The past nine months have been epic! It has seen the creation and expansion of the Beam sub-community in Africa through an organic and gradual process, the ideal Beam growth model. We have grown from having just one ambassador in Port Harcourt Nigeria to a network consisting of 6 ambassadors across cities in Africa.
Operating as a small innovative startup team. Steadily churning out and implementing ideas on the best ways to promote Beam on various mediums in the continent. The goal is simple, get the community educated on financial privacy and blockchain tech, and to get the Beam mobile and desktop wallet on as many African owned devices as possible.
So far, we have achieved this by an array of different activities, such as hosting meet-ups, attending and speaking at meet-ups organized by other projects (3rd party events). Creating educational content to promote cryptocurrency and Beam adoption, building a community around Beam in Africa. We were doing fine, then Covid-19 pandemic shook the world to its core, but we didn’t let it stop us.
We joined the rest of the world and moved all our activities online. We had more AMAs, virtual competitions to engage the community, and more fun stuff to stay upbeat in these trying times. These online activities have seen the Beam Africa community grow stronger with each passing day, and the Beam African team has created arguably one of the most active crypto communities in Africa.
Beam, which launched in January 2019 as a privacy cryptocurrency, is an implementation of the elegant Mimblewimble protocol. Since the Hard Fork, the network has upgraded to include features such as Confidential Assets, and Lelantus-MW, that see the project leading the charge towards a confidential DeFi ecosystem. Certainly, Beam is a fascinating project, one that has privacy by default, and now offers Confidential Assets that allow independent tokens to be issued on the Beam blockchain. These tokens will by default benefit from Beam’s inherent confidentiality, and scalability.
The ultimate goal for the Beam Africa team is for the mass adoption of Beam across the continent. It’s up to the team to figure out the best way of achieving this. Which could take the form of setting smaller targets like partnering to host a 3rd-party event with a huge mass appeal, or organizing a hackathon in a university with an active crypto community participation.
In achieving our goals and objectives, sometimes certain opportunities present themselves, and it is important to be decisive and seize them will they exist. A good example is the recent trends of crypto projects jumping on TikTok in an effort to promote their brands. And we thought this will be a great opportunity to promote Beam to over 500 Millions users on the video-sharing social networking platform. We launched the #BeamTikTokChallenge to our community, and we received several entries within the duration of the challenge.
We regard the BeamTikTokChallenge to be a wild success, as Beam got great visibility on TikTok, and a great number of new users joined our community.
We are change benders and adopters, as we are accustomed to iterating, adjusting, and modifying our plans and strategies while promoting Beam. But the overarching goal always remains “Getting the Beam mobile and desktop wallet on as many African owned devices as possible”. Being big fans of organic growth, our activities on platforms like Telegram, Twitter, Uptrend, Substack, and Medium, all grew from the very first follow till where we are now.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic meant we could not attend offline events, at least for the foreseeable future. We had to restructure our activities to be content-centric since the global lockdown saw more people at home spending more time on their devices.
So, the Beam Africa team saw this as an opportunity and we focused our efforts on creating more engaging content like articles, videos, graphics and more online interaction. Beam Africa made an entry into Uptrennd (a blockchain-based blogging platform) where we have a community of over 2.3k subscribers, thanks to the pandemic.
Beam Africa was not the first Beam sub-community, but we were lucky enough to have found the spectacular array of ambassadors that have made Beam Africa one of the most active Telegram communities, not only within the Beam community but also among several crypto communities across Africa.
Every week, various content is released by the Beam Africa community. We’ve held AMA’s, both offline and online meetups, and created engaging videos of various formats with different kinds of relevant content for the pleasure of the community.
In the past few months, we launched the Beam Africa Monthly update on Substack, which is a monthly newsletter that highlights all the activities within the Beam Africa community. With this, community members can have a recap of all the activities that the Beam Africa team conducted during each month.
After the community decided to launch the Beam Africa sub-community, it was evident that there’ll be the need for talented young ambassadors to join the ranks in promoting Beam across the continent. This was a crucial task we needed to get right for the ultimate success of the project. The major requisite was that the ideal ambassador should possess the adequate soft skills needed to thrive in the tech space, and more importantly, passionate about cryptocurrencies.
Join the Beam Africa Ambassador Program here
So, myself and Angus Sullivan (Beam’s Community Lead) went about scheduling interview sessions with prospective candidates. Today, we’re proud of the team we’ve been able to assemble. Meet the team, and find out what they do to promote Beam, cryptocurrency, and privacy across Africa.
Agbona Igwemoh, Team Lead: Being one of the first ambassadors to join the Beam Ambassador Program, Agbona is an incredible privacy advocate and understands why it is important to our very being. A serial entrepreneur, Agbona helps in coordinating activities across the various regions in Africa where Beam has ambassadors. He is always on the lookout for collaborative opportunities and partnerships. He wears many hats, creating contents (like the periodic Why Privacy Matters), recruiting new ambassadors, managing the team’s performance, and ensuring the team stays motivated at all times.
