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HAVE you seen what Africa is doing with Web3?

If you’ve read about Blockchain and Web3 before, you know that this industry is full of big buzzwords and half-baked concepts. However, concepts like decentralized identity services or DIDs give Web3 real meaning and usefulness. If you’re new to DID, it refers to a separate, independent identity that enables trusted data exchange. In other words, it puts digital identity management and governance right in your hands, instead of those of a third party.

In this week’s Crypto Biz, we take a look at a Web3 partnership designed to bring DID-enabled payment solutions to Africa. We also cover Maple Finance, the European Central Bank and Nasdaq.

Payments platform Fuse integrates ChromePay to bring DID services to Africa

Is Web3 even possible without decentralized identity services or DIDs? It depends who you ask. For Web3 payment solutions Fuse and ChromePay, DIDs will play an essential role in expanding access to the decentralized internet, especially in places like Africa. This week the companies announced a new partnership to bring a range of DID-powered Web3 payment products to the African continent. Specifically, ChromePay will integrate the Fuse blockchain, allowing users to access both traditional and blockchain-based payments right on their mobile devices.

Maple Finance launches $300 million loan pool for bitcoin mining companies

Crypto lending platform Maple Finance is showing no signs of slowing down amid the bear market. The company announced this week that it would provide up to $300 million worth of secured debt financing to Bitcoin (BTC) miners. Why is that important? Well, for starters, the loan could help miners stay afloat during one of Bitcoin’s most severe downturns. The loan is secured by physical and intellectual assets owned by the mining companies, including their BTC mining rigs.

The European Central Bank selects Amazon and 4 other companies as a prototype for a digital euro app

The European Central Bank (ECB) will prototype its digital euro app with five Amazon-led e-commerce and fintech companies. Nexi, EPI, Worldline and CaxaBank complete the list of partners selected by the ECB to develop specific functionalities for the digital euro prototype. Although the ECB has been vague about its intention to issue a central bank digital currency, the monetary authority appears to be laying the groundwork for its implementation. I’m not a fan of CBDCs, so make of them what you will.

Nasdaq is reportedly preparing crypto custody services for institutions

The bear market could be a perfect opportunity for institutional investors to learn about crypto and start investing in the digital asset class. (Regulatory clarity will also help.) It was reported this week that financial services firm Nasdaq is preparing to offer custody services for digital assets — a move that could make buying and holding BTC and other cryptocurrencies more palatable for institutional investors. In my view, it’s only a matter of time before banks, hedge funds, and family offices start looking at crypto. Not at this stage considering Bitcoin is a major career gamble for investors. Ignore BTC at your own risk!

Before you go: Why did the crypto market crash after the Ethereum merger?

The much-anticipated Ethereum merger successfully completed last week, but even that didn’t stop crypto prices from plummeting again. In this week’s Market Report, I sat down with Marcel Pechman, Benton Yaun, and Ray Salmond to discuss the factors affecting the crypto markets. I also shared my thoughts on when Bitcoin might hit its final cycle bottom. You can watch the full replay below.

Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse on the business behind blockchain and crypto, delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.