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Fintech CEO: Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Signals Strategic Shift in Crypto Thinking

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Last month, the Nigerian central bank banned banks from participating in transactions related to the purchase of cryptocurrencies, threatening regulatory sanctions. Soon after, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo urged the country’s central bank and SEC to find ways to regulate, rather than ban, cryptocurrencies, pointing out that the technologies surrounding cryptocurrency would support innovation throughout the economy.

 “The Central Bank continues to argue that cryptocurrencies are risky, a point which Osinbajo concedes,” noted Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges. “But, he stresses that such concerns are not reason enough to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

“In a speech to the country’s top bankers, Vice President Osinbajo said what I’ve been saying for years — the best path forward for cryptocurrencies is through commonsense regulation. Responsible regulation will help reduce risks and make it harder for bad actors to engage in malfeasance. In the end, though, the power of the technology behind cryptocurrencies makes it impossible to pretend as though they don’t exist,” Gardner said.

“There’s a role for regulation here and it is the place of our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns,” Osinbajo is quoted as saying, according to a Reuters report on the speech. “Cryptocurrencies in the coming years will challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine, so we need to be prepared for that seismic shift.”

As Nigeria’s own fiat currency remains weak, Bitcoin has continued to remain popular in Africa’s most populous nation. The digital currency has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past months, as institutional financial services firms and mainstream celebrity CEOs, including Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, and Kevin O’Leary, showed signs of embrace.

“I don’t think Nigeria’s going to be doubling down on digital assets as we’ve seen China do, launching their own CBDC, anytime soon. However, Vice President Osinbajo’s position cannot be overstated. In a country where the central bank has declared war on cryptocurrencies, one of the most influential politicians has advocated for hitting the brakes on the ban. That’s meaningful. Not just in Nigeria, but it will have implications across the globe,” contended Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Cryptocurrency

Electronics Retailer Newegg now Accepts Dogecoin As Payment

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After debuting Bitcoin payments back in 2014, online electronics retailer Newegg added a Dogecoin payment option.

American online electronics retailer Newegg has added Dogecoin (DOGE) as an official payment method amid the ongoing parabolic surge of meme-based cryptocurrency.

Newegg announced Tuesday that the company added the option through the crypto payment platform BitPay.

The firm said that the new feature was introduced in conjunction with Doge Day — a community crypto holiday pushed by DOGE proponents to be celebrated on April 20. According to online reports, Dogecoin advocates apparently hope to see DOGE hit $1 today.

Newegg’s senior brand manager Andrew Choi said that the growing momentum around cryptocurrency is “undeniable.” “The recent surge in Dogecoin value underscores the need to make it easier for customers to make purchases with this popular cryptocurrency,” he noted.

Newegg became one of the first major online shopping stores to accept Bitcoin (BTC) when the company partnered with BitPay back in 2014. Initially debuting the feature in the United States, the firm subsequently expanded the payment option to more than 70 countries.

“We’re committed to making it easy for our customers to shop however works best for them, and that means letting them complete transactions with the payment method that suits them best. To that end, we’re happy to give Dogecoin fans an easy way to shop online for tech,” Choi stated.

Newegg’s move into Dogecoin payments comes amid a catapulting DOGE price rally, with the altcoin gaining more than 480% over the past seven days at the time of writing. On April 19, DOGE market capitalization hit $50 billion for the first time in history, with the token hitting an all-time high of $0.45.

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Soaring Demand Drives Gold-backed Cryptocurrency Listing

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gold coin

A gold-backed digital asset has been added to one of the world’s largest financial advisory and fintech organisation’s cryptocurrency app.

deVere Group added Pax Gold (PAXG) to deVere Crypto to join other major digital currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, XRP and Dogecoin.

Each PAXG token is backed by a piece of London Good Delivery gold bar, kept in Brink’s gold vaults, which is the approved storage company of the London Bullion Market Association.

The addition of Pax Gold on the deVere Crypto exchange comes a day after Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, fell as much as 15% just days after hitting a new record high of $64,000.

Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group, says: “We have added Pax Gold, an established cryptocurrency that is entirely backed by gold, due to ongoing and increasing client demand for digital assets.

“Pax Gold offers investors the liquidity, flexibility and security of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, together with the reputation and credibility of a valuable physical commodity.”

He continues: “The booming crypto market is known for being volatile.  Many investors like the volatility as it can provide highly rewarding buying and selling opportunities.

“However, the market ups and downs aren’t for everyone. Pax Gold will appeal to investors who want to have exposure to digital assets – which are increasingly regarded as the future of money – without the higher levels of volatility.”

Launched in 2018, deVere Crypto is a pioneering app on which users can buy, sell, hold and exchange major cryptocurrencies. Digital assets, which are established and qualified by experts, are often added as the market develops.  This year, Cardano, Dogecoin and now Pax Gold have been included.

Mr Green recently noted: “Crypto is a burgeoning asset class and it’s one that is set to play a larger and larger role within the global financial system.

“In today’s digitalised, globalised world, the demand for digital, global currencies in some form – is only set to grow.

“From now on, there will always be widely-used non-fiat money.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “We’re delighted to be able to now offer Pax Gold, which gives investors an easy and safe way to have exposure to real, regulated gold.

“This highlights our commitment to providing clients the opportunities and rewards of digital currencies.”

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SEC Working With CBN On Crypto Trading Regulation, Says DG

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Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a better understanding and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.

The Director-General, SEC, Lamido Yuguda, said this at the 2021 first post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) virtual news conference.

Mr. Yuguda said the commission was in discussion with the CBN for a better understanding and regulation of the crypto assets.

He said the commission suspended the implementation of crypto assets guidelines due to a lack of access to Nigerian bank accounts.

“We are in discussion with CBN for both understanding and better regulating of this market.

“We will be able to come back to you later to inform you of the outcome of these engagements.

“But because of the lack of access to commercial bank accounts, we had to suspend our own guidelines of September 2020, the implementation of that circular is suspended until these operators are able to have access to Nigerian bank accounts.

“Remember that nobody operates in the Nigerian capital market if that person does not have access to a Nigerian bank account,” he said.

Mr. Yuguda, however, said that SEC remained very supportive of Fintechs and had invested so much in developing a framework to support their operations.

The comments followed last week’s declaration by the SEC that fintech allowing Nigerians access to foreign securities were operating illegally. Examples of those platforms are Bamboo, Rise vest, and Chaka.

“Let me say that the SEC remains very supportive of fintech. We have invested so much in developing a framework for supporting fintech in the various areas and fintech are acting in areas of crowdfunding, investment advice and cryptocurrencies and the like,” he said.

Mr. Yuguda said that the market had been disrupted by the apex bank prohibition on access to Nigerian bank accounts by the crypto exchange.

“In all other areas, nothing has changed, but in the area of crypto assets, you know that with the recent prohibition by the CBN on access to Nigerian bank accounts by crypto exchanges, that market has been disrupted.

“And the truth of the matter is that while the SEC had issued guidelines in September 2020 aimed at regulating this market, for now for all intents and purposes, because these exchanges do not have access to commercial bank accounts in Nigeria the market, for now, does not exist,” he said.

According to him, the commission recognises the impact of FinTechs on capital market activities.

He assured the public that SEC would remain accommodative of this development.

“We shall continue to engage players and support them to operate lawfully.

“Our aim is to ensure the delivery of safe products and services without stifling innovation,” Mr Yuguda said.

He, therefore, encouraged FinTech firms to approach the Commission for due registration and desist from operating illegally.

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