Daily Archives: January 29, 2018

Centbee, South Africa-based Bitcoin wallet and merchant payment ecosystem, attracts funding from nChain

JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — nChain Group, the leading blockchain research and development firm, has taken an equity stake in Centbee, a Bitcoin wallet provider that makes it easy for global consumers to acquire, hold and spend Bitcoin with retailers and other merchants. The funding deal was made through the nChain Group’s investment entity, nChain Reaction Ltd.

Based in South Africa, Centbee was founded by co-CEOs, Lorien Gamaroff and Angus Brown. Gamaroff is a leading expert in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. He has consulted and advised regulators and corporates internationally and is highly regarded globally as an educator and presenter. Brown has 20 years’ experience in payments and banking including holding the role of CEO of eBucks, a world first bank-backed digital currency created in 2000.

“Centbee will be rolling out mechanisms for merchants to accept Bitcoin Cash payments more cheaply and securely than current bank payment systems without exposure to price volatility,” says Brown. “In addition, we will help consumers move money simply and cheaply across borders to support family and friends. We have been working closely with regulators in South Africa and other jurisdictions to educate and inform and to address any regulatory risk.”

Gamaroff explains that, “In addition to providing financial investment, nChain’s research, intellectual property and deep technology expertise will enable Centbee to become a functional and secure wallet provider which will open up Bitcoin Cash merchant payments to a global market.”

nChain Group CEO Jimmy Nguyen remarks: “Centbee has one of the most user-friendly Bitcoin wallets and merchant payment solutions we have seen. It smartly embraces Bitcoin Cash because its bigger blocks, low fees and fast transaction network represent the true vision of Bitcoin. We look forward to supporting Centbee as it sparks greater merchant and consumer adoption of Bitcoin Cash in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.”

nChain Reaction financially backs products and applications that make Bitcoin Cash more globally useable as peer-to-peer electronic cash. The Centbee deal represents nChain Reaction’s second Bitcoin Cash-enabling investment within the past month. As announced in mid-January 2018, nChain Reaction previously participated in a USD $1.5 million Series A funding round for Yours.org, the Bitcoin Cash-based social network.

The Centbee Wallet becomes available in the Apple and Google Play stores in 2018.

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT NCHAIN GROUP: The nChain Group is the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies.  Its mission is to enable massive growth and worldwide adoption of the Bitcoin network – focusing on Bitcoin Cash as the true Bitcoin. The nChain Group includes four business units:  1) nChain Limited – a blockchain research and development business in London, United Kingdom; 2) nChain Holdings Limited – a intellectual property holding and commercialization company; 3) nChain Reaction – an investment entity which supports other Bitcoin and blockchain emerging companies; and 4) nCrypt – a Bitcoin wallet and exchange in Canada (nCrypt is currently known as nTrust, but will be re-branding in early 2018 to reflect its move to focus on Bitcoin).

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/634397/nChain_CentBee_Logo.jpg

The Integer Group Announces Partnership With South Africa’s Hot Spot

Leading Global Commerce Agency Formalizes Agreement to Launch Integer\Hot Spot

DENVER, Jan. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Integer Group®, a commerce agency that lives at the Intersection of Branding and Selling® and a key member of Omnicom Group Inc., today announced a partnership with Sandton-based shopper marketing agency Hot Spot as its South African affiliate. The new agency will be known as Integer\Hot Spot. Recognizing the opportunities that exist in Africa with regard to an increasingly connected consumer, Integer set out to identify an agency with capabilities and philosophy that match that of Integer and holding company Omnicom.

“Integer was looking for a local partner that could deliver best-in-class global commerce capabilities in South Africa,” said Marc Ducnuigeen, Chief Operating Officer for The Integer Group. “Hot Spot brings deep local market experience packaged in a talent-fueled culture to match Integer’s, ensuring a common partnership experience for our network and global clients. Integer\Hot Spot is the South African entry door to our collective global capabilities and the commerce and shopper marketing expertise across our network. We are delighted that Hot Spot is joining the Integer family to help us lead the evolution of our business, focused on driving transactional success for our clients’ brands.”

The leadership team at Hot Spot, including Managing Director Di Wilson, creative-lead Gavin Meek, and strategy-lead Sonia Correia, has worked together for 18 years and possesses exceptional shopper strategy experience with a main focus on conversion. This is underlined by strong creative and account/project management capabilities with a thorough understanding of FMCG and pharmaceuticals, specifically integrated shopper campaigns in this sector. FMCG and big pharma across South Africa and the continent present excellent opportunities for market growth, another key reason Integer identified Hot Spot, who was also looking to scale, as an expert in these categories.

