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Central Bank of Nigeria Warns About Investing in Cryptocurrencies Again

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Central Bank of Nigeria Warns About Investing in Cryptocurrencies

The Central Bank of Nigeria has again warned Nigerians against investing in cryptocurrencies, highlighting that they are not legal tender in the country.

In a statement released in Abuja, the CBN said cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, litecoin, and ripple were unlicensed and unregulated by it. Furthermore, the bank said NairaEX, one of the most popular bitcoin trading platforms in Nigeria, was also unlicensed and unregulated.

“Dealers and investors in any kind of cryptocurrency in Nigeria are not protected by [the] law, thus [they] may be unable to seek legal redress in the event of failure of the exchanges or collapse of the business,” Isaac Okoroafor, acting director of corporate communications stated.

The recent statement contradicts reports from last year where the central bank seemed to be softening its stance towards cryptocurrencies. The bank was reported to be working on a whitepaper for virtual currencies and to have assigned researchers to study these currencies.

“We cannot stop the tide of waves generated by blockchain technology and its derivatives. Currently, we have taken measures to create four departments in the institution that are looking forward to [harmonising] the whitepaper on cryptocurrency,” CBN deputy director, Musa Jimoh, said.

On January 12, 2017, CBN released a circular signed by Kevin Amugo, the director of fiscal policy and regulation department to banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria. The circular acknowledged virtual currencies were being traded on unregulated exchange platforms globally. The circular also noted the untraceable and anonymous nature of virtual currency transactions, which makes them open to criminal activities such as funding terrorism and money laundering.

Central Bank Warnings Have Been Issued Across Africa

Several central banks have issued warnings against cryptocurrencies, letting its citizens know that they are at risk of incurring losses by investing in volatile digital currencies. The Tanzanian Central Bank has even warned against bitcoin stating that is a threat to the East African Community’s currency plans.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the Central Bank of Egypt, and the Bank of Uganda have also issued warnings against cryptocurrencies. However, the Kenyan central bank has recently also shown a more positive interest in the blockchain.

 

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Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

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Binance Launches in Uganda

Global bitcoin exchange Binance has launched a new fiat-cryptocurrency exchange in Uganda. The exchange will also be offering a reward of 0.5 BNB to the first 20,000 users that register on the site as part of its promotion in Uganda.

The announcement comes nearly two months after Binance partnered with Crypto Savannah, Made in Africa initiative, and Msingi East Africa to promote economic development in the East African country.

Changpeng Zhao and Yi He founded Binance in 2017 and raised $15 million through an initial coin offering for its ERC20 token BNB in July of the same year.

The exchange plans to move its offices to the island nation of Malta after the implementation of stricter regulations in China and Japan. In January 2018, Binance was the largest crypto exchange with a market capitalisation of $1.3 billion.

Binance in Uganda

BinanceBinance will also offer its Ugandan users a month of zero trading fees when trading goes online. The exchange will announce the opening for trading at a later date.

Users can find out if they have won any rewards by logging into their accounts and accessing ‘Distribution History’ in the Account Center. In addition, users will be required to complete ID verification to be able to withdraw funds from Binance.

Ugandan users will enjoy an exchange that offers fast transactions of up to 1.4 million per second and state-of-the-art storage technology for utmost security. The exchange also provides 24/7 customer support and has a user-friendly interface.

The presence of Binance in Uganda aims to boost financial inclusion in the country, which has increased from 28 percent in 2009 to 54 percent in 2013 according to its national financial inclusion strategy 2017-2022.

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LINE Corp to Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange BITBOX in July for Global Trading

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BitBox
Image by linecorp.com

The developers of popular messaging app LINE and LINE Group’s cryptocurrency and blockchain company LVC Corporation have announced that they are set to launch a new cryptocurrency exchange called BITBOX in July 2018. The Japan-based firm made the announcement during the LINE Conference 2018 held in Tokyo.

The New BITBOX Exchange

BITBOXBITBOX will offer over 30 high-demand cryptocurrencies to users globally with the exception of Japan and the US. The exchange will trade coins such as bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash while charging low trading fees of 0.1 percent. BITBOX will support 15 languages, according to the company press release.

The selected cryptocurrencies for the exchange have undergone an extensive screening exercise and have been picked by an internal committee, promising users a convenient and safe trading experience. LINE will also incorporate its top security standards to the cryptocurrency exchange.

LINE Corporation CEO Takeshi Idezawa said:

“As a key part of LINE’s new financial services, BITBOX shows our commitment to fulfilling the growing demand for more diverse financial options. With BITBOX, LINE users will be able to access cryptocurrencies more easily, while also being assured of state-of-art security measures to protect their assets.”

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Nigerians Have Invested Over $5m in Cryptocurrencies Despite Regulator Warnings Says KureCoin Hub

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Nigerians Invest in Cryptocurrencies

Nigerians have invested over five million US dollars in the cryptocurrency market in the last couple of years according to data from Nigerian cryptocurrency platform KureCoin Hub.

The data shows that Nigerian retail investors are investing heavily in the cryptocurrency market despite warnings from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) against investing in an unregulated market.

KureCoin Hub’s co-founder and CEO Tega Abikure has criticised the stance regulators have taken and argues that the country will lag behind as other countries enjoy the benefits of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Abikure told New Telegraph:

“It is not a matter of whether the government likes it; it is about whether they need it. I am not sure the internet was liked when it first came. […] It is not a matter of whether they are going to embrace it; it is about when they are going to do so.”

Abikure observed that other countries such as Uganda and South Africa have already taken steps towards adopting blockchain technology while Kenya is pushing forward with a functioning blockchain taskforce.

“Nigeria is being left behind,” he noted.

The Blockchain as a Source of Foreign Direct Investments

Abikure also believes that blockchain technology could be a major source of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the next five to ten years. In addition, he is of the opinion that a lot of money is being made in cryptocurrencies on the continent with most of it leaving Africa’s economy.

On one of the benefits of blockchain technology, he said: “[The blockchain] is completely transparent and cannot be changed; it can be used to create a decentralised system of payment where the taxpayer had an unhindered access to the collector which is the government. It enhances revenue collection and removes the challenges of remittances.”

Blockchain technology can also improve the banking sector, the electoral process, the use of donations in charitable projects, and the supply chain, among many other use cases.

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