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Crypto Africa Week in Review: Nigeria Cracking Down On Crypto, Ghana Post Launches NFTs, As Vodafone Plans To Drive Adoption

Nigeria is cracking down on crypto businesses as Binance responds. Ghana Post launches NFTs while Vodafone plans to drive adoption

In this week’s Crypto Africa review, Nigeria is cracking down on crypto businesses while Binance responds to executive legal drama. The Ghana Post launches Africa’s latest NFTs, and Vodafone has revealed plans to drive adoption across the continent.

Africa is active but a fascinating crypto paradox. While some nations, like Ghana, promote technology and blockchain, others, like Nigeria, are cracking down. 

In this week’s review, we shall examine key crypto events in Nigeria and Ghana and efforts by individuals and companies to drive adoption on the continent. 

Nigeria’s Attack On Crypto Businesses Marks New Trend For Crypto Africa

Nigeria has one of the most active crypto trading communities in the world. However, due to recent events, Africa’s most populous country is emerging as a cautionary tale for crypto fans. 

Notably, the country’s relationship with crypto and digital assets is becoming increasingly tense. This concerns what has been happening recently with Binance, which reached a fever pitch this week.

Reports indicate that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), known for its concerns about crypto and, allegedly, its potential to destabilize the national currency, the Naira, is cracking down on crypto businesses.

Though the CBN’s monetary policy might favor stabilizing the Naira, their stance on crypto presents major hurdles for ambitious businesses.

Two of the country’s Fintech giants, Moniepoint and OPay, are already feeling pressure. 

Fearing sanctions from the CBN, the central bank is reported to be discouraging customers from trading crypto. The central bank fears that crypto trading would lead to increased volatility of the Naira, forcing capital away, which may further cause losses.

This move is damaging – not only does it isolate millions of users from accessing global financial movements, but it also hinders potential economic benefits like trade and remittances from being felt.

Further complicating the situation is the ongoing saga of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance compliance officer currently detained in Nigeria. 

 

Earlier this week, Richard Teng, the CEO of Binance, said Gambaryan’s charges, including tax evasion and money laundering, are baseless. 

The arrest, the CEO added, sets a bad precedent and could prevent businesses from investing in Nigeria.

Teng also revealed that Nigeria’s authorities wanted a $150 million blame to “make everything go away.”

Binance has since left Nigeria, where the crypto exchange’s website is blocked. 

Ghana Creating A Crypto-Friendly Environment For African NFTs

While Nigeria goes for crypto’s jugular, just a stone’s throw away, Ghana is taking a welcomed approach, actively fostering a crypto-friendly environment to promote financial inclusion. And there are many events this week to demonstrate this.

For example, the partnership between Tether Operations and Bitnob to educate Ghanaians about Bitcoin and stablecoins is huge.

The first event was held on May 11, but there will be two more on May 15 and 18. Bitnob will also launch a 25-person Ambassador program.

These ambassadors will help spread the word in their community. Many citizens are underbanked. Bitcoin, USDT, and other stablecoins offer a way to access financial services.

Besides this, the launch of the “Crypto Stamp” by the Ghana Post in remembrance of the king’s 25th coronation anniversary also demonstrates a willingness to embrace the blockchain and its applications.

Each “Crypto Stamp” is minted as an NFT, each available for $18. There will only be 7,200 such stamps in existence.

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Vodafone Reveals Plans to Bring Bitcoin And Crypto To Mobile

News that Vodafone, a leading telecom provider, is exploring a way of linking SIM cards with crypto wallets, is a huge boost for Crypto Africa.

Thus far, Vodafone’s partner, Pairpoint, has a digital platform for devices to communicate seamlessly. A Vodafone executive said the number of crypto wallets will soar to as high as 5.6 billion in the next few years. The linking of SIM cards with digital wallets will accelerate adoption.

Reflecting on how to link SIM cards with crypto wallets, one developer, Kgothatso Ngako, will be a guest speaker during the CoinDesk’s Consensus festival in Austin, Texas, from May 29-31. His app, Machankura, allows users to send and receive BTC cheaply via their phone number. 

Machankura uses the Lightning Network, a layer-2 solution for BTC, to ensure instantaneous funds transfers. The app is available in eight countries, including South Africa and Kenya, and allows users to transact in BTC using USSD.

Tune in with 99Bitcoin’s next week for the next Crypto Africa news round up!

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Disclaimer: Crypto is a high-risk asset class. This article is provided for informational purposes and does not constitute investment advice. You could lose all of your capital.

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