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Cryptocurrency

How Cryptocurrency is driving economic growth

The significant increase in the use of cryptocurrency in Nigeria is expected to have a positive impact on the growth of the digital economy.

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The digital economy has been experiencing a steady rise in crypto technology by young Nigerians and startups, to pay for goods and services.

Nigeria’s Information & communication sector (digital economy) grew by 15.09% in real terms in Q2 2020, compared to the 9.99% growth recorded in Q1 2020 and 9.01% in Q2 2019 amid the disruption caused to the financial markets by the pandemic.

In Q1 2020, Bitfxt – a fast-growing Nigerian crypto-trading company, raised $15 million Series A funding for the expansion of its operations, which created more jobs and investments in an economy in dire need of cash inflows.

The Lagos-based crypto startup permits consumers to buy and sell cryptos. Such macro shows how fast Nigerians are tapping into crypto technology, which in turn is boosting Nigeria’s economy.

Otatade Happy, a Paxful Peer, in an exclusive interview with Nairametrics, spoke on how the prevailing crypto evolution can further boost the Nigerian economy, with regards to payments and transactions.

“We know how difficult it is to send money from Nigeria to other countries but with crypto, payment can be made instantly without the hassles of queueing in the bank. I can also get money from abroad without stress.

“The fee to transfer crypto from one wallet to another is really small. Because of that, many people are adopting crypto in Nigeria and the older generation will soon accept it.”

Unsurprisingly, a significant number of young Nigerians have started utilizing cryptos, in a bid to avoid the numerous challenges faced with the traditional money transfer services, such as high costs and slow speed, amongst others.

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The crypto evolution prevailing in Nigeria’s economy is already printing successful startups based on reports that a Nigerian-based cryptocurrency exchange startup, Yellow Card, raised $1.5million in seed capital from the popular American venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, and a fast-growing crypto hedge fund, Polychain – to push its reach across Africa’s vibrant crypto market.

Raymond Asogwa, an Ambassador for Paxful and Power trader, spoke on the edge crypto brings to the Nigerian economy.

He said, “Crypto has given a lot of opportunities and a new niche that the Nigerian labor force can leverage on. The Nigerian tech industry is booming due to the exposure to blockchain technology.”

In an explanatory note to Nairametrics, Ekene Ojieh,  Head of Public Relations and Corporate Strategy at Buffalo Chase – a crypto analytic firm, gave key insights on how some Nigerians use cryptocurrency for wealth preservation.

“Nigerians use bitcoin not just as a store of value but also as an investment. In the last 30days, bitcoin has made over 28%. Its accessibility enables anyone to send and receive bitcoin from any part of the world, unlike getting US dollars for international transactions.

“It is worthy to note that bitcoin is still a volatile asset. The upside of this is that, one can make a significant amount of profit in a short time frame,” said Ojieh.

Recently, a Nigerian female rights group known as Feminist Coalition, used the power of crypto to push for police reforms during the #EndSARS protests. The group used crypto technology to receive funds and provide the needed financial support for protesters in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, amongst others, as well as to foot the medical bills of some injured protesters.

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The group resorted to accepting only Bitcoin donations – using BTC Pay, after an embargo was allegedly placed on its transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). BTC Pay is a free, secure, decentralized, and censorship-resistant platform.

Bottomline

A significant number of Nigerians and startups are quickly adapting to arguably the most disruptive technology ever invented – Crypto. Consequently, the increased usage of crypto is pushing Nigeria’s economic growth at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected Nigeria’s export earning product – Crude oil.

A few months ago, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), proposed a new set of rules aimed at regulating Crypto-tokens or Crypto-coin investments, when the character of an investment qualifies as securities transactions. This further highlights the importance of crypto to the Nigerian economy.

Olumide Adesina is a France-born Nigerian. He is a Certified Investment Trader, with more than 15 years of working expertise in Investment trading. Message Olumide on Twitter @tokunboadesina. He is a Member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society.

