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BanklessAfrica Seizes the Day | BanklessDAO Weekly Rollup
Catch Up With What Happened This Week in BanklessDAO
Dear Bankless Nation 🏴,
Permissionless is an in-person event we’ve been hyped about for months. Happening after a year of working and building together, it coincided with bDAO’s birthday celebration! Having so many members gathered together in the same space created a unanimous feeling from participants that this has to happen more often. As much as we are citizens of cyberspace, we’re still human. For this week at least, Permissionless gave the bDAO family a fiat-space home.
A few face reveals have happened here and there, but 99% of the time all we see of each other are our avatars. For all of us who couldn’t attend, being able to attach faces to familiar handles was a weird but happy FOMO feeling. The smiles and good vibes shown in every single shared photo confirm that we’re building more than just really cool projects together; we’re making many memories and friendships along the way.
Having a Bankless presence at global events makes it easier to find each other and connect face-to-face, no matter where we live. There’s a whole list of global events for the rest of the year, so even if you missed out this week, there are plenty of future opportunities to connect with your fellow members.
Speaking of global opportunities, make sure to check out this week’s editorial highlighting the amazing work being done by BanklessAfrica. BanklessAfrica shows us what an outsize impact a small team of dedicated contributors can make when there is an alignment of mission, vision, and values.
Whether you’re recovering from the sun or the FOMO, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy another edition of the Rollup!
🙏 Sponsored by CitaDAO
🗓 Weekly Recap
One of DAOpunks’ core missions is to help people transition from CorpRAT to DAOpunk, or to otherwise fund people and projects with the potential to make a lasting impact in the cryptoverse. After months of hard work, they are going to give away some ETH to much-deserved grantees!
Voting is underway to choose three grantees from an amazing roster of 15 finalists. If you haven't had the chance to check out the applications or listen to last Saturday's AMA, see the IPFS link for the 15 finalists’ applications, listed alphabetically. Weighted Snapshot voting is live, and closes this Saturday at 8am PDT.
One of those 15 finalists for DAOpunks Grant funding is the Bankless Card project, spearheaded by links; votes cast for his name will directly benefit this project. Progress is fast and talks with card issuers are already in the works. Meanwhile, you can help Bankless Card holders get the best deal on rates by filling out this anonymous Tally survey about your own credit card spending habits.
With the product launch ‘on the cards’ soon, the Bankless Card team has open positions. For example, the Dev workstream has kicked off and is a great opportunity for developers to find a home with this exciting project.
💰 Growing Your Bags
It’s not a typo: 97% APY … you can get almost 100% gains on your DAI by loaning it out to your fellow bDAO members and BANK holders. Our Rari Fuse Pool currently has 37,000 DAI in its pool and after last week’s UST implosion DAI has become the largest share of all assets we can borrow against our BANK, consequently boosting returns for those lenders.
🎙 BanklessDAO Podcasts
🤝 New Joiners Session
Feeling overwhelmed with all of the different Discord channels? Want to contribute but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we have you covered. bDAO is conducting a session on May 23 at 2PM UTC to help new members learn about BanklessDAO and show them ways in which they can get involved. This session is full, but they will be every two weeks going forward, so stay tuned!
🗣️ Launching the DAO Contributors Sentiment Tracker
This is the first tracker of its kind, which tries to get into the minds of DAO contributors. Questions are about how they feel working for DAOs, what they like, what are the challenges, and whether the compensation is fair. After all, we can only improve what we can measure. The tracker will be repeated every six months to identify trends. The first questionnaire has just been released; check it out, add your opinions, and help shape an important piece of DAO-related research.
🙋🏻♂️ Coordinape: Give Your GIVE
The Allocation Phase of the May Coordinape round has started! Head over to Coordinape, select your Circles, and send GIVE to folks who have been contributing and spreading good vibes throughout the DAO during the last month. Speaking of good vibes, leave a kind message with your GIVE too — your frens will HODL it! The round ends at 5PM UTC on May 23, 2022.
We need your feedback! The DAO’s previous website design and hosting service was restrictive. In order to improve our UI/UX, we decided to build our own infrastructure thereby reducing our dependence on external services. This process was complicated and the team encountered some setbacks. However, significant progress has been made and one component of the website — the design — is ready. In order to finalize this design, feedback from the DAO is needed. Please fill in this form and let the team know your thoughts!
