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Nigeria transacts an estimated $39 million worth of Bitcoin in July

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The Nigerian interest in cryptocurrencies keeps increasing as July saw Bitcoin P2P transactions settle at approximately $39 million. This represents a 3% growth from last month’s transaction volume of $37.95 million.

In Nigeria, due to its foreign exchange crisis, many businesses and individuals turn to cryptocurrencies to help process payments faster than its already challenged traditional financial institutions. In the country, Bitcoin is used regularly, not necessarily as a form of asset class meant for long-term holding but as a means to carry out international currency transfers and Nigeria is leading the way in Africa.

In February 2021, the CBN banned financial institutions from honouring cryptocurrency-related transactions and services with immediate effect. The CBN has claimed that the decision was to protect Nigerian investors from the “volatility” and “Insecurity” of cryptocurrencies but many speculate that it was an attempt to stop the funding of certain groups which are hostile to it.

With Nigeria’s P2P volume at approximately $39 million in Bitcoin for July, which is up 3.00% from last month’s level of transaction of $37.95 million, it confirms that despite the ban on cryptocurrencies, the CBN’s decision has not stopped the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country. This is possible because there are online platforms that are outside the control of the CBN and the Nigerian Government which are being used to trade Bitcoin in Nigeria.

This information does not give a full picture of the level of transactions recorded in the month of July as it only combines the transaction volume of 2 exchanges; Paxful and LocalBitcoins. Other popular exchanges like Binance and Remitano are not included.

This brings the total estimated volume of P2P Bitcoin transactions so far for the year to approximately $244.82 million.

What to expect

With Bitcoin trading above the $40,000 trading zone, the fear and greed index currently neutral and the recent banning of the sale of forex to BDC’s, the level of Bitcoin transaction is expected to go even higher in August.

Even with an outright ban on cryptocurrency-related transactions for financial institutions within the country, it has not stopped Nigeria from being the leading pioneer for cryptocurrency-related transactions on the continent. Cryptocurrency traders have now moved to P2P (Peer-to-Peer) trading, which is the first method of trading cryptocurrencies for cash.

Although the government intends to launch its own CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) called the e-Naira by October, this may have little effect in deterring Nigerians from using cryptocurrencies as the ease and convenience is second to none.

Bitcoin is trading $41,300, down 0.10% for the day, as of the time of writing this report.

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Cardano partners Chainlink to help developers build secure smart contracts

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At the 2021 Cardano Summit, Cardano announced a partnership with Chainlink aimed at providing extra support for developers building smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain by integrating oracles.  

The integration of these oracles on the Cardano blockchain will allow development teams on the Cardano blockchain to supply institutional-grade data provided by Chainlink into their smart contracts. The oracles will support market price feeds first and after this, the support for other Chainlink decentralized services will follow. They include; sports data for prediction markets, weather data for parametric insurance products, and verifiable randomness for gaming and digital collectables such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).  

A blogpost written by Tim Harrison, the Marketing & Communications Director of IOHK stated that access to real-world databases will be supplied through Chainlink’s decentralized ‘oracle’ networks which provide tamper-proof, high-quality external data to blockchains, enabling ‘smart contracts’ to execute around datasets such as election results, sports stats, and cryptocurrency rates. 

Harrison said, “Chainlink provides oracle services to power hybrid smart contracts on any blockchain. Chainlink oracle networks enable smart contracts to reliably connect to any external API, leveraging secure off-chain computations for feature-rich applications.” 

The collaboration between Cardano and Chainlink is said to give access to a wealth of secure data, helping DeFi achieve its promise of building a less costly and more inclusive global economic system. 

What they are saying

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK had this to say about the announcement, “Oracles are essential to making real-world data accessible on Cardano and they support advanced smart contracts, such as DeFi applications. IOHK is committed to providing developers with the most secure and robust tooling for building useful solutions on Cardano, making it an easy choice to integrate Chainlink’s market-leading oracle solution.” 

He further added, “Not only will integrating Chainlink price feeds reduce the go-to-market time for Cardano developers, but it will establish a secure foundation for Cardano’s DeFi ecosystem, helping make Cardano more trusted by users around the world.” 

Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, stated, “We’re excited to leverage our extensive experience and expertise by establishing native support for Chainlink on the Cardano blockchain and supporting its next stage of growth into markets like DeFi and beyond. Similar to programming interfaces in web app development, developers building DeFi applications on Cardano will be able to plug-and-play Chainlink price feeds into their smart contracts to quickly gain access to high-quality, real-time price data on a wide range of assets while still maintaining robust security and uptime. Ultimately, this will empower developers on Cardano to build next-generation applications quicker and more securely.” 

Niki Ariyasinghe, Head of Blockchain Partnerships at Chainlink Labs stated, “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the Cardano ecosystem. Obviously for the technical team behind Cardano – IOG and so on – but also for the collaborative nature of the community as well. There’s a tremendous amount of respect between the Chainlink and Cardano ecosystems. Cross-chain interoperability is another longer-term goal. This is really a framework for enabling bridges between different chains and enabling a multi-chain world.” 

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U.S Government sues for millions of USDT purportedly stolen

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The United States Attorney’s office recently filed a civil complaint accusing four digital wallets containing more than 9.8 million Tether (USDT) of being involved in wire fraud, computer fraud, and money laundering. The complaint was led by U.S. Attorney, Tracy Wilkinson.

In April 2021, a California resident was swindled out of over 200 Bitcoin (BTC) by someone pretending to be a Coinbase employee, court documents stated.

It appears that the unidentified victim, shortly after buying some 200 BTC on Coinbase Pro, was contacted by Coinbase customer service.

An alleged representative of the platform told the victim that the amount of the purchase had frozen the victim’s account and that a transaction limit increase was required to process the funds. Furthermore, the scammer suggested that the victim upgrade to Coinbase Prime.

The swindler initiated a transaction once the victim gave them access to the account via remote desktop to which they transferred approximately 206 BTC to what was supposed to be the victim’s new Prime wallet.

Within a few hours, several smaller transactions were also executed which resulted in the theft of nearly $11.5 million in digital assets from the victim’s Coinbase account.

The claim further describes how the digital assets were divided up into smaller transaction pieces and later concentrated in the four suspect wallets.

For the time being, the government has asked the court to allow it to seize the assets.

The federal government must prove the funds are forfeitable, according to Daniel Davis in an interview with Cointelegraph. He stated that if the plaintiff prevails, he or she will forfeit the proceeds to the United States before they can be returned to the legitimate owner.

Using civil forfeiture authority to seize digital assets is a growing trend in which the federal government is trying to seize digital assets. In the future, civil forfeiture actions will grow as digital assets become more popular, especially if the government believes they were part of illegal activity,” Davis said.

Experts further believe the recovery of stolen cryptocurrency is an urgent need as one of the biggest issues in the space is stolen digital assets. Hopefully, law enforcement, as well as civil litigants, will take more actions like this.

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Cardano partners with Fortune 250 company, Dish Network

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Cardano has announced that it is partnering with a Fortune 250 company, Dish Network, a TV and wireless service provider. The announcement was made by Chris Ergen, the head of Innovation at Dish. 

Chris Ergen made this announcement at the 2021 Cardano Summit with Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of Input-Output present. Chris stated, “I am excited to announce that Dish and input-output are entering into a strategic collaboration to build blockchain services and to make blockchain a core part of our network and consumer strategy.” 

Hoskinson stated that the partnership will help integrate Dish’s telecom business into the Cardano blockchain so as to help provide digital identity services to Dish customers. He further stated, “Ultimately, the collaboration is going to be both innovative, safe and suitable for the customers and regulators of this industry.” 

The partnership aims at bringing the telecoms industry to the blockchain space. It’s the first collaboration of its kind, unlocking significant value for Dish’s customers while growing adoption for Cardano. 

Recall that Cardano just recently launched an Alonzo hard fork mainnet upgrade. The upgrade brought to the Cardano network the capability to launch smart contracts, ushering in a new era for the blockchain which puts it in direct competition with the likes of Ethereum and Solana. 

Since the launch of Smart Contracts, over 200 smart contracts have been listed on the Cardano blockchain explorer.  

Charles concluded the announcement stating, “this is the kind of deal I can imagine in a decade horizon, will involve hundreds of millions of people if not billions of people. I am deeply passionate about it because to do the things we like to do as a company, which is to bank the unbanked and connect the unconnected, makes this is a tremendous challenge.” 

Cardano’s native token is down 6.22% for the day as it currently trades $2.20 as of the time of this writing. 

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