Category Archive : Nigeria

Alleged Crypto-Broker ExpertDreamTrade.com appears to be operating a fraud

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has received a complaint from a California resident regarding a crypto investment scam.

The victim told DFPI that he deposited more than $300,000 into ExpertDreamTrade.com, which he believed operated like a bank, but when he asked to withdraw the money, the scammers told him he would need to pay $50,000 to get it out. He believes he has tracked to the money to the crypto wallets of two individuals located in Nigeria, but so far, cannot get his money back. These allegations have not been verified by the DFPI.

This appears to be what is commonly called an “Advance Fee scheme,” which can take many forms, as discussed here: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/advance-fee-schemes.

The DFPI urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation offering investment or financial services.  To check whether an investment or financial service provider is licensed in California, consumers may contact the Department for questions or inquiries at [email protected] or call toll-free at (866) 275-2677.  If a consumer believes a person or company has violated state law or acted improperly regarding a consumer financial product or service, they may file a formal complaint with the DFPI at https://dfpi.ca.gov/file-a-complaint/.

Read more at www.einnews.com

Bitcoin surges above $64,000 as first crypto-linked ETF lists on NYSE

The price of Bitcoin surged, near the all-time high after ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) listed on the New York Stock.

On Tuesday, Bitcoin rose 4.58 percent or $2812, trading $64,241 up 4.22% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.

The price is less than 1 percent from its record of $64,899 as of April 14, 2021.

ProShares Bitcoin listing has been described as a new milestone in cryptocurrency’s journey toward the financial mass market.

After listing under the ticker BITO, the ETF by ProShares, an investment management firm, gained 4 percent to close at $42 on the first trading day.

The ETF primarily invests in bitcoin futures contracts, betting on the future prices of bitcoin instead of the cryptocurrency.

ProShares, in a statement on Monday, said BITO’s launch would offer investors an opportunity to gain exposure to Bitcoin returns through a brokerage account.

“BITO can be bought and sold like a stock and eliminates the need for an account at a cryptocurrency exchange and a crypto wallet,” the statement reads.

Michael L. Sapir, ProShares chief executive officer (CEO), said, “We believe a multitude of investors have been eagerly awaiting the launch of a bitcoin-linked ETF after years of efforts to launch one.”

“BITO will open up exposure to bitcoin to a large segment of investors who have a brokerage account and are comfortable buying stocks and ETFs, but do not desire to go through the hassle and learning curve of establishing another account with a cryptocurrency provider and creating a bitcoin wallet or are concerned that these providers may be unregulated and subject to security risks.”

In Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned citizens against trading in cryptocurrencies. In February, it directed banks to close accounts of persons or entities involved in crypto transactions.

The apex bank is planning to launch its own digital currency,…

Read more at www.thecable.ng

Adrian Grenier Joins Panel Discussion about Green Bitcoin

By Adedapo Adesanya

At its virtual MacBook event on Monday, tech giant, Apple, launched the new generation AirPods which will support spatial audio, thanks to new sensors that support features like spatial audio.

The new Airpods sport a new design, closer to the AirPods Pro, but they lack the rubber in-ear tip. The case also charges magnetically using Apple’s magnetic charger MagSafe.

Apple says the third-generation AirPods have more powerful bass than previous models and that the AirPods now have six hours of battery life for listening to audio.

The new AirPods cost $179 (N102,388) and will hit the shelves next week.

Apple launched its first AirPods in 2016 and turned the wireless earphone market on its head.

Apple is the largest AirPods brand as it holds 29 per cent of the market share in the third quarter of 2020, three times that of its closest competitor, Xiaomi.

Also at the event, the company announced new chips, M1 Pro and M1 Max, for new high-end MacBook Pro laptops.

The M1 Max is a more powerful version of the M1 and M1 Pro. It has 57 billion transistors, Apple said, and a 32-core graphics processor, saying that its graphics processor compares favourably to current laptop graphics processors, especially when using less power.

Apple said the new MacBook Pro laptops are completely reimagined as they will come with Apple’s M1 Pro chip, a new processor Apple says has a 10-core processing unit that is 70 per cent faster than its current M1 chip.

