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10 Christmas Gifts You Can Buy With Bitcoin

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Christmas Gifts You Can Buy With Bitcoin

With Christmas just around the corner, are you still looking for Christmas gifts? If you are in the cryptocurrency space and own some bitcoin, why not purchase gifts for your loved ones this year using cryptocurrency? With over 10,000 retailers enabling digital currencies globally, Africans can now purchase just about anything with bitcoin, from holidays to high tech gadgets.

In this article, you will find ten gifts for you to spread the spirit of giving this holiday season that you can pay for using bitcoin.

Cool Bitcoin Merchandise

Perhaps, you have a nephew or friend who is a cryptocurrency fanatic and keeps abreast of the latest news in the bitcoin space. You can surprise them with a bitcoin t-shirt and coffee cups that are tailored towards bitcoin enthusiasts with slogans such as “I use bitcoin” or “Bitcoin Enthusiast”. These are sure to be great conversational icebreakers during the festive season.

You can obtain such merchandise and related accessories at somethinggeeky.com and pay for them in bitcoin during checkout. Shipping is free for purchases exceeding 45 pounds with the process taking anywhere between 7 to 20 days for African destinations.

A Bitcoin Hardware Wallet

This would be the perfect holiday gift if you have been thinking of a reliable and secure way to store your bitcoin. A bitcoin hardware wallet is a physical wallet that is not linked to the Internet and thus cannot be hacked.

You can prevent the loss of your bitcoins from online intrusions by buying a Ledger Nano S wallet. The smart card based wallet resembles a USB disk making it a portable cold storage option for your digital coins. You can order a Ledger Nano wallet directly from ledgerwallet.com. The company provides international shipping to many countries and has a large network of local and web retailers.

Bitcoin-Themed Art

A bitcoin themed postcard or a huge wall painting would be the perfect gift for a bitcoin enthusiast who is passionate about art. Cryptoart is the best place to buy unique art pieces subtly portraying the bitcoin revolution as we know it. The paintings are not only valuable because of aesthetics and scarcity, but also include a novel amount of cryptocurrency embedded within. In other words, the platform merges bitcoin cold storage with art, providing you with a secure and enjoyable way of viewing your bitcoin.

Also, each part piece includes a three-step guide to understanding the digital currency. You can pay using bitcoin on the website and enjoy 15 percent discount on purchases over $100.  You can arrange for the items to be shipped to multiple locations worldwide, including some major cities in Africa.

Bitcoin Jewellery

Maybe you know people who are bitcoin enthusiasts and are looking for flashy ways to show their digital currency affiliation. They can keep the power of cryptography alive within with a variety of jewellery options from BTC Trinkets. You can buy this lovely bitcoin tie pin for any of them to wear to formal events or even a bitcoin business and credit card holder. You can pay for your purchases with bitcoin and deliveries can be made to select locations in Africa.

Ugly Crypto Christmas Sweaters

Fancy wearing crypto-themed sweaters during the colder months? You can shop for fully knit high-quality sweaters for your family this Christmas on HodlMoon. The sweaters bearing the names and logos of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ether, and litecoin maybe just the thing to get them curious about digital currencies. The website has a variety of cryptocurrency payment options through its Shapeshift integrated checkout. Once purchased, goods can be shipped to anywhere in the world.

Bitcoin Scarves and Pocket Squares

Here is a stylish way to let your friends at the office know that you love bitcoin. At Cyberoptix TieLab you can order bitcoin pocket squares and present them as gifts to your workmates. The website accepts bitcoin and deliveries are free on orders over $75. If you are living in Africa, you can expect your delivery to take anywhere between 7-21 days.

A Plane Ticket

Why not surprise your favourite person in the world with plane tickets to his or her favourite destination? You can buy affordable plane tickets using bitcoin from CheapAir. Booking a flight is easy either online from your desktop or with your iPhone using the CheapAir iOS app. Also, you can check out the company blog section for tips on how to get reasonably priced tickets for the holiday season.

Another flight booking option would be the Spanish travel agent Destinia. The travel service accepts bitcoin payments and you can get discounted tickets to destinations in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt just to name a few. Alternatively, if you are looking to fly your friends or relatives in comfort, you can book the business class with BTCTrip. The bitcoin only-travel site offers special discounts for people booking business class using the cryptocurrency, with flights to select African destinations.

Luxury Items

If Rolex watches, gold bars, and fine art are your preference and your pockets are deep enough, then you can exchange your bitcoin, ether or litecoin for any of these luxuries at The White Company. You can purchase anything from luxury automobiles to VIP Yacht Packages. Once the payment is done, the goods are shipped to your location using your preferred delivery method.

Buy Gift Cards

A gift card remains a popular option especially if you can not find time to pick a present. Gyft.com allows you to purchase gift cards using bitcoin and redeem them at several well-known retailers and merchants. You can get gift cards from reputable establishments such as Dominos, Burger King, Nike, and Adidas.

Spread the Love with a Bitcoin Donation

You can help the less fortunate this Christmas with bitcoin a donation. For example, you could donate to the BitGive Foundation that is developing a donation transparency platform called GiveTrack and has been collecting donations for Kenya-based The Water Project. There are also several other charities and good causes that accept bitcoin donations such as The Human Rights Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Hopefully, with bitcoin going mainstream there will be more holiday gift options come next year.