Olusegun Adeniran, Tech Lead: With a solid background in tech and software development, Adeniran tries to understand all of Beams great tech features to educate Africans while creating content around these awesome features. He is responsible for creating an African inspired Confidential Asset on the Beam testnet called Eco, he’s leading Beam Africa Tech, where he tries to synergize with young Africans on how to share knowledge and implement Beam’s awesome technologies.
Wisdom Augustine, Ph & Content Lead: Also-known-As Groot is responsible for some of the most captivating content to have come out of Beam Africa. He is a brilliant writer and a budding UI/UX designer, who is responsible for most of the artworks and banners to have come out from Beam Africa.
Success Maduka, Lagos Ambassador: Scarlet who leads her PR firm known as Scarlet Media where she manages the needs of her clients. Susu Spending, as she is popularly known in the Beam Africa community, is the life of the party. She leads most of the interaction in the community, and she is responsible for some of the most successful community-driven initiatives. She is also a terrific content developer, she creates amazing video tutorials on how to better utilize the Beam mobile app, as well as making cool banners.
Obinna Nwakwor, Kenya Lead: Obinna simply gets things done. He is a business developer at heart responsible for many strides we’ve made in Kenya. He has hosted several meet-ups in his community, as well as being part of several 3rd party events where he has promoted Beam successfully. We can’t wait to see Obinna in action again once the pandemic subsides in Kenya.
Beam in Ghana
The Beam Africa team has set its sights on the budding crypto space of Ghana, with the hope of expanding our ambassador network within the region. We’ll be collaborating with a leading crypto influencer and educator Elisha Owusu Akyaw, popularly known as Gh Crypto Guy for an AMA session in the BlockxAfrica. Elisha is a key figure within the Ghana crypto space, and we’ll be working hand-in-hand in the best ways of promoting Beam in Ghana.
Are you a young, driven Ghanian who is passionate about cryptocurrency and ready to drive its adoption in your community? Then apply to be part of the Beam Africa Ambassador Program
It will be difficult to successfully put into writing all our challenges and successes while promoting Beam in Africa. As it is a journey that comes with a lot of highs and lows, but one thing is for sure, team Beam Africa is here to stay. As we are working towards a decentralized Africa, one governed by us, the people. This can be only be achieved if we all work together.
For more information about Beam, do check out the links below:
Download the sleek wallet here
Join the African community on Telegram
Attend the BlockXAfrica AMA with BEAM on July 31st by joining BlockXAfrica on Telegram.
The BlockNewsAfrica Community series highlights the work and efforts of cryptocurrency project and product communities on the continent.
Top 10 Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) Providers
BaaS or Blockchain-as-a-Service is a paid blockchain-based cloud service that blockchain companies provide to customers. BaaS provides customers with the ability to build, host, and use their own blockchain apps, smart contracts, and any other digital services on a distributed network.
It is important to clarify that the BaaS concept is derived from the concept of SaaS (Software as a service) and works similarly to it.
How does BaaS work?
According to the BaaS concept, blockchain companies install, manage, and maintain, blockchain-based cloud platforms in addition to providing the tools necessary to build blockchain applications to customers in return for a fee.
The future of the BaaS industry
Currently, the global revenue from blockchain services is estimated at $ 2.5 billion and by 2025 this number is expected to rise to $ 19.9 billion.
Overall, the business value of blockchain solutions will increase to more than $ 360 billion by 2026, with estimates of this number reaching $ 3 trillion by 2030.
The previous figures clearly show the future of the industry as well as explain the huge and successive investments in the blockchain business in general.
Advantages of using the BaaS model
The BaaS model provides its users with many advantages, most notably high data security, efficiency, scalability, unlimited customization potential, as well as it is compatible with current cloud services.
In addition to the above, the adoption of the BaaS model reduces administrative burdens and provides better management and recruitment of resources.
Moreover, the BaaS model is easy to use and affordable, given the value it offers.
BaaS vs owning a blockchain-based cloud platform
The BaaS model is a better solution for business than having a blockchain-based cloud platform in all aspects. Owning a blockchain-based cloud platform is hugely costly due to start-up costs (infrastructure, personnel, software, licensing, hardware, consulting, and more), retirement costs (decommissioning of server racks), and operational costs (monitoring, cost per transactions, bandwidth expenses).
In addition to the above, owning a blockchain model means fully assuming administrative responsibilities.
While in the BaaS model, the cost is significantly lower because you only pay for the service you get. The service price in the BaaS model is subject to several factors, including the transaction rate, the maximum number of concurrent transactions, the payload size on transactions, and so on.
Also, in the BaaS model, all administrative burdens are borne by the provider.
