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.
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 Our source, gave vital insights on why Africans are fast adopting crypto, and the advantages that crypto assets bring:
“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.
“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.
“The transaction is safe, and the companies don’t hold the virtual currency for more extended periods; thus, the operation takes a short time.”
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.
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.
“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.
Paypal to offer Cryptos by early 2021
This offering was made possible through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company
PayPal Holdings, Inc. on Tuesday announced it will be providing its users the opportunity to buy, hold and sell cryptos directly from their PayPal account by early next year.
It also hinted at a strategy to significantly boost its crypto’s utility capability by making it readily available as a funding source for purchases at its 26 million clients globally.
In a press statement seen by Themoneymetrics, Dan Schulman, president, and CEO, PayPal, gave key insights on why the global payment company was going crypto; “The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of ;
- financial inclusion and access,
- resilience of the payments system
- and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly.”
“Our global reach, digital payments expertise, two-sided network, and rigorous security and compliance controls provide us with the opportunity, and the responsibility, to help facilitate the understanding, redemption, and inter-operability of these new instruments of exchange,” he said.
Furthermore, he said, “We are eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”
This offering was made possible through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of crypto services and products.
PayPal was also granted a conditional Bitlicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), In a statement credited to Linda A. Lacewell, superintendent, NYDFS, she said; “NYDFS’ approval today follows our June 2020 announcement for a new framework for a conditional Bitlicense to encourage, promote, and assist interested institutions to have a well-regulated way to access the New York virtual currency marketplace in a way that is both timely and protective of New York consumers, through partnerships with New York authorized virtual currency firms.”
She continued, “NYDFS will continue to encourage and support financial service providers to operate, grow, remain and expand in New York and work with innovators to enable them to germinate and test their ideas, for a dynamic and forward-looking financial services sector, especially as we work to build New York back better in the midst of this pandemic.”
Ripple CTO Reveals He Made a $15.5 Million Mistake
David Schwartz said that he sold 40,000 Ethereum in 2012 for just $1 each. That stash would have been worth millions.
David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple, revealed on Sunday that he sold 40,000 Ethereum (ETH) for just $1 per token back in 2012—a crypto cache that would be worth roughly $15.4 million today.
At Ethereum’s peak price, that would have been worth $53.6 million.
The 40,000 ETH that I sold at $1 was all me though.
— David Schwartz (@JoelKatz) October 11, 2020
Schwartz explained that this decision was part of a “derisking plan” he discussed with his wife at the time, adding that he also sold undisclosed amounts of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ripple’s XRP for $750 and $0.01 per coin, respectively.
While not aimed at Schwartz directly, the revelation stemmed from a comment made by another Twitter user, stating that “anyone pushing XRP while derisking is exit scamming.”
“On the derisking, I’m a risk averse person with people who depend on me financially and emotionally. Fate caused me to put a lot of eggs in one basket,” Schwartz replied, adding, “My job, my reputation, Ripple stock, XRP, and so on. I like that basket. But the risk is very high in the entire cryptocurrency space. I’m just too rational to pretend otherwise and suggest others do the same.”
Schwartz is far from the only one who sold their crypto for cheap in the past. Perhaps the most well known example is Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer from Florida who also contributed to Bitcoin’s source code. In May 2010, he paid 10,000 BTC, worth around $115 million today, for two Papa John’s pizzas.
10 years ago Laszlo Hanyecz had tens of thousands of bitcoin he had mined just burning a hole in his pocket. He also had a hankering for pizza. The rest… was history.https://t.co/vvYcbUpH4O pic.twitter.com/Nd8uFHoIBx
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) May 22, 2020
While such a deal could warrant therapy sessions with a psychologist for many crypto enthusiasts today, 10 years ago it arguably paved a way for Bitcoin to be used as an actual currency. And the rest, as Bitcoin developer Jameson Lopp put it, is history.
DeFi crypto market value gains over 1000% from June
Defi based crypto market value had risen from $1 billion in June to $10.71 Billion
DeFi cryptos are now a force to reckon with, especially since the era of the worst pandemic known to man came to play.
It’s important to note that DeFi-related assets are gaining traction, as data feeds from Defipulse revealed that Defi based crypto market value had risen from $1 billion in June to $10.71 billion, at the time this report was written, showing an astronomical gain of 1071%.
Why investors are flocking to DeFI cryptos
Several DeFi crypto assets have had their share of the spotlight in recent times, with cryptos such as Chainlink, Compound, YAM, UniSwap, Cream finance, and Melon gaining investors’ capital inflows.
- Using “Defi” technology, one can build smart contracts with codes that facilitate the actions of intermediaries, including managing and accepting deposits, handling collateralized loans, and liquidating collateral assets as per the terms of the contracts, should their values fluctuate.
- Although DeFi assets, about few days back, had experienced some price corrections due to the rebound of the dollar and overbought indicators, the market seems to show a bullish bias relatively in the midterm, as Defi based investors increase their asset purchases momentarily.
- DeFi crypto owners in some cases can typically receive better interest rates than they would from traditional banks on the basis that lower operating costs is enabled by operating on an automated decentralized network
As a credit to blockchain technology, the contract codes cannot be terminated or manipulated by any entity, and are executed with specific conditions.
What DeFi means: Defi means “decentralized finance.” By definition, it’s a crypto ecosystem made up of financial apps designed on leading blockchain platforms.
- Defi, in short, is the use of blockchain technologies (including smart contracts, decentralized asset custody, etc.) to replace all “intermediaries” with program codes, therefore maximizing the efficiency of financial services and minimizing costs.
- These digital assets are designed on Ethereum codes, and usually exhibit characteristics that include having protocols and financial smart contracts.
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