My name is Hassan. I’m the founder and CEO of Teknolojia. 5 months ago, I didn’t know what the heck Blockchain was!
I wont make you a Blockchain expert but it will surely give you an overview of this Buzzword Blockchain and a couple of terms that will lead your Google research to get a better understanding. I’ll also introduce you to the current status of Blockchain in Egypt. Teknolojia is the first Egyptian Blockchain Provider for training, consultation, and software solutions.
First, you must know that Blockchain IS NOT Bitcoin, but to understand what Blockchain is and how it started I will brief you about Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoins
For a few decades now, people who believe in decentralization wanted to create a decentralized world including a decentralized currency. This means that the currency would not be controlled by governments, or banks. Many tried to create a decentralized cryptocurrency and failed for several reasons. Only the Bitcoin was the first successful cryptocurrency ever.
On Oct 31st, 2008 right after the financial crisis, an individual or a group of people under the name of “Satoshi Nakamoto” introduced Bitcoin and Blockchain in a whitepaper.
On 22nd of May 2010, Bitcoin was used to make a purchase for the very first time: two pizzas! They were bought for 10,000 Bitcoin. That’s $25 at the time, and approximately $46,000,0000 in 2017! Yes that’s 46 million USD, and those are the 2 most expensive pizzas in history!
So again, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency (electronic money), but Blockchain is the underlying technology (network and database) that allows for Bitcoin transactions to occur and get recorded in chains of Blocks (That’s why it’s a Blockchain).
Blockchain in Egypt
Blockchain has certain features that made it a whole new form of databases, It’s public, decentralized and immutable, which means that transactions recorded on the Blockchain are tamperproof and can’t be edited, deleted, or changed. It also reduces costs, risk, and increases revenue, associated with transaction processing.
In short, Blockchain is to Bitcoin, the same as the Internet is to emails.
Now with Blockchain in Egypt, there’re few Egyptian players in the market. The first two are Lamarkaz by Nour Haridy, and Elkrem by Amr Saleh. They’re two of the best guys in Blockchain in Egypt. Both are located in Cairo. Elkrem also published in introductory infographic on bitcoin which you can see here.
Then comes IBM, R3 Consortium, and Teknolojia. IBM has a some customers in Blockchain in Egypt. While R3 has no physical existence in the Egyptian market, there’s two Egyptian Banks that are part of their Consortium: The National Bank of Egypt and Commercial International Bank. They’re working on one Blockchain usecase which is related to Digital Identity. Actually Teknolojia is going to represent R3 in Egypt, and we’re also an IBM Partner!
Teknolojia started as Codeaku, the first Egyptian Blockchain & FinTech training school. We also founded Egypt’s first Blockchain club at Oct 6 University. Finally, when it comes to software solutions, we’re working on a Blockchain solution to manage financial aid programs with the United Nations in Egypt.
Blockchain in Egypt has a huge potential in increasing the speed and efficiency of transaction processing, as well as massively decreasing transaction fees which can bring more of the unbanked customers on board as well as speed up the government’s plans for financial inclusion and a cashless society.
Check out list of Tech startups in Egypt on Startups Galaxy here.
The last thing I want to share is how great the Blockchain potential is. It’s almost as big as the Internet back in the 1990s. Egypt didn’t get a decent share of that, but some young Egyptians are working hard for Egypt to get a decent share of the Blockchain potential.