Author: Terence Zimwara

Nigerian Agency Refuses Blockchain Start-Up Application — Says Tech Not Recognized by Government

Nigerian Agency Refuses Blockchain Start-Up Application — Says Tech Not Recognized by Government

Nigeria’s company registration agency, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), reportedly rejected an application for registration by a start-up on the basis that blockchain is yet to be recognized by the Nigerian government.
Decision Disappoints Blockchain Community
According to a report, the unnamed start-up, which is building an API connection for blockchain gaming rewards, was told the agency will only process the application once the reference to blockchain technology is resolved. The CAC reportedly wrote: “Blockchain is yet to be recognised by the Nigerian government, kindly expunge.” As expected, the decision has angered some members of Nigeria’s blockchain community.
One of those expressing their disappointment with the CAC is Adedeji Owonibi, the founder and COO at Convexity, a blockchain incubating hub. As the report by Cryptoassetbuyer explains, Owonibi’s displeasure with the agency stems from the fact that CAC is one of the 27 institutions in Nigeria that are supposed to implement the country’s blockchain strategy.
Lamenting what some see as a backward decision, Owonibi said:
I can’t believe we have this level of ignorance in govt circle, at least not the agency saddled with company registration in Nigeria. The staff that queried this application for company registration on the pretence that blockchain is not approved by the Nigerian Govt need to be educated immediately for ease of doing business to improve in Nigeria.
Nigerian Government Asked to Intervene
In addition to Owonibi’s remarks, the report also quotes Convexity’s other co-founder, Charles Okaformbah, similarly expressing his disapproval of the CAC’s decision. In his own statement, the co-founder asks the country’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo (one of the few figures inside the Nigerian government to back fintechs), to intervene.
Following the CAC’s decision, the Cryptoassetbuyer report concludes that Nigeria is now unlikely to achieve its goal of generating $10 billion in revenue from blockchain technology.
What does the CAC’s refusal to process this application mean for Nigeria’s blockchain industry?

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Ghana Central Bank Working to Make CBDC Available to Offline Users

Ghana Central Bank Working to Make CBDC Available to Offline Users

The Ghanaian central bank is seeking to make its digital currency, the e-cedi, available to offline users, an official with the bank has said.
Overcoming the Challenge of Limited Power
According to Kwame Oppong, who heads fintech and innovation at the Bank of Ghana (BOG), the e-cedi is also expected to facilitate transactions without the need for power or connectivity.
“Financial inclusion is limited by the availability of connectivity and power. What we hope to be able to do – and we’re one of the people pioneering this – is that the e-cedi would also be capable of being used in an offline environment through some smart cards,” Oppong is quoted explaining.
Although a majority of Ghanaians — 84% of the population — is thought to have had access to electricity in 2019, according to World Bank Data only half of the country’s population had access to the internet back then. It is this lack of internet access that has compelled the Bank of Ghana to seek a solution that overcomes this challenge.

As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, the Ghanaian central bank had planned to launch the e-cedi in September. However, it is still unclear if the digital currency has been rolled out. Similarly, at the time of publishing Bitcoin.com News has not received a response from a member of Ghana’s blockchain association concerning the status of the e-cedi.
Is it possible for the BOG to enable offline transactions for its digital currency? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Fraud-Accused South African Bitcoin Trader to Turn Himself Over to Police: Report

Fraud-Accused South African Bitcoin Trader to Turn Himself Over to Police: Report

Sandile Shezi, the young South African bitcoin trader who is facing fraud charges, has denied allegations he scammed shareholders in his Global Forex Institute.
Shezi: Shareholders Signed Up for Education, Not Investments
Despite his rejection of the allegations, a spokesperson for the country’s police told the Sunday Times newspaper that Shezi has agreed to turn himself in. As reported by Bitcoin.com News, a warrant for Shezi’s arrest had been issued after two aggrieved investors reported the bitcoin trader to the South African police.
Now, as he contemplates turning himself in, Shezi — who is referred to as South Africa’s youngest millionaire — has also launched a spirited defense of his actions. He further beat back suggestions that the Global Forex Institute is a financial services provider. According to a report by the Sunday Times, Shezi said:
These shareholders signed up, not for investments, but our education programme. Our training includes technical analysis, fundamentals and a bit of this and that. You go through us to run your own small personal portfolio, not trade for HSBC.
Shezi Exploring Possibility of Buying Out Aggrieved Shareholders
The 29-year-old bitcoin trader added that he finds it strange that some shareholders are making these allegations when in fact they were part and parcel of the business. Nevertheless, Shezi said he is now exploring the possibility of buying out the shareholders.

