The Cape Innovative and Technology Initiative (CiTi) has announced the launch of South Africa’s very first Bitcoin incubator, the BitHub.
The non-profit innovation group, known for its impeccable contribution in accelerating technology startups in South Africa, believed that it was time for inspiring innovators — coders, entrepreneurs, investors, etc. — to collaborate and build futuristic Bitcoin applications. According to Ian Merrington, the CEO of CiTi, they always wanted to create a private physical space — an incubator — to foster ideas that are particularly pitched to improve upon the current finance system.
“There are many viable digital currency ideas in South Africa that are not coming to market because they lack the infrastructure and support to take it further,” he said in the Bitcoin Africa conference. “BitHub is that space.”
Space for Innovation
For a continent whose 75% population is still deprived of accessing even the basic banking facilities, but still ends up paying the highest payment transfer fees, Bitcoin surely appears as an anticipative alternative. The representatives of CiTi earnestly understand the need for innovation in these regions, and, on that account, aim to guide and mentor entrepreneurs to create and distribute next-generation FinTech services.
Soniya Kuhnel, organizer of the recent Bitcoin Africa launch and the collaborating partner with BitHub, expects South African technologists to shape financial innovations in the nation’s bankless areas.
“And understanding our market is as important as the technology behind it,” she said. “BitHub will guide and mentor entrepreneurs whilst they develop and shape their Bitcoin businesses to fit our unique market needs.”
In addition Kuhnel’s statement, Merrington also reminded technologists about the potential of Bitcoin in dramatically reducing “transactional fees and lower barriers and the cost of remittance.”
On a personal note, we surely hope to see South Africa fostering a new era of innovations in Bitcoin and digital currency sector.