The African Digital Asset Foundation has launched an open source platform to establish unified standards for blockchain development in Africa.
The African Digital Assets Framework (ADAF) platform will try to ensure that the use of blockchain stimulates digitized pan-African economic integration.
Several factors are opening local start-ups to the opportunities that promise blockchain including limited financial infrastructure, fragility of some African currencies and capital raising after the ideation.
In the future, the interest of African start-ups could be particularly attracted by the crowdfunding mechanism supported by blockchain known as initial coin offer (ICO). The ICO model is open and direct but has been widely criticized for lack of regulation.
In 2017, many Icos broke out with statements that start-ups raised over $ 15 billion globally in the first half of 2018.
The analysis of EY shows that the top ICOs representing 87% of the ICO funding in 2017 presented high risks of fraud, theft and serious problems with the accuracy of the declarations made by the start-ups who were looking for funding.
By 2018, when the company carried out a follow-up study with the same series of start-ups, the 86% went below their quotation price, while 30% lost much value. Only 29% (25) had working products or prototypes and seven of them accepted payments in both traditional fiat (dollars) and ICO tokens, a decision that reduces the value of tokens to holders.
ICOs could benefit African start-ups in their effort to address societal problems. The ADAF platform aims to ensure that appropriate standards are set up for the community to avoid problematic beginnings as African start-ups adopt digital assets based on blockchain and generalized accounting technologies.
"Yes, some of the first standards we will work with in the community are consumer protection standards for ICOs to make them safer, more inclusive and easier to manage and create," says Marvin Coleby, a co-trustee of the Foundation. "It is a very difficult process, we intend to demystify it and provide legitimacy to the existing ICOs".
The Foundation's central research team, which includes consultants and ambassadors such as the President of the Blockchain of Kenya and the Task Force AI, Bitange Ndemo, will provide pan-African research and transnational / transnational consultancy for each of the rules that go through it.
The framework is similar to the open and distributed Github space to allow developers to propose and modify the code. The community that includes members like BitPesa and Botswana Blockchain Association can freely own, share and create information that others can use and manage.
Coleby adds: "One of our main metrics for success is the flow of a standard created / introduced by the community that will be accepted / considered by governmental agencies across the continent."