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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency market bearish as ICP and SHIBA make top 20 entry

ICP and SHIB made entries into the top 20 coins by market capitalization, taking the #5 and #17 spot respectively.

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In the last 24hrs, the cryptocurrency market space took a hit amidst a decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Index, S&P500 and NASDAQ composite index. Although there is no known reason for the current decline, it is important to know that the cryptocurrency space is known for its volatility, and these types of dumps are expected.

With the decline in certain major cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Binance, it is important to also note that 2 coins, Internet Computer (ICP) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) made entries into the top 20 coins by market capitalization, calculated by coinmarketcap, taking the #5 and #17 spot respectively.

Internet Computer (ICP)

ICP was listed yesterday on coinmarketcap with the price currently trading $459.24 which represents 213.58% gain from its all-time low. It has a market cap of $56,830,052,964 and a circulating supply of 123,747,068 units.

Internet Computer is the world’s first blockchain that runs at web speed with unbounded capacity. It also represents the third major blockchain innovation, alongside Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is a blockchain computer that scales smart contract computation and data, runs them at web speed, processes and stores data efficiently, and provides powerful software frameworks to developers. By making this possible, the Internet Computer enables the complete reimagination of software, providing a revolutionary new way to build tokenized internet services, pan-industry platforms, decentralized financial systems, and even traditional enterprise systems and websites.

Shiba Inu (SHIB)

The Shiba Inu is currently trading at $0.000032. The coin is up 108.12% in the last 24 hours as a result of its listing on the Binance exchange. It has a market capitalization of $12,527,102,361 and a circulating supply of 394,796,000,000,000 units.

Shiba Inu coin is a cryptocurrency meme token and allows users to hold trillions of them, according to its website. These tokens are listed and incentivized on the ShibaSwap, its decentralized exchange. Its website claims to have locked 50% of its total supply to Uniswap, while the remaining have been burned to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. The tokens feature the same Shiba Inu dog as Dogecoin, which has rocketed in popularity recently. The Shiba token is nicknamed the “Dogecoin Killer” as it aims to replicate and surpass the success of Dogecoin.

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Cryptocurrency

Here is why investors are flocking into this $617 billion cryptocurrency sector

3 coins have become the pioneers of the smart contract ecosystem, leading innovation and growth as the crypto world advances.

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Number of contract calls on Ethereum rises by 300%

Over the past week, the $617 billion market cap cryptocurrency sector, smart contract, has been breaking barriers, trading at astronomical prices. It begs the question, why this space is doing so well amongst other spaces such as the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) and DeFi (Decentralized Finance).

What are smart contracts?

A smart contract is a computer protocol intended to digitally facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. Smart contracts allow the performance of credible transactions without third parties or government regulatory authority. You can compare smart contracts to vending machines.

Naturally, before going into a contract, you would need lawyers to draft up the agreement for the parties to sign before the contract becomes legally binding. Smart contracts, however, take away the need for lawyers to help in drafting documents. They help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of a middleman.

READ: Ethereum Miners earn a staggering $1 million in 1 hour

Top 3 smart contracts

Based on market capitalization, the top 3 smart contract cryptocurrencies are:

  • Ethereum (ETHER)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Chainlink (LINK)

Benefits of smart contracts

The smart contract space or “Industry” is growing at an exponential rate because of the various use cases available. Jerry Cuomo, the vice president for blockchain technologies at IBM, believes smart contracts can be used across the chain from financial services to healthcare and insurance. Here are some examples:

Government: Smart contracts can be used to conduct free and fair elections, particularly in developing nations where there is high prevalence of election rigging and voter fraud; because decoding the system requires a significant amount of computing power that may not be easy to amass.

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

Management: Naturally, business operations have a lot of back-and-forths which includes waiting for approvals and for internal or external issues to sort themselves out. Smart contract-based systems provide a single ledger as a source of trust and shaves possible communication and workflow issues because of their accuracy, transparency, and automation. They cut out discrepancies that typically occur with independent processing.

