Bitcoin is the buzzword of the year. Though, if we properly look into it, bitcoin has been the buzzword for some time – at least since its inception in 2009. The associated blockchain technology may have been relegated to the lips of those in the technology industry or those looking to invest but, as the tide of the cryptocurrency has ebbed and flowed, it has entered the lexicon of the general public. Bitcoin, for those unaware, is a form of cryptocurrency utilising blockchain technology that doesn’t rely on a central bank system and, therefore, argues that it is safer, quicker, and more cost-effective than standard currency. But what does it have to do with Uganda?
Bitcoin in Uganda
A recent warning from the Bank of Uganda into the possible dangers of bitcoin in Uganda will only make the cryptocurrency gather more adopters, according to Katherine Atuhairi of Uganda Bitcoin Network. She predicts a spike in interest of the blockchain technology, which sets itself as a potential rival to the Bank of Uganda. She also suggests that Silver Kayongo, an East African Banking and Legal Consultant, is correct in stating that, with 77% of Ugandans without a bank account, moving away from the Bank of Uganda could damage fintech ambitions. Some would even argue that standard banking in Uganda can be just as damaging, as with the possible closure in 2016 of the Barclays Bank of Uganda. Yet, bitcoin and cryptocurrency are treated with more wariness than standard banking, despite sharing some of the same possible limitations.
Bitcoin Adopters in Uganda
But, despite warnings and the fluctuation of the market, including the price drop in December 2017, enthusiasts are not deterred. Indeed, some claim to even enjoy the excitement that comes with the volatility, which could see their bitcoin stock rise and fall on a dime. Bitcoin mainly entices those with no employment, who hope to cash in on the boom much like the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. Others are professionals hoping to create an extra cash flow, likely at little risk to them. Indeed, bitcoin does look promising to those with an interest in technology, finance, or risk. In Kampala, many people dedicate their time to informing others as to the blessing that bitcoin may bring. Richard M Bagorogo is one, who claims the holidays he is able to take and the money he is able to give to his father are down to bitcoin and his early adoption. But is Bagorogo’s work helping others to adopt the technology?
Where Else is Bitcoin Used?
Bitcoin may be unknown to many traditionalists in Uganda but it is fairly prolific in its uses elsewhere online. For example, Japan made bitcoin legal tender, where bitcoin trade accounts for around half of the global trade volume. The Kenya-based BitPesa allows cash to be transferred throughout Africa, along with the many different currencies in the 54 countries – and utilises bitcoin to do so. Moreover, as metioned by Betway Casino, Expedia and Microsoft, two huge global online brands, both offer payment for certain services in the form of the cryptocurrency. Plus, Overstock, was the first online retailer to offer bitcoin payment options back in 2014. The company, which sells big-ticket items at cheaper prices due to overstocking, was a pioneer in the cryptocurrency field. Bitcoin was even utilised to crowdfund for bitcoin housing platform BitRent.
How to Get Involved in Bitcoin in Uganda
Bagorogo suggests people invest in mining pools of bitcoin. That is, the blockchain technology is derived from ‘mining’ it online, where the ownership of each chain is tracked and computational power is utilised to discover new chains that make up the cryptocurrency. Some, however, are sceptical due to the lack of middleman management – and, therefore, the lack of regulation and protection that central lending offers. Others compare bitcoin to other new technologies that were dismissed initially, yet proved to be successful later on.
What Else is Blockchain Technology Used For?
The blockchain technology which bitcoin is derived from also has other uses, which may help warm people up to the idea of cryptocurrency. CryptoKitties uses the unique markers of the blockchain technology to create individual digital cats – each one 100% exclusive. The cats have a trade value and different attributes, which can be swapped with other collectors. They can also breed and create other unique cats with their own attributes. The trade ability and the unique chain technology both go far to showcase how bitcoin works and the safety present in its functionality. If nothing else, the blockchain cats may just show people that bitcoin isn’t as bad as people make out.
Overall, bitcoin still represents a positive and exciting move forwards in how finance is conducted, especially in Uganda. While there are those in favour of the changes that bitcoin can make to how things are done and how people can be benefited, there are also plenty of detractors who err on the side of caution when it comes to the uptake of new technology. Others cite the energy usage – one bitcoin transactions uses the same energy as boiling 30,000 kettles. Ultimately, as the uptake of the cryptocurrency grows in the world, more people will come around to the idea – or, conversely, if the technology proves to be a flash in the pan fad, then those critical of the tech will be able to tell people how they were right.
Mbarara resident hits Ugx 200 million jackpot in Supa 3 lottery
By Our Reporter
Mbarara based electrician Arinaitwe Baram is the lucky winner of the supa3 jackpot that totaled to 200 million shilling.