🎨 Participate in an Art Challenge Hosted by Bankless.se
Bankless.se and POAP founder worthalter.eth invites everyone to participate in an ART challenge! Submit your Noun-inspired POAP design before May 29, 2022. There will be a few prizes and the winning design will be used by worthalter for his June POAP! Read more at: https://www.bankless.se/poap/
📊 Guest Pass Holder Survey
To improve the membership experience, we'd like to learn why Guest Pass holders have not become Level 1 members. Please take this survey: https://forms.gle/oPfehBprsS7SfVES8.
As a gesture of appreciation, Guest Pass holders who complete this survey will receive a free POAP!
🙏 Sponsor: CitaDAO - Marketplace for Tokenized Real Estate
BanklessAfrica Seizes the Day
A Little Background on a Large Continent
Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is popularly known for its abundance of natural resources, diverse culture, and breathtaking tourist attractions. African economies are based on the trade, industry, agriculture, and human resources of each nation. Web3 brings an unprecedented opportunity for African entrepreneurs, innovators, and everyday people to reach their full potential. The dawn of Web3 has arrived.
We're thrilled to be the vanguard of this movement, helping people across Africa access cryptocurrency and digital currency technology. We believe that everyone deserves to be heard, empowered, and able to actualize their vision. But we also know that this goal is not yet a reality for many Africans. We've witnessed firsthand the challenges people face when they try to enter an increasingly advanced global economy.
That's why we're here. We have a vision for a brighter tomorrow.
Across 54 countries, Africa’s people account for over 1.3 billion of the world's population. Recent years have seen an increase in technology adoption, all thanks to a high proportion of youth; Africa has 22.7% of the global population of people under 35. These youths continue to build technological solutions across the financial, agricultural, educational, and entertainment sectors, and most recently the Web3 industry.
Heading For Crypto Adoption
During the last few years, cryptocurrency has risen in popularity as an investment, as well as a medium of exchange across the globe.
The volatility of crypto and the high gas fees associated with transacting the two most popular coins on the continent of Africa (BTC and ETH), means that it's not always the most practical way to conduct business or pay for everyday expenses. Crypto is great as a store of value, but it's not quite working yet as a currency. That is why it came as a shock to many when lawmakers in the Central African Republic recently voted unanimously to adopt bitcoin as an official legal tender, second only to El Salvador in embracing a new economic paradigm.
However, another type of payment is working well in many African nations: mobile money. Mobile money accounts are prepaid cell phone accounts that allow users to deposit and withdraw money from their phones rather than from brick-and-mortar banks. In 2020, the volume of mobile money transactions throughout Africa reached 27.5 billion, valued at 495 billion USD. Fueled by the lack of access to traditional banking services and investments like stocks and bonds, Africans are embracing this method of transacting and investing their money.
Some believe that mobile money adoption has helped pave the way for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to gain popularity in Africa. Peer to peer (P2P) transactions, especially for BTC, have experienced huge growth, likely due to the restrictions placed by some banks on transfers of cryptocurrencies. It's no surprise that two of the biggest unicorns in Africa — Flutterwave and Paystack — are Fintech companies offering P2P services.
The NFT Boom has also made its way to Africa; there are several projects that have been launched by Africans, the diaspora, and people who love the continent. One example is this famous coffin dance meme NFT from the lockdown days, which recently sold for a whopping 1 million USD.
Not Without Challenges
The majority of Africans in rural areas lack access to banks due to the huge costs associated with building a financial infrastructure in these areas. Banks aren't interested in opening branches outside of major cities because they don't see enough profit potential. Many Africans have cell phones but not bank accounts; this is the so-called "underbanked" and "unbanked" population.
Two key challenges facing crypto adoption in Africa are the scam mentality and what many see as over-regulation. Many people lost money with risky or fraudulent investments during the 2017 ICO boom. This has largely created the perception that crypto is a scam. The few providers that have entered the market have been plagued with government and regulatory actions. For example, in 2021 the Nigerian central bank ordered cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, to suspend accounts. Widespread outrage on Twitter prompted the company to make a statement of love and devotion to the Nigerian community.
