Crypto in Africa: Quidax launches crypto literacy program in Nigeria

Quidax, a European-based cryptocurrency exchange, recently launched its operations in Nigeria. Among its new objectives is a plan to educate and increase the level of understanding on blockchains and its technologies in the country.

While speaking at the Abuja Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Roundtable (ABAR), Buchi Okoro, chief executive officer of Quidax, urged investors to take advantage offered by the emergence of cryptocurrency to grow their businesses and Nigeria’s economy. He also explained the importance of understanding this new technology and termed it as the “future currency.”

Okoro stated that the company was created to enable people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies easily with local currencies. He added that the goal of Quidax is to provide liquidity and tools to power cross-border remittances in the emerging markets.

Quidax will partner with the organizers of Abuja Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Roundtable in their quest to enlighten Nigerians on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, according to the CEO. It will also continue to seek and develop new partnerships that will help fulfill their mission.

During the presentation, Quidax’s boss added that there is a need for regulations in the cryptocurrency space in Africa. Okoro further said that the industry had been underutilized because there was a lot of ignorance among the public.

The company mentioned that, to help with their agenda, they have created a platform that is easy and secure. The platform will allow Nigerians to trade six cryptocurrencies, but didn’t specify which six. The company plans to add more than 20 cryptocurrencies in the coming future.

In addition to educating the public, the company also plans to create employment opportunities for the unemployed population in Nigeria.

African exchanges forced to upgrade security systems

Criminal activities targeting crypto exchanges have been on the rise in the last couple of years. This has forced exchanges in the continent to take measures. According to recent reports, crypto exchanges have been forced to increase their security measures to avoid losing customer money to scammers and hackers.

Records show that the region has lost millions of dollars to criminals in the cryptocurrency space. The most notable crypto crime in Africa happened in March 2018. The incident involved a fraudster at BTC Global, a supposed cryptocurrency investment firm in South Africa. The scam involved 28,000 unsuspecting South African inventors. It is believed that the criminals made off with about 1 billion rand ($80 million). Investors were lured with promises of huge returns within a short period of time.

The decision to safeguard investors’ money will help reduces fraudulent activities in the continent. This move will help protect the growing cryptocurrency markets and build confidence of those who still have doubts about cryptocurrencies.

While speaking to reporters, Suleiman Murunga, the CEO of Ugandan exchange Coinpesa, said his exchange has faced numerous attempts to breach their system. He explained, however, that unlike most exchanges, Coinpesa’s security system has been able to withstand all these attacks.

Murunga added that to maintain a secure platform they are constantly using tools to track user behavior in order to spot suspicious activities. Coinpesa and other cryptocurrency exchanges have also stopped storing investor funds in hot wallets to reduce hacking attacks.

According to reports, when a breach occurs, exchanges are not always to be blamed. In some cases, breaches occur due to ignorance and negligence on the part of investors. For instance, before Zimbabwean exchange Golix closed down, hackers were able to gain access to 23 customer accounts by taking advantage of vulnerable passwords. No money was stolen in the attack; however, account owners noticed some changes on their account.

Nigeria has also suffered significant cyber attacks. A hacking group from Ukraine allegedly committed one notable attack that led to the loss of $50 million. Local scammers pretending to offer various crypto services have also become a major problem in the country.

Exchanges hope upgrading security features will help solve some of these problems.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Security services company G4S gets into cryptocurrency

G4S may be known for being one of the leading security services providers in the world, protecting everything from nuclear power plants to large-money transfers, but now it wants to protect a different asset class. The UK-based company has launched a new service to protect cryptocurrencies.

In an announcement on the company’s website, G4S indicates that it now offers highly secure cold storage for cryptocurrency private keys. It uses its existing storage facilities to also serve as offline crypto stores, which helps the company keep costs down. Client fees are calculated based on the number of storage devices requested.

Because G4S has such extensive experience protecting important assets, it knows how to ensure optimum security. The crypto keys are received by the company, which then breaks them apart and stores them across the requested number of vaults. Access to the vaults is restricted and the company provides several layers of security. Access to the vaults by clients is only permitted once they combine the keys with specific, proprietary technology offered by G4S.

Dominic MacIver, a senior risk analyst with the company, explained in the announcement, “Offline storage has become a more established and secure way of storing crypto-assets. At the same time, violent robberies and kidnappings in recent years have shown that the sector is still exposed to conventional criminal threats. In collaboration with our client, our security solution is built on a foundation of ‘vault storage’. We not only take the assets offline, but break them up into fragments that are independently without value and store them securely in our high security vaults, out of reach of cyber criminals and armed robbers alike.”

MacIver adds, “The original goal of cryptocurrencies was to redesign the fundamental architecture of money. Although some early adopters have made enormous returns, the sector has attracted the same old threats for financial systems, including robbers, scammers, market manipulators and many others. Our innovative security solution helps protect against some of those threats by taking the assets offline and storing them in high-security vaults. This gives people and businesses peace of mind to trust that their crypto-assets are secure.”

G4S is located in over 90 countries and employs more than 560,000 individuals across all of its locations. The company has been around since 2004 and is the world’s third-largest private employer.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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IBM secures blockchain network security patent

Tech giant IBM has secured a patent for a blockchain-powered network security system, the latest blockchain IP to be tied up by the firm.

The patent describes how blockchain technology can be used to monitor network security breaches within computer systems, one of many specific use cases filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by the IT firm.

According to the preamble to the filing, the system would rely on a distributed network of monitors, recording and writing log data to a blockchain, while providing essential safeguards against hackers who try to cover their tracks.

The patent stated, “The present invention may include configuring monitors in a chain configuration by configuring a network address of a primary monitor to a backup monitor. The present invention may include configuring a sensor to communicate with the monitors. The present invention may include receiving a first set of information from the sensor to a primary and backup monitor and broadcasting the information to a plurality of monitors and logging the information.”

The patent continues to describe how networks can use node consensus to identify irregularities in reconciling data from their network monitors.

“On a computer system or network, data may be monitored for many different purposes. Data monitoring may identify problems, observe conditions or track metrics by logging the events of a given computer system or network,” according to the patent filing. “Having synchronized monitors set up in a blockchain configuration ensures consensus among the monitors. Since one monitor alone cannot alter the event log in the past or cannot fake the event log in the future, if one monitor is hacked, then there may be no consensus among the synchronized monitors and the event may not get written into the log.”

Information detected by the system is passed to multiple monitors, allowing consensus for automatically validating information. In the event of a discrepancy, the system will instantly detect and flag the potential breach.

According to IBM’s filing, this technology would “create a less vulnerable network,” and “may alert the monitor security program of inconsistent data.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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