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Is Africa fertile ground for blockchain crowdfunding and development?

Is Africa fertile ground for blockchain crowdfunding and development?

Despite scepticism around Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), blockchain-led FinTech company Finterra plans to introduce a more robust investment vehicle using cryptocurrencies focused on endowment land in Africa.

Finterra established a central base for Africa in Kenya in May after selecting the East African country because of its track record in the use of mobile money.

The endowment chain aims to raise funds to build income-generating projects, such as universities and hotels on endowment land, and accepts investments from global participants.

Investors receive a dividend share once the project becomes profitable.

Hamid Rashid, CEO of Finterra said, "The blockchain space or the crypto space and projects that are running on blockchain are very good potential investment avenues. As any investment, due diligence must be done, you cannot just close your eyes and say 'it's a crypto project so it will fly' and you just dump in money."

He added that there is a great opportunity for Africa to shape ICOs as an investment vehicle.

"From my assessments in the last two years in ICO, on crypto projects, a lot of them are failures. Because they have a very nice idea to develop on a blockchain, but the idea is not backed up by a business plan. There is no sales or revenue model and hence no profitability," Rashid said.

People have the opportunity to invest in mega projects with as little as US$50 and secure returns.

"Many people don't get to hear about some of the big projects in blockchain and crypto because they get picked up by private investors as soon as they come on the market," Rashid added.

Finterra is fully funded to develop the platform to roll out the endowment chain crowdfunding, Rashid said.

The company is already accepting pre-interest in their upcoming ICO in July and has secured land in Saudi Arabia for pilot projects. Rashid said that early investors will be given preferential price when they list in July.

According Rashid the company has already registered 400,000 global users on their platform and has presence in Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and New York.

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