Despite a strong government crackdown on cryptocurrency use and adoption, many projects, organizations and groups who understand how cryptocurrency can empower and transform the African economy continue to advocate for less stringent crypto regulations and bans. Organizations like The Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN) made a statement on the legitimacy of cryptocurrency and called on the Nigerian government to regulate rather than ban.
Another hurdle is the lack of access to cross-border financial infrastructure that continues to plague Africa. Although there are many payment options popping up across the continent, the bulk of the population still finds it difficult to receive and make payments to people outside their own borders. To solve this, many African DeFi solutions have sprung up over the years. Using blockchain technology, they've built solutions that allow peer-to-peer cross-border transactions. Other great blockchain use cases in Africa besides payments include agricultural data collection and ledger, real estate, and cryptocurrency trading.
Fintech and Blockchain Projects That Are Transforming Africa
Jambo is one of the largest Web3 communities present in 15 African countries and is focused on providing access to digital technology and Web3 education for Africans. Its mission sounds familiar … to onboard the next billion users to Web3.
Nestcoin is a Web3 application democratizing access to economic opportunity for everyday people in frontier markets. Its product stack includes Breach; a cryptocurrency education platform, and Metaverse Magna; an African gaming community which provides unique play-to-learn opportunities for gamers by partnering and collaborating with investors and game developers.
Celo is a DeFi platform that provides access to payment infrastructures in a mobile-friendly way.
Harmony is a Layer 1 blockchain bent on solving the blockchain trilemma of scalability, security, and decentralization. It also provides access to funding for DAOs.
The Sun Exchange is a peer-to-peer solar leasing market. It allows one person to lease a solar panel directly to another person somewhere else in the world.
BanklessAfrica is an international media node of BanklessDAO. Its mission is "to promote, educate and propagate truly bankless media, culture and education towards the adoption of trustless, decentralized money systems and blockchain technology."
The team creates educational content on Web3, DeFi, NFTs, and other DAO concepts through social media channels, Medium articles, podcasts, newsletters, and Twitter Spaces. As a result we have seen an uptick in the number of Africans joining the Web3 space and contributing in various DAOs and Web3 communities. There are a range of BanklessAfrica products and projects underway.
The podcast shares the stories of people and organizations making strides towards the advancement of crypto in Africa. In most cases, these people are everyday citizens who have discovered the power of Bitcoin and related technologies and are doing everything they can within their communities to spread awareness of the technology. Many episodes feature entrepreneurs who are building businesses that take advantage of this technology, and listeners will hear first-hand accounts of how they transitioned from Web2 to Web3, and why they made that choice.
Far more than a jpeg, this is an NFT project focused on offsetting carbon footprints. The project seeks to create value for the Avatime community in Ghana through the creation of NFT’s which represent virtual rights over the carbon sequestered by a hectare of mature forest.
The goal of BanklessAfrica Newsletter is to keep you up to date with the latest news, educate and provide detailed insights into the African crypto ecosystem.
As Africa's governments are plagued by inflation, poor monetary policies and other negative results of attempted currency control, we have been researching the utility of stablecoins for the people of Africa.
#endGameDistrict is a gaming guild inside the BanklessAfrica project. It focuses on play-to-earn games in the Web3 ecosystem. We aim to empower young Africans to get started in Web3 with an easier edutainment route — largely inspired by the success of Axie Infinity amongst the Filipino population. Education has started on the Aavegotchi game, and new joiners can rent Aavegotchis from members of the endGameDistrict community with a profit-sharing agreement.
BanklessAfrica continues to seek mutually beneficial partnerships with Web3 entities to advance their mission. Recently, the project started a dialogue with Kleoverse which led to an AMA in the BanklessDAO Discord, and there are more agreements in the pipeline.
Seize the Day
Africa is on the cusp of a blockchain revolution. We need to seize the opportunity and help Africans go bankless. With rapid strides in the adoption of mobile and internet technologies and soon Web3, a bankless continent is not an impossible dream. All stakeholders have to play their part and contribute as catalysts. Although some policy and governance challenges have been identified, they can be overcome with an open mind and a progressive spirit from all sides.
