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Nigerian Crypto Traders Explore Alternatives After CBN Ban To Remain Africa’s No 1 In P2P

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Nigeria

After the Central Bank of Nigeria released a circular instructing the banks to play no role in crypto trading and investing, there has been a frenzy on social media. 

While enthusiasts and traders largely condemned the actions of the CBN, most are assured that the new directive will not impede crypto activity in the country. Veteran traders took to twitter and other social media platforms to dispel any form of panic among holders and other traders. 

Interestingly, after the circular was released, bitcoin peer-to-peer trading increased dramatically in the country. Nigeria already holds a top spot in the world, when it comes to crypto adoption. Bitcoin has become a viable alternative to the country’s weakening Naira. 

Barely a week after the directive by the Central Bank, Usefultips revealed that peer-to-peer lending of bitcoin, surged by 15%. 

Nigeria leads Africa by a whopping $7.5 million in peer-to-peer lending. Kenya, which was closest, came in second at $2.86 million while South Africa comes in third with a transactional peer-to-peer value of $2.38 million. 

Nigeria’s population, which is dominated by tech savvy youths, has proved that the new CBN directive will not deter crypto usage in the country. The news seems to have sparked a wave of interest in crypto usage and trading. 

Alternatives To Fiat Deposit And Withdrawal

Moments after the CBN directive made rounds in the news, exchanges disabled fiat deposits and withdrawals of naira. This made buying directly from exchanges and withdrawing crypto equivalents into naira bank accounts impossible. 

While some expressed their fears over the new development, some simply decided to turn to peer-to-peer. Those who needed to turn crypto into fiat simply sold to those who needed to turn fiat into crypto.

This method however, makes newbie crypto users and traders susceptible to crypto scams. In light of this susceptibility, some exchanges have provided services that protect users and make peer-to-peer easier.

PaxFul P2P Marketplace

When it comes to peer-to-peer trade in Africa, Paxful is at the forefront. The exchange overtook LocalBitcoins in June last year to become the biggest peer-to-peer marketplace in the world.

A quarter of Paxful’s users are made up of Nigerians, they also constitute the company’s second largest bitcoin market.

As the biggest peer-to-peer trading platform in the world, it is certain that Paxful will have no troubles catering to customers who have to turn to p2p following CBN’s new directive.

Binance P2P Escrow Service

While peer-to-peer trading might seem like a simple alternative to bank deposits and withdrawal of crypto, parties involved in the exchange  might not always hold up their end of the deal.

Binance’s escrow service reduces the risk associated with peer-to-peer transactions. An escrow service ensures fair trade between two parties. It ensures that both parties are adequately compensated after a trade has been made. An escrow is a trusted third party that holds on to funds until the buyer and seller are satisfied with the transaction.

In Binance’s escrow service, once the buyer places an order, the seller’s cryptocurrency is automatically deposited into the escrow wallet. The crypto will be sent to the buyer once the transaction has been completed. 

The escrow service follows clear and easy steps. Once an order has been placed, buyer and seller will begin to communicate. The buyer proceeds to pay once an agreement has been made. Seeing the payment confirmation, the seller releases the crypto to the buyer

In cases where either party acts unfairly, the escrow service withholds the crypto and sends it to the rightful owner after enough investigation. Buyers are implored to have screenshots of their conversations with sellers, including payment receipts. 

BuyCoins NGNT Token

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies without the volatility of cryptocurrencies. This is because they’re pegged to the value of a particular fiat cryptocurrency. A stablecoin pegged to the dollar will have the same value as the dollar. 

NGNT is a stablecoin pegged to the naira. Consequently, one NGNT equals 1 naira. NGNT extends the advantages of blockchain and digital currencies to the naira. It is fully collateralized by USDC, the leading dollar stable coin. 

NGNT was created by BuyCoins Africa. Announced in Q1 of 2020, the coin is now supported by Paxful, BuyCoins and Busha.

NGNT avails traders of the need of using digital fiat to purchase cryptocurrencies, they also escape the volatility associated with converting fiat to cryptocurrencies, as the NGNT is pegged to the naira.

Bundle’s First Mobile Peer-to-peer

Binance-backed crypto exchange, Bundle, is looking to build the first mobile peer-to-peer platform. 

