Connect with us

Bitcoin

The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Warns Against Risk of Trading Bitcoin

Published

on

Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation

Nigerians have yet again been warned by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) of the risk of doing trade using digital currencies as they have not been authorised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Mohammed Umar, the Director of Research, Policy and International Relations at NDIC, while speaking in at a two-day annual workshop for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in Kano titled ‘Financial disruption of digital currency and its consequences on the banking and deposit insurance system’, said that their corporation is not tasked with providing insurance covers for any risks related to cryptocurrency trading since they have not been issued by the CBN.

Mr. Umar said,

“The financial regulatory authorities are not playing catch up on the digital currency race in Nigeria. There is no country in the world that allows its citizens to use digital currencies as money not issued by the Central Bank. No Central Bank will accept digital currency as a substitute for its national currency or part of its monetary system when it is not able to control it. Nigerians must understand that adequate notice has been issued by all financial sector regulatory authorities, namely Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, to warn Nigerians who want to trade in bitcoins as gamblers.”

He added: “They can only do so at their own risk. The CBN cannot say anyone cannot trade with it and NDIC will not insure any trading in any currency not issued by the CBN.”

Monitoring of Digital Money Operators

An inter-agency committee that involves the Ministry of Justice, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), NDIC, Department of State Security (DSS), the Nigeria Police and other significant agencies has been formed to “sanitise the system”, said Mr. Umar.

With its secretariat at the CBN, the committee is expected to closely monitor all the activities of digital money operators to protect Nigerians from unnecessary risks involved with cryptocurrencies.

Mr. Umar went on to say,

“If you can buy a bitcoin, nobody will stop you. It is at your own risk. A bitcoin is not covered by the CBN rules, and NDIC will not insure it. We have consistently warned Nigerians that anyone who trades in bitcoin does so at his own risk.”

While stressing and warning Nigerians on the risks that come with bitcoins and other digital currencies and the fact that the NDIC and CBN have no control over them, he explained that even the Bank of England had discovered about 70 risks affiliated with digital currencies.

Cryptocurrencies in Nigeria

The statement came a few days before the 2017 Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference that was held in Lagos last week. The focus of the conference was to discuss blockchain technology and how cryptocurrencies can be used to uplift the economy in both Nigeria and Africa as a continent.

What is even more interesting is the fact that the Deputy Governor of Economy Policy, the Director for Banking and Payments, and the Chief Information Security Officer at the CBN were in attendance and spoke positively about the blockchain technology and digital currencies albeit stressing the need to have a proper regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

The NDIC’s warning comes at a time when Nigeria has been experiencing growing interest in the bitcoin space. Research conducted by the co-founder for Blockchain Solutions Limited, Lucky Uwakwe, shows that Nigerians trade close to ten billion nairas of cryptocurrencies each month. Nigeria also has more than ten bitcoin exchanges that people can use to buy and trade in bitcoin.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin Wallet Luno Adds SegWit Support to Lower Transaction Fees

Published

on

Luno Adds SegWit Support

Luno, one of the most popular bitcoin wallets in Africa, has announced full SegWit integration for bitcoin send and receive transactions. Previously, Luno customers could only receive BTC through a legacy wallet address, which was not integrated with the recent Bitcoin blockchain upgrade SegWit. Only send transactions were SegWit compatible.

With the full integration of SegWit, Luno users can now enjoy cheaper and faster bitcoin transactions.

“By implementing SegWit internally, Luno has managed to reduce the send fees paid by customers by over 25% already. As customers start switching over to new SegWit addresses, this will translate into a further reduction in sending fees in the coming weeks and months,” Werner van Rooyen, head of marketing and communications at Luno stated.

Luno currently operates in South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, UK, and in 35 other European countries.

What is SegWit?

Segregated Witness (SegWit) was an upgrade to the Bitcoin blockchain that is intended to address Bitcoin’s scalability challenges as well as fix the issue of transaction malleability. With SegWit, signature data is separated from transaction data in order to enable more transactions to fit into each block. The signature data is kept in an extended block called the witness. As a result, bitcoin transactions become faster and transaction fees become lower.

In theory, the Bitcoin network can handle seven transactions per second. However, in reality, it is around four transactions per second. With the number of bitcoin transactions increasing as bitcoin’s popularity grows, transactions take longer as the unconfirmed transactions pool increases. Therefore, bitcoin users who can afford it have been paying higher transaction fees to incentivise miners to prioritise their transactions and, thereby, increase the speed of their transactions. At the end of 2017, this has led to the average bitcoin transaction fee spiking to over 35 dollars.

