Cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology to take centre stage at info session

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-With cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology dominating news headlines, Bank Windhoek has confirmed that it will host an information session on these topics on February 15, 2018.

Gavin Marshall, from the Blockchain Academy in South Africa, will deliver the keynote presentation at the event. He will give the audience insight into the workings of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Marshall is a consultant-training instructor at the Blockchain Academy. He is a well-known speaker on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology at conferences and events worldwide.
Virtual currency, or cryptocurrency, is a type of digital currency that is unregulated in Namibia. Its value is derived from the common acceptance among a group of natural or legal persons as a means of payment that can be transferred, stored, or traded electronically.

This however does not place it on par with electronic money. Even though they are both presented in digital form, the main difference between the two is that electronic money is a digital form of a country’s legal tender currency backed and issued by a central authority, while virtual currencies are not backed by any legal tender currency or central authority.

Worldwide, regulators and financial institutions have varying viewpoints on the legality, sustainability and profitability of cryptocurrencies. However, all agree that blockchain technology, which was invented in 2008 to power Bitcoin when it launched a year later, have significant benefits. These include its transparency, reduced transaction costs and trustworthiness.

William Mougayar, the author of ‘The Business Blockchain’ explains that blockchain is like Google Docs. Before Google Docs, if you wanted to collaborate on a piece of writing with someone online, you had to create a document, send it to them, and then ask them to edit it. You then had to wait until they made those changes, saved the document, and sent it back to you.

Google Docs fixed that by making it possible for multiple people to view and edit a document at the same time with instantaneous updates visible to everyone contributing to the edit. In the cryptocurrency sphere, blockchain technology works in exactly the same way, every transaction is a matter of public record and is updated instantly.
For banking, that could mean that any money transfers are simultaneously verified on both ends. Blockchain could also be used in the legal business or architecture planning— really any business where people need to collaborate on documents.

“As a responsible corporate citizen we saw it fit to hold this session in response to the public’s general interest and protection. Considering the volume of news coverage and interest in blockchain technology and the volatility of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the time has come for the Namibian public to fully explore the current and future impact this technology may have on our lives.

“We are delighted to host Gavin as our keynote speaker. As the founder and creator of Sharebit, a blockchain-based application which allows individuals to register, manage, track and transfer shares in both legal and informal entities, he has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the subject,” said Baronice Hans, Managing Director at Bank Windhoek.

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