The new models have an HDMI port to connect to displays and TVs, an SD card slot for photographers. It also uses a MagSafe magnetic connector, bringing back a beloved feature from older MacBooks.

Users can still charge using the USB-C ports, of which there are three, which support Thunderbolt connections.

It comes in 16-inch and 14-inch sizes with denser screens and ProMotion screens with a higher refresh rate, a feature that landed on the iPhone 13 this year. The displays are using MiniLED…

Read more at businesspost.ng

Appzone wants African banks to settle payments on a blockchain — Quartz Africa

To solve problems African businesses have when settling payments within the continent, convince banks to transition from centralized systems to those based on a blockchain.

That is the argument by Appzone, a 13 year-old Nigerian fintech company that has launched a payment processing system built on its own private blockchain network.

Appzone’s blockchain-based payment processor, called Zone Switch, has been in use for five months, though on a pilot scale. Elendu Uche, the product’s chief executive, says 10 Nigerian banks have started using the new service to process some of their customers’ transactions within the country, including Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, and United Bank for Africa – three of Africa’s largest banks.

At least two similar banks with branches across Africa are in the process of signing up for the switch, Uche tells Quartz.

What’s wrong with instant payments on centralized platforms? 

As far as solutions for intra-Africa payments go, Zone Switch is not an entirely novel idea.

Its vision is similar to the Pan-African Payments and Settlement System(PAPSS), the instant payments effort led by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which went live this month. Both projects aim to make payments in Africa instant and cost-effective with the least friction possible.

But the difference between PAPSS and Zone Switch is that blockchain systems are supposedly more reliable and enable faster settlement.

Appzone’s motivation for the product was based on the growing adoption of cryptocurrency as a faster alternative for peer-to-peer transactions, like individuals sending money to friends or family from one African country to another. Africa has the fastest crypto adoption rate in the world, recording 1,200% growth between July 2020 and June 2021.

But because central bank regulations in countries like Nigeria forbid banks from enabling crypto trades, adapting a blockchain’s qualities for…

Read more at qz.com

Who’s afraid of crypto-salaries? | TechCabal

Like most Nigerian workers, Kola*, at his former job, used to be paid his salary in the country’s official currency: the naira—until he started working at a fintech company registered outside Nigeria. Now he gets paid in USD Coin (USDC), a Stablecoin tethered to the US dollar. With this switch in his salary’s currency, Kola was offered a juicy opportunity to exit a quagmire many young Nigerians find themselves in: they make more money than their parents did but in a currency that has fallen so low their paycheck doesn’t reflect in their purchasing power. 

Nigeria, like many African countries, grapples with currency risk. Back in 2015, its current president, Muhammadu Buhari, campaigned on a promise to increase the value of the naira. But since the start of his presidency, the country’s currency has plunged badly because demand for the dollar continues to outstrip supply. This plunge in the value of the naira has been majorly fueled by Nigeria importing more goods than it exports. With declining oil prices forcing the Nigerian government to devalue its official currency twice in the past year, and by roughly 35% over the past five years, the resultant inflation has thrown over 7 million people into poverty in 2020 alone, according to the World Bank.

Since saving in naira is a dead plan, more Nigerians now save their earnings in foreign currencies. Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that Nigeria had a total domiciliary account balance of ₦6.566 trillion as of March 2021, and when this figure is converted to dollars at the official rate of ₦410 per dollar, it translates to about $16 billion. 

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Volatile naira drives Nigerians to digital currencies

Nigeria’s weak currency has pushed its citizens into saving their money in foreign currencies, for wealth and value preservation. But even this is in limbo because uncertainties rule the…

Read more at techcabal.com

Nigeria Crypto Adoption Rate Hits 24%, Followed by Malaysia and Australia

Results from the Finder Cryptocurrency Adoption Index, which examines 22 nations, show that Nigeria, Malaysia, and Australia are topping adoption rates worldwide. Most investors seem keen on bitcoin and ethereum, with some other altcoins faring relatively well.

A new survey released by Finder shows that Nigeria has the highest rate of crypto adoption in the world at 24.2%. Following Nigeria are Malaysia and Australia, and most of the ownership focuses on the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap. The African nation has experienced consistent adoption growth despite some disapproval from officials.

