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Cryptocurrency

Nigerians increasingly using Bitcoin since CBN’s Crypto ban

A growing number of Nigerians are not giving up on the crypto that has outperformed any Nigerian-based financial asset.

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Nobody is going to ban Bitcoin - US Bank regulator

It’s been roughly three months since the Central bank restricted Nigeria’s financial institutions from dealing with anything crypto-related, yet recent data suggests its citizens have increasingly found other alternatives to access the world’s flagship crypto.

Data retrieved from Usefultulips (a Bitcoin analytic data provider) shows that the usage of Bitcoin’s peer to peer trading in Nigeria surged by 27% since the CBN directive took effect about 85 days ago, as Nigerians moved about $103 million worth of Bitcoins on just Paxful and LocalBitcoins channels alone.

Bitcoin recorded gains and its suitability in hedging against inflation, coupled with access to other crypto assets that offer more viable options, seem not to have weakened despite the recent N5/$ rebate scheme introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria to encourage Nigerians in the diaspora to use official channels to remit their funds instead of doing so through Cryptocurrencies.

READ: Crypto market surges above $2 trillion, as Bitcoin stages a huge comeback above $60,500

The world’s most popular crypto has rallied by almost 500% since its latest bull run began at the start of Q4 2020, hitting record highs of almost $65,000 this month before pulling back to $55,000 at the time of drafting this report amid strong institutional purchases sighted in emerged markets.

Some market analysts argue that Nigeria’s apex bank’s hold on the country’s financial system has further complicated transactional processes in Africa’s largest economy because Bitcoin still relies heavily on fiat currencies despite being virtual, from pricing its value to how its ownership is being ascertained. In spite of this, the growing interest in Bitcoin has not weakened.

Adding credence to Nigeria’s grip on Bitcoin includes data collated from Google trends, printing that Africa’s largest crypto market, emerged as the first amongst other countries by a long-distance over its interest in Bitcoin with a perfect score of 100%.

READ: Nigerian banks allegedly close accounts dealing with Crypto

Nigeria’s relatively young educated population coupled with its growing internet adoption and smartphone penetration has facilitated Bitcoin to thrive exponentially amid rising inflation that has eroded the savings of many Nigerians.

The borderless feature of Bitcoin also makes payment effortless for Nigerians in addition to offering outrageously low transaction fees.

READ: Why Bitcoin could triple in value annually

To give context, many Nigerian banks charge 1–2.5%. For a $1 million offshore transfer, bank charges may go up to $10,000, but with the flagship crypto, transfer of such amount would not exceed $300, even at peak periods.

Consequently, a significant number of Nigerians already pay a premium for accessing the crypto market, as data from Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, at the time of writing, posted a rate of N607 to 1 USDT with Nigerian banking channels close to the global crypto ecosystem.

Bottom line

Jaiz bank

A growing number of Nigerians are not giving up on the crypto that has outperformed any Nigerian-based financial asset. They are thus ready to pay a premium to hold on to Crypto irrespective of the Central Bank’s ban.

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

    Troubling signs on crypto market, SEC tags many crypto assets as Securities

    These further suggest the head of the financial watchdog could tighten its grip on the crypto market.

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    Troubling signs on crypto market, SEC tags many crypto assets as Securities

    Dark clouds hover above the cryptoverse as the leader of the world’s most powerful investments regulatory agency affirmed most crypto assets as securities.

    Gary Gensler, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in his most recent appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, opined that “many” crypto-assets were securities, meaning many of these assets required regulatory oversights and exchanges trading such crypto assets require at least a form of SEC regulation.

    In his words:

    “The extent that something is a security, the SEC has a lot of authority. And a lot of crypto tokens—I won’t call them cryptocurrencies for this moment—are indeed securities.”

    READ: Billions of dollars lost in the Crypto market, over 296,000 get liquidated

    What you must know

    An asset is considered a financial security asset if it is a tradable financial asset and thus has monetary value.

    What Gensler said suggests that the financial assets watchdog could tighten its grip on the crypto market. Recall that SEC is already battling with Ripple and calling XRP a security asset.

    However, Gary Gensler described the flagship crypto asset as a store of value but with a very volatile characteristic and not a security.

    It’s important to understand why the regulator doesn’t classify Bitcoin as a security. It is based on the fact that its existence began through mining as an incentive in validating a distributed platform. There are no pre-mined coins, no initial token offering, and no kind of business entity governing it.

    READ: SEC plans to monitor foreign stock brokers in Nigeria

    A few months ago, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission released guidelines referring to cryptoassets as securities, except proven otherwise.

