From the 21st to the 22nd of September, UCT Financial Innovation Hub COO Anda Ngcaba, General Hub Manager Lindiwe Kers and MPhil in Fintech student Titose Chembezi attended the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) Connect 2022 hosted by the UCL School of Management in London.
UBRI is a university partner programme that collaborates with universities worldwide on research and development in blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Some notable universities in the network included the University of Oxford, the University of California Berkeley, ETH Zurich, and the University of Cape Town.
Titose forms part of a start-up named Nautilus, which has taken to market research from UCT in confidential computing and blockchain technology. A flagship product from the start-up is the Nautilus Wallet, which offers a low-vulnerability, non-custodial wallet. The wallet turns anyone with a smartphone into a connector to facilitate payments for those that do not have one while maintaining a high level of security and privacy for all parties. The objective is to achieve financial inclusion primarily for use cases in CBDC pilots, cross-border remittance projects and social grant payments.
On day two of the conference, Titose presented a demo of the wallet and interacted with the audience to explain the impact their technology can have on the market. This comes months after the team was awarded a grant during XRPL's second wave of grants which helped them further their venture.
Furthermore, Titose received a shared Ripple Impact award with Julian Kanjere, a PhD student from UCT working on Mandla Money - a blockchain-enabled digital wallet for the unbanked.
“The UBRI network is a chance for academia to really help shape and improve developments in the blockchain space. I appreciate Ripple's efforts in supporting research because the grant to my university has been fundamental to my education at UCT.
This is why I applied to be an XRPL Campus Ambassador to UCT in the inaugural cohort. I hosted a few free webinars to educate and inspire other students to learn about blockchain technology for free and give back. The award that Julian and I received represents the calibre of innovation from Africa when supported. I hope to see more universities from the continent in the network in future years!" Titose Chembezi.