Real-World Crypto Payments Coming to South Africa, DoshEX and PundiX Team Up

A South African crypto exchange has partnered with an international blockchain-based payment processing firm. The merger between DoshEx and PundiX will allow early cryptocurrency adopters to spend their holdings in real-world locations in South Africa.
With millions of South Africans living without access to banking facilities, the merger could help drive digital asset adoption in the nation.
Crypto Firms Target South Africa’s Early Adopters, the Unbanked, and Everyone in Between with XPOS System
According to South African technology publication IT Online, local exchange platform DoshEX will work with global blockchain payments firm PundiX to introduce the latter’s XPOS point-of-sale devices into retail locations. South African crypto users will soon be able to top up PundiX’s XPASS cards with various digital currencies and spend them in real-world shops.
Cryptos supported by PundiX’s XPOS devices will include Bitcoin, Ether, and Binance Coin, amongst others. The goal, according to the start-ups website, is to install a minimum of 100,000 of these point-of-sale units by February 2021.
The system is ideal for those lacking banking services since it allows digital payments without needing a traditional account. However, the two start-ups are obviously hoping to appeal to more than just those living in South Africa without banking facilities. The service works using a familiar credit-card sized payment card, which requires tapping on the terminal to make a payment. This decision to make the process the same as making a contactless bank card payment has been intended to appeal to those already familiar with such payment methods, whilst still being accessible to those who are not.
The CEO of PundiX Labs, Zac Cheah, commented on the merger:
“XPOS is the easy, affordable access point into crypto for mainstream retailers and consumers… Now, an XPASS card loaded with crypto enables ordinary people to embrace the crypto-future, including millions of unbanked South Africans.”
He went on to state that the decision to partner with the established DoshEX exchange platform should encourage early adopters already familiar with the trading venue to try the service too.
Alex de Bruyn, the CEO of DoshEX, added:
“It was essential to roll out trusted and proven technology as our objective is to rapidly build South Africa’s first point-of-sale cryptocurrency network. This is why we partnered with PundiX.”
Cryptocurrency Continues to Sneak into More Real-World Locations
The announcement by DoshEX and PundiX to introduce crypto point-of-sale devices in South Africa is the latest example of digital assets moving more into real-world usage. Previously, NewsBTC has reported on French tobacco shops introducing digital currency buying services over-the-counter. More recently still was the announcement by exchange giant Binance launching real-world crypto trading services to Australian newsagents.
Whilst such examples do not guarantee adoption, they certainly help cement the place of Bitcoin and other popular digital assets in the public psyche. It is particularly encouraging to see such services focus on emerging markets such as South Africa since it is the unbanked of the world who are often claimed to have the most to gain from the democratising monetary revolution crypto could usher in.
Below is a video of Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos explaining the benefits Bitcoin and other decentralised digital assets could bring to poorer parts of the world – a topic he is extremely passionate about:

 
Related Reading: Is Largely Unbanked Africa Primed for Bitcoin Adoption?
Featured Image from Shutterstock.
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South Africa: Kidnappers ask Bitcoins as Ransom Money For A Missing Nine Year Old Girl

Kidnapper demanded an immediate transfer of 5 Bitcoin within 48 hours to this BTC address – 1Bk4TQzDXhxGgMwrXcaFhViSyoT9GLk2kN in return for a missing nine-year-old girl in Cape Town, a Capital of South Africa.

Bitcoin Ransom Demand for Missing Linathi Titshala
According to the reports, the girl named ‘Linathi Titshala’ disappeared on December 16, 2018, in Delft, Africa when she was coming from her grandma’s house to her home after celebrating her birthday on December 14. It’s been two weeks today and there is no clue of where the girl is missing. However, on January 04, 2019, an African local media reported that the kidnapper had left a note on social media and anti-crime website on January 03, which allegedly demands 5 Bitcoins for the safe return of the nine-year-old Linathi Titshala. At press time, one bitcoin is trading at $ $3,876.47 and consequently, the value of 5 Bitcoins would count $ 19382.35, a price similar to what Bitcoin was trading in late December 2017.
Besides social media, an email received by a group called ‘Western Cape Gangwatch’ notes scammer’s warning and is trying to track the IP address and the Bitcoin code.
You have 48 hours should you not transfer the bitcoin in 48 hours we will cease communication. This email is going to be deleted in 12 hours.”
However, the spokesperson believes that the email might be created ‘at internet café’ that enables automatic deletion. The scammers seem more clever making this email thus ‘not leaving a point to track through IP address’. Nevertheless, the investigation and search for ‘Linathi’ is ongoing, the spokesperson says;
“Hopefully they realize the family’s circumstances and realize they cannot keep the girl for a lengthy period,”.
The statement continued;
“We are pooling all resources including doing a search again in the coming week. There will be a search for Linathi on Monday, 7 January and Tuesday, 8 January, [from] 9am-4pm.
Bitcoin abuse by scammers on rise
Although bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption is on rise in the African continent, scammers, hackers and bad actors are abusing the very anonymous nature of bitcoin. Similar to Linathi’s case, coingape has recently reported on how attackers are misusing cryptocurrency mechanism via sending threatening emails and fake calls.

