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Experts unbundle crypto currencies and business opportunities arising from the underlying blockchain technology

Experts unbundle crypto currencies and business opportunities arising from the underlying blockchain technology

The free Public Talk held at Bank of Namibia last Friday was a sell-out success. Blockchain Technology, Crypto Currency, FinTech and Cyber Security continues to be red-hot issues that are sure to draw a crowd and inspire a lively debate.

Dr. Joachim Bald of Frankfurt School of Finance and Management took the audience straight to the cutting edge of the discussion about the utility of crypto currencies and the business opportunities arising from the underlying blockchain technology.

As a leading risk management expert, Dr. Bald did not hold back on the results of his analysis. The title of his presentation “Crypto is Dead. Let’s talk about the Blockchain” says it all.

The provocative opening triggered fascinating exchanges about the future of finance, cyber-security and the technical merits of blockchain. Buzzwords everyone has heard of, but now made real, tangible and understandable through Dr. Bald’s knowledge, expertise and real-world examples.

Adding a local and African flavour was Green Enterprise Solution’s Managing Director Llewellyn le Hané, who opened the Public talk and put FinTech, crypto-currencies and cyber-security into an African perspective.

Giving the attendees insight into what the changing financial landscape means globally, regionally and locally for Namibia. As well as giving insight into how Namibia can and should harness and leverage digital transformation and innovation in the financial sector to the country’s advantage and to stimulate economic growth. The financial sector in each country remains the catalyst for growth.

The global hype surrounding crypto-currencies meant that many developing countries took steps to introduce crypto-currencies as a possible way of reducing poverty and providing access to finance. This goldrush-like mentality has cooled, resulting in not only loss in market value, but also the poorest of the communities’ losing real money. Examples where crypto-disappointment is most palpable are Japan, South Korea and Ukraine.

The Public Talk focused especially on cyber security related to digital money, and what it means for MSMEs and the existing financial system.

It was concluded that FinTech bears both advantages and disadvantages. Determinations as provided by Central Banks must not only consider technological developments as a driver of growth in the financial sector, but also ensure the sector’s stability by guarding against schemes which may mislead consumers by pitching crypto tokens as widely accepted “money” or as a high-return “investment”. An update regarding blockchain technology and crypto currencies provided by Dr. Bald, gave a real insight into the realities and the myths surrounding crypto-currencies.

Dagmar Honsbein, Managing Director of iDeal-X, who organised this Public talk said; “It is essential that we know what is going on in the financial technology space and how it will and already has impacted Africa and Namibia. Having Dr. Bald share his expertise was invaluable to all of us and the number of attendees attest to the appetite we have here in Namibia for this type of information.”


 

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.