Hot Spot was founded by respected industry leader Di Wilson, who has nearly 25 years of agency experience – from specializing in medical and shopper marketing to managing a full-service, media-neutral outfit. She has a wealth of focused marketing experience and retail intelligence combined with a fierce spirit that has translated into extraordinary results for a broad range of clients across Southern Africa. Not confined to a “box,” Wilson has the freedom to create unique concepts for which she has received several local and international awards, including CEO magazine’s Most Influential Women in Government and Business—Media and Communications Award. Hot Spot was formed from Wilson’s recognition of where marketing is headed, given the dawning of 4ICT.

“We are tremendously excited to partner with Integer,” said Wilson. “This new partnership allows for cross-border knowledge and sharing opportunities as well as access to training and skills transfer from Integer’s global leaders, all of which will benefit our clients here in Southern Africa.”

For more information, visit www.integer.com.

About The Integer Group®
We live at the Intersection of Branding and Selling®. A key member of Omnicom Group Inc., The Integer Group (www.integer.com) is a global, creative-fueled commerce agency that delivers innovative ways for brands and retailers to connect and engage with shoppers, turning moments of receptivity into moments of conversion. We use cultural insights to inspire creative ideas that build brands and accelerate purchase both in and out of store, moving people from living to looking to buying. The Integer Group has more than 1,100 associates in 26 offices across the globe, including locations in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America.

About Omnicom Group Inc.
Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

The Integer Group annonce un partenariat avec la société Hot Spot d’Afrique du Sud

L’agence de commerce mondiale de premier plan formalise un accord visant à lancer Integer\Hot Spot

DENVER, 29 janvier 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Integer Group®, une agence de commerce qui vit At the Intersection of Branding and Selling® et un membre clé d’Omnicom Group Inc., a annoncé aujourd’hui un partenariat avec Hot Spot, une agence de marketing orienté client basée à Sandton, qui deviendra sa société affiliée sud-africaine. La nouvelle agence sera connue sous le nom d’Integer\Hot Spot. Reconnaissant les opportunités qui existent en Afrique en réponse à une clientèle de plus en plus connectée, Integer a entrepris d’identifier une agence dont les capacités et la philosophie correspondent à celles d’Integer et de sa société de portefeuille Omnicom.

« Integer recherchait un partenaire local capable de fournir des capacités de commerce mondial de premier ordre en Afrique du Sud », a déclaré Marc Ducnuigeen, directeur de l’exploitation pour The Integer Group. « Hot Spot apporte une profonde expérience du marché local emballée dans une culture entretenue par le talent pour correspondre à celle d’Integer, garantissant une expérience de partenariat commune pour notre réseau et nos clients internationaux. Integer\Hot Spot est la porte d’entrée sud-africaine pour nos capacités mondiales collectives et pour l’expertise en commerce et en marketing orienté client à travers notre réseau. Nous sommes ravis d’accueillir Hot Spot dans la famille Integer pour nous aider à diriger l’évolution de notre entreprise dont la mission est d’assurer le succès transactionnel des marques de nos clients. »

L’équipe de haute direction de Hot Spot, constituée de sa directrice générale Di Wilson, son directeur créatif Gavin MeeK et sa directrice de stratégie Sonia Correia, qui travaillent ensemble depuis 18 ans, possède une expérience exceptionnelle en stratégie d’achat focalisée sur la conversion. Cette expérience est renforcée par de solides capacités de gestion de compte/projet et par une compréhension approfondie des produits de grande consommation et des produits pharmaceutiques, des campagnes orientées client spécifiquement intégrées dans ce secteur. Les produits de grande consommation et les grandes sociétés pharmaceutiques d’Afrique du Sud et du continent présentent d’excellentes opportunités de croissance du marché, une autre raison majeure pour laquelle Integer a identifié Hot Spot, qui cherchait également à se développer, en tant qu’expert dans ces catégories.

Hot Spot a été fondée par Di Wilson, un leader respecté du secteur possédant près de 25 ans d’expérience d’agence allant de la spécialisation dans le marketing orienté client et médical à la gestion d’une agence multiservices neutre sur le plan médiatique. Elle possède une expérience approfondie focalisée sur le marketing et l’intelligence du détail alliée à un esprit farouche qui s’est traduit par des résultats extraordinaires pour un large éventail de clients d’Afrique australe. Sans être « étiquetée » Di Wilson est libre de créer des concepts uniques pour lesquels elle a reçu plusieurs prix locaux et internationaux, y compris le prix « Most Influential Women in Government and Business—Media and Communications Award » (Femmes les plus influentes dans le gouvernement et les affaires – Médias et Communications) du magazine CEO. Hot Spot a été formée lorsque Di Wilson a reconnu la direction que prenait le marketing, à l’aube de 4ICT.

