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Clampdown On Cryptocurrency: A Move To Secure The Lane For Fiat Currencies? 



Image Credits: MichaelWuensch / Pixabay.

Cryptocurrency has experienced a series of crackdowns since its full operation. In February, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, placed a ban on crypto with directives that bank accounts that are linked to cryptocurrency websites should be banned. This created a huge uproar within the country, especially on social media. However, crypto enthusiasts found a new way to trade cryptocurrency through P2P trading, and the rest has been history. 

 Amid the crypto bull run that occurred in the beginning of 2021, China dealt another huge blow on Bitcoin trading and mining towards the end of May, which plunged bitcoin by 30%. This largely contributed to the crash that the crypto world is currently experiencing. 

Just last week, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ruled that Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, cannot conduct any “regulated activity” in the UK. This and some other government regulations have been issued in a bid to clampdown on crypto trading and investment. Same goes for South Africa, Bangladesh, Iran, Nepal, India, Denmark and a host of other countries.

Reasons Behind The Crypto Clampdown

China’s clampdown on cryptocurrency is not only due to the need for the government to “ensure financial stability”, it is also due to the Chinese Communist’s party aversion to risk or anything outside its control. China hosts about 75% of the world’s Bitcoin mining capacity. The amount of energy that is required to mine Bitcoin keeps increasing as each halving occurs. According to a report published in the report of carbon emissions by 2024, which means that if the global mining industry were a country, it would be the 29th largest power consumer. This projection opposes Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promise to make China a carbon neutral country by 2060. 

Nigeria banned cryptocurrency by simply stating that it is illegitimate. South Africa previously banned crypto trading, but made moves to regulate the asset. Binance, on the other hand, has been banned in the UK due to the company’s failure to make a formal registration.

Is the clamp down a move to secure the lane for fiat currencies? 

Usually, money in one’s bank account is often used by banks to “run their business.” They give bank savings out as loans and earn huge profits through interests. The advent and popularity of cryptocurrency has reduced the amount of money saved in bank accounts thereby, reducing the incidence of bank loans. This unstated reason contributes to the hasty decision behind clampdown on cryptocurrency in most countries. 

Despite unfavorable rules that aim to disrupt the activities of traders and investors, cryptocurrency keeps thriving. Apart from the recent crash that occurred as a result of China’s crackdown and Tesla’s moves to stop accepting Bitcoin, the governments’ policies have had little or no effect on market adoption. Nigerians by-passed the policy by simply using the peer -to- peer exchange.   Britons make use of VPN to change their locations in order to keep using Binance. In fact, Bitcoin rose by about 15% since the UK FCA made the announcement.

As it is widely believed ‘Bitcoin is the new Gold” if Bitcoin manages to surpass all forms of pressure that are mounting it, then, nothing can suppress it. The simple rule of movement in price applies; when Bitcoin rises, other coins are bound to increase. However, when Bitcoin falls, others will follow. 

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Crypto Assets

How to Approach Cryptocurrency Investment in 2021



Years have gone by and many cryptocurrencies have come to be. Speculators and Investors now see cryptocurrency as an alternative to universal currencies like the dollar, euro, and naira. Today, virtually everyone wants to learn how to invest. If you’re looking to invest in cryptocurrency, this article is for you. 

Before diving into the crypto journey, it is important to be aware of what is at stake. For everyone who has acquired immense wealth trading crypto, there is also someone who has lost massive finances while trading. Nevertheless, if you’re still focused on cryptocurrency investment, keep reading. 

Only Invest Money You’re Prepared To Overlook 

Needless to say, you should only invest money you can afford to lose. The main purpose of any form of investment is to add to your fortune. If an individual invests his entire savings, and the said investment doesn’t work out as planned, that is a big loss. So, when investing in Cryptocurrency, whatever amount you put in is completely up to you, but it should only occupy a small percentage of your income, such that, if there is a hiccup, you’re not left completely stranded. 

Make Your Choice 

Choose your cryptocurrency or cryptocurrencies. There are tons of cryptocurrencies to select from and while it’s fine to make good with just one, it’s also not a bad idea to invest in as many as you want, as long as you’re not spending above your means. That way, you gain some, and you lose some. However, if you would rather invest in one, Bitcoin seems to be the most reliable, followed closely by Ethereum.

A downside to trading in cryptocurrencies is that you can’t just walk into a bank or an investment brokerage firm to get them. You have to find sites dedicated to cryptocurrency exchanges. There are several sites like eToro, Coinbase, Gemini, Binance, etc. dedicated to this cause. 

Save Your Cryptocurrency 

Cryptocurrency is mainly stored in either a hot or cold wallet. This wallet permits users to keep and reclaim their digital assets. A user can store cryptocurrencies like Ethereum in their wallet and from there, use it to perform transactions. You have access to your wallet through a public key and a private key. The public key is referred to as your cryptocurrency address and it can be used by the other party in the transaction, while the private key is for you alone. It is important to have both keys to finalize a transaction. In addition, your wallet provides a history of all your transactions, as well as your present balance. 

Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency 

Keeping your cryptocurrency secure after buying it is principal. To encrypt your data, make use of VPNs, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. These help in securing your transactions and making sure that your purchases are kept a secret from prying eyes. 

Just as with other forms of investment, in cryptocurrency investment, it is important to focus less on what is being said, but rather carry out your own research and study the market to the best of your ability. Do your own fact-finding instead and select the strategy that works best for you. This will help you to have a clear picture of what it is you’re jumping into.


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Why The Average Informed Nigerian Is Crazy About Twitter And Bitcoin



Image Credit: Kabiru Yusuf

It goes without saying that cryptocurrencies are quite popular in Africa’s largest country. This popularity exists quite pervasively amongst a demographic of the young, internet surfing section of Nigeria’s population. Obviously, access to information and particularly the internet are key to the penetration of any cryptocurrency in any society, and this informational access isn’t particularly lacking in Nigeria. 

Nigeria has an internet penetration of about 50% amounting to around 104 million people with internet access according to DATAREPORTAL. 15.8% or 33 million people use social media in Nigeria