Binance in Talks with Nigeria, Seeks to Establish Crypto-Friendly Zone | bitcoinist.com
Nigerian authorities and cryptocurrency exchange Binance Holdings Ltd. are in talks to create a digital economic zone that will support the adoption of blockchain technology by businesses in the West African country.
Binance in talks with Nigeria
According to a Press release, Nigeria intends to use the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to establish the first economic free zone for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in West Africa.
NEPZA is in talks with Talent City, a company that specializes in creating special economic zones, as well as Binance, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
Professor Adesoji Adesugba (NEPZA MD/CEO), Sameera Kimatrai (Binance Senior Legal Counsel), Luqman Edu (CEO Talent City), Sikiru Lawal (NEPZA Director). pic.twitter.com/73scHU4hYE
—NEPZA (@officialNEPZA) September 2, 2022
The proposed zone, according to NEPZA Managing Director Adesoji Adesugba, will be a first in West Africa and will operate similarly to Dubai’s virtual zones, which aim to provide crypto businesses with laws, regulations and beneficial tax incentives for the industry.
Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA said:
“Our goal is to create thriving virtual free zones to leverage a nearly trillion-dollar virtual economy in blockchain and digital economy,”
According to NEPZA’s statement, the partnership aims to create a digital hub “similar to the Dubai Virtual Free Zone”.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is focusing on digital technology as a way to diversify its economy away from crude oil and take advantage of a population that is becoming increasingly connected and young. Fintech startups valued at $1 billion or more include Interswitch Ltd. and Flutterwave Inc.
A Binance representative noted that the goal of the strategy is to promote long-term economic growth through digital innovation:
“As we continue to support blockchain adoption on the African continent, Binance is keen to work with Nigeria’s Export Processing Zones Authority to establish a virtual free zone with the aim of generating long-term economic growth. through digital innovation. We look forward to sharing key details once the plans are finalized.
Binance and the Dubai World Trade Center signed a memorandum of understanding in December last year. By establishing a “new international ecosystem of virtual assets”, the memorandum aims to establish Dubai as a hub for bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related goods and services.
Nigeria’s hostility towards crypto has eased
The Central Bank of Nigeria issued a note in February last year, prohibiting regulated institutions from “dealing” with bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. Peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin transactions increased by 27% in Nigeria following the ban.
In fact, just last year, P2P transactions in Africa as a whole surpassed all other countries in terms of volume. In the same period, Chainalysis published a global adoption index that ranked Nigeria among the top 10 countries in the world for bitcoin adoption.
BTC/USD falls below $20k. Source: TradingView
We can also take a look at current economic zones as Dubai and Nigeria work to create special economic zones that will help bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. An example of a flexible economy setting is the free city of Próspera.
The government past laws governing digital asset trading this year, and Nigeria Exchange Ltd. wants to launch a blockchain-enabled platform next year to expand trading on the exchange.
Since the value of cryptocurrencies began to decline in April, Nigerians have shown the most interest of any nation, according to a survey by price tracker CoinGecko.
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