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Cryptocurrency

Africans lead in the fight against crypto fraud

Illicit cryptocurrency activity accounted for just 2% of the region’s roughly $16 billion.

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Bitcoin robbers move 3503 BTC worth $38.5 million, Twitter cyber hackers gained $100,000 worth of cryptos, SEC warns against illegal cryptocurrency operator and its products, Crypto-Criminals on a rampage, capitalizing on COVID-19 Pandemic

The education against crypto fraud seems to be bearing fruit in Africa as a report retrieved from Chainalysis, Blockchain forensics discovered that crypto players in Africa are less likely to fall victim to scam addresses than crypto traders located in other geopolitical zones.

Chainalysis revealed that the percentage of illicit crypto activity associated with scams isn’t as high in Africa as other regions around the world. Illicit cryptocurrency activity accounted for just 2% of the region’s roughly $16 billion trading volume from July 2019 to June 2020. Scams accounted for 55% of this low level of illicit activity.

READ: Crypto: Why Tether became a U.S. dollar replacement for many Chinese

“People in many parts of Africa have fallen victim to financial scams common in the fiat world, such as pyramid schemes and other investment scams,” the report stated.

“While scams still make up a large portion of illicit cryptocurrency activity in Africa, the share isn’t as high as it is elsewhere.”

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READ: What Nigerian banks consider before granting personal loans

Why it might be happening

Recall that Nairametrics in recent times has reinforced its readers with vital insights on how to stay ahead of crypto fraudsters, by revealing their strategies, and in most cases, offering solutions on how to keep crypto-assets safe from the hands of fraudsters.

Billions of dollars have been lost through the ignorance of people who are new to the cryptocurrency market to crypto scammers.

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READ: Crypto-Scammers stole $24 million worth of BTCs in 2020  

How to protect your cryptos

Nairametrics recommends that the best way to safeguard your crypto in the case of Bitcoin, depends on how you protect your private key, which is a 256-bit number that unlocks a BTC wallet. That sensitive data should be protected with care by all means, preferably offline or through a proprietary secured online wallet system.

You need your private keys to have access to your BTCs, so if you allow your BTC wallet to be compromised by having malware on your system, going through unsecured web pages, or responding to phishing scams, cybercriminals can spend your bitcoins, or you can lose your BTCs.

READ: $30 billion worth of BTCs disappears forever 

Using cold wallets or a proprietary smartphone is recommended. These are specifically designed tools to keep your bitcoin from falling into the hands of hackers on the internet.

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Next time you are thinking of investing your funds in a bitcoin fund or firm, consider the promised returns versus the performance of the cryptocurrency market. An investment fund cannot promise 100% returns, while Bitcoin is only seeing 9% increases weekly.

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Olumide Adesina is a French-born Nigerian. He is a Certified Investment Trader, with more than 15 years of working expertise in Investment Trading. Member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society. Behavioral Finance, Duke University. You can follow Olumide on twitter @tokunboadesina or email [email protected]

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Cryptocurrency

Nigerians bypassing bank transfers with crypto

Experts give vital insights to why Nigerians are fast adopting crypto, and the advantages crypto assets bring.

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The high penetration of mobile phone usage in most African countries, particularly in Nigeria, has resulted in the rise of remittance rates and payments

The high penetration of mobile phone usage in most African countries, particularly in Nigeria, has resulted in the rise of remittance rates and payments for goods and services. According to the World Bank, Africa’s largest economy is one of the six largest recipients of remittances in the world, attracting $24 billion in 2019, which made up 5% of the country’s GDP.

The financial market turmoil triggered by COVID-19 has definitely changed the way Nigerians view the whole financial system, as data also obtained from Google trend, shows Nigeria leading the pack around the world in Bitcoin searches.

READ: Pan-African software company AirSmat raises $100,000 investment

So, it not surprising that a significant number of young Nigerians, and small business owners avoid Nigerian banks, because of their stringent capital controls on outflows, relatively high transaction costs, and inflexible exchange rate system. However, in the crypto-verse, an entity can move over $250,000, with a transaction charge of less than $5, that can be received in minutes anywhere in the world.

Jens Ischebeck, a renowned Fintech publisher, in a note shared with Nairametrics, gave vital insights on why Africans are fast adopting crypto, and the advantages that crypto assets bring:

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“Most African citizens have started shifting their hopes to the use of crypto, to escape numerous constraints faced with the traditional money transfer services, including cost, speed, and inconveniences.

READ: Ripple reports 1,760% surge in XRP sales in Q2 2020

“The main benefit is the overall lower cost to the end customer, which allows migrant workers to send substantial amounts of money to their loved ones in their home countries, at fairer prices. Also, there is a high unpredictability in the local currencies in most African countries; for instance, when South African rand became a volatile currency, most people switched to crypto, to seek security.

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“The transaction is safe, and the companies don’t hold the virtual currency for more extended periods; thus, the operation takes a short time.”

READ: Nigeria invest $9.4 million in Shelter Afrique; emerge as the second largest shareholder 

Recent statistics obtained from Useful Tulips, a BTC analytic data provider, stated that Nigeria leads Africa Bitcoin’s peer to peer lending in 2020, posting weekly P2P volumes of about $8 million, followed by South Africa and Kenya posting about $2 million weekly.

Nena Nwachukwu, Nigeria’s Regional Manager at Paxful, in an exclusive interview with Nairametrics, spoke on why many Nigerians are now turning to crypto as the viable option for transactions and store of value.

