies, including its inability to recognise tribal lines or national borders. Instead, blockchain provides us with tools to bridge and connect communities, share value and ideas across borders, and empower a new generation of young African voices, as shared during the 2022 conference. The African content holds endless possibilities that can be directed at advancing socio-economic growth through blockchain. This year, we want to reiterate that Africa is ready for business. We plan to continue bringing together top experts to captivate and educate a global audience and put Africa on a global scale.”

Since its inception in 2015, the conference has attracted over 9000 attendees from 160 countries. It has showcased the best in blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation and disruption from across the globe, with a spotlight on the African continent. This year, the focus is on how companies are implementing blockchain-based solutions to their business models, with special attention given to the many innovative real-world use cases of this technology. Companies are no longer asking “why” but discussing “how to” use blockchain technology. The time for asking why this technology should be used is over, and the time to implement this technology in existing systems and build better systems is here.

This year’s exciting line-up of key speakers and experts include the likes of John Kamara – Founder of Adanian Labs and Afyarekod and Chairman of the African Blockchain Centre, Rene Reinsberg, Co-founder of Celo and President of Celo Foundation, Founder of Stake Capital Group, and Curve Core Team Member Julien Bouteloup, the Executive Director of the Interledger Foundation, Briana Marbury and the CEO and Founder of Eight BV, Michaël van de Poppe.  They will share incredible insights, debates, and panel discussions, focusing on use cases of how businesses use blockchain technology and crypto assets.

Commenting on the impact of Blockchain in Africa, John Kamara said: “I believe blockchain is a critical part of the future of the global economy and Africa has to play an important role in this technology. We must become infrastructure owners and not just users; we must also build our own stable tokens and not just keep consuming other values. Web 2.0 is also a critical part of the adoption of blockchain technology. This means we have to converge the ecosystem so we can really mine the value of the technology for us by us the way we want to make it work in our continent.”

Rene Reinsberg also noted: “Blockchain technology has demonstrated real-world impact, empowering communities where the adoption of digital assets is highest. Combined with fast, scalable mobile-first platforms like Celo, industries can benefit from transparent, on-chain infrastructure, providing greater financial access and prosperity for all.” 

Emerging technology has become the crux of most sectors in society. Recently, these sectors have expanded to include finance, logistics, supply chain, healthcare, telecommunications and agriculture. Blockchain technology has enabled farmers to track vital information regarding their products and processes. Subsequently, this data has increased the transparency of supply chains and reduced issues related to illegal and unethical production1. Panel discussions on the 16th will include ‘Opportunities and Challenges of Blockchain in Healthcare’ and ‘The Future of Stablecoins Over the Global Financial Market’. In addition to the panel discussions, guests can look forward to fireside chats, keynote speakers, exhibitions, workshops, an exclusive opening night dinner reserved for VIPs, a cocktail and networking event to be held on the rooftop terrace, and a closing night networking event that will be open to all.

Last year, the conference saw over 1900 attendees, with 60% from Africa, come together to gain insights on how to grow their businesses, capture business leads and make genuine business connections. 

“This platform is an incredible opportunity for companies, startups, governments, and youth to connect and learn from business use cases and to take a step and scale Africa’s socio-economic growth for e-commerce and entrepreneurship while unleashing the continent’s potential to the rest of the globe,” concludes Kuhnel.

For more information about the event, go to: https://bitcoinevents.co.za/ 

Date: 16 – 17 March 2023

Times: 08:00 – 19:00 

Venue: The Galleria, Sandton, Johannesburg 

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About Bitcoin Events

Bitcoin Events was established in 2014 by Sonya Kuhnel and Theo Sauls to address the lack of education and information available to African individuals and organisations on the opportunities and challenges that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies offer. The duo are early adopters of cryptocurrencies and passionate about the exciting future of blockchain technology and its use cases in addressing some of Africa’s biggest challenges, such as financial inclusion, economic development, and the creation of job opportunities.

For more information, go to; Bitcoin Events   

  1. https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/blockchain-can-provide-infrastructure-for-financial-inclusion-in-africa-standard-bank-2022-07-07 
  2. https://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Research/GlobalFindex/PDF/N2Unbanked.pdf

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