How to choose the right BaaS provider?
There are a number of points to consider when selecting a BaaS provider. For instance, the provider’s experience and reputation, the security of the platform, the technical support as well as the ease of use and pricing.
In addition, it must be ensured that the platform integrates with the existing operating systems and software.
It should also ensure that the platform supports smart contract integration and deployment, identity access management (IAM) system, different runtimes, and frameworks.
Top 10 Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) Providers
Blockwell is one of the world’s leading providers of blockchain solutions to governments, enterprises, and end-consumers. Founded in 2018 by experts who have contributed for 20 years in developing emerging technologies for some of the largest companies in the world.
Blockwell aims to assist organizations in adopting blockchain solutions by providing consulting and a cloud blockchain platform in addition to a distinct and diverse set of tools and programs.
Blockwell aims to help everyone generate profits by allowing them to build and expand blockchain tools, services, and products.
Currently, content creators rely on existing toolkits developed by Blockwell, set their own commission structures, and earn percentages as they sell and promote their tools around the world.
During the past two years, Blockwell has developed blockchain solutions for cryptocurrency businesses around the world.
In addition, Blockwell has vetted dozens of token contracts for some of the most popular exchanges in the world, prevented and stopped hacks saving individuals millions of dollars, built successful token-swaps tools, and analytics tools.
Blockwell’s previous work includes the names of many well-known businesses such as JPMorgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Disney, GoPro, Paramount, Mattel, Universal, Lucas Arts, Suzuki, Epson, Time Warner Cable, Guitar Center, Beachbody, Marriott, Jaiyen Eco-Resort and more.
Blockwell has an impressive list of tools and applications. Notable among them are Blockwell Wallet, Pride Token, Fire Tokens, EgoCoins, iBlockwell, Blockwell Book, Sheets-n-Blocks – Blockchain, Contract Tool, VoteBlock, API Miner, Smart License Creator, Blockwell Prime, Listener, Token Swapper, Blockwell Daico, Blockwell Telescope, Blockwell Spyglass, Blockwell Velvet, Blockwell KYC Form Builder, Non-Fungible Token Creator, BW, and Dumbapps.
In addition to apps and tools, Blockwell has launched a store for DApps named “Well Spring” that has 16 working apps so far.
Blockwell backed tokens are valued at over $ 80M.
Regarding the future, Blockwell is seeking to expand by investing $ 10M. The company plans to obtain it by selling 100MM tokens to investors.
Amazon introduced its BAAS service called “Amazon Managed Blockchain” in 2018 through its cloud arm, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon Managed Blockchain is a managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using open source frameworks including Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.
Moreover, Amazon allows customers who want to manage their own network to go ahead, but it is an option that needs experience in dealing with AWS Blockchain Templates.
Amazon also enables companies to integrate their blockchain-based networks and business processes to improve IT infrastructure, business processes, human resources, financial transactions, and supply chains.
In addition to the above, Amazon provides AWS Key Management Service to secure Hyperledger Fabric’s CA (Certificate Authority) and Amazon QLDB technology to manage augmented ordering service.
The BAAS offer from Amazon is characterized by flexibility in identifying resources to suit companies’ needs.
Amazon customers’ list includes star names like Nestlé, BMW, Accenture, Sony Music Japan, and the Singapore Exchange.
IBM is one of the world’s most important BaaS service providers. Forbes selected it among the top 50 blockchain companies, thanks to its blockchain platform “IBM Blockchain“, which it launched in 2017.
IBM Blockchain is a fully-integrated distributed ledger technology platform that enables businesses to “’develop, govern, and operate a blockchain ecosystem quickly and cost-effectively on a flexible, cloud-based platform by using Kubernetes.
Partnerships have been vital to IBM’s continuous BaaS expansion. it created the Trust Your Supplier platform alongside blockchain firm Chainyard and also pioneered the Contingent Labor platform in conjunction with IT People.
As well as IBM Blockchain has joined The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project to evolve and improve upon earlier forms of blockchain. Instead of having a blockchain that is reliant on the exchange of cryptocurrencies with anonymous users on a public network (e.g. Bitcoin), a blockchain for business provides a licensed network, with known identities, without the need for cryptocurrencies.
IBM Blockchain Platform has been used widely in industries such as food supply, media, advertising, and trade finance.
Microsoft is one of the oldest BaaS service providers as it has been in the market since 2015 when it launched Azure Blockchain Service.
Microsoft aims through its BaaS service to enable users to build public, private, and consortium blockchain environments with industry-grade frameworks and bring their blockchain apps to market.
Microsoft provides three products to customers: Azure Blockchain Service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, and Azure Blockchain Development Kit.
Azure is compatible with other Microsoft products such as Logic Apps and Flow, making it a great choice for organizations looking to harness blockchain such as General Electric and T-Mobile.
