Have you seen what Africa is doing on Web 3?

If you’ve spent any time reading about blockchain and Web3, you know that this industry is full of big buzzwords and half-baked concepts. However, concepts like Decentralized Identity Services, or DIS, bring real meaning and benefit to Web3. If you haven’t wrapped your mind around DID yet, it refers to a self-owned, trusted identity that enables data exchange. In other words, it puts digital identity management and control directly in your hands instead of a third party.

This week we take a look at the Web3 partnership designed to bring payment solutions to Africa, sponsored by the CryptoBiz program of DID. We also list Maple Finance, the European Central Bank and Nasdaq.

Payments platform Fuse integrates ChromePay to bring DIID services to Africa

Is Web3 Possible Without Decentralized Identity Services? It depends on who you ask. Thanks to Web3’s payment solutions, Fuse and ChromePay, DIS plays a critical role in expanding the decentralized Internet, especially in places like Africa. This week, the companies announced a new partnership to bring DID-backed Web3 payment products to the African continent. Specifically, ChromePay integrates the Fuse blockchain, allowing users to access both traditional and blockchain-based payments directly on their mobile devices.

Maple Finance launches a $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 will provide up to $300 million in secured debt financing to Bitcoin (BTC) mining companies. Why is this important? Well, for starters, the loan could help miners survive one of Bitcoin’s worst downturns. The loan is secured by physical and intellectual property owned by the mining firms, including their BTC mining facilities.

The European Central Bank chooses Amazon and 4 other organizations to design the digital euro application

The European Central Bank, or ECB, will design the Digital Euro app with five e-commerce and fintech companies led by Amazon. Nexi, EPI, Worldline and CaxaBank comprise the list of partners that the ECB has chosen to develop certain functions for the digital euro prototype. Although the ECB remains unclear on its intentions to launch 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 it what you will.

Nasdaq is reportedly developing a crypto custody service for institutions.

The bear market can be a great opportunity for institutional investors to learn about crypto and, in addition, start investing in the digital asset class. (Regulatory transparency also helps.) It was reported this week that financial services firm Nasdaq is preparing to offer digital asset custody services — a move that could make BTC and other cryptocurrencies more popular with institutional investors. In my view, it’s only a matter of time before banks, hedge funds and family offices start getting into crypto. At this stage, no Keeping in mind that Bitcoin is a huge career risk for investors. Ignore BTC at your peril!

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

Ethereum’s much-anticipated merger was successfully completed last week, but even that didn’t stop crypto prices from crashing again. In this week’s market report, I sat down with Marcel Pechman, Benton Yawn, and Ray Salmond to discuss issues affecting the crypto markets. I also shared my thoughts on when Bitcoin might reach the actual bottom of the cycle. You can watch the full replay below.

Crypto Biz is your weekly roundup of the business behind the blockchain and crypto delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.