Editor’s Note: This article has been changed to make the nature of the Bitcoin Africa Conference more clear. The name of this title is “Bitcoin Africa Conference,” and this is the first time the conference has been held. The author of this article was not saying that this Bitcoin conference is the very first one in Africa. We apologize for any misunderstanding.
As you may know, the world’s first Bitcoin Africa Conference will be held on April 16-17, 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. With all the buzz surrounding Bitcoin in Africa lately, it is no surprise that the first conference has made its way into African territory. The conference is highly anticipated by the Bitcoin community, especially those hopeful for change in Africa’s social and economic landscape.
The conference will provide an ideal networking environment for investors, merchants, start-ups, and people that want to help change the world with Bitcoin. The speakers will present Bitcoin topics regarding Africa, security, regulation, global adoption, emerging markets, barriers, global issues, and the future of Bitcoin.
One of those speakers is Lorien Gamaroff. With his extensive expertise and wealth of knowledge in Bitcoin technology in the energy and payments sector, he will provide great insights into Bitcoin and help shed some new light on the future of the technology.
Bitcoin Africa Conference
Speaker Highlight: Lorien Gamaroff
Lorien Gamaroff, of South Africa, is the founder and CEO of Bankymoon and Technical Director of Invirohub. He built the world’s first blockchain smart metering solution to help mitigate the world’s energy supply threat. Lorien has focussed much of his work in this area and has valuable insights to share at the conference. For the last 20 years, Lorien has developed software and worked in Media, Energy, and Financial Services.
Lorien’s company, Bankymoon, develops tools and services for metering companies to easily integrate Bitcoin as a payment mechanism. Bankymoon is an innovative resource with the potential to completely change the way the world pays for utilities.
Smart Grids and the Blockchain – Bitcoin’s first Killer App
Lorien’s presentation, titled: Smart Grids and the Blockchain – Bitcoin’s first Killer App, will include topics dealing with smart metering, cost recovery solutions, energy payment solutions, and reaching the unbanked. He will also touch on the “Internet of Things” and Bitcoin’s impact on this phenomenon. These topics are important specifically to Africa but also the rest of the world.
Cost Recovery Solutions
Countries around the globe are seeking solutions to increase energy efficiency and maximize cost recovery. To achieve this goal, utility companies are working to correct metering of water, gas, and electricity. These cost recovery solutions are another point Lorien will discuss.
As one of the topics Lorien will share on, Lorien offers some insight:
“Currently, utilities have several methods for customers to pay for their energy bills. Customers who can access banking services can pay using EFTs, debit orders or credit cards. Those who do not, resort to using cash payments. Whether the customer has a bank account or not, fees are levied for each option.”
Reaching the Unbanked
Three-fourths of the world’s population is unbanked, according to the World Bank, and the problem is ever-apparent in Africa. There are numerous reasons why most people in Africa are unable to have a bank account. One reason is there are millions of illegal immigrants that travel from country to country within the continent to seek out work. Their illegal status in those countries automatically prohibits them from applying for a bank account.
Another big obstacle for Africans is banking fees. Lorien explains that for those who do not have bank accounts it is difficult or expensive to make payments. In South Africa, and certain countries, electricity theft is a big problem for the suppliers. More often than not people resort to theft simply because they find it impractical or too expensive to make payments.
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