The post South Africa: Kidnappers ask Bitcoins as Ransom Money For A Missing Nine Year Old Girl appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Cryptocurrency regulatory working group to be set up by South African government

The South African government has recently announced that they will be taking a more concrete and decisive approach to the concept of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash [BCH] and Ethereum [ETH], according to a letter by Tito Mboweni, the Minister of Finance of South Africa.
The official also stated that the government was establishing a “cryptocurrency asset regulatory working group” that will focus on investigating and researching all aspects of digital assets as well as blockchain technology. The minister further detailed on the members involved in the task force, a roster that includes the Treasury, the Reserve Bank, Financial Intelligence Centre, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the SA Revenue Service [Sars]. Mboweni had said:
“It is anticipated that, following broad industry comment and participation, the crypto assets regulatory working group will be ready to release a final research paper on the subject during the course of 2019.”
The Financial official added that the revenue bodies were not able to monitor the profits and losses generated by cryptocurrency transactions because of the loopholes prevalent in the existing financial framework. In his words:
“However, work is underway within Sars to consider the amendment of the tax forms for the 2019 tax season in order to cater for the description of other assets (which will include cryptocurrencies) by means of a specific description field on the form.”
The South African finance minister went on to say that taxpayers have claimed that cryptocurrency transactions come under the ambit of ‘other trade income’ or ‘other trade loss’. This included cited examples of transactions involving Bitcoin Cash [BCH], Litecoin [LTC], Ethereum [ETH] and Zcash [ZEC].
This concept of cryptocurrencies is not new to the African country as just a few months back, South Africa witnessed the ICO launch of SAFCOIN, a proposed stepping stone for African citizens to learn about digital assets as a whole. During the launch, Neil Ferreira, the CEO, and co-founder of SAFCOIN, had said:
“Blockchain cryptocurrency is a confusing and unfamiliar concept to many Africans, which is preventing widespread adoption. With SAFCOIN, we hope to educate more people about the benefits of cryptocurrency and help them understand how and where to trade, so that they can be part of the global digital currency revolution and Africa’s cryptocurrency history.”
The post Cryptocurrency regulatory working group to be set up by South African government appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

South African Man Hands $60k Worth of Bitcoin to Thieves After Being Tortured

A cryptocurrency trader has been targeted by a criminal gang in South Africa. After being kidnapped and tortured, the victim eventually handed almost $60,000 in Bitcoin, along with cash and various other gadgets on his person at the time.
Known Bitcoin Trader Becomes Torture Victim in Robbery Case
According to reports in local news publication Soweto Urban, a Bitcoin trader from the town of Lanseria, South Africa, has become the victim of a kidnapping, robbery, and torture. The individual, identified only as “Andrew” in the report was targeted because of his known interest in cryptocurrency.
Andrew had met a man on Facebook who had expressed interest in hiring him to give a presentation on digital assets. He later met the same individual in person at Cresta Centre in Johannesburg and agreed to work with him at a later date.
On November 16 at around 1 p.m., Andrew arrived at the Meadowlands Zone Five address given to him by his new contact. At the residence were four men and two women presumed to be the audience for the presentation.
According to Andrew, shortly after arriving, he was approached from behind and had a cloth held over his mouth and nose. He quickly passed out, which leads those investigating the case to believe the material had been drugged.
Andrew regained consciousness in a different room in the company of five people – three men and two women. It was there that he was stripped naked, assaulted, received threats on his life, and tortured with hot irons.
The group demanded he transfer around R 800,000 worth of BTC (around $58,000) to an address given to him by his attackers. He eventually relented and transferred the Bitcoin along with a further R 100,000 from his bank account. In addition, the group took another R 3,000 in cash, two laptop computers, and a pair of iPhones. Andrew was then blindfolded and taken from the scene of his torture to Kliprivier Road on the R550 where he was left.
Andrew is currently receiving care for the injuries he sustained at the Alberton Union Hospital Intensive Care Unit. He has several burns to his hands, legs, and torso caused by the hot iron torture he endured. An investigation is underway to identify the attackers.
Related Reading: Bulgarian Authorities Arrest Three Suspects over Alleged Crypto Theft Worth $5 Million
If You’ve Got It, Don’t Flaunt It!
Incidents of cryptocurrency robbery are nothing new. Here at NewsBTC, we’ve reported on many similar cases.
At the start of this year, a known Bitcoin trader from Oxford, U.K. was forced to transfer his own Bitcoin holdings to home invaders after he and his wife’s lives were threatened at gun point.
Elsewhere, we reported on the Taiwanese man who was targeted by a criminal gang in connection with a Bitcoin trade. The victim had responded to a request to sell an individual BTC in person. Upon arrival at the arranged meeting point, the seller was assaulted and forced to transfer his crypto holdings to the group.
It should go without saying that extreme care needs to be taken when dealing with unknown contacts met online. This warning becomes even more important when the purpose of the meeting relates to money. In the examples discussed above, the attackers were aware of the victim’s involvement in the cryptocurrency space. Had this information not been so readily available, perhaps they could have been avoided all together.
In terms of personal security with regards cryptocurrencies, it is always best to keep your holdings a secret. Being overly vocal about your interest in the space or the amount of Bitcoin you possess is a serious security risk. When stored correctly, torture is the only way another individual or entity can take your Bitcoin.
Unfortunately from the above cases it seems like many criminals are wising up to this fact. It therefore makes most sense to behave modestly about investments and to never flaunt the fact that you are interested in the Bitcoin space.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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