By Chris Tredger
Trapeace Holdings, in partnership with a Korean-based development team and Singapore-based ICO (Initial Coin Offering) marketing firm Cornet PTE LTD, intend to develop and launch a crypto-currency for exclusive use in Africa. The offering is scheduled to be launched towards the end of 2018.
The partners plan to create the Africa Blockchain Foundation which will ultimately develop and launch the Africa Master Coin.
The crypto-currency is based on the use of tokens that are linked to various’ African countries, which, according to Trapeace Holdings, means it is similar to regular currencies – but with numerous benefits for companies, investors and end-users.
The tokens are fixed at a constant value to local currencies.
“South Africa, for example, would have a local token that is fixed to the Rand. If 10 Africa Master tokens equal R1, then this would forever be the benchmark for the currency in this country. The developers will be offering buy back guarantees to retailers that accept the tokens in-store,” according to Trapeace Holdings.
Trapeace said the idea is to create the opportunity of a regular cryptocurrency (the publicly traded Africa Master Coin) with all its benefits and potential risks, but also allow for a stable digital currency solution (the privately traded AMC tokens for each country) which will offer stability as well as complete mobility freedom.
Trade will be either through the publicly-traded coin itself by making direct payments or using the privately-traded tokens.
“In each country we will negotiate and sign local retail partners that will accept the private tokens in exchange for value (i.e store credit, payment for goods/services etc), the tokens that these retail partners receive will then be bought back by the local exchange in that country fulfilling the buy back guarantee on the tokens. Alternatively the retailers can convert the tokens back in the publicly traded coin (Africa Master Coin) and use the coin to pay for restocks or liquidate the coin and then use the fiat currency for payments,” Trapeace added.
George Gordon, Director of Trapeace and board member of African Blockchain Association, said that once launched, the Africa Master Coin will enable more efficient foreign investment from overseas as well as faster and easier trade within Africa.
“Many African companies operate across borders within the continent and paying suppliers is known to be a cumbersome process. A uniquely African crypto-currency will greatly improve cross-border payments between African countries. Our goal is to make the Africa Master Coin as accessible and usable as possible,” added Gordon.
He said that currently the partners are not concerned about the impact of regulators that remain sceptical of crypto-currencies and continue to warn citizens against using them.
“Currently there is no concern as we aim to potentially work together with regulatory bodies in the different African countries in order to create a regulatory framework for crypto-currencies that is beneficial to the public and government. In addition by offering fixed value private tokens for each country and having partners like retail stores and supermarkets will offer peace of mind to customers knowing that by using the crypto token they are guaranteed value exchange at accepting retail stores and supermarkets; in addition the retail and supermarket partners will be happy to accept the tokens as we will offer a buy back guarantee on the tokens held. The above are just an example however the aim is to expand into having partners into all consumer goods.”
However, Gordon acknowledged that the recent BTC Global Bitcoin scam in South Africa has shed a bad light on crypto-currencies and the industry as a whole.
“Trapeace plans to have full transparency into the exchange that will be established in South Africa as well as exchanges across Africa once expanded into that market, that will manage all trades of Africa Master Coin. In addition all account holders will need to adhere to the FSP regulations set out within each country in terms of us as an exchange background checking any new applicants or account creators. For example in South Africa FICA requirements etc.” he said.
“In addition there will be full transaction histories on each individuals account that way they can track any discrepancies within their account. In terms of security measures we will be offering a multi wallet system meaning that you will have an active wallet as well as a cold wallet which will act as a recovery mechanism should there be any account breach into an individual’s account through their computer or cellphone.”
Developers are also looking to create opportunities for countries with low cash reserves.
“Zimbabwe, for example, has low cash reserves and a crypto currency can help government address these issues. For citizens in Zimbabwe, a crypto currency will also offer them protection against hyperinflation, volatile local currencies and financial uncertainty, as well as news that the president of Zimbabwe announced his support for crypto currencies which is a positive,” says Gordon.
Two of the biggest challenges related to launching an African crypto currency are varying access to technology and creating trust among users, says Trapeace.
“Because Africa Master Coin is a digital currency that happens solely in a digital space, it needs to be accessed via a smart phone or computer. While there’s a challenge related to different African countries having different access to technology, the unique opportunity that has arisen is that Africa has a very high penetration of cell phones. This means that more people will be able to access, buy, and trade in Africa Master Coin,” said Gordon.
Another challenge is public perception of crypto currencies, but successful currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are already paving the way for public uptake of this form of digital transactions.
“People are often still cautious about using digital currency because they’re used to being able to see and touch their money. Africa Master Coin isn’t just for large retailers and investors, it’s also for normal people who want an easier and safer way to make international purchases, travel overseas on holiday or send money to family members,” said Gordon.
Trapeace claims that to date they have had interest from groups, potential partners and key individuals in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique.
“We are still in our developmental phase hence these countries are the focus at the moment, but once there is an established eco system the rest of the African countries will be easier to expand into,” the company explained.