Baram who was announced winner on Sunday night on the Supa3 live show, says that he played using only 4000 shillings, but he managed to win the 200 million. He told journalists upon receiving his cheque that he will spend his winnings on constructing a house and expanding his business.
Baram joins other winners such as John Sekaggya who won 50 million shillings, Denis Ssemanda a 7 Million winner, Stella Acor a 6 Million winner and other multiple winners.
Meanwhile, Supa3 Jackpot will now return to 50 million shillings this weekend.
Every entry into the 10-minute draws gets a corresponding free entry into the weekly Supa Jackpot Draw which offers the chance to become a multimillionaire. Supa 3 players qualify for one entry into the Jackpot for every UGX. 1,000 they play.
Every Supa 3 ticket comes with a unique code consisting of 6 letters of the alphabet which comprise the entry into the Jackpot draw
Museveni meets President of StarTimes Group during FOCAC Summit
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni met with the President of StarTimes Group Pang Xinxing on Wednesday when he was attending the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. Mr Pang Xinxing introduced that StarTimes created more than 6000 job opportunities since it started investment in Uganda in 2009 and StarTimes digital TV transmission platforms have enabled Ugandan people to watch rich international and local television programs with an affordable price. Pang said: “We look forward to expanding further bilateral cooperation with our advantageous technology and media resources.” President Museveni appreciated StarTimes’ contribution in Uganda’s digital migration progress and the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”.
He said that the national digital migration is a very important fundamental project for Ugandan people and it wouldn’t be achieved without StarTimes’ involvement. Museveni also invited Pang to visit Uganda with hoping that StarTimes can have more investment in the country.
StarTimes now is the biggest digital TV operator in Uganda with holding 75% market because of affordabl prices and rich content services. In August, StarTimes just unveiled the biggest ever single sponsorship in the history of Uganda www.startimestv.com sport after remarkably securing the Uganda Premier League and FUFA Big League “Title and Broadcasting Rights” from FUFA for a staggering US$ 7,240,000 for 10 years starting with the
2018/2019 season. The Vice President of StarTimes Uganda company, Mr Aldrine Nsubuga said: “We however don’t just want to entertain football fans with foreign football, we want to be relevant to local football fans. We want them to appreciate their local football and support it with a greater passion which is why we want to bring the local league in every household through our broadcast platforms.” The project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” is a China-Africa Cooperation program, which was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 4th, 2015 when he was present at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. The project is aimed at enabling African families in rural areas to have access to the digital signal with high-quality images and rich TV programs. There will be around 10,000 villages in more than 20 African countries benefiting from the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”. For Uganda, 500 villages are
included in this China-Africa cooperation project. As Africa’s leading digital TV operator, StarTimes is undertaking the whole project. On 20th July, StarTimes launched the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” in Uganda.
Emirates offers Ugandan travelers attractive offers to Dubai
Emirates is offering Ugandan travelers the opportunity to visit Dubai, available at a very special offer for Economy and Business Class roundtrip, a free third piece of luggage of up to 23 kg and a month’s tourist visa included in the offer.
Under the special offer, an Economy Class ticket from Entebbe to Dubai costs $359 and Business Class $1,309. The special offer is for a limited time only and tickets must be booked between 13th September 2018 and 27th September 2018, while travel must take place between 13th September 2018 and 31st March 2019. The cost of the ticket includes airport taxes.
Emirates is also offering a 3rd piece of luggage of up to 23kg for Economy Class and up to 32kg for Business Class, with a one-month tourist visa included.
Dubai provides a great escape for visitors. Its year-round sunshine, world-class shopping and restaurants, stunning beaches and iconic buildings offers something for the whole family. Visitors to Dubai can enjoy some of the city’s must-see places like Global Village – multi-cultural festival park and shopping destination – as well as theme parks such as Wild Wadi Waterpark and IMG World of Adventures. The city also offers a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets.
On all Emirates’ flights, customers can look forward to hours of entertainment on the award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice, which offers over 3,000 channels of on demand audio and visual entertainment, from the latest movies, music, audio books and games, as well as family friendly products and services for children, including complimentary toys, kids’ meals and movies, priority boarding for families and the use of free strollers at Dubai International Airport.
In addition to the on-board comforts and products, customers will experience the world famous hospitality from Emirates’ multinational cabin crew who come from 135 nationalities and speak over 60 languages, while enjoying chef prepared regional and international cuisine, using the freshest ingredients, accompanied by a wide range of complimentary wines and beverages.
Emirates flies daily from Entebbe to Dubai.
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