Let's help the unbanked go bankless. Let's create an inclusive economy that will leapfrog the limitations of our current financial infrastructure and our economy at large, as China did with manufacturing. Imagine a world where a farmer in rural Yendi can use his smartphone to buy a cart of rice from an exporter in Nigeria, who in turn can use a blockchain-enabled trading platform to sell it to a restaurateur in Chicago, who then pays her Armenian-American chef with crypto. We are all playing different notes to the same symphony.
Let's come together as one and bring this symphony to the world.
BanklessAfrica is making this happen.
🎣 Phishing School
Authors: d0wnlore and the InfoSec Team
Why and How to Start Threat Modeling
Way back in February we introduced a concept in Phishing School called threat modeling. This is an important exercise that we can spend just a few minutes doing to better understand the assets, threats, and protections we should be aware of in the context of our crypto journey. Because of its importance we wanted to reintroduce it again this week.
Security lies on a spectrum. The more protections and rules we implement in the name of security, the more likely we will make certain tasks inconvenient for ourselves. Threat modeling helps us discover the security protections that best fit our unique situation, and decide how much inconvenience is worth it.
We can begin this exercise by answering a few questions:
What do I need to protect and why?
From whom do I need to protect myself?
How likely is the threat?
What are the consequences if I fail?
By answering these you will better understand the assets, threats, and consequences that need to be considered in your unique situation. This will inform your choice as to how far you are willing to go to protect your assets; every solution will lie on a spectrum between convenience and security. Convenient solutions may still possess security holes, but totally secure solutions may be so complex that you may disregard protecting the asset at all.
If you need some inspiration, here are some sample answers:
1. What do I need to protect and why?
My private keys and tokens, because they are a significant part of my net worth and identity.
My Twitter and Discord accounts, because they can be used by attackers to steal tokens from my friends or community if I don’t protect them.
My real identity, because I cherish my privacy and want to avoid unwanted or possibly harmful attention.
2. From whom do I need to protect myself?
Scammers targeting everyone in a community (phishing campaigns, rug pulls).
Resourceful criminals specifically targeting me (spear phishing, SIM swapping).
Strangers who will steal my assets if given the chance (shoulder surfing, stealing hardware wallets left out in the open).
3. How likely is the threat?
I am a mod in several Discord servers and will likely be targeted in social engineering attacks to takeover my Discord account.
I am a doxxed crypto whale, which can attract the unwanted attention, online and offline, of those that will try to steal my bag using a variety of methods.
Malware infects my computer often enough that I am concerned that sooner or later one which can steal my private keys will be installed.
4. What are the consequences if I fail?
A good chunk of my net worth, and possibly my identity, would be gone, forcing me to rebuild at a time when everything is more expensive than when I started.
My community will lose trust in me and my project if my Discord server is attacked through my compromised account, plus I would have to repay victims if the attack was successful. I will become too risk averse to really invest or spend time in the ecosystem again, possibly leaving for good and missing out on future gains.
Once you have answered these four questions you can start considering your security options for protection. As mentioned earlier, these solutions lie on a spectrum between convenience and security. The right choice for you will depend on what you are willing to compromise, or not, to achieve a level of protection for your assets that lets you sleep at night.
In previous Weekly Rollups we mentioned a few ways to protect your assets and will continue to offer more solutions. Expect to see more security education and guidance from BanklessDAO as a whole, such as workshops from the Education Guild or upcoming content from the InfoSec Team. Let’s help each other stay safe.
Proposals in Discussion
One of our bDAO members came across a website, Myfirstnft.info, containing fundamental courses on the blockchain, Web3, and NFTs. There could be an opportunity for bDAO to collaborate with this platform. This proposal talks about exploring a potential partnership.
The Regens Unite event in Brussels, which took place May 19 and 20, is bringing together people and projects that have the same goal: to respond to the climate emergency by shifting our intentions from sustainability to regeneration.
This proposal seeks retroactive funding of 20,000 BANK for travel and accommodation expenses and an additional 20,000 BANK towards media and asset creation, all related to a collaboration with Regens Unite.
✅ Action Items
🎙 Action: Y’all at Permissionless had enough action. Assignment: recharge.
💰 Allocate your GIVE on Coordinape.
🙏 Thanks to Our Sponsor
CitaDAO is a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, allowing real estate to be tokenized on chain. The ERC-20 tokens will be composable with other DeFi applications and primitives that operate within the Ethereum blockchain, creating a place for real estate within the DeFi ecosystem.
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