Yele Badamosi, Bundle CEO, revealed on Twitter, that the exchange is “working with partners to integrate our alternative channels to fund and withdraw from your cash wallets…

We will work on creating a mobile-first Peer-to-Peer (P2P) platform that will allow you to swap assets with other Bundlers quickly, securely, and simply.”The mobile peer-to-peer will be a remarkable innovation in the crypto space. Positive results are imminent if Bundle integrates the platform. 

With a policy highly intolerant of scams, crypto users new to  p2p can carry out all transactions with peace of mind.

Nigeria is constantly proving that cryptocurrencies and blockchain is in fact made for Africa. With levels of transactions recorded in the country amid the apex bank’s ban, it’s safe to say there’s nothing that can stop crypto adoption in Africa.

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Bolu Abiodun is a recent graduate of Theatre and Media Arts, Federal University Oye-Ekiti. A journalist with over a year's experience on the job. A former editor at American Media company Project Forward, he is a skilled content creator, social media manager and digital marketer.

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Binance Smart Chain Popularity Grows In Africa Crypto Ecosystem

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The Binance Smart Chain (BSC) was launched in September 2020, with the aim of allowing users to create smart contracts for tokens on the Binance blockchain. It makes use of the Proof of Stake (POS) consensus algorithm, which boasts compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

The Binance Smart Chain connects seamlessly with many familiar tools used by Ethereum developers to improve user experience, security, and scalability. By being EVM compatible, the Ethereum developers can easily move their applications over to the BSC ecosystem.

Apart from the EVM compatibility, BSC has several fascinating features such as cheaper fees, interoperability, short block time, high speed, double sign detection, and chain finality. This made BSC to become a serious alternative to Ethererum network. Since it is overridden with high gas fees due to its design as a Proof of Work network. These led to increased traction and transactions on BSC.

According to the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao via his Twitter account, there are currently more daily transactions on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) than on the Ethereum network. He also said that the total value transacted on BSC will soon surpass that of the Ethereum Ecosystem.

While on February 18, statistics showed that BSC recorded 2.5 million transactions on its network, and Ethereum network recorded 1.3 million transactions. Also, over $15B in total transaction volume was traded on BSC by January, 2021. With the Total Value Locked (TVL) in DeFi on BSC is about $4.976B and the total BNB locked is 22,222,694 BNB.

These increased influx of transactions are fueled by the DeFi protocols such as Venus, an algorithmic money market and synthetic stablecoin protocol created uniquely for BSC. After its launch on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), the price of Venus Token (XVS) rose by 750%, from the low of $10.04 on February 2 to establish an all-time high of $95.90 on February 20.

Another popular DeFi protocol fueling transactions on BSC is the PancakeSwap (CAKE). The food-themed token which became the first billion-dollar project on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Data from TradingView shows, the price of $CAKE rose from 520%, after hitting a low of $1.89 on February 3 to a new all-time high of $11.12 on February 17. This made it to achieve a new landmark – its total market cap reaching $1 billion for the first time.

The total value locked (TVL) on the PancakeSwap protocol has continued to increase from $150 million on January 23 to a new high of $2,477 billion on February 17, according to a data from Defistation. Addition of new farming opportunities on the platform also led to rapid growth in the TVL and also, its token’s value.

According to CoinGecko, the trading volume on the PancakeSwap platform has seen a steady rise in recent weeks with data showing that $CAKE is now the first-ranked DEX by trading volume, with Uniswap (UNI) of Ethereum network behind it. PancakeSwap is also likely to have more upside potential as the cryptocurrency sector continues to go mainstream.

The advent of Binance Smart Chain with his fascinating features is already attracting African startups and companies, with many crypto enthusiasts pledging their full support for BSC. These unique features of BSC such as low fees, stability and its fast block time make BSC to be seen as an ideal smart contract platform for DeFi startups in Africa.

This made Aronu Ugochukwu, the CEO of Xend Finance to announced that their product is being built on the Binance Smart Chain, after seeing the allotted advantages associated with BSC.

Xend Finance is a Nigerian tech startup that makes use of decentralised finance (DeFi) platform which is built on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Users of Xend Finance are allowed to save and invest in stable currencies in the global market without the need for a traditional middle man in the country.

The Nigerian-based decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, Xerd Finance was able to implement the unique features of BSC by creating a destructive innovative approach to keep small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in business during the Covid-19 lockdown with no internet connection required.

This was achieved by Geena, an app produced by Xend Finance. Geena is a personal assistant for businesses, that manages everything from point of sale, to customer relationship management, and business intelligence. Which made Google shine a spotlight on Xend, the African DeFi Project, offering offline capabilities and awesome customer service.

