The authorities in Nigeria and the digital currency exchange Binance Holdings Ltd. Talks to create a digital economic zone that supports the adoption of blockchain technology by companies in the West African country.
Binance in talks with Nigeria
according to press release, Nigeria intends to use the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to create the first free economic 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 largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
Professor Adesoji Adesugba (NEPZA MD/CEO), Samira Kimatrai (Senior Legal Counsel at Binance), Luqman Edu (CEO Talent City), Sikiru Lawal (Director of NEPZA). pic.twitter.com/73scHU4hYE
– (officialNEPZA) September 2, 2022
The proposed zone, according to NEPZA director, Adesoji Adesugba, would be the first in West Africa and operate similarly to virtual zones in Dubai, aiming to offer crypto companies laws, regulations and tax incentives that benefit the industry.
Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA said:
“Our goal is to create thriving virtual free zones to take advantage of the nearly trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchain and digital economy.”
According to a NEPZA statement, the partnership aims to create a digital hub “similar to the virtual free zone in Dubai.”
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is focusing on digital technology as a way to diversify its economy away from crude oil and to benefit from a population that is becoming more connected and younger. Startups in the $1 billion or more fintech industry include Interswitch Ltd. and Flutterwave Inc.
The 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 across the African continent, Binance is keen to collaborate with the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority to create a virtual free zone with the goal of achieving long-term economic growth through digital innovation, and we look forward to sharing key details when the plans are finalised.”
Binance and Dubai World Trade Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December last year. By creating a “new international ecosystem for virtual assets,” the memorandum seeks to cement Dubai’s position as a hub for bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related goods and services.
Nigeria’s hostility towards cryptocurrency has eased
The Central Bank of Nigeria issued a note In February last year, regulated institutions banned “dealing” with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin transactions have increased by 27% in Nigeria as a result of 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 ranked Nigeria among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of bitcoin adoption.
BTC/USD falls below $20k. Source: TradingView
We might also look at the current economic zones as Dubai and Nigeria are working to create special economic zones that will help bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. An example of a framework with a resilient economy is Prospera Free City.
the government Passed successfully Laws governing digital asset trading this year, Nigeria Exchange Ltd. Launching a blockchain-enabled platform next year to expand trading on the exchange.
Since the value of cryptocurrencies began dropping in April, Nigerians have shown more interest than any country, according to a survey by price tracker CoinGecko.