In the meantime, Shezi’s lawyers have vowed in a statement released via Instagram on October 15, that they will launch legal proceedings against those accusing Shezi of defrauding them.
What are your thoughts about this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Microstrategy CEO Advises Nigeria and Zimbabwe to Adopt Bitcoin Standard, Says BTC Is ‘Kingmaker’

Microstrategy CEO Advises Nigeria and Zimbabwe to Adopt Bitcoin Standard, Says BTC Is ‘Kingmaker’

Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor has suggested Nigeria and Zimbabwe issue currencies that are backed by bitcoin if they want to fix their economies. He surmised that using the bitcoin standard will end starvation and allow citizens of both countries to have a decent life.
National Currencies Backed by Bitcoin
In a video clip where he also addresses claims that the Bitcoin network cannot scale, Saylor suggests that if Nigeria and Zimbabwe purchase bitcoins worth $2-3 billion, they could well end the currency woes they presently face. Saylor explained:
You wanna fix your country like Nigeria, or Zimbabwe? The way you fix your country is you buy $2 billion, $3 billion worth of bitcoin and you issue currency backed by the bitcoin. That is the bitcoin standard. And every one of your citizens stops starving to death. And they live a decent life.
Bitcoin as ‘the Kingmaker’
Before mentioning Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Saylor, whose company now holds more than 114,000 bitcoins, also identifies Turkey as another country that could buy bitcoins and use them to back the lira currency. According to Saylor, if Turkey were to purchase bitcoins worth $5 billion and hold these for the next five years, this could potentially strengthen the lira currency.

Despite Saylor’s constant exhortations, only one country, El Salvador, appears to have taken heed of the advice. Many other countries, including Nigeria, have instead chosen to create their own digital currencies which they hope will diminish the appeal of bitcoin.
However, in the same video, Saylor insists this will happen and this will prove that bitcoin is “the kingmaker.”
Do you agree with Saylor’s sentiments on bitcoin? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Cardano Subsidiary Emurgo in Partnership With Pan-African Venture Studio

Cardano Subsidiary Emurgo in Partnership With Pan-African Venture Studio

Emurgo, the investment arm of Cardano, has partnered one of its subsidiaries with Adanian Labs, a pan-African venture studio that is focused on building a platform where African tech start-ups can thrive and access all key resources that allow them to grow sustainably.
Financial and Educational Empowerment via the Blockchain
According to a statement issued by Adanian Labs, the goal of this partnership arrangement is to bring financial and educational empowerment via Cardano’s blockchain platform to the billions who lack these opportunities. “This investment is part of EMURGO Africa, a subsidiary of EMURGO’s new $100 million Cardano ecosystem investment vehicle,” the statement details.

In his comments following the announcement, John Kamara, CEO of Adanian Labs, commends the partnership arrangement which he believes will help sustain economies that have limited resources. He explained:
We aim to build 300 tech-powered, impact-driven start-ups by 2025. We are passionate in our drive to create ‘CAMELS’ strong, resilient companies, entrepreneurs and youth who will sustain African economies, even with limited resources.
Kamara emphasizes that this partnership will also help forge more efficient collaborations that will enable Adanian Labs to build quicker, scale faster and optimize capitalization. This, in turn, would ostensibly result in an outcome that benefits the entire ecosystem.
Ken Kodama, CEO of Emurgo, claims the partnership will help provide the Cardano subsidiary with a great framework to launch in Africa.
What do you think about this partnership arrangement? You can share your views in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Liquidator of Defunct South African Crypto Exchange Says He Found a 54 BTC Discrepancy in Ice3’s Accounts

Liquidator of Defunct South African Crypto Exchange Says He Found a 54 BTC Discrepancy in Ice3’s Accounts