    • The position of the Commission is that virtual crypto assets are securities, unless proven otherwise.
    • Thus, the burden of proving that the crypto assets proposed to be offered are not securities and therefore not under the jurisdiction of the SEC, is placed on the issuer or sponsor of the said assets.
    • Issuers or sponsors are expected to satisfy the burden of proving that the virtual assets do not constitute securities by making an initial assessment filing.
    • However, where the finding of the Commission is that the virtual assets are indeed securities (not structured to be exclusively offered through crowdfunding portals or other exempt methods), then the issuer or sponsor must register the digital assets.

    That being said, recent price actions reveal the bullish trend in the crypto market is still very much in play despite regulatory fears surrounding the crypto market as its market value now stands at $2.42 trillion, posting a 2.47% increase over the last day.

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    Cryptocurrency

    Coin of the week: Ever heard of EOS?

    EOS is currently trading $11.33 with 936 million coins in circulation and a total supply of 1.02 billion.

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    Coin of the week: Ever heard of EOS?

    EOS was created and designed to allow developers to build decentralized apps (DApps). DApps are any computer applications whose operation is maintained by a distributed network of computer nodes, as opposed to a single server.

    The EOS platform was developed by the company Block.one, to make it as straightforward as possible for programmers to embrace blockchain technology and ensure that the network is easier to use than rivals. It also aims to deliver greater levels of scalability than other blockchains which can only do a dozen transactions per second.

    EOS was created by Daniel Larimer and Brendan Blumer. Brenden Blumer is an entrepreneur, who was one of the co-founders of Okay.com, a digitally focused real estate agency in Hong Kong while Daniel Larimer is a software programmer who has also started a series of crypto ventures such as the crypto trading platform BitShares and the Steem blockchain. They are both members of Block.one’s executive team, with Brendan Blumer as CEO and Daniel Larimer as CTO.

    Why Invest in EOS?

    Block.one stated that EOS can accommodate the demands of thousands of DApps, even if they were being used by a high number of people. Parallel execution, as well as a modular approach, are said to drive this efficiency.

    EOS represents a truly democratic system that takes into account the will of the people, in this case, its token holders, as they can vote for block producers as well as other matters such as protocol upgrades.

    Network Security

    EOS, like many other coins, uses a delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. This concept was conceived by Daniel Larimer and aims to solve some of the flaws that are seen in conventional PoW (Proof-of-Work) and PoS (Proof-of-Stake) systems.

    As stated earlier, those who own EOS tokens can vote for representatives who will be responsible for validating its transactions. One of the advantages is that it helps eliminate consolidation, where smaller miners are pushed out by those who have greater levels of computing power and resources.

    Price Analysis

    EOS is currently trading $11.33 with 936 million coins in circulation and a total supply of 1.02 billion. EOS has gained approximately 466% return comparing its 52 weeks low to its current price today. It is currently down 49.71% from its all-time high of $22.89 that was last traded on the 29th of April, 2018.

    Recently, after the Biden administration’s proposed tax hike, the coin dropped from its previous 2021 peek of $8.80 to a 0.236 Fibonacci retracement zone of $4.74, creating a new higher-low that indicates a bull market. No surprise that the market broke its previous 2021 high to create a new high of $13.18 on the 6th of May, 2021, following news of the coin proposing to increase its staking rewards. It is believed that this running will lead the coin to break its previous all-time high of 2018.

    Although it is not advisable to buy coins at peak prices, recent news as earlier mentioned, suggests that an increase in demand for the coin is imminent. Block.one mentioned that the protocol needs to increase the rate of inflation from its current pace of 1% to a rate between 1.2% and 3.8% intended to increase financial incentives for voters and block producers. While token holders still need to settle on what exact size the inflation rate will increase to, the possibility of higher yields for community participation has brought demand to the coin.

    A second major development for the protocol is the EOS PowerUp model, which intends to allow users to pay a fee to power up their account for 24-hours to transact on the network as opposed to paying a transaction fee for every transaction. Block.one mentions that the PowerUP model offers EOS token holders another way to earn a yield by depositing unused EOS tokens to receive a percentage of all the ‘power-up’ fees that are generated by the network. This has become an increasingly attractive option as investors are searching for ways to avoid the high gas fees (transaction fees) and network congestion on the Ethereum (ETH) network.

    With the overall cryptocurrency market bullish and projects like Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) reaching new highs, EOS is a blockchain project that could benefit investors as the cryptocurrency bull market continues.

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