Real Estate: Smart contracts remove the need for middlemen such as advertisers and agents, thus, saving costs. All you do is pay via a cryptocurrency and encode your contract on the ledger for everyone to see.

Healthcare: Personal health records could be encoded and stored on the blockchain with a private key that would grant access only to specific individuals. If you have a health challenge while you are in another country, the healthcare professionals in the said country can access your medical records and this is particularly handy if a patient in unconscious.

READ: Cardano suffers spiral fall amid record profit taking

Also, with smart contracts receipts of surgeries can be stored on a blockchain and automatically sent to insurance providers as “proof-of-delivery.” The ledger, too, could be used for general healthcare management, such as supervising drugs, regulation compliance, testing results, and managing healthcare supplies.

Ethereum

Ethereum is a decentralized open-source blockchain system that features its cryptocurrency, Ether. ETH works as a platform for numerous other cryptocurrencies, as well as for the execution of decentralized smart contracts.

ETH is ranked as #2 in the cryptocurrency space and #1 in the smart contract industry with a market capitalization of $454,912,432,116 (currently trading $3,912.33). It has a circulating supply of 115,824,963 units.

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It recently broke to a new all-time high of $4,165.06 with returns of 419.41% YTD.

 

Although in recent times, the Ethereum network has been facing a lot of congestions which is causing a significant increase in gas fees (transaction fees), the “EIP 1159 London Hard Fork Upgrade” which will launch in July 2021 is expected to solve these challenges. This news has made the coin bullish. Ether broke all-time high 9 days in a roll last week.

Cardano

Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform that says its goal is to allow “changemakers, innovators and visionaries” to bring about positive global change. The open-source project also aims to “redistribute power from unaccountable structures to the margins to individuals” helping to create a society that is more secure, transparent and fair. ADA token, which is the currency of the Cardano blockchain, is designed to ensure that owners can participate in the operation of the network. Because of this, those who hold the cryptocurrency have the right to vote on any proposed changes to the software.

ADA is ranked as #7 in the cryptocurrency space and #2 in the smart contract industry with a market capitalization of $52,173,030,872 (currently trading $1.63). It has a circulating supply of 31,948,309,441 units and a maximum supply of 45,000,000,000 units.

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ADA also recently broke to a new all-time high of $1.83 with returns of 750.10% representing the largest return on investment of the top 3 smart contract coins YTD.

The recent spike in the price of ADA is in anticipation of the “Alonzo Testnet” that is expected to launch in May 2021. The long-awaited smart contract launch has promised lesser congestions, little to no service downtime and significantly reduced gas fees. It is expected that people will move from the Ethereum network to the Cardano network which would mean fierce competition for Ethereum.

Chainlink

Chainlink is a blockchain abstraction layer that enables universally connected smart contracts. Through a decentralized oracle network, Chainlink allows blockchains to securely interact with external data feeds, events and payment methods, providing the critical off-chain information needed by complex smart contracts to become the dominant form of digital agreement. The Chainlink Network is driven by a large open-source community of data providers, node operators, smart contract developers, researchers, security auditors and more. The company focuses on ensuring that decentralized participation is guaranteed for all node operators and users looking to contribute to the network.

LINK is ranked as #12 in the cryptocurrency space and #3 in the smart contract industry with a market capitalization of $19,321,512,696 (currently trading $45.66). It has a circulating supply of 419,009,556 units and a maximum supply of 1,000,000,000 units.

LINK broke to a new all-time high of $52.88 with returns of 268.62% representing the lowest return of the top 3 smart contract coins YTD.

It is May madness for LINK as it has a series of updates and events this month. There are 9 updates and events according to coinmarketcal. The most significant of all is the “AMA with Cardstack” where a major partnership is expected to be announced.

The smart contract space is still in its infancy and more exponential growth is expected. The 3 coins have become the pioneers of the smart contract ecosystem, adapting and inventing as the world progresses.

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