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Markets

Naira gains N68 against $1 at 12-month forward market, as devaluation concerns ease

The 12-month naira forwards increased to N454.50 per dollar on Wednesday, from a high of N522.56 on April 20.

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Naira’s true worth,Naira gains on the dollar for the first time since March, Naira forwards hit record high as it crashes to N420/dollar in the parallel market, Naira hits N500 to $1 at the forward market, Naira hits N509 to the dollar at forwards market, demand for the U.S dollar climbs up, Naira hits $387.35 to $1 at currency spot market , Naira sells at N456, Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves drop by over $3 billion in Q1 2020, Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, Naira gains against the dollar, CBN close in on currency speculators

The fiscal crisis being faced by Nigeria as a result of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be easing off a bit, following the gradual rebound of crude oil prices globally. The improved foreign exchange inflow has helped to ease off devaluation concerns.

The forward market is not isolated from the bullish trend, as the 12-month naira forwards increased to N454.50 per dollar on Wednesday, from a high of N522.56 on April 20. Also, the currency traded at N388 to the dollar in the spot market.

The local currency has also appreciated from N460 to a dollar to N445 to a dollar in the parallel market in less than 2 weeks, not long after the Central Bank of Nigeria started selling dollars to small and medium enterprises and foreign students.

READ ALSO: Lagos discloses strategies to best manage revenue in COVID-19 era, reduces land use charge

The planned resumption of dollar sales to Bureau De Change (BDCs) is expected to further help ease the pressure in the market.

Meanwhile, the Brent traded over $40 per barrel, and the Nigerian Bonny light crude also  traded almost $38 per barrel, both selling at the highest price in almost 3 months.

The oil prices are very important for Nigeria, as about 90% of its foreign exchange earnings is from crude oil sales.

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The foreign exchange market had been under intense pressure due to the low oil prices and the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak globally.

Nigeria’s external reserve had been badly hit, as it lost over $11 billion within a space of 10 months, crashing from its peak of $45.17 in June 11, 2019 to $33.42 in April 29, 2020.

READ MORE: Investors cash in N1.2 trillion at Nigeria’s stock market for the month of May

The oil price increase has caused a rebound in the external reserve to over $36 billion as of June 1, and reduced the pressure on the naira with improved liquidity of the foreign exchange market.

Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, a forecast from Fitch Ratings suggests that the naira is not yet out of the woods as a large current account deficit, capital outflows, and resistance to overhauling the exchange rate framework may cause a drop in external reserves to about $23 billion by the end of 2020.

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This will adversely affect the apex bank’s capacity to defend the naira.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Cryptocurrency

Why Bitcoin could be worth $1,000,000

Leader of Europe’s biggest crypto exchange revealed the price of the flagship crypto could hit the $1,000,000 million mark.

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Crypto, Investors flock to US dollar, Gold, Bitcoin, as Global Stocks record heavy sell-offs, Twitter Poll: Bitcoin price expected to reach $100,000 by 2021, cybercriminals, What it will take Bitcoin to hit $100,000?

Jesse Powell, the leader of Kraken, Europe’s biggest crypto exchange said Bitcoin could be priceless and the world will soon give up pricing the world’s most popular crypto asset in U.S dollar terms.

Speaking to Bloomberg, he revealed the price of the flagship crypto could hit the $1,000,000 million mark within a decade.

He said, “The people that are believers in Bitcoin see… it’s going to replace all of the world’s currency so that basically means whatever the market cap of the dollar is, the euro — all of that combined is what Bitcoin could be worth,” Powell continued.

“I think in the near term, people see it surpassing gold as a store of value, so I think $1 million as a price target within the next ten years is pretty reasonable.”

The top European crypto leader was obviously bullish on the flagship crypto-asset;

“Of course, you know, we can only speculate, but when we measure it in terms of dollars, you have to think it’s going to infinity,” he told Bloomberg TV about future price trajectory.

“This national currency’s only fifty years old, it’s already showing extreme signs of weakness, and pretty soon I think people are going to start measuring the price of things in Bitcoin,” he noted.

In addition, a crypto strategist  William Clemente said, “Looking at Reserve Risk, this Bitcoin Bullish Run is still in its Early-Mid stages.”

Recall some months back, Raoul Pal, the founding partner and CEO of Global Macro Investor who has more than 50% of his capital in the flagship crypto, predicted a wave of institutional funds that could likely push Bitcoin to $1,000,000 in the next 5 years.

In an interview with Stansberry Research, as seen on Youtube, the former hedge fund manager revealed the global economy was moving from the “hope phase” to the “insolvency phase” as global investors realize that the economy is going to take much longer recovering from COVID-19 pandemic than anticipated.

