Nigeria-based TradeDepot expands to financial services
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE 17.07.2020
Hello there, Welcome to TC Daily! In today's digest: Africa's bitcoin community rallies in defense, Risevest gets into Techstars, and recognition for 50 women in cybersecurity. Please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter if this email was forwarded to you.
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BITCOIN'S DARK NIGHT
Celebrities whose Twitter accounts were hacked on Wednesday evening suffered no reputational damage. Elon Musk is fine, as is Barack Obama. Twitter promises to fix internal vulnerabilities that permitted the intrusion. But because the scam was orchestrated by impostors who apparently promised Bitcoin to unsuspecting members of the public, the cryptocurrency industry is in the negative spotlight again. Dark stories of Bitcoin being used nefariously are retold. Again, the question arises: is there any justification for trusting that this decentralized currency will ever significantly advance human society? Naturally, the industry's leaders are pushing back: "Bitcoin itself is not a scam. We really need to be careful about our language." That's Damilola Odufuwa, the head of public relations for Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Timi Ajiboye, founder and CEO of Nigeria-based BuyCoins, doesn't see why it makes sense to blame all Bitcoin holders for the scam since the US Dollar is never to blame when advance-fee fraudsters fleece government agencies and football clubs. The fact is that Bitcoin is having something of a good year in Africa. More companies like BuyCoins are pushing features to normalize its use. In a sense, a night of reputational heat may have helped promote Bitcoin's value on the continent. "The perpetrators chose Bitcoin specifically because it is valuable and liquid," Wiza Jalakasi, a Nairobi-based fintech specialist, tells me. He thinks this could actually be a moment for Africans to reflect: why do we continue to be tied to the dollar which the US Federal Reserve pumps out at will, at huge costs to our purchasing power? (For context, the Nigerian naira traded at 470 to 1 dollar on the parallel market yesterday). Yes, this scam furthers a stereotype. But the crypto community can lead by sharing information and explaining technical details to users in simple forms, Jalakasi says. Maybe that's the way to finally win monetary authorities and regulators over, and provide an alternative to fiat money.
LOGISTICS MEETS FINTECH

TradeDepot, a Nigerian B2B ecommerce startup, is expanding its scope to include financial services. The company handles distribution for FMCG companies such as Nestle, Nasco, Chi, PZ Cussons, Unilever, Kelloggs, and PZ Cussons. In its four years of operations, TradeDepot has made itself a reliable supply chain and logistics partner for connecting big brands to retailers. Abubakar spoke to the company's founders and provides details on the expansion to financial services.

CYBERSECURITY
Given the events of the week, it's an opportune moment to highlight the top 50 women in cybersecurity in Africa. Collated by the Women in Security & Resilience Alliance (WISECRA), the list acclaims professional women in various levels from CEOs and managing directors, to engineers and consultants. Honorees on the list includes Favour Femi-Oyewole (Group Chief Information Security Officer at Access Bank), Eve Kilel (Cybersecurity Analyst at Safaricom), and Dr Djalila Rahali (Cyberpsychology Researcher). Find the full list here.
COMMUNITY

The African Tech and Creative Group (ATCG) is calling for donations to support African creatives whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic. Enable us help more creatives with either $500 for the Humanitarian award or $2,000 Innovation Support to develop COVID related creative / innovative projects.All donors will be acknowledged publicly on the application portal and can be on the selection panel if they wish.Please see details of criteria and process at https://atcg.community/fund. We hope you can donate to the fund at this link https://atcg.community/donate. All donations gratefully received and no amount is too small. Let us demonstrate the power of African solidarity.

EVENT Digital Africa is holding the 8th edition of its annual conference & exhibition from August 25-27, 2020. The virtual conference will feature industry experts who will discuss what’s next for the technology sector in Africa. Confirmed speakers include Prof. Joe Amadi-Echendu, Professor, Engineering & Technology Management, University of Pretoria; Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Karima Rhanem, Chief Executive Officer, Africa My Home, Morocco, and Dr. Isa Pantami, Hon. Minister of Communications & Digital Economy. Visit www.digitalafrica.com.ng to learn more and register.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
That's all for today,

See you on Monday.
- Alexander

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