« Nous sommes extrêmement heureux de nous associer à Integer », a ajouté Di Wilson. « Ce nouveau partenariat offre des opportunités de connaissances et de partage transfrontaliers ainsi qu’un accès à un transfert de formation et de compétences de la part des leaders mondiaux d’Integer, tout ce dont nos clients bénéficieront ici en Afrique australe. »

Pour plus en savoir plus, visiter www.integer.com.

À propos de The Integer Group®
We live at the Intersection of Branding and Selling®. Un membre clé d’Omnicom Group Inc., The Integer Group (www.integer.com) est une agence de commerce créative mondiale qui fournit des façons innovantes permettant aux marques et aux détaillants de se connecter avec les acheteurs et d’interagir avec eux en transformant des moments de réceptivité en moments de conversion. Nous utilisons des perspectives culturelles pour inspirer des idées créatives qui développent les marques et accélèrent les achats à la fois dans et hors des magasins, en encourageant les gens à franchir trois étapes, vivre, observer et acheter. The Integer Group compte plus de 1100 collaborateurs dans 26 bureaux à l’échelle mondiale, y compris en Afrique, en Asie, en Australie, en Europe, au Moyen-Orient et en Amérique du Sud et du Nord.

À propos d’Omnicom Group Inc.
Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE : OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com) est une société leader sur le marché mondial du marketing et de la communication d’entreprise. Les réseaux de marque d’Omnicom et ses nombreuses entreprises spécialisées fournissent des services de publicité, d’achat et de planification de stratégies médiatiques, de marketing numérique et interactif, de marketing direct et promotionnel, de relations publiques et autres services de communication spécialisés à plus de 5000 clients dans plus de 100 pays.

ALGERIA READY TO HOST AFRICAN CONFERENCE ON CURBING FINANCING FOR TERRORISTS, SAYS PM

ADDIS ABABA, Algerian Premier Ahmed Ouyahia has affirmed that Algeria is ready to host an African conference to discuss measures to curb the financing of terrorism in March.

In order to carry forward our continent’s action in the fight against terrorism financing, notably by hostage-taking, our country is ready to host an African conference on this issue in March, said Ouyahia in a speech at a meeting of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council at the level of Heads of State and Government.

Ouyahia, who is representing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the AU Heads of State and Government Summit here on Sunday and Monday, said the meeting would focus on mobilizing the international community through drafting a protocol complementary to the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism or to the 1983 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

CAPE TOWN ACTIVATES DISASTER OPS CENTRE MONDAY AS WATER CRISIS MOUNTS

CAPE TOWN, The City of Cape Town activates its Disaster Operations Centre (DOC) Monday to execute the City’s Water Disaster Plan which will take effect in the event of Day Zero, the day when taps run dry in South Africa’s second largest netropolis.

The City Council’s Executive Director for Safety and Security, Richard Bosman, will be permanently seconded to the DOC as its Incident Commander.

While the City is focusing all its efforts on beating back Day Zero, we do need to be prepared for a scenario where we take control of the City’s water supply in order to extend it into the winter months. We will shut off supply to taps when our dams reach a collective level of 13.5 per cent, the City said in a statement Sunday.

In order to avoid this, the City of Cape Town must reduce current consumption to 450 million litres of total consumption a day. This equates to 50 litres per person per day. Many Capetonians have reduced their consumption substantially over the past few months, and the City has called on all residents to join the City’s water-savings drive.

Since March last year, the City’s Water and Sanitation Department has introduced various initiatives to lower water demand, including advanced pressure reduction to lower the rate at which water flows, and the installation of water meters to reduce consumption. We will continue with these initiatives over the next few weeks to extend our water supply for as long as possible, the City said.

The City said once dam levels reach 13.5 per cent, it would begin to shut down its reticulation system, except to key commercial areas and institutions such as hospitals. Once this happens, residents will be able to access water from collection points across the city with each resident to be allocated 25 litres of water a day.

There will be separate sections for pedestrian and vehicle access, as well as access for those collecting on behalf of vulnerable groups.

It will be the task of the DOC to manage the water collection points. A great deal of preparation is being done to ensure that this happens as efficiently as possible. The City’s Disaster Risk Management Department has been consulting with the international community since early last year on how best to distribute water in a time of crisis.

Water tankers will be used to deliver water to vulnerable groups such as old age homes and care facilities.

We are also engaging retailers and the bottled water association to ramp up their distribution networks to increase bottled water supply, so that those who do not want to use the water collection points can purchase water, the City said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK