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Top banks' presence gives Mauritius blockchain edge

By , ITWeb
Africa , 22 Sep 2016

Top banks' presence gives Mauritius blockchain edge

That Mauritius has one of the biggest banks in Africa and the biggest bank in East Africa positions it to be a 'blockchain valley' that will benefit other countries, says Bitland Global's head, Christopher Bates, after the first Mauritius annual blockchain seminar.

Bates explained that with these banks' presence, Mauritius has the opportunity to establish an off-shore data warehouse that stores a government level blockchain for countries that don't have the capacity for their own blockchain warehouses to use.

"This means that if an area like DRC really wanted to have blockchain tech, but the government couldn't afford the entire transition, that government would be able to use Mauritian government blockchain to store their sensitive information," he explained to ITWeb Africa. "The Mauritian government is meeting with 40 African banks this week to discuss how they are going to increase the economic interplay using Mauritius as a haven and in tandem with blockchain."

He added that when the plan is realised, the entire process of investing into developing countries will not only be made transparent but the investment hub will be going through an African and not an European bank.

"Not that there is anything wrong with European banks," he said, "but the point is that Mauritius, already having a major banking presence in Africa, is better positioned to make a quicker impact into the African Diaspora than the European banks. As well, we want to make sure that we beat the neo-colonialist movement into the poorest areas."

Bitland and cybersecurity company WISeKey are working with the Mauritian government to establish standards "in the same way that Switzerland became a haven for "money" because the government protected the holdings" to avoid any security or privacy concerns that may arise.

Bates said: "A government that is proactively protecting their blockchains is as secure as a blockchain infrastructure can get because they will not be operating unilaterally. They are a neutral ground. So in that case, everyone involved can invest into the security of Mauritius blockchain which is ultimately how it is poised to become the fastest growing hub for development."

With a company registered already, the two firms have indicated setting up operations in Mauritius particularly to create a new wave of blockchain developers in the country and later set up how to pilot the larger scope project from there.

WISeKey will establish a BlockChain Centre of Excellence in Mauritius that will later recommend a National Blockchain Platform to facilitate enterprises to swiftly adopt and on-board blockchain based solutions and services.

Bates added that with the help of the Mauritian Central Bank, they believe they are in a better position to deploy the protocol quicker across more countries so that land is protected quicker.

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