The Finder Cryptocurrency Adoption Index surveyed over 41,000 individuals in 22 countries and returned some interesting results. These top 3 countries see investors primarily put their capital into bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano, though the likes of Dogecoin also stand out. However, bitcoin remains the most popular worldwide, having become something of a household name since 2017.

Nigeria has also launched the website for its upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, and the government is keen not to let cryptocurrencies take over.

Interestingly, some of the more developed Western nations show little interest in cryptocurrencies. The adoption rate in the U.K. is among the lowest, with ownership estimated to be 5.4%. Most own bitcoin and ethereum, but at 1 in 20 adults, this is a significantly lower number than other countries.

The U.K.’s financial regulator, like those in other major economies, is beginning to crack down on the cryptocurrency market. This could be one of the reasons why there is a low adoption rate, though that hasn’t stopped investors in the U.S., for example, from investing in the asset class.

Tech-savvy developing nations contributing heavily to crypto growth

Cryptocurrencies are particularly popular in developing countries, as the younger population flock to the new asset class. Africa…

Read more at beincrypto.com

Exchange rate gains further at official market despite fall in forex supply – Nairametrics

Monday, 18th October 2021: The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar closed at N414.73/$1, at the Investors and Exporters window, where forex is traded officially.

Naira appreciated further against the US dollar to close at N414.73/$1 on Monday, 18th October 2021. The exchange rate gained marginally by 0.08% from N415.07/$1 recorded on Friday.

In the same vein, naira gained 0.09% to N572/$1 on Monday, 18th October 2021 compared to N573.5/$1 recorded as of the close of trade on Friday, 15th October 2021. This is according to information obtained by Nairametrics from BDC operators in Lagos.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s foreign reserve recorded a further boost of $199.24 million on Friday, 15th October 2021 to close at $39.82 billion compared to $39.62 billion recorded as of the previous day. The reserve position has gained $3.04 billion so far in the month of October.

Trading at the official NAFEX window

The exchange rate depreciated against the US dollar on Monday, 18th October 2021 to close the day at N414.73 to a dollar, representing a 0.08% gain compared to N415.07/$1 recorded on Friday, 15th October 2021.

The opening indicative rate closed at N414.46/$1 on Monday, representing a 63 kobo appreciation compared to N415.09/$1 recorded in the previous trading day.

An exchange rate of N425 to a dollar was the highest rate recorded during intra-day trading before it settled at N435.3/$1, while it sold for as low as N405/$1 during intra-day trading.

Meanwhile, forex turnover at the official window declined by 54.4% on Monday, 18th October 2021.

According to data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover dropped from $377.28 million recorded on Friday to $172 million on Monday 18th October 2021.

Cryptocurrency watch

The cryptocurrency market dipped marginally on Monday as the industries market capitalisation dropped by 0.65% to close at $2.475 trillion, indicating a loss of $16.86 billion to crypto investors.

However, the flagship…

Read more at nairametrics.com

Blockchain For Governance, Sendbox’s $1.8 Million Seed, Uber’s Ride-sharing Service • Techpoint Africa

Good day, 

What I’m discussing:

  • Blockchain for governance
  • Sendbox’s $1.8 million seed
  • Uber’s ride-sharing service

Blockchain for governance

When we hear of blockchain, Bitcoin most likely comes to mind. But new trends such as non-fungible tokens (NFT) prove that blockchain is capable of so much more. 

Even becoming a system of government.

A system of government? Well, kind of. A  Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) is a blockchain innovation where organisations exist as computer code, and all operations are automated.

How does it work? It uses something called smart contracts. They’re regular contracts but drawn up by a programmer instead of a lawyer. 

These smart contracts ensure all parties hold up their end of the bargain when predetermined conditions have been met.

Still don’t get it? Our reporter, Bolu Abiodun, talks about Africa’s first DAO, bnugDAO and what it all means.

Just click this: DAO: A blockchain innovation that promises businesses and governments where everyone’s the leader

Sendbox’s $1.8 million seed

Emotu Balogun and Olusegun Afolahan. Source: TechCrunch

On Monday, October 18, 2021, Nigerian eCommerce startup, Sendbox announced its $1.8 million seed round from 4DX Ventures, Enza Capital, Flexport, Y Combinator, FJ Labs, and Golden Palm Investments.

