Ogechi here again, and it’s time for an update on last week’s happenings from the African blockchain scene.
Hold onto your hats because Patricia, the Nigerian exchange, just dove deeper into the drama pool. The escrow trustee, who was meant to swoop in and help distribute 2 billion naira to customers, pulled a surprise exit.
Why? The escrow provider pointed fingers at Patricia for breaking the escrow agreement rules and painting a different picture to the media. Talk about a wild ride! 🎢
Stay up-to-date with the latest blockchain and digital asset developments in Africa
DLM Trust terminates escrow trustee agreement with Patricia, citing breach of terms
Topline: On Tuesday, Oct. 24, DLM Trust Company “announced” its escrow agreement with Patricia to pay 2 billion naira in withheld customer funds.
- About 48 hours later, DLM abruptly backed out of the deal, citing a breach of terms, and denied releasing any statement about the deal. (Details)
Be smart: An escrow trust is a financial arrangement where a third party holds assets for two parties in a transaction until the terms and conditions are met.
What they’re saying: In a press release shared with Mariblock, DLM Trust clarified that the relationship with Patricia was merely an escrow agreement and should not be misconstrued as a partnership.
- The company also denied releasing the now-deleted press statement posted on Nairametrics (Archived here).
- A DLM spokesperson told Mariblock that conversations with Patricia had been entirely through an intermediary—not directly with the crypto exchange.
Key quote: “There is a third party between us, a mediator, whom they [Patricia] had contracted to speak to us because we did not deal directly with them,” the DLM spokesperson said. “The mediator had gotten Patricia’s approval to draft the press release ...the journalist from Nairametrics said the agent from Patricia had called him that the press release was from us.”
Patricia’s angle: The crypto company did not respond to requests for comments.
- However, in a press release on Oct. 26, the crypto company expressed surprise at DLM Trust’s decision to cancel the agreement, denying any breach of the terms and conditions of the contract.
Essential background: Earlier this year, Patricia announced to its customers that it was the victim of a security breach that compromised its bitcoin and naira assets. The company lost $2 million to the incident.
- The DLM saga is the latest of a long list of events that have followed. Follow our coverage here:
Worldcoin starts paying its orb operators in WLD instead of USDC
Topline: Controversial decentralized ID protocol Worldcoin has announced plans to start paying orb operators in its native token, WLD, instead of USDC.
With this move, the project hopes to increase the amount of WLD in circulation. (Details)
Be smart: Worldcoin orb operators are its local representatives who handle education and registration for users in their respective countries.
Key details: Worldcoin began paying its orb operators in WLD in October and plans to transition to exclusive WLD payments in November, phasing out USDC payments.
- Worldcoin said it launched with only 100 million WLD out of the 10 billion total supply, which it gave as loans to market makers. It has given out an additional 34.3 million WLD in user grants to individuals who sign up as part of its social initiative.
- Since its launch in August, WLD, currently priced at $1.6 per token, has fluctuated. At its height in August, it traded well above the $2 mark and $0.97 at its lowest just last month, data from Coinmarketcap suggests.
Zoom out: In August, the controversial project announced a full launch in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda.
- Worldcoin’s eye-scanning cryptocurrency project was scrutinized after thousands of Kenyans rushed to sign up to earn free tokens worth around $50.
- Within a week of its launch, the Kenyan Ministry of Interior and National Administration ordered a suspension of all Worldcoin activities in Kenya while the government investigated the matter.
- At Worldcoin’s suspension, more than 350,000 Kenyans had signed up and registered on the orbs. This suggests the company had given out more than 8.7 million WLD in Nairobi alone.
Botswana’s president advocates blockchain for transparent diamond production
Topline: Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi supports using blockchain technology in the diamond production sector. He believes it can enhance transparency and traceability in the diamond supply chain. (Details)
The details: Masisi, speaking at the Facets conference in Botswana, said blockchain could help show that diamonds sold have been sourced ethically.
- He said blockchain’s decentralized nature can help convince consumers that the diamonds they purchase come from morally correct sources.
- Ethical diamond mining is a concern because, for years, the diamond mining industry has faced allegations of human rights violations, exploitation and environmental harm.
- Buyers have been increasingly concerned about the circumstances surrounding the diamonds they purchase and whether human rights are respected when mined. Diamonds that do not meet these ethical concerns are called “blood diamonds.”
Zoom in: Botswana is the world’s second-largest producer of uncut diamonds, only recently overtaken by Russia. Diamonds produced in Botswana are regarded as ethically sourced.
- The global diamond mining corporation De Beers, holds a majority stake in Botswana’s diamond stockpile and renewed its partnership with the country in July.
- De Beers uses a blockchain solution, Tracr, to monitor and record diamonds’ origin and quality through the value chain.
Mariblock Insights: Fixing chargebacks in Nigeria with blockchain-powered payments
Topline: Technology has modernized financial transactions and revolutionized payment methods, simplifying and enhancing convenience for consumers. However, this progress has also facilitated fraudulent activities, including damaging chargeback frauds, affecting both online and local vendors.
- In our inaugural report, we explore this pressing concern in depth. We dissect the intricacies of chargebacks in Nigeria and shed light on blockchain technology’s transformative potential.
- This report was commissioned by the Nigerian blockchain company Zone Network. However, the work was independently researched and produced by Mariblock Insights.
- Click here to download the report.
🌍 Blockchain gaming sees $2.3 billion in investment. (Mariblock)
🇳🇬 Nigeria is expecting $10 billion forex liquidity ‘within weeks,’ finance minister says. (Mariblock)
🇸🇳 IMF reaches staff-level agreement to disburse over $200 million to Senegal. (Mariblock)
🇰🇪 Kenyan shilling slumps to a record low of 150 to the dollar (Mariblock)
🌍 Renowned Venture Capitalist Lexi Novitske says African crypto startups may not need VC funding to grow. (Techpoint)
🇳🇬 Nigerian Bank Reportedly Freezes Accounts Belonging to 500 USDT Traders (Bitcoin.com News)
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