The Conversation, 2:38 pm
Blockchain, an almost incorruptible digital ledger of transactions, has the potential to be both foundation and springboard in Africa for a new developmental infrastructure. The blockchain can be “the ledger of everything.” A house can become an intelligent entity registered on a secure, distributed database once it’s tagged with a geospatial reference and sensors that monitor its continuing existence. The owner of the asset can, through an Ethereum-based smart contract, secure a loan to expand a startup enterprise. Property and financing aren’t the only areas where the new Internet of Intelligent Things has the potential to compensate for Africa’s legacies of underdevelopment.
The Conversation, 9:16 am
Disruptive competition through technology can benefit consumers, but it also raises socioeconomic issues. Africa is no exception. There are concerns that Uber, with its first-mover advantage in the ride-sharing market, is growing into a monopoly despite the benefits to consumers. Traditional metered taxis are seeing red. In South Africa, new entrants into the ride-sharing app market have made little progress. The picture is very different in Kenya. Safaricom appears to have overcome the seemingly insurmountable first-mover position enjoyed by Uber.