The idea for the Y Combinator portfolio company came to Emotu Balogun, Sendbox’s Founder, from challenges he faced while running his previous startup, Traclist. He discovered that merchants struggled with fulfilling orders, so he started building Sendbox with Olusegun Afolahan in 2016. 

The startup launched two years later in 2018 to provide African merchants with an efficient way to fulfil orders. Sendbox caters to different merchant classes and individuals looking to send items. Small merchants enjoy some discounts, saving up to 30% on delivery costs while eliminating the need for several logistics…

Read more at techpoint.africa

Paxful boosts financial literacy with educational centre

Paxful, a global peer-to-peer fintech platform, says it has opened a new cryptocurrency educational centre in Nigeria, called ‘PaxNaija’, to boost financial literacy.

The company said in a statement on Monday that the centre, located in Wuse Central, Abuja, was established to educate, train, and inform Nigerians on the adoption of bitcoin.

It said it hoped to inform local communities of the advantages and benefits of cryptocurrency trading.

The statement said, ‘The opening of PaxNaija comes on the heels of Paxful’s growth in the country, experiencing a 57 per cent year-over-year increase in bitcoin trading volumes and an 83 per cent year-over-year increase in Nigerian users.”

It said the launch also underscored the firm’s efforts to enhance the knowledge of cryptocurrency and further drive its adoption.

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Paxful, Ray Youssef, described PaxNaija as a testament to Paxful’s commitment to financially empower Nigerians by educating them on the opportunities of cryptocurrency.

Youssef said, “There’s no denying it – Nigeria is leading the way in bitcoin adoption but it is vital that businesses fan that adoption. During our recent trip to Nigeria, we also saw a strong and growing interest among Nigerian youth around digital currency.

“The energy of people getting their first bitcoin at PaxNaija reminded me of the first days at Paxful. We follow energy and this is where mainstream adoption will start and create mass momentum.”

Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Paxful, Artur Schaback, said, “Paxful’s goal is to highlight the real value and untapped potential of cryptocurrency. And to do that, it’s vital for us to be on the ground, working alongside cryptocurrency beginners and enthusiasts.

“They are our best allies in onboarding the next wave of bitcoin users.”

The fintech platform recently described Nigeria as its biggest market with about 1.5 million users in the…

Read more at punchng.com

This is why Bitcoin might replace fiat currency by 2050

Bitcoin will replace fiat currency by 2050 in a state of “hyperbitcoinization”; the moment in which Bitcoin will overtake global finance is being anticipated, as per the report by Finder.com, a personal finance comparison site. In fact, recently a similar tone was resounded by MicroStrategy CEO, Michael Saylor when he said “Bitcoin is the kingmaker.”

An increasing number of investors, both institutional and retail, across the globe are looking at Bitcoin as a hedge against rising prices. However, Saylor had a different piece of advice for the countries battling an economic crisis. He opined,

“Turkey could go and buy $5 billion worth of Bitcoin in their central bank treasury and then that will be worth $50 billion over the next five years. It could strengthen their currency and 50 million people in Turkey would in essence have a Turkish Lira which will be a derivative of Bitcoin.”

What’s more, well JP Morgan Chase also sounded bullish when it mentioned in a note that institutional investors consider Bitcoin a better inflationary hedge than gold. It seems that Saylor is harping on the point that governments need Bitcoin, the largest digital cryptocurrency doesn’t need government.

Source: Datawrapper

“Issue currency backed by Bitcoin”

As the first BTC Futures ETF in the US is set to begin trading, Saylor asserted that countries can blindly benefit from Bitcoin. He said,

“We don’t need to scale on the base layer. You want to fix your country like Nigeria or Zimbabwe. The way you fix your country is you buy $2 billion or $3 billion worth of BTC and you issue currency backed by the Bitcoin. That is the Bitcoin standard. And every one of your citizens stop starving to death and they live a decent life.”

Recently, Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, told his colleagues in government that it is now impossible to run away from cryptocurrencies. Besides, he commended the potential of lowering remittance fees via decentralized finance…

Read more at ambcrypto.com

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