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Luno to Commence Naira Deposit and Withdrawal After Raising $700 Million at $10 Billion Valuation

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Luno, a cryptocurrency trading platform, has announced plans to commence Naira deposit and withdrawal on its platform through a third-party application.

In a statement forwarded to all users on Wednesday,  Luno management said customers in Nigeria will be able to deposit and withdraw funds in Naira.

However, customers are required to first upgrade their KYC information on the platform. “Failure to do so will mean you cannot deposit or withdraw Naira. This is necessary to ensure your security and that of your funds,” the company stated.

To read more on how to upgrade and verify on the Luno platform click here.

This is coming several months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) restricted deposit money banks from facilitating cryptocurrency payments to protect Nigerians from another MMM and unregulated crypto space with numerous cases of frauds and scams.

Platforms like Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange platform, had launched a peer-to-peer deposit and withdrawal mechanism to ensure Nigerian customers continue to transact on the platform despite the restriction.

Explaining how Luno would achieve Naira deposit and withdrawal given CBN restriction, the Luno team said customers would be able to deposit and withdraw funds on the platform through vouchers they would purchase and redeem via a trusted third party.

“You will be able to deposit and withdraw funds to the Luno platform using vouchers purchased and redeemed through a trusted third party provider,” the Luno team said in the statement forwarded to all customers.

“We believe that this is the safest and easiest-to-use solution currently available to our customers in Nigeria and look forward to you experiencing it for yourselves.”

However, Luno said while it only facilitates payments between customers, it does not set the price of Bitcoin or any other currencies. This, it stated to address a possible fluctuation in price of currencies once it rollout its new third-party voucher deposit and withdrawal model.

“Luno does not set the price of bitcoin or any cryptocurrencies, we only facilitate transactions between customers. 

“The return of Naira deposits and withdrawals may cause significant price volatility, with the release of pent-up customer demand to buy and sell cryptocurrency causing unusual market behaviour that could last for several weeks.

“Stay tuned for more details about the voucher solution and how to use it in the coming weeks!”

Meanwhile, Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of Luno, just raised US$700 million in an investment round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund II and Latin American Fund. Other equity investors led by the two funds include Google’s Capital G, Ribbit Capital, GIC, Tribe Capital and Emory University who purchased stock from existing investors.

This put the company’s valuation at US$10 billion.

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.

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Fintech CEO: FBI Crypto Ransomware Seizure Brings Custody to Forefront

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The FBI seized a cryptocurrency wallet used by Aleksandr Sikerin, it says, which holds $2.3 million in assets which were tied to ramsomware attacks. Sikerin is associated with REvil, which is known for its ransomware malfeasance. Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced a similar seizure of over $6 million in ransomware payments to Yevgeniy Polyanin, who targeted law enforcement and municipal organizations, among others. It is said that REvil has been responsible for more than $200 million in extortion since 2019.

“While identifying these criminals, and seizing their assets, is a step in the right direction, many of them are resting safely in countries, such as Russia, without extradition treaties with the United States. That’s why it is important that governments ensure that exchanges and other companies working in concert with these bad actors are held accountable,” opined 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. Earlier this year, Suex was sanctioned for allegedly doing business with hackers.

“There are three kinds of companies in the digital assets space. Those who actively and knowingly provide services, including money laundering, which aid in the efforts of hackers and bad actors. Those who are complicit and provide aid with no direct knowledge, but, instead, because they fail to adequately vet their clients with the AML & KYC procedures which have become industry best practices and, in most jurisdictions, mandatory. Finally, there are those which take every precaution and employ industry leading technologies to thwart hackers at every turn. Those that fall into the latter group, those are the companies with long-term potential, and it is time that the industry recognizes that in a more substantial way,” said Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Modulus has provided its exchange solution to some of the industry’s most profitable digital asset exchanges, including a well-known multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable institutions, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“This isn’t just an issue with exchanges, of course. Even in the custody space, we’re faced with companies who are following the law but are still leaving massive vulnerabilities in their operation. It isn’t that they are trying to do a lackluster job. It’s just that they don’t appreciate how important the security aspect is in the digital assets space. Blockchain technologies, including digital assets, are a truly transformative innovation. We’re going to see them play out over the next decades. They will completely change how we interact with finance. In order to enhance the opportunities in front of us, it is incumbent upon us to do everything we can to ensure that the technology is safe and secure,” said Gardner.

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Newegg to Start Accepting Shiba Inu (SHIB) for Payments in December

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More wins for the Shiba Inu community as Newegg Commerce, a leading tech-focused North American e-retailer, announced it will start accepting Shiba Inu (SHIB) cryptocurrency as a form of payment and NOWPayments announced it has burnt over 43 million Shiba Inu coins.

