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Crypto Education and Adoption in Nigeria: An Interview with Luno’s Country Manager Owenize Woghiren-Odia

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Luno Nigeria

Cryptocurrency company Luno has been making significant efforts to promote crypto education and adoption in Nigeria. Bitcoin Africa talked to Luno’s Country Manager, Owenize Woghiren-Odia, to better understand these efforts.

Promoting Crypto Education One University at a Time

Luno’s strategy to demystify cryptocurrencies to the Nigerian population is through education. To achieve this, the company is targeting universities in all geopolitical zones in the West African nation to create awareness.

According to Owenize, crypto education will help Nigerians to dissociate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin with Ponzi schemes as well as to inform them that they can purchase cryptocurrency with as little as N1000.

Recently, Luno spoke to students at the University of Lagos and the company plans to continue spreading awareness through university students.

“Students represent the future and we wanted to engage with the future of money,” she said.

That said, crypto awareness in Nigeria is increasing according to a survey by Luno. The company discovered that 65 percent of Nigerians are aware of cryptocurrencies. Additionally, Luno predicts that more Nigerians will buy crypto in 2019 since 48 percent of the respondents showed a willingness to buy.

Rising Demand for Crypto

Cryptocurrency Exchange Luno

There is a notable rise in the demand for crypto in Nigeria which is, in turn, driving investment. Owenize said that global crypto exchanges are funding local businesses in Nigeria and that numerous crypto projects have been launched in the West African nation.

Nigeria ranks among the top countries in Africa with high bitcoin trading volumes on LocalBitcoins. Moreover, users buying crypto on the Luno platform in Nigeria are between the ages of 22 to 45 which signifies a lot of interest from the youth.

Although crypto adoption in Nigeria is increasing, the lack of regulation continues to be a challenge. However, Owenize noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shifted its approach to a neutral position.

“Part of that is being driven by increased interest from global financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. So the CBN, I believe, is also watching increasing investments from other nations flowing into the country and they, of course, want to ensure they stay current and connected with what is going on in this new and increasingly popular financial space,” she explained.

Remittance flows from the Diaspora, cross-border payments, and crypto jobs are some of the factors that are fuelling cryptocurrency adoption in Nigeria.

More Women Are Interested in Cryptocurrencies

An increasing number of women in Nigeria are interested in cryptocurrencies, according to recent research carried out by Luno. The survey found out that more than 48 percent of women consider purchasing cryptocurrencies.

“That means women are taking advantage of the opportunity of actively playing in a new financial system and I encourage more women to join and be early adopters,” Owenize said.

Although the number of women engaging with bitcoin globally is very low at only 9.91 percent, Owenize is passionate about female crypto adoption and she believes that there is a place for women in the crypto space. Moreover, she advised young women to get certified in blockchain technology so that they can acquire better opportunities in their careers.

“Gone are the days where people think technology or the computer (in layman’s terms) is only for men. […] We have so many great women taking up big positions in the information technology space, and I hope to see even more specialise in cryptocurrency,” she added.

Crypto Adoption in Nigeria Will Become More Institutional

There has been a common feeling globally that crypto adoption could have a lot of benefits for Africa. In Nigeria, the same feeling is shared and Owenize envisions a bright future for the industry. In addition, she believes that the future of crypto adoption in Nigeria will become more institutional.

Many financial service companies are interested in cryptocurrencies and are only hindered by regulation, she said. However, Owenize is confident that regulation in the crypto space is nigh, a move that will significantly boost adoption in the country once implemented.

In the meantime, Luno is presently self-regulating to ensure that “when regulation eventually comes it will not be found defaulting in any way.” The company also plans to scale its services across the continent as demand for crypto increases.

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46 Companies Join Binance Charity to Launch Stablecoin in Support of Feminine Health

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Binance Charity

An alliance of blockchain companies has joined forces to support a philanthropic project focused on the African continent. Led by Binance Charity Foundation (BCF), the charitable arm of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, the initiative will involve the issuance of Pink Care Token (PCAT), a stablecoin that will operate on Binance Chain.

BinanceThe project will help channel funds to Uganda for the purchase of sanitary products, which many women lack access to. The first batch of Pink Care Token and sanitary pads is scheduled for delivery in the country in mid-July in Uganda, with the aid of government ministers.

“Pink Care Token is the first social-impact stablecoin issued on Binance Chain. A part of our mission is to promote cryptocurrency adoption, and I think charity is one of the most efficient ways to bring cryptocurrency value to more people,” said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ).

Leading blockchain and financial companies that have pledged their support for the initiative include Ripple, Tron, Vechain, Matic, Arrington Capital, and Celer. As the size of the cryptoconomy has grown, delivering outsized returns to its early believers, many supporters within the ecosystem have sought to share their success with the world through altruistic means.

