Chinese billionaire and co-CEO of technology company Ideanomics Bruno Wu believes the blockchain could be the solution that helps African countries trade their minerals and natural resources efficiently and profitably.
Wu made the comment while speaking to entrepreneurs and investors at the Africa House Collective event, held in New York recently.
Wu’s company Ideanomics, formerly called Seven Starts Cloud Group, has invested heavily in artificial intelligence and blockchain companies through companies they acquired and partnered with. The tech company uses the new technologies to disrupt new markets. The U.S. based company recently announced a joint venture that removes intermediaries in the port supply chain.
Speaking on how Africa can leverage blockchain, Wu said digitizing asset production and distribution would put the continent on the forefront of the commodities market, same way it leads the mobile money market.
“Having a better tomorrow for Africa is about having a more transparent future. And blockchain can help there.”
In an interview with Quartz, Wu said his company is currently studying the African market and is open to partnering with countries such as Nigeria and Kenya.
He believes the continent can profit from adopting the blockchain technology and use it to save millions of dollars earned from the sale of commodities, which is often lost to corruption and money laundering.
Wu’s desire to see Africa profit from the blockchain technology follows a similar assessment from the CEO of diversified financial company Alexander Forbes Andrew Darfoor.
Darfoor had told CCN in an interview in Harare:
“Blockchain is something that we are investigating, and we are assessing it. I think blockchain has benefits, but I think it’s a broader digital strategy.”
Africa has a continent has been on the fence regarding the use of blockchain. It’s been a mixture of reticence and strong-handedness. So far, Kenya has been the focal point in the continent, where the government has set up a task force, hoping to study its benefits and challenges. This hasn’t stopped the adoption of the technology, as it’s being applied for elections and in the health sector. Other African countries like South Africa have taken it a step further by running a blockchain pilot for the banking sector to cut down processing time for settlement.
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