Also, the Nigerian Naira Token (NGNT) Stablecoin announced via his Twitter account on February 12, that it is now live on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and the NGNT is also backed 1:1 by the Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin.

This news came after the recent announcement via Binance’s Twitter handle, that the NGNT is now fully collateralized by the USD Coin (USDC), the world’s leading digital dollar stablecoin that is fully backed by the United States Dollar and runs on the Ethereum blockchain. USDC is currently available on various smart contract platforms, such as Ethereum, Algorand, Stellar, and Solana.

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Binance’s Plan To Train 1000 African Blockchain Developers Through Its Masterclass Developers’ Edition

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Source: Binance

Leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, is organizing a FREE 8-week blockchain developer course to help up to 1000 Africans build a career in blockchain technology within the first quarter of 2021, by equipping them with appropriate skills and tools to build Defi DApps on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) Network. 

The  8-week series of events is set to kick off on the 31st of January with a two-hour Binance Masterclass – Developers’ Edition on ‘Careers in Blockchain Technology’, which will introduce the program through the CEO of Binace, Changpeng Zhao (CZ).

Source: Binance

The masterclass will expose attendees to possible career options in the crypto and blockchain sphere, as well as the acquisition of blockchain development skills required to obtain high income in the blockchain industry. The entire 8-week program will feature in-depth and insightful sessions & trainings from a number of blockchain industry leaders from organizations like ChainIDE, Xend, Bundle, and the Binance Smart Chain team, including facilitators such as:

  • Ugochukwu Aronu — CEO, Xend Finance 
  • Chimezie Chuta — Founder, Blockchain Nigeria User Group
  • Shuyi (Tim) Zhang — CTO, White Matrix
  • Yele Badamosi — CEO & Co-founder, Bundle
  • Xiaoguang Zhang — Binace Smart Chain ecosystem coordinator

The first session, scheduled to hold on January 31st, 2021, will begin by 4:00PM WAT. The first 1,000 attendees will join the event on zoom while the rest will access the event via YouTube.The 1,000 attendees hosted on zoom will receive certificates of participation which will be issued on Binance Smart Chain. $1000 worth of crypto will also be up for grabs for attendees. 

Over the course of the 8 weeks, developers will be taken through a comprehensive journey on blockchain development, themed ‘Rebuilding Financial Systems on Blockchain.’ The outline of the 8-week program is given below under the following weekly themes:

WEEK 1

Blockchain: Technology, Innovation, and Thinking

  • A brief conception of blockchain
  • History of blockchain
  • Possible future of blockchain

WEEK 2

Financial Service and Cryptocurrency On Blockchain

WEEK 3

Dapp Development with ChainIDE

  • Make an introduction about Chainide, about the feature and function 
  • Bring engineers go through with the whole process of compile\deploy\interaction

WEEK 4 

How Solidity Works in a Smart Contract

  • Make an introduction of smart contracts and talk about the internal connection with blockchain
  • Introduce the smart contract programming language – solidity (ie.. Solidity grammar / function / .sol file structure / memory storage)

WEEK 5

  • What is DeFi? Make One Yourself
  • Make a definition of DeFi. How is it different from traditional finance? Are there any advantages?
  • Take a few look at DeFi projects, like Uniswap / AAVE / YFI etc.
  • What will we build? A system includes staking and reward

WEEK 6

Let’s Follow DeFi To Go Further

  • How to use another contract in the smart contract
  • The implementation of staking and rewarding
  • What else can we do? (lending / aggregator)

WEEK 7

Interact with Smart Contracts by Yourself, from Start to Finish

  • How to use the program to interact with the contract. The relationship between React and JavaScript (The related links will list in pre-class information. About the JS grammar and React rules)
  • Display an example about how to build a simple website that can react with deployed smart contracts

WEEK 8

DeFi Case Study / Inside Out. Panel: How to Build a Successful DeFi Project

WEEK 9(Optional)

Invited Speakers: Frontier Blockchain Technology Outlook

DEMO SHOW

A demo of the top 5 projects from the students of the masterclass

You can register for the event here:

http://bit.ly/BinanceMasterclassForDevelopers

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Years Ahead of Rivals, The Crypto Industry Needs More Binance

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When you discover the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Binance, just turns three in an 11 year old market, then you will wonder at how Changpeng Zhao (CZ) and his vibrant team have been able to achieve such a massive growth in the span of just three years. 