However, when SegWit addresses are used, bitcoin transactions become faster and the required resources decrease as well. Consequently, the transaction fees reduce.

How Can You Add a SegWit Wallet Address on Luno?

To add a SegWit address on the Luno wallet you have to follow these steps:

  • Open your Luno account either on the mobile app or the web app
  • Choose “wallets” from the menu
  • Click on your “BTC wallet”
  • Choose “receive bitcoin”
  • Click “add address” and follow the prompt

To receive bitcoin, use your SegWit bitcoin receive address. Legacy bitcoin addresses begin with 1 while SegWit bitcoin addresses begin with 3. Even after adding a SegWit wallet address, bitcoins sent to your previous legacy bitcoin address will still work. In addition, you can still send bitcoin from a SegWit wallet to a legacy wallet and vice versa since the transactions are still taking place on the same blockchain. But if you are sending bitcoins to and from a SegWit wallet, you can benefit from reduced fees.

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Bitmart Opens Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware Store in South Africa

Published

on

Bitmart Opens Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware Store

Bitmart, South Africa’s leading supplier of mining hardware, has opened a cryptocurrency mining hardware store in South Africa. This makes Bitmart’s retail outlet the first cryptocurrency mining store in Africa.

Products and Services Offered by Bitmart

Bitmart was founded by CEO Jacques Serfontein in 2015 to offer cryptocurrency mining hardware to South Africans. Currently, Bitmart offers GPU rigs, ASIC miners, GPU rig mining software, graphics cards, international mining rig monitor app, cryptomatic watches, hardware wallets, and motherboards. Customers can find GPU mining rigs that mine cryptocurrencies such as zcash, monero, decred, bitcoin, and litecoin.

Additionally, Bitmart provides services such as bitcoin mining farm design and deployment, mining training, antminer repair tickets, mining farm management using Genesis Hive, and shepherd services.

Through its shepherd services, Bitmart helps owners of second-hand miners to find buyers. Therefore, both sellers and buyers are assured of safe and secure transactions through Bitmart’s SSL-secured online shop.

According to MyBroadband, Bitmart is an authorised distributor of Avalon Miners, Genesis Hive, Trezor, Ledger wallets, KeepKey, and UniSat (satellite mining solutions) in Africa.

The company also supplies mining hardware to countries such as Japan, Dubai, North America, Australia, and England.

What Does Bitmart Plan for the Future?

Bitmart will be holding seminars in Johannesburg and Mbombela. The seminars will focus on bitcoin basics and advanced cryptocurrency trading. In addition, Bitmart will be introducing a satellite mining connection in partnership with Uniwisp that will allow mining rigs to mine from any place in the world. Uniwisp is an Internet service provider based in Nelspruit, South Africa.

 

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Kenya’s BitPesa Acquires Spanish Money Transfer Platform TransferZero

Published

on

BitPesa Acquires TransferZero

On February 8, 2018, BitPesa announced that it has acquired TransferZero, a Madrid-based online money transfer platform, which operates in over 200 countries using more than 50 currencies.

Why Did BitPesa Acquire TransferZero?

BitPesa, which is already operating in Africa and Europe, will be able to “set deep roots to UK and European licensing, bank accounts, and integrations” through this acquisition, according to the company’s statement on its blog.

“Europe is a hub for global remittance and payments companies. Digital currencies and decentralized technology have hit critical mass in the financial services and payments space. It is no longer a question of whether this technology will have staying power [but] which specific technology and what product iteration will launch and scale first […],” Elizabeth Rosiello, founder and CEO BitPesa said.

“BitPesa has the support of top-tier, institutional investors and a network that will help to bring TransferZero’s technology to the next level. With this support, we will be able to provide even more efficient transfers and user experience,” Luis Cambronero, former TransferZero CEO and present Managing Director, BitPesa stated.

Setting Up Infrastructure Across Europe and Africa is a Priority

“Setting up infrastructure across Europe and Africa has always been a focus of ours. […] We’ve just doubled our bank accounts, our infrastructure, and it’s licensed by the Bank of Spain as a payment institution. So we are fully compliant with PSD2 regulations […],” Rosiello said.

“This is truly a partnership where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, allowing BitPesa to solidify our leadership in this space. By bringing our regional and technological expertise together, we will further accelerate our month-to-month growth,” Rossiello asserted.

TransferZero will neither change its name nor its headquarters. In addition, its employees will remain with Bitpesa.

This acquisition from an Africa-based bitcoin startup of a European fintech startup shows that leading African startups can make waves beyond the borders of the continent and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Continue Reading

Popular Posts