COVID-19 may hit Africa harder than expected and we must support governments and societies to contain the virus. With an aim to achieve that, ‘Hack Africa’ hackathon has been organized by African Innovation Week for innovative ideas and solutions to curb effects of the crisis. Numerous companies have participated in the event to ideate and come up with a real solution to fight against COVID-19. Wakandi is one of the proud participants and also among the top 10 participants in the hackathon. Wakandi has qualified the first and second round and moved towards the final rounds where the final submission will happen. The winning team will get a chance to meet organizations and investors interested in their solution. The team submitted the idea of a DLT-based system that can be used by informal financial groups (IFGs) in Africa to make faster, secure, and more transparent transactions. The system can solve various issues faced by these groups in terms of storing value, record-keeping and more. The system can not only improve how IFGs operate but also impact millions of people who seek financial services from these groups. Being an innovation-driven company, Wakandi believes technology can play a critical role in the fight against the virus. This event comes as a great opportunity for all the teams to share and build innovative solutions to curb its effects. Wakandi is obliged to be a part of the hackathon and show what technology is capable of. About the hackathon Hack Africa has been organized by African Innovation week in collaboration with Innovation Norway. The duration of the hackathon is from 14th May to 16th May 2020. The event focuses on three main challenges: How do we streamline essential services? How do we help businesses survive lock-downs and an economic downturn? How do we enable education to continue? Read more about the hackathon here.
We are pleased to announce the release of Wakandi Sandbox version 1.2. This new update comes with Composer framework being replaced with a custom software module. This is done to further improve the scalability and speed of the network. For detailed and technical information regarding the new version and its changes, please visit our documentation page at https://docs.wakandi.com. We are steadily moving forward to improve the network and enhance its user experience.
What began as an underlying technology for Bitcoin, blockchain is now spreading across multiple industries! A lot of things are happening in the blockchain space with more milestones are being achieved every day. New and innovative solutions are being developed and projects are reaching production-ready versions with real users exploring it. Blockchain is now touted as a technology that can revolutionize services by bringing in numerous possibilities. Wakandi sponsored this year’s blockchain conference to explore such possibilities with Norway’s leading blockchain experts. Organized by Hegnar Media AS, the conference was themed ‘Practical use of blockchain’ and featured how the Distributed Ledger Technology is being used in real-life projects. The conference had a lot about central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), exciting DLT-based projects, and last but not the least - and also our favourite, the Wakandi solution. As it happened The conference got off the mark when Lasse Meholm, Member of the Advisory Board of Wakandi, welcomed the guests with a speech. He expressed his views on how blockchain as a technology can disrupt multiple industries with great enthusiasm. Soon after the welcome speech, presenters were invited on the podium to showcase their innovative solution. Our very own CEO, Espen Moen Kvelland took the stage to tell the audience about Wakandi. He described what the infrastructure is all about and how it aims to be a secure and transparent financial platform for banks in Africa. He continued to explain how DLT is a fitting technology to power what the platform has to offer, and how collaboration with banks is a key strategy to move ahead. Speakers presented their solutions and shared their inspiring journeys of bringing the solution to life. There were discussions at length about Facebook’s Libra and how CBDCs + blockchain is a worthy opportunity for the governments. The speeches and presentations were followed by a quick round where attendees got to interact personally with the speakers. We also got a chance to discuss more on our solution with the people at our stand. It was a very interesting and educational day for everybody. We were pleased to have so many great discussions with the participants. We are already looking forward to the upcoming conferences and hear about further development in the blockchain space. What is the Wakandi solution? Wakandi provides a DLT-based infrastructure for banks as well as financial institutions to transfer value and share data. By connecting them on the network, Wakandi creates a seamless way for them to transact. In addition, it creates a hub of financial data that can be used to create better products and services.
We are excited to announce the release of Wakandi Sandbox version 1.1. The latest version comes with several improvements to make your experience better on the Wakandi network. Let’s have a look at what the Sandbox version 1.1 has to offer. Flexibility in block creation While 1.0 relied on creating new blocks at the main-node, the new build opens up for the creation of blocks locally. This is done to enhance transactions per second (TPS), reduce latency and dependency on an operational, and available main-node. Setup process optimization The operator volume has remained limited in the early stages of the project. Now that the project progresses, we found improving the Operator setup was required. We have, therefore, worked on improving scripts for the setup and deployment process. This means that the network now supports concurrent setups. Furthermore, changes have been made in scripts for maintenance of the Operator Node to provide smoother experience in releasing future updates. Directory service Inter-operator collaboration is at the core of how Wakandi operates. This has driven us to implement a new directory service. It allows for easy user data management by the operators, as well as collaboration with other operators on the global network. Some key features of the service include: Finding users of other Operators on the network using their phone number or email address. Render user-wallets private, meaning they will not be searchable on the network. You can, however, reach the wallet by providing its full identity. Public wallets can be searched by other Operators and users to make transactions. By default, user wallets are created as private. Additional APIs have been exposed for Operators to connect and get access to the user data. Sandbox version 1.1 has been launched to make the environment more efficient for Operators. Needless to say, we continue to work tirelessly to improve the experience for our Operators. This announcement marks a step in that direction.
Wakandi, one of the most interesting startups in Norway which aims to revolutionize the payment and remittance industry through DLT announces that Lasse Meholm, the former head of Blockchain and DLT Strategy, DNB Bank has joined its growing Advisory Board. Lasse will closely look into the banking and financial decisions for Wakandi. In his previous job, Lasse closely managed Blockchain and DLT projects and explored the market of the latest technologies such as AI and deep learning to ensure DNB Bank is ahead of the curve. He also worked as an IT business development partner with DNB to frame future business strategies and improve legacy IT systems to support wealth management strategies. Sharing his insights over joining the Advisory Board of Wakandi, Meholm says, “I am very happy to join Wakandi advisory board, as Wakandi both add value and inspiration to the Norwegian Blockchain community and leverage a new technology to support better, faster, more secure and less friction to the payment infrastructure in Africa.” He further adds, “Supporting Central banks and commercial banks in Africa to help their customer and unbanked is an important role to take and gap to fill. Use experience from the Nordic is a good place to start.” Wakandi, founded by Akeo AS, is an advanced platform to build financial services on blockchain through easily accessible APIs. The Wakandi platform allows businesses to leverage the benefits of blockchain without facing technical complexities during the implementation. “We are building something that might completely change the payment industry. The chance to make something that will affect millions of people drives us towards our goals. And to be able to do something with this kind of potential, we need advisors with various backgrounds. Lasse Meholm joining us could bring a massive impact on our approach towards developing modern financial strategies.” Espen Moen Kvelland, CEO Wakandi Wakandi is honored and grateful to have Lasse Meholm and his services on board. With him in the Advisory Board, Wakandi is looking forward to leveraging his experience to strengthen its financial strategies and take on future challenges.
At “Den Norske Dataforeningens” Blockchain meeting on the 5th of June details regarding Wakandi and the planned progress was shared with the audience there. Next week the team will be traveling to Africa to start closing the first MOUs with multiple companies in multiple countries. We will be visiting Tanzania, Ghana and Ivory Coast. But we will also be meeting companies from South Africa. The Wakandi project will change how financial companies work together and not the least make it possible to bank the unbanked people in Africa.
Without any fanfare or a big celebration, we released the closed beta release of our Wakandi network. The beta is closed because we need to keep working on performance and security before starting to onboard the customers waiting for us. Our initial demos held primary in Africa during 2019 has been for an enthusiastic audience. We have gotten the market and product validation we had been hoping for and are now looking forward to the release of the Sandbox environment where the first customers will be connected as well.