Bitcoin Daily: Nigeria’s Crypto Market Surges

Binance, Nigeria’s cryptocurrency market, has seen sign-ups surge 50 percent so far in 2020. The market is scrambling to provide users with a stablecoin.

Roughly 300 people signed up for a corresponding “masterclass” for the market in January, which taught them how to set up eWallets and explore the margin-trading strategies available. There was such a demand for the classes that Emmanuel Babalola, Binance’s Nigerian business manager, said it’ll hold further classes.

Nigeria has latched on to the cryptocurrency trend, boasting 35 million unbanked adults who possess mobile phones, the vast majority being women. There are roughly 4,000 traders in Binance’s Nigerian Telegram group.

Babalola said Binance intends to open up a fiat on-ramp on the mobile app, too.

However, Binance isn’t the only game in town. Local exchange BuyCoins has debuted $50,000 worth of Ethereum-based stablecoin Naira, backed one to one in the bank. Co-founder Tomiwa Lasebikan said the Nigerian way of dealing with crypto coins is often done offline, with much trading done via WhatsApp and other similar methods. For this reason, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly how much trading is done.

Reginald Fowler, “an alleged operator behind payment processor Crypto Capital, was charged with wire fraud” on Friday (Feb. 21). This is in addition to charges of bank fraud, an unlicensed money transfer operation and conspiracy.

The indictment said that Fowler created a scheme to obtain money “by means of false and fraudulent pretenses,” directing “the funds to a professional sports league.” Reports said that the sports league was unnamed, but Fowler was the main investor for “the Alliance of American Football, a short-lived alternative to the National Football League [NFL] that collapsed in the middle of its first season last year.”

Fowler was initially arrested for his alleged role in operating Global Trading Solutions, which may be tied to Crypto Capital. The indictment claimed that Fowler falsely branded himself as the personal owner of funds processed via the unlicensed money transfer businesses.

Fraud has become a concern with cryptocurrency around the world.


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