Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Thursday it has put plans to regulate cryptocurrencies on hold in light of the central bank’s decision to ban them, according to a report by the Guardian Nigeria.
The regulatory body released a statement officially confirming any plans to regulate the cryptocurrencies are now on hold following a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive ordering banks to close any accounts transacting with cryptocurrencies.
“For the purpose of admittance into the SEC regulatory incubation framework, the assessment of all persons and products affected by the CBN circular of Feb. 5, 2021, is hereby put on hold until such persons are able to operate bank accounts within the Nigerian banking system,” the SEC said in a statement seen by the publication.
The CBN letter which was signed by Bello Hassan, Director of Banking Supervision, said it was reminding regulated banking institutions that “dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited” and any breaches of the order would face “severe regulatory sanctions.”
Despite the announcement made by CBN, the Nigerian cryptocurrency community seemed largely undeterred using peer-to-peer exchange platforms to continue trading.
Luno Hits 9M Customers Mark
One of the leading global cryptocurrency exchange companies, Luno celebrates hitting 9 million customer mark in over 40 countries.
Luno is a digital currency exchange facility that offers an exchange platform for customers to buy, sell and store digital currencies as well as pay for products and services using a cryptocurrency wallet.
The cryptocurrency exchange platform, Luno, saw remarkable growth with the addition of one million customers in less than five months.
Africa is one of Luno’s strongest markets with over 45 percent of the one million new customers added since June are based in Africa.
Marius Reitz, GM for Africa at Luno commented: “The average value of first deposits made by our million new customers is around USD32. Most new customers (83%) bought Bitcoin, while 27% bought Ethereum and 23% bought Ripple. Of the new customers, 35% are aged between 18 and 24, and gender splits align with trends in financial services – almost three quarters (65%) are male.”
Luno was founded in 2013 by Marcus Swanepoel, an ex-investment banker, and Timothy Stranex a software engineer who had previously worked with Google.
“As we hit the 9 million customer mark, it is a fitting symbol that Luno’s logo now adorns an iconic building in Cape Town’s unofficial financial district on the foreshore. Staff numbers have swelled to over 600 across the UK, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Australia and Singapore, and we are actively hiring over 60 specialists,” says Reitz.
Reitz affirmed that it took Luno five years to build a base for its first one million customers in 2017. “Luno’s growth has accelerated significantly since then. In the last year alone, we have added over 3.6 million new customers,” he says.
Luno was acquired last year by US-based DCG, the world’s largest blockchain investor and is targeting a billion customers by 2030.
Today’s Cryptocurrency Investors are Tomorrow’s Masters of the Metaverse
Cryptocurrency investors of today are likely to be the “masters of the metaverse”, which has the potential to change how we live, interact and do business, predicts the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.
The prediction from Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group, comes as Facebook announces plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to develop a so-called metaverse.
“The metaverse has the potential to help unlock access to new creative, social and economic opportunities,” the tech giant said in its blog.
The term ‘metaverse’ gives a virtual parallel to physical reality where a community of people can interact in the form of avatars. It refers to the merging of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online environment.
Mr Green says: “Facebook’s announcement once again underscores that the metaverse is not being seen by those-in-the-know as an ‘extension’ of the internet, but as its successor.
“It will become the entrance to almost all digital experiences and an integral part of most physical ones, meaning it will fundamentally change the way we live, interact with each other and do business.
“It will revolutionise economies, it will be the key to the creation of whole new generations of companies, and this is why the big tech firms are jumping in – no one wants to be left behind something so monumental.”
He continues: “The metaverse is being built and run on blockchains and decentralised applications, which is the same cutting-edge technology used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“In addition, in the virtual worlds which will reshape how we spend our time and our money, financial transactions will, of course, have to be digital.
“This means that cryptocurrencies are likely to become the sole legal tender accepted in the metaverse.
“All of this is a huge advantage to anyone investing in crypto today. Prices of major cryptocurrencies are likely to soar enormously in the next few years. As such, those buying now will be taking advantage of the lower entry points.
“Their purchasing power within the digital space can be expected to be huge as a result: they will be the ones who are the Masters of the Metaverse.”
Everything is very much still in the early stages, and it might be another decade or so until the potential of the metaverse is fully realised.
But, concludes Nigel Green, there is a “massive advantage” for early adopters of new tech – “just ask Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg” – as well as those who “invest earlier on in the currencies of the future.”
Bitcoin Near $60,000 Per Coin After Bloomberg Report Favour Bitcoin ETF
Bitcoin, the world’s most capitalised cryptocurrency, rallied near $60,000 per coin after a report by Bloomberg said bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) will clear the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late on Thursday.
Cryptocurrency’s most dominant coin rose to $59,961 per coin before pulling back to $59,258.38 at the time of writing.
The SEC is reviewing around 40 bitcoin ETF filings with multiple decision deadlines on futures-linked products hitting next week. According to Bloomberg, the regulator is expected to approve at least some of them, clearing the way for trading to begin.
The SEC does not need to take any formal action to approve the filings. Under federal law, applications can become effective if the SEC allows a mandated deadline to pass by without requesting changes or directing the aspiring issuer to pull the filing.
Bloomberg named applications by ProShares and Invesco as two proposals that may be allowed to launch under this law next week.
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