Microsoft Azure’s most prominent features are the support of several Blockchain frameworks, including Quorum, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, and Ethereum. Plus, ease of deployment using Azure CLI, Azure Portal, or Visual Studio Code with the Azure Blockchain extension. Azure also supports full monitoring and logging.
The above helped Microsoft to forge important partnerships with prominent entities such as its partnerships with Ripple and BitPay.
Alibaba is one of the leading blockchain solutions providers around the world. The well-known Chinese company introduced its BaaS service in 2018 through its cloud platform.
Alibaba has an active research team and has registered many patents on blockchain during the past period.
Utilizing Quorum, Hyperledger Fabric, and the Ant Blockchain, the platform integrates Alibaba Cloud’s Internet of Things (IoT) and anti-counterfeiting technologies to create blockchain solutions for product traceability.
Alibaba’s BaaS offering provides diverse solutions to meet user needs including encompasses enterprise-level BaaS services, an agile BaaS platform that supports private deployment, and specific blockchain solutions for container services.
Software giant Oracle unveiled its BaaS service in 2017. The service, called “Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service”, aims to provide an enterprise-grade distributed ledger platform that can help businesses to “increase trust and provide agility in transactions across their business networks.”
Oracle enables its service users to provide permissioned blockchain networks for private or consortia models, enroll member organizations, and run smart contracts to update and query the ledger in addition to many other benefits.
Also, Oracle enables its service users to use its other solutions such as Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud, Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud, and other Oracle cloud solutions.
R3 launched its BaaS service called “Corda” to enable companies to transact directly and privately using smart contracts.
Corda is an open-source blockchain platform that works on minimizes blockchain nodes’ deployment time by a few minutes, allowing enterprises to host the Corda network in a few clicks.
Interoperability, security, and privacy are the foundations of the finance-focused Corda.
Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) recently hired Corda service to streamline financial processes and enhance settlements
Corda provides users with the following benefits: Easy cloud-based deployment and quick setup of nodes with Docker, a Built-in blockchain application firewall to provide additional security, as well as R3’s Interoperability feature that allows developers to work with more than one application at the same time.
It is worth noting that R3 has developed solutions for more than 300 clients in addition that it has partnerships with many prestigious institutions such as Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, and more.
SAP launched its BaaS service “Leonardo” in 2017. Through its service, SAP aims to help companies transition into the digital age through the use of distributed ledger technology.
Leonardo is a Hyperledger based service and resides in the SAP Cloud service, meaning it can be accessed from any device.
The platform provides plug-and-play blockchain solutions and allows for the easy setup and hosting of blockchain nodes.
SAP Leonardo functions as a blockchain cloud service, machine learning service, and supports the Internet of Things (IoT) in a single ecosystem.
SAP Leonardo provides its users with several benefits such as cloud deployment, monitoring of blockchain data in real-time, and more.
Well-known Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei launched its BaaS service in 2018. The service, called “BCS“, is based on Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework that allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play.
With its BaaS service, Huawei aims to enable companies to develop smart contracts on top of a blockchain network for several use-case scenarios.
Huawei also works with enterprise customers to promote the deployment of blockchain solutions and applications and to build reliable, public infrastructure, and an ecosystem-based on blockchain and shared success.
According to Huawei, BCS enables enterprises to deploy blockchain technology within five minutes. It concentrates on nine application scenarios, including data assets, Internet of Things (IoT), operation, identity verification, data certification, data transactions, new energy, philanthropic donations, and inclusive finance.
Huawei has many and varied partnerships inside and outside the Chinese market, but the most prominent name remains the famous car manufacturer Honda.
Factom launched its BaaS service in 2017. The service, called “Factom Harmony“, aims to allow enterprises and software vendors to quickly add blockchain capabilities to any application or workflow using simple API calls.
Harmony also aims to enable users to create portable, archivable cryptographic proofs to use as trusted inputs for internal and external audits.
What sets Factom Harmony apart is that it reduces the time and resource requirements to perform audits and meet compliance objectives.
Author: Husayn Hashim
Bio: Husayn Hashim works as an author and programmer. He has been writing about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies for si years. He’s interested in programming, technology, finance, and business. He loves writing and loves to share his knowledge with others.
U.S. crypto exchanges have a plan for the travel rule. Now they just have to get along
- A working group of 25 U.S.-based exchanges released a white paper this week outlining their platform to comply with FATF’s travel rule.
- The group includes some of the most prominent exchanges stateside, suggesting that the plan has legs.
- Now, the group has to develop a governance structure.
Exploring the current state of cryptocurrency taxation in the European Union
- By now, guidelines for taxation of cryptocurrency activities exist in most EU member countries. However, grey areas remain.
- Highly favorable tax treatments in some, and lack of taxation in other EU member countries enables regulatory arbitrage.
Top 10 Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) Providers
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