Newegg announced the acceptance of Shiba Inu coin as payment just in time for the end of the year holiday. The official announcement was made on a grand scale with a massive digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaign which was displayed on The Reef, North America’s largest DOOH billboard.

Newegg commerce was part of the early adopters of Bitcoin when it partnered BitPay in 2014. The trend continued with the acceptance of Dogecoin as a payment method in the first quarter of 2021.

To further cement its position as one of the early adopters of digital assets in the crypto space, Newegg added SHIB to its growing list of cryptocurrencies accepted for payment.

“We are always looking for ways to innovate the shopping experience on Newegg.com, and something our customers want is greater flexibility and options, including the ability to pay with a wide range of cryptocurrencies, through our partnership with BitPay, we have the ability to move quickly and lead the market with flexible cryptocurrency payment options. To that end, we’re excited to offer SHIB as a payment option on Newegg.com”, said Andrew Choi, Director of Brand Marketing at Newegg.

The new month ushered in more excitement for the Shiba Inu Community with NOWPayments burning 43,445,695 SHIB coins. The burnt coins were sent to a dead wallet removing over $2000 worth of Shiba Inu from circulation.

The initial goal of the company was to burn only 3 percent of profits generated from SHIB transactions, which would have summed up to only $12 worth of SHIB. However, the Shiba Inu community has been very active on platforms that announced they will burn a certain percentage of their profits. Some of the businesses burning SHIB were Bigger Entertainment, Bricks Buster mobile game and Shiba Coffee Company.

NOWPayment decision to increase total Shiba Inu coin burn was to “stay true to the SHIB ecosystem principles”, the company stated in one of its press releases. The company said it has now burnt a total of $2,059 worth of SHIB, mostly from its own fund and not only SHIB payments.

According to NOWPayments “This figure will rise with new upcoming burns – as more merchants sign up, and the ETH fees go down”. The company also said that the next Shiba Inu burn will happen at the end of the month.

The company is also working on the SHIB merchant directory, this will contain the list of all merchants that accept Shiba Inu as a payment method.

Explaining the company’s support for the meme coin, NOWPayments said “We share a global mission with the SHIB foundation, which is to bring cryptocurrencies into the world around us—mass adoption”.

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Bitcoin is a Better Inflation Hedge Than Gold: deVere CEO

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The Bitcoin rally stalled on heightening global worries about inflation, but, says the CEO of one of the world’s leading financial advisory, asset management and fintech firms, it remains “a better shield than gold.”

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ended three consecutive days of healthy gains, before stabilizing, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday it may be time to stop using the term “transitory” as a way of describing the current wave of inflation.

Meanwhile, inflation in Europe has ballooned to the highest on record.

Mr Green says: “Bitcoin is perceived by many investors as a hedge against inflation due largely to its strict supply controls.

“As such, it would be assumed that its price would automatically rise when the U.S. central bank suggests that it would consider speeding up the reduction of its asset purchase policies that have boosted the stock markets.

“But for other investors, including some major institutional investors who have piled into Bitcoin in recent months, the cryptocurrency is still perceived as a risky asset.

“So when they sell-off riskier assets, despite the longer-term outlook and based on short-term hawkish policies from the world’s de facto central bank, Bitcoin, like equities, also becomes vulnerable.”

A long-term, high-profile crypto advocate, Mr Green remains confident that “Bitcoin is today a greater inflation shield than gold”, which has long been the standard go-to inflation hedge.

He says: “Gold has always been regarded as the ultimate inflation hedge – but the world is a much different place now. Our lives and the global economy is increasingly run on tech and digital solutions and this megatrend is only set to become more dominant.

“Gold is likely to be dethroned within a generation as millennials and younger investors, who are so-called ‘digital natives’, are going to be more comfortable with Bitcoin as a hedge than a physical metal.”

The deVere CEO goes on to say: “Bitcoin is often referred to as ‘digital gold’ because like the precious metal it is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, non-sovereign, decentralized, scarce, and a store of value.

“Yet, the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is superior to gold as a medium of exchange or form of payment.

“Unlike gold, it is a fixed unit of account and easily divisible and transportable. Gold is not easily immediately divisible, and there are potential issues with purity and verification. Whereas Bitcoin is easily traced on blockchain technology and this is going to be a considerable advantage, especially in cross-border transactions.”

Mr Green concludes: “Gold and Bitcoin can, and perhaps should, complement each other in a portfolio.

“But as the world continues to pick up momentum in its shift towards tech, and as millennials become a more dominant part of the world economy, we should expect Bitcoin to also take an increasingly influential role in financial markets, including in regards to being an inflation hedge.”

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