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Nigeria Wants Regulatory Framework for Cryptocurrencies

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Nigeria Regulatory Framework Cryptocurrencies

With cryptocurrency adoption soaring in Nigeria, it is no surprise that on April 25, 2018, members of the House of Representatives, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC) to create a legal framework for the regulation of blockchain technology.

The resolve was passed following the adoption of a continuous motion titled ‘Need to regulate blockchain applications and Internet technology’, which was supported by Solomon Adaelu, who emphasised the innovation that the blockchain brings such as the potential to accelerate payments in the country’s financial services industry.

Adaelu said: “Blockchain as a digital and decentralisation ledger technology that records all transactions without the need for financial intermediary bank is new to humanity and can be a core payment facilitator for financial services industry. A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography as an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.”

The blockchain was invented in 2008 for the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Since its establishment, it has helped solve the issue of double spending on digital currency transaction without the need for a central server or trusted authority.

Adaelu went on to state that the deadline for a unified cryptocurrency regulation had been set for July 2018 following the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in March.

He further added: “Countries such as the USA, the UK, Russia, Venezuela, and Kenya have [already] provided [a] framework for the regulations of this emerging technology,” and believes that Nigeria should be next in line to do so.

Other lawmakers supported the motion while acknowledging the warning given by the NDIC to be careful when trading cryptocurrencies, given the complexity and uncertainty surrounding them.

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Binance Partners with Blockchain Innovation Hub in Uganda to Promote Economic Development

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Binance in Uganda
Image by Binance

Binance, a global cryptocurrency exchange, has partnered with Crypto Savannah, Made in Africa initiative, and Msingi East Africa to promote economic development and youth employment in Uganda using blockchain technology. The partnership aims to achieve these goals by “creating thousands of jobs and bringing investments to Uganda.”

Made in Africa initiative and Msingi East Africa are organisations that are dedicated to the economic transformation of African countries while Crypto Savannah is a newly created African blockchain innovation hub.

According to Trading Economics’ data, the employment rate in Uganda stood at 47.80 percent in 2012 compared to 88.30 percent in 2009. The broad use cases for blockchain technology have the potential to change these statistics for the better by providing innovation opportunities for young people.

Changpeng Zhao, CEO and founder of Binance, announced these plans on Twitter and hinted at the possibility of Binance getting more involved in African projects.

Binance’s initiative is believed to have peaked at a recent meeting with the Blockchain Association of Uganda (BAU) where Zhao interacted with the local blockchain community and promised to support and train young entrepreneurs leveraging the blockchain. He also advised young entrepreneurs to offer solutions that are going to improve the lives of the society.

“Binance is tailor-making partnerships according to the environment. We want to understand the landscape and grow our understanding of the market.”

Zhao’s meeting with BAU will be followed by the Africa Blockchain Conference 2018 which will be held in Kampala in May.

Blockchain Technology is Gaining Momentum in Africa

The Binance initiative is just one of the several upcoming blockchain-based projects that are taking place in Africa. For instance, the World Food Program recently announced a partnership with Devery to make food delivery to Tunisian school children safe. Furthermore, the World Blockchain Summit held in Nairobi last month has helped to open doors for global blockchain companies to establish themselves in Africa.

In view of the Binance initiative, Africa could attract more global blockchain companies in the future as the technology continues to take root on the continent.

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BitMari Conducts First Test Remittance on the Bitcoin Lightning Network

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BitMari Bitcoin Lightening Network

Zimbabwean startup BitMari has managed to successfully conduct its first Bitcoin Lightning Network test transaction with Tanjalo, a bitcoin startup from Lagos, Nigeria. The transaction signals a shift for remittances in Africa as users can soon expect almost instant low-cost bitcoin remittances.

Fast Transactions, Low Fees

BitMari is a Zimbabwe-based bitcoin company that leverages blockchain technology to expand into new remittance markets for the African diaspora. The startup was founded in 2015 by Sinclair Skinner and Christopher Mapondera to address the challenges faced by Zimbabweans when sending money overseas and vice-versa. In 2017, the company made history by becoming the first bitcoin enterprise to receive a money transfer license from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The company also formed a strategic partnership with Agribank to handle remittances for their customers using bitcoin.

Tim Akinbo, the co-founder and CTO of Tanjalo, was able to transfer $15 from Nigeria to a recipient in Zimbabwe through the BitMari platform using bitcoin. He believes the almost instantaneous money transfer will be instrumental in transferring value and promote cohesion by bridging local communities. The company is excited about the new development especially after successfully setting up the Lightning nodes.

Skinner, who is an ardent supporter of the adoption of bitcoin and blockchain technology in Africa to solve everyday challenges, stated:

“BitMari’s quick adoption of Lightning is active use of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology to solve real World challenges facing Africans on the continent and in the diaspora; such as costly remittance fees.”

The Bitcoin Lightning Network

The Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN) is a system built on top of bitcoin that enables people to send and receive payments instantly, and lower transaction costs by bypassing the blockchain. The Lightning Network’s use of payment channels lets users transact with each other directly without having to broadcast their business to the entire network. Currently, the Lightning Network is growing after being launched a short while ago on main-net by the Lightning Labs team.

BitHub Africa, a Nairobi-based blockchain accelerator of which BitMari is a member, has published a guide on how someone can go about setting up a Bitcoin Lightning Node on a cheap computing device called Raspberry Pi. The device can be used to process transactions by anyone with the resources and skills to host the node.

For now, BitMari is searching for other Lightning nodes to connect to their own. The company is also focusing on improving its user experience to increase adoption of its services and pass on the benefits of fast and affordable remittances to its customers.

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