Despite their global nature, crypto assets have yet to permeate many of the world’s most underdeveloped nations, where access to food, shelter, and medicine remain challenges that must be overcome in addition to realising full financial access. Initiatives such as Pink Care Token provide an effective way of helping communities in some of the world’s most impoverished regions while capitalising on the transparency that is one of the hallmarks of the blockchain technology that underpins the industry. All of the funds that are contributed to the project and delivered in Uganda can be tracked on-chain.

Contributors are encouraged to join the campaign by donating at:
https://www.binance.charity/period-poverty

Funds will go towards ending ‘period poverty’ through providing sanitary products for Ugandan women, improving their quality of life and providing a clear demonstration of what the crypto industry can achieve through multilateral philanthropic efforts such as BCF’s Pink Care Token.

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Luno Survey Shows Low Consumer Confidence in Current Financial System

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Low Consumer Confidence

As the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference celebrated its 75th anniversary on July 1, Luno released findings indicating that consumers from emerging markets have low confidence in the current financial system. The conference, also known as the Bretton Woods Conference, established the financial system we use today in 1944.

The Future of Money Survey

LunoLuno’s Future of Money survey discovered that security is one of the areas of concern in the current financial system. These views were given by 36 percent of respondents from South Africa, 35 percent from Nigeria, and 24 percent from the UK. The other areas of main concern are transparency and economic benefit.

Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of Luno, said: “The survey results show that emerging markets are seeking a change to the financial system which was created 75 years ago. The increase in population, changes to the distribution and inequality of wealth, at a time of tremendous steps forward in technology means that the current financial systems need to undergo another Bretton Woods moment.”

Furthermore, the survey showed that consumers from emerging markets have a more developed understanding, protection, and knowledge of money compared to those from developed markets. This is because they do not have direct access to wealth, the report explained.

Struggling Economies

Although our current financial system was established 75 years ago, many countries are still struggling economically. According to the survey, 27 percent of South Africans and 23 percent of Nigerians felt that their economies were performing poorly. This view was held in rural areas more than in urban areas because the former has inadequate financial systems.

Moreover, 23 percent of respondents in Nigeria and 22 percent of respondents in South Africa said it was challenging for them to send money overseas.

“We have seen little change to the global monetary system over the last 75 years, particularly amongst developed economies where financial institutions have built a system around the transfer of currencies, assets, and commodities which benefit a stable and strong economy. As technology advances, it is important that institutions globally find a way of adopting these advancements, enabling emerging markets to have the same access to money and transfer of assets,” Swanepoel stated.

The survey further revealed that 91 percent of South Africans pay for a personal bank account while 75 percent use mobile banking. Additionally, South Africa had the second highest percentage of respondents that said they invest in products such as mutual funds and stocks.

Luno is a global crypto company that carried out the Future of Money survey to understand the world’s view of the current financial system. The survey questioned more than 7,000 people from South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, Malaysia, the UK, France, and Indonesia.

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Youngest Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur in Africa Leads Education Drive in Ghana

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BlockXAfrica

Ghana and the rest of Africa continue to lack behind in bitcoin usage and adoption. Despite the fact that Ghana led the Google Trends chart for the keyword “bitcoin” recently and continues to be part of the top three on the same chart, the West African nation has recorded very low patronage of blockchain technology.

BlockXAfricaIn light of this, the ​Youngest Bitcoin Entrepreneur in Africa​, Elisha Owusu Akyaw, who started his journey of innovation in the blockchain space at the age of 16 seeks to promote bitcoin and blockchain adoption in Ghana through an education campaign.

The young Ghanaian has made headlines with his work in the industry, being described as the youngest “Bitcoin Entrepreneur” and was listed as part of the ​Top 20 Blockchain Influencers in Africa​ by BitcoinAfrica.io.

Elisha’s education drive will be done under the BlockXAfrica brand. BlockXAfrica is a Ghanaian based blockchain startup that seeks to bridge the blockchain and cryptocurrency education gap through advocacy, collaboration, and innovation.

BlockXAfrica believes that blockchain has a lot of potential in accelerating the development of Ghana, including fixing our financial woes through cryptocurrency usage, checking corruption through blockchain backed record systems, fixing our birth and death registry with blockchain solutions and more.

BlockXAfrica is made up of a group of young people from Ghana with the aim of teaching, advocating and spreading the gospel of cryptocurrencies. The aspiring blockchain advocacy powerhouse intends to do this through strategic educational campaigns and social intervention programs & projects.

BlockXAfrica’s education campaigns seek to enlighten people on the importance of cryptocurrency and its various use cases across the continent while addressing the various cryptocurrency scams that have invaded the industry in Africa which is one of the highest contributing factors to distrust in the technology by promoting tested industry standards.

Aside from education, ​BlockXAfrica​ will also be partnering with local developers to create innovations backed by blockchain technology to solve various social issues in Ghana. What’s more, the company will be donating some of its proceeds to charities across the country, as a way to show the masses how blockchain can change lives.’

BlockXAfrica organised its first meetup during the last weekend and plans to embark on a tour across the country.

The guest post was contributed by BlockXAfrica. 

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