3 easy points to understand what makes Malta the “Blockchain island”

Malta has earned a well-deserved title of “Blockchain island” –  it is the first jurisdiction in the world to introduce blockchain regulations. The Maltese government views the blockchain technology as a whole, while other countries are typically looking at crypto and blockchain for short-term gains.  It’s fair to say that Malta legislators understand what the blockchain technology can offer in the long run. In July 2018 when the Maltese parliament passed the regulatory bills, Silvio Schembri, Junior Minister for Financial Services, tweeted: The 3 Bills that will regulate DLT have been…

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Why eCommerce in Africa hasn’t caught on and what webshops can do about that

I have attended several tech events where they invite so-called gurus and experts to explain the digital landscape in Africa, but I have never been satisfied with any of their answers as to why e-commerce has not caught on. It turns out the reason why a click on a user’s web browser doesn’t exactly translate into an actual sale is really simple — the shipping and billing information form. It seems to me that most African online shopping stores just Xerox existing templates that have worked in developed economies where the physical…

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Emerging Markets Have a Lot to Teach Us About Entrepreneurship

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are legendary American entrepreneurs. These giants’ success stories might make it seem as if the United States owns the market when it comes to the secrets of commercial success. I would argue the opposite is true: Developing nations and emerging markets have important entrepreneurship lessons to teach more affluent counties. Programs within Chile, India and Brazil, for example, have encouraged economic growth and entrepreneurship. These same efforts and principles could be applied to advance the United States even further. Government initiatives Government initiatives in emerging markets have played…

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Banking the unbanked in emerging markets

As countries progress, citizens migrate from remote villages to large cities and foreign countries. Their economic power rises and they participate in the global economy. People need to purchase food, pay electricity bills, top up transportation cards, arrange online services, buy overseas goods, repay loans, and send money to relatives. Unlike the U.S., however, where 93% of peoplehave banking options, many in developing markets do not. Globally, an estimated 2 billion adults lack access to formal financial services. The services that are available are typically cumbersome and expensive. To address this gap, fintech startups…

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A Focus on Ageing in Emerging Markets

The developed nations in the West are often described as ageing and trying to focus on solutions for the challenges that come with it, while emerging nations are characterized as young, energetic and full of opportunity for the youthful population. Rapid advances in wealth, healthcare, nutrition and less physically intensive labour also impacts longevity. More people are living longer in developing countries and this is definitely a reason to celebrate, however this new reality also brings challenges that will need to be addressed. According to Helpage and The World Bank,…

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The Impact of “Big Tobacco” on Emerging Markets

Smoking has always been a divisive subject. While in developed countries, health awareness, high taxes and advertisement restriction might have been the factors contributing for the decrease in number of cigarette sales, in emerging economies, tobacco companies seem to be cashing in more and more. Economic development means more disposable income and more wiggle room in regulations, and tobacco companies are well aware of that. Smoking in Numbers In 2015, global cigarette sales closed the year with $685.5bn, which amounts to 5.6 trillion cigarettes consumed, and 20.4% of the world’s…

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Rwanda: The Challenges of Social Innovation Delivery in Emerging Markets

Recently, I attended a startup accelerator pitch competition in Kigali where 10 teams pitched business solutions to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges faced by Rwandan youth. The top four teams received funding to further develop their ideas. In a country with a young population – 77% of the population is under 25 – and one of the highest fertility rates in Africa – 4.6 children born to every woman – youth SRH interventions are needed, and a pitch competition that encourages local youth to design these solutions is welcome.…

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How Big Data can make people healthier in Emerging Markets

Guest post by Will Greene In many emerging markets, reliable data on healthcare systems is limited or nonexistent. This makes it difficult to address urgent healthcare challenges in many countries. But a growing number of tech entrepreneurs and public health activists are finding ways to fill the data gaps. There are many gaps to address. Such healthcare systems and supply chains are not typically powered by modern IT systems. Large quantities of health data end up in paper records that are lost or forgotten. Undocumented cash transactions at hospitals and…

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Snapchat loses in emerging markets while Facebook wins

Every single day there are hundreds (if not thousands) of articles about how Snapchat will take over the social media world. Or, how Snapchat has revolutionized social media. When Snapchat launched Spectacles – glasses that record you Snapchat videos and stream them via Bluetooth into your phone – caused so much buzz I couldn’t even believe. News the new colourful Spectacles flooded my newsfeed – from tech savvy couples using it in the bedroom to a surgeon performing a live surgery using it. It seems that everyone in “the world”…

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ASEAN eCommerce sets to replace China saturated market

Guest post by  Kim Jae-kyoung SINGAPORE ― The ASEAN region (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is emerging as one of the most promising e-commerce markets in the world to replace the saturated Chinese market. Following the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015, e-commerce is providing huge opportunities for Korean retailers seeking new customers abroad. Most member states of ASEAN, including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam, are experiencing an e-commerce boom. The Internet-based retail market has been relatively underdeveloped in Southeast Asia…

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