A court-appointed liquidator, Dewald Breytenbach of National Liquidators, recently claimed that out of the 76 bitcoins that belonged to the now-defunct South African cryptocurrency exchange, Ice3, his firm can only account for 22.
Ice3’s Abrupt Shut Down
The liquidator adds that the crypto exchange’s Zurich-based tech provider Merkeleon is now being asked to help unravel this mystery.
These new revelations by the South African liquidator are coming some six months after Ice3 abruptly stopped processing withdrawals. At the time of the announcement, the exchange’s management claimed the decision to suspend BTC and LTC withdrawals had been taken in order to protect users. However, just a few weeks after reassuring its users, Ice3 was abruptly shut down.
Some reports then attributed Ice3’s decision to cease operations to the liquidity challenges which were being experienced by the exchange. Yet, according to an explanation now being offered by a Moneyweb report, Ice3 management’s decision to suspend withdrawals and to cease operations could be linked to the exchange’s dispute with Europe based Merkeleon.
Quoting Breytenbach, the report explains:
The problem [at Ice3] appears to have started when a dispute arose between iCE3 and its platform provider, Merkeleon, based in Europe.
Partnership Arrangement
The report also adds the Ice3 management team was under the impression a partnership arrangement existed with Merkeleon. Such a partnership meant the crypto exchange through its CEO, Gareth Grobler, would develop the software on which Ice3 operated while Merkeleon took care of the administration.
Therefore, in order to establish the exact nature of the arrangement, Breytenbach says he has been in touch with Merkeleon. The liquidator says he is hopeful his firm will soon get the information it is seeking.
What are your thoughts about this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Impossible to Run Away From Cryptocurrencies Says Zimbabwe Finance Minister

Impossible to Run Away From Cryptocurrencies Says Zimbabwe Finance Minister

Zimbabwe’s increasingly pro-crypto finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, recently told his colleagues in government that it is now impossible to run away from cryptocurrencies. Ncube said this after revealing that some 30% of the country’s youth are now invested in cryptocurrencies.
Zimbabwe Ready to Make Concessions on Cryptos
According to a report by the Herald, Ncube also hinted that his ministry is now willing to make certain concessions on cryptocurrencies. However, unlike his recent comments in which he simply extolled cryptocurrencies, Ncube insists that these must not be treated as currencies. He explained:
But our view is that we do not want it to be a currency. Want this to be an investment class. So through the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange platform, we will try to create crypto-based products there, which are ring-fenced within the offshore zone.
By referencing the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFSE) as the ideal platform for cryptocurrency transactions, Ncube is echoing sentiments that were previously expressed by Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) boss Justin Bgoni.
As reported by Bitcoin.com News, Bgoni suggested at the time that the VFSE was open to listing cryptocurrencies. However, such listings would be subject to regulatory approval, Bgoni said.

Ministry Working on Crypto ETF
Indeed, in his remarks, while speaking at a business seminar in Dubai, Ncube appeared to suggest that this process of approving cryptocurrencies is already in the works.
“We have taken the first step already and created a sandbox, at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), where the idea and everything is being tested in a safe regulated environment where it will then migrate to this safe Victoria Falls environment,” Ncube said.
Meanwhile, the same report quotes Ncube revealing that the Ministry of Finance is working with an unidentified investor based in Dubai to create or develop a crypto index. According to the minister, such an index would eventually lead to the creation of a crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Ncube added that Zimbabwe has engaged investors that are working with his ministry to create crypto ETFs.
Do you agree with Ncube’s remarks about cryptocurrencies being unstoppable? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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South African Regulator ‘Welcomes’ Binance’s Decision to Terminate Certain Services in the Country

South African Regulator ‘Welcomes’ Binance’s Decision to Terminate Certain Services in the Country

A South African regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), says it welcomes Binance’s decision to stop offering some of its services to South Africans.
Productive Consultations
In a statement, the FSCA suggested that the move by the cryptocurrency exchange came after it held “productive consultations” with the regulator. As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, Binance announced it was terminating some of its services in South Africa in order to comply with regulations.
In its initial warning that prompted Binance to act, the FSCA alleged that the crypto exchange had contravened certain financial sector laws including the Financial Markets Act (FMA) as well as the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act).
Therefore, as part of the corrective actions that were demanded by the FSCA, Binance informed South African residents on October 8 that they will not be able to open new accounts for trading derivatives. At the same time, the exchange also informed all holders of existing accounts that currently trade derivatives that these need to be closed within 90 days of the notice.

