👨🏿‍🚀TechCabal Daily – Google plays catch up with AI

👨🏿‍🚀TechCabal Daily – Binance executive arrested in Kenya

KuCoin halts naira P2P

KuCoin has suspended peer-to-peer trading using the Nigerian naira (NGN) on its platform.

The crypto trading platform announced the suspension of Nigerian Naira peer-to-peer (P2P) trading and Naira debit card purchases yesterday. While the company cited service improvements, the move likely reflects pressure from Nigerian regulators.

This decision follows a meeting that was held three weeks ago between Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and major crypto players, where the SEC discouraged Naira P2P trading due to concerns about the Naira’s instability.

KuCoin, unlike its competitor Binance which is facing government charges, has so far avoided scrutiny. By suspending Naira P2P trading, it likely hopes to stay on the Nigerian government’s good side.

In recent weeks, Nigerian authorities have been clamping down on P2P crypto trading. The Security Adviser’s office is investigating suspicious accounts, and banks and financial institutions are required to close accounts linked to crypto trading and report them. 

In April, the EFCC blocked thousands of accounts suspected of crypto activity and peer-to-peer trading, claiming that these activities caused distortions in the market resulting in the naira losing its value against other currencies. 

The SEC Director-General, Emomotimi Agama also blamed the crash of the naira on crypto traders. In a publicised meeting with crypto players, he mentioned that one of the things that needs to happen to save the crypto space in the country is the delisting of the naira on peer-to-peer platforms. 

Despite the crackdown, the naira hasn’t gotten any stronger. It’s unclear if authorities will actually ban P2P trading, or what that ban might look like.

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Accion launches $152.5 million fund for digital transformation

Accion, a non-profit organisation dedicated to financial inclusion, has launched a $152.2 million digital transformation fund.

What’s the money for? Accion wants to tackle financial exclusion by investing in local partners and large financial services companies that haven’t made investments in digital customer engagement. Together with these companies, Accion believes it can develop digital financial solutions that provide safe savings, access to credit, and insurance to underserved people globally. 

The funding in this round was led by British International Investment (BII), Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO, IDB Invest, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Mastercard, among others. 

There are two key challenges: First, rural areas have digitally inexperienced customers who struggle to trust digital technologies, while traditional financial institutions lack the expertise or internal resources to invest in effective digital engagement strategies for these customers.

One of the actions Accoin is taking to solve the problem is deploying the fund through an equity investment of between $12 million–$15 million to 10–12 traditional financial institutions. This fund, separate from Accion’s existing fintech venture lab, will leverage contributions from limited partners alongside its own equity investments. 

Accion has been around for over 60 years, and it has contributed to the establishment of 230 financial providers catering to low-income consumers and businesses across 75 countries.

In 2019, Accoin made a move into early-stage fintech investing by launching the Accoin Venture Lab. This venture arm fueled by a $23 million inclusive fintech startup fund, has actively supported over 65 seed and Series A companies across more than 30 countries in regions spanning Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. Notable investments have been made in companies such as Konfio, South Africa’s Lulalend, Fairbanc and Egypt’s Khanza.

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Google releases new AI-powered updates at I/O event

Google is playing catch-up in AI. And its latest developer event tells the true story.

Two days ago, Google held the 2024 edition of its international developers conference in California, where it launched a flurry of new features centred around AI.

Like OpenAI which also released an improved version of its AI model—GPT-4o—days ago, Google also launched an improved AI model, Gemini 1.5 flash, which will allow Gemini to generate faster responses.

As developers around the world gathered at the event, Google talked big about improvements in its Gemini AI model and how it would be integrated into its workspaces—Google Sheets, Docs, Meet, Slides, Gmail, etc.—and its web browser, Chrome, amongst other integrations. If you missed out on the event, we’ve got you covered. 😉

You can now search in Google Lens by recording a video. Previously, users could only search on Google Lens via images, Google is taking things a notch higher with the introduction of video search. To use the new feature, you can simply take a video of what you’re searching for, issue a command midway, and Google’s AI will provide relevant answers from the web.

Google also wants to give you a do-everything virtual assistant. Themed, Project Astra, the virtual assistant can access your camera to see things, learn where you keep items, and complete tasks based on your instructions. 

If, like this writer, you have over a thousand photos sitting in your gallery and you sometimes need to sift through them to find something in detail, Google’s new “Ask Photos” feature might just be for you. The feature lets Gemini search through your Google photo library in response to your question. Sundar Pichai demonstrated the feature by asking for his plate number. The feature will be rolled out to paid Gemini subscribers next month.

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Google’s rebuttal to Sora: Last year, OpenAI debuted Sora, the generative AI model that can make videos off of text and image prompts. Well, Google just launched its rebuttal, Veo. Google is currently pitching Veo—which can create decent video quality based on text, image and video-based prompts—to creators for use in YouTube and to Hollywood for use in films.

Google wants you to create your own AI chatbots. Google’s new AI chatbot creator, Gems, lets users issue instructions to Gemini to create custom chatbots. Whether a life coach chatbot, a training or diet assistant, or maybe a chatbot that helps you come up with creative excuses for putting off tasks and responsibilities. The feature which will launch soon ,is only available to advanced subscribers of Gemini.

Like OpenAI’s new voice assistant feature, which adds human-like inflections in the way it chats, the new Gemini Live feature aims to give users the same feel with its voice chats. Google will add new personalities to its chatbot’s voice, allowing it to engage with users in a more conversational and friendly manner. Users will also be able to interrupt the chatbot mid-sentence, similar to how they would in a natural conversation. The chatbot will be able to access the user’s smartphone camera, providing real-time information about what it sees.

Gemini will also let you add details from a flyer to your calendar through the latest integration that lets it draw information from Google Calendar, Tasks, and Keep.

Google is also integrating an AI assistant into its workspace. “The assistant will help you fetch information from your drive and do other things for you, like writing emails that incorporate information from a document you’re working on, as well as help you send reminders.”Google will roll out the feature to all paid Gemini subscribers next month. 

Google Chrome is also getting an AI assistant. Think of it as a mini-Gemini. 

Google also demonstrated new updates for Android at the event, including a fraud detector feature that helps you avoid scam calls and pops up real-time warnings. Google didn’t say much about the feature at the event. Gemini will be able to let users ask questions about videos on-screen and get responses based on automatic captions. The Android updates will be available in the coming months. 

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GITEX Africa returns a second time on May 29–31, 2024, to Marrakech, Morocco, discussing ways to accelerate the continent’s digital health revolution. GITEX is the continent’s largest all-inclusive tech event renowned for uniting the brightest minds in the technology industry.  Grab your tickets here.

The World Wide Web3

Source:

Coinmarketcap logo

Coin Name

Current Value

Day

Month

Bitcoin $65,986

+ 6.31%

+ 6.95%

Ether $3,007

+ 3.95%

– 1.57%

GameStop

$0.019

+ 60.44%

+ 2677.51%

Solana $144.31

– 1.44%

– 6.44%

* Data as of 06:46 AM WAT, May 16, 2024.

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