Since Bitcoin spun into the limelight, there has been the emergence of new cryptocurrency exchanges across the world. However, amongst the many of these exchanges that have shown up in the last decade, neither of them seem to have achieved the amount of growth that Binance has acquired over the years. 

Binance rose to become the largest crypto currency exchange in 2018 and since then, it has shown no sign of stopping. At some point , the exchange was receiving an influx of registered users everyday and had to limit account opening on its platform.

While some people in the crypto world, view the leading crypto currency exchange dominance as monopolising the market, especially after its acquisition of some crypto platforms; however, the inevitable truth is that Binance is years ahead of its competitors. A lot of the top crypto platforms in the crypto world are playing catch up with Binance. 

Binance was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, alongside Yi He. The company started out in China and later moved to Japan, but due to strict regulations of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the company later headquartered in Malta. 

One important indicator to this are the daily rankings of top crypto exchanges. A close look at the volumes, liquidity etc,  of these exchanges, shows some significant proof print which Binance has over others.

Binance has risen beyond just an exchange to a big ecosystem. Apart from its trading exchange platform, the crypto company has spread its tentacles to some other areas as well. Let’s take a brief look at some of them.

Binance Labs

In 2018, Binance announced a $1 billion dollars investment fund for its incubation program, through the venture arm of the company – Binance Labs – to support and develop projects in the blockchain ecosystem, starting out with Asia and Africa. 

In the case of the African continent, Binance published a ten-point thesis, highlighting why it’s bullish on the African market. The global cryptocurrency exchange has since then, incubated and funded numerous crypto and blockchain startups such as BitSika, YellowCard.io and Bundle Africa, amongst others.

Binance Launchpad

The Binance launchpad is the initial exchange offering (IEO) platform of the cryptocurrency exchange. 

After the massive failure of crypto projects from the 2017 ICO boom, token sale in the crypto market took a new turn. 

Cryptocurrency exchanges came out with a new way of vetting and listing crypto startups tokens, a move that seems to have become the ‘new normal’ for new crypto projects in the market.

The concept of launchpad, according to the exchange, makes it easier for new startups to raise funds and focus on driving the project vision. The cryptocurrency exchange, through her token launch platform, has listed over 10 crypto startup tokens. 

Binance’s Acquisition of TrustWallet, WazirX, CoinMarketCap, Swipe. 

In 2018, Binance made its first strategic acquisition deal by buying Trust Wallet. Since then, the crypto company has gone ahead to acquire crypto platforms such as WazirX, and recently, CoinMarketCap and Swipe. 

Particularly, the acquisition of CoinMarketCap.com, a crypto data provider website, was received with mixed feelings

A move which was termed ‘not very good for the industry’ by some people. Perhaps, at the time, many of the top crypto platforms did not see Binance as a threat to their position. The same cannot be said of the current situation, as the exchange has started spreading into every part of the industry.

“CoinMarketCap has more users than any other product in the crypto space, it’s a really good website and I think we can help grow it further,”

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, commenting on the exchange acquisition of CoinMarketCap

Other arms of the Binance growing ecosystem includes; Binance Charity, Binance Academy, etc.

How did Binance become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in 3 years? 

One important metric to Binance growth, we believe, is the company’s strategic partnership in regions where crypto has garnered serious attention. Similarly, its ability to make cryptocurrency trading seamless, has helped the company experience unprecedented growth. 

Many of the cryptocurrency exchanges are still living in the crude era where a trader finds it challenging to convert their fiat to crypto. Through strategic partnerships, the Binance crypto exchange has made trading cryptocurrency easier for users. 

“We’re looking for strong tech teams, acquisition will be a very key component to continuing to grow and contributing to this industry.” — Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao

In Africa, for example, crypto traders in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda, amongst others, can buy bitcoin and top altcoins and trade on the same platform, using their local fiat currency through channels such as debit and credit cards, mobile money, etc.

Binance Announces Crypto Debit Cards

As reported, Binance will roll out it’s cryptocurrency debit card in August, starting with EEA based users. With crypto debit cards, there is no doubt that such a move will greatly boost adoption. 

It is the company’s third anniversary, and the exchange has already positioned itself as a go-to source for everything that is cryptocurrency-related. From every indication, rival cryptocurrency exchanges seem to be scrambling to meet up with the Binance pace.

Can we see more companies, like Binance in the crypto Industry?

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