South Africans Warned Against Investing With Unregulated Platforms
Meanwhile, in the same press statement, the FSCA again warns South Africans of the dangers of investing by way of unregulated entities. The statement explains:
Once again, the FSCA cautions the public that should they consider derivative market transactions, then only do so with a properly registered Financial Services Provider.
The regulator also advised prospective investors to verify the status of any service provider by calling its toll-free number or by visiting a website.
What are your thoughts about this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Nigerian Presidency: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Against ‘Willy-Nilly Devaluation of the Naira’

Nigerian Presidency: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Against ‘Willy-Nilly Devaluation of the Naira’

The Nigerian presidency has denied reports that the country’s Vice President (VP), Yemi Osinbajo, was calling for the devaluation of the local currency when he recently questioned the naira’s official exchange rate.
The Huge Arbitrage
In fact, according to a report that quotes Laolu Akande, the VP’s assistant, Osinbajo is against “a willy-nilly devaluation of the naira.” Akande suggests that the media may have taken Osinbajo’s comments out of context. He explained:
For context, the Vice President’s point was that currently, the Naira exchange rate benefits only those who can obtain the dollar at N410, some of whom simply turn round and sell to the parallel market at N570.
As regularly reported by Bitcoin.com News, Nigeria’s official exchange rate has remained unchanged since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last devalued the naira in May 2021. On the other hand, the exchange rate on the black market has grown steadily, hence the existing arbitrage.

Market-Reflective Exchange Rate Needed
According to Akande, it is this growing gap between the two rates that prompted VP Osinbajo to call for an adjustment.
“It is stopping this huge arbitrage of over N160 per dollar that the Vice President was talking about. Such a massive difference discourages doing proper business, when selling the dollar can bring in 40 per cent profit,” he said.
According to the report, Akande thinks “only a more market reflective exchange rate would ameliorate this.” He suggests that when such a rate is finally adopted, an increase in the supply of dollars is expected to follow, and “the rates will drop and the value of the naira will improve.”
What are your thoughts about this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Zimbabwean Dollar Could Collapse, Business Lobby Warns

Zimbabwean Dollar Could Collapse, Business Lobby Warns

A Zimbabwean business lobby group, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), has warned that the country’s currency could collapse if authorities fail to “implement policy measures that are needed to support it.”
Central Bank Approach Unsettling the Market
In a letter seen by Bitcoin.com News, the lobby group’s president Kurai Matsheza explained that the heavy-handed approach towards the foreign exchange challenge would be unsettling to markets. To ensure that this challenge is fully tackled, the CZI boss insists that measures, which were agreed upon by parties that attended a consultative meeting, must be given time to take effect.
Following the Zimdollar’s collapse in 2008, Zimbabwe switched to a multi-currency system in which the U.S. dollar dominated. However, in 2019 the Zimbabwean dollar or ZWL, which was then at par with the USD, was reintroduced.
Yet nearly two years later, the ZWL/USD exchange rate is now 88:1 on the official market and over 170:1 on the parallel market. Therefore, in order to halt the ZWL’s continuing depreciation on the parallel market, Zimbabwean authorities launched a blitz that has seen law enforcement agencies arrest alleged foreign currency dealers. At the same time, the central bank has been blacklisting individuals that are accused of worsening the Zimdollar’s woes.

However, it is this operation against black market foreign currency dealers that prompted the CZI boss to pen the letter that expresses his organization’s concern with this approach. He said:
When policies fail we should not arrest people, we should correct the policies for efficacy.
He added that the arrests only cause unnecessary panic in the market and erode consumer confidence in government policies.
The Dutch Auction System
Meanwhile, Matsheza insists that only “a true Dutch auction would perform the function of price discovery and pave the way for a more liberal exchange rate regime.” The central bank introduced this auction system as a way of managing the allocation of foreign exchange.
Nevertheless, some companies and individuals have complained that it has taken them several months to get their allocation. These long delays forced companies to seek the resource on the parallel market where the USD is readily found. Although the CZI is not yet calling for an end of this auction system, Matsheza still calls on authorities to ensure the auction system is managed “in the true spirit of the Dutch Auction System.”
What are your thoughts about this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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