“This year, Cryptocurrency popularity and usage by Nigerians have grown by leaps and bounds. With the COVID-19 pandemic and CBN’s Naira devaluation, more people are actively searching for means to secure their wealth.

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READ: Investor moves $133 million worth of Bitcoins, suspected from Coinbase

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“As traditional investment tools like Real Estate, Stocks, Treasury bills etc. are too complicated to understand & acquire, Crypto-currency is the next best choice as it is very easy to access from any internet-enabled device.

“According to a recent Crypto Adoption Index report published by Chainanalysis, Nigeria currently ranks number 8 out of 154 countries in the use of Cryptocurrency; this comes as no surprise considering the urgent need for Nigerians to protect the value of their money.”

She also spoke on the high intellectual know-how, many Nigerian millennials have on using crypto.

READ: AfCFTA: Nigeria is more ready than most African economies – Yewande Sadiku

“Our Nigerian customers are also very knowledgeable and have evolved from using crypto/Bitcoin as only a form of speculative investment to making online payments, cross-border remittances, freelancer payments, and E-Commerce. 

“With our second cryptocurrency (Tether USDT, a stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar) our customers are learning to further secure their Bitcoins from volatility, by converting BTC to USDT and lock its fiat value.”   

It’s fair to say that the present complexity prevalent in Africa’s banking industry or arbitrary misappropriation of capital by some African governments has made young African millennials attracted to the most disruptive financial asset in the modern era.

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Cryptocurrency

Ripple opens 1,000,000,000 XRP

Ripple unlocked 1 billion XRP worth over $240 million, from an escrow account.

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ripple cryptocurrency, XRP

Ripple (XRP), which is now the third most valuable crypto asset by market capitalization, recently unlocked 1 billion XRP, worth over $240 million, from an escrow account.

Whale Alert, an advanced crypto tracker, monitored this movement, revealing it occurred in two different 500 million XRP transactions, in real-time.

READ: New crypto gains 1,633% in four days, catches Ethereum creator’s eyes

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READ: Bitcoin is becoming scarce as BTC Miners sell less BTCs

It then set up a plan to release about 1 billion XRP monthly for sale to be used as funding for its operations, and to invest in startups of interest, with the rest kept back in the escrow accounts.

What this means: In simple terms, the implication of this is more liquidity in the Ripple network, as more investors will now have access to those XRP.

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READ: DeFi crypto market value gains over 1000% from June

Ripple’s concept involves releasing 1 billion XRP monthly to be sold in order to fund its payments platform maintenance and to invest in aspiring startups.

What you should know: Ripple is a privately-held fintech company that provides a global payment solution via its patented payment network called Ripple Network (also known as RippleNet).

  • XRP is the digital token that has a circulating supply of 45 billion coins and a max supply of 100 billion coins.
  • XRP still remains the only crypto gaining traction among global banks as Japan-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, with assets of more than USD 2.8 trillion, announced in November 2018 that, in cooperation with Ripple, it would provide an international money transfer service on the payment corridor from Japan to Brazil

READ: Number of contract calls on Ethereum rises by 300%

Other leading global banks using Ripple include Europe’s banking giant, HSBC Holdings Plc, with assets of about $2.5 trillion, which disclosed in 2019 that it would use the XRP payment solution.

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XRP’s unique advantages over Bitcoin include the following;

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  • 1.XRP is x1000 faster than $BTC (3-4 seconds)
  • 2.XRP is x1000 cheaper than $BTC (> $0.01)
  • 3.XRP is better for the environment (no mining)
  • 4.XRP is more scalable

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Cryptocurrency

Crypto: Large investors transfer over 700,000 Ethers

Large investors moved over 700,00 Ether coins in five different transactions from unknown wallets.

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cryptocurrency, Crypto: Large investors transfer over 700,000 Ethers

Ethereum whales are going for a rebound as price pick up from its recent lows.

Statistics seen from Whale Alert, an advanced crypto tracker showed large investors moved over 700,00 Ether coins in five different transactions from unknown wallets to unknown wallets.

READ: Over 1,000,000 stolen XRP transferred from Kucoin to major crypto exchanges

Highlights of some transactions seen by Nairametrics include;

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READ: Investor moves $133 million worth of Bitcoins, suspected from Coinbase

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What you should know; Nairametrics had in recent times, observed the high movement by these Ethereum whales as these large entities have purchased almost half of all the Ethereum mined so far in 2020

At the time this report was drafted Ethereum traded at $357.11 with a daily trading volume of about $10 Billion. ETH price is up 0.1% in the last 24 hours. It has a circulating supply of 110 Million coins and a max supply of ∞ coins.

READ: Warning signs: Ethereum daily active wallets hit a 67-day low

Whales are basically large entities that own a significant amount of Ethers This means that an Ethereum whale would be a single Ethereum address owning around 1,000 Ethereum or more.

Ethereum is a cryptocurrency designed for decentralized applications and deployment of smart contracts, which are created and operated without any fraud, interruption, control or interference from a third party.

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READ: After 22 years, NBS is set to commence National Business Sample Census

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Quick fact; Ethereum 2.0 is an upgrade that aims to solve the blockchain trilemma – security, scalability, and decentralization.

  • In alternative smart contract platforms, they are designed to be highly scalable but compromises on decentralization.
  • Whereas a highly secured and decentralized blockchain network would have the trade-off being highly unscalable.
  • Ethereum 2.0 brings a very different flavor of design that aims to address those issues by way of using Proof-of-Stake (POS), Beacon Chain, Sharding, and Execution Environment. Due to the complexity of the project, the development will take place in 3 phases

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