He said, “There’s no stimulus around, and we’ve got more problems to come to Europe, the US, and elsewhere, and businesses don’t have enough cash flow. They’re closing in droves and that’s what I call the ‘Insolvency Phase’…

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“Yeah, I think [$1 million is] about right. Just from what I know from all of the institutions and all of the people I speak to, there is an enormous wall of money coming into this. It’s an enormous wall of money. Just the pipes aren’t there to allow people to do it yet, and that’s coming, but it’s on everybody’s radar screen and there’s a lot of smart people working on it.”

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Cryptocurrency

Why buying Bitcoin in Nigeria is not cheap

It appears to have become much difficult for Africa’s most important crypto market to get Bitcoin at a fair value.

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It’s no longer news that the recent CBN reminder restricting Nigerian financial institutions from Bitcoin and other Crypto assets have started to spur negative effect in the crypto industry when considering the cost of buying the world’s most popular cryptocurrency at Africa’s largest crypto market.

A recent study by Nairametrics revealed the flagship crypto asset, Bitcoin traded as high as 46% premium on some P2P exchanges and untraditional channels when compared to the use of Nigerian bank debit cards before the Crypto ban took effect, meaning the price of a bitcoin on such platforms was much expensive than its average price on other Crypto exchanges of around $49,000 at the time.

Crypto experts are of the bias that although the Central Bank’s recent directive does not criminalize ownership of Bitcoin, the circular will however make it difficult for them to process debit, credit card, and bank transfer transactions.

READ: Bitcoin joins the trillion-dollar club with Apple, Saudi Aramco and Google

This is already increasing the complexity of a significant number of Nigerians that often use their local currencies in buying crypto assets. Many Crypto exchanges interviewed by Nairametrics spoke on the challenges many of its Nigerian users face buying Bitcoin at a fair value on the account that Nigerian leading financial payment providers such as Paystack, Flutterwave have arbitrarily cut ties with Crypto exchanges.

Adding more woes to young Nigerians adamant about buying the flagship crypto asset is the prevailing dollar scarcity in Africa’s leading economy which had often led many to buy the dollar at the black market rate of as high as N500, knowing fully well that all Crypto assets value are denominated in U.S dollar.

Adding credence to this, Rume Ophi a.k.a. Cryptopreacher, and Nigerian Crypto Educationist said;

“Nigeria’s bitcoin price isn’t consistent because it is pegged to the dollar (Usdt), which is a bit different from the parallel market, the one we call the black market or abokifx.”

READ: Nigeria’s cryptocurrency ban: A legal analysis

He added weight to the exchange rate disparity on some Crypto exchanges and other channels Nigerians have been left with

“At the time of writing, Paxful an online peer 2 peer platform pegged 1 USDT to 475. This means you need 475 naira to get 0.0000004sat (the smallest unit of bitcoin is called sat). Whereas a black market vendor is also known as OTC will sell for 480/$,” Ophi said.

The effect of the CBN crypto ban is already breeding bad actors that are currently taking advantage of the high thirst for Bitcoin as Luno a leading African-based Crypto exchange in an email sent to Nairametrics sheds more light on the cost bitcoin buyers in Nigeria must bear;

“Pushing people underground also makes it easier for scammers to exploit Nigerians, and we are already seeing Bitcoin trade at huge premiums in the country as a result of the ban.

bitcoin train

“Other companies have made the choice to find workarounds that are less visible for regulators – for example, Peer-2-Peer (P2P) trading. Our view is that P2P trading would go against the spirit of the CBN’s directive.

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“We believe that the focus should instead be on demonstrating to the CBN that exchanges such as Luno have the necessary controls in place to address the concerns it has in relation to cryptocurrencies.”

READ: Most powerful financial leader takes side with CBN, says Bitcoin is untrustworthy

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What you should know

  • Recall, the Central Bank of Nigeria had recently notified Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions, other financial institutions against doing business in Crypto and other digital assets.
  • In a circular dated 5th February 2021 and distributed to regulated financial firms, the apex bank of Africa’s largest economy warned and reminded local financial institutions against having any transactions in crypto or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.
  • Nigerian Apex bank further warned Nigerian financial stakeholders that any breach of this directive will attract serious regulatory sanctions.

READ: Why Crypto black market is thriving in Nigeria

Luno also spoke on the effect the CBN crypto ban will have on Nigerians in the long term, stating,

Any attempt to restrict access to cryptocurrency does not protect Nigerians. It holds them back and leaves them vulnerable. It prevents honest Nigerians from taking advantage of all that cryptocurrency has to offer them.”

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Bottom line: The rate of purchasing the most widely used Crypto asset in Nigeria is currently trading at a premium amid the Central Bank’s directive, suggesting it is getting much harder for Africa’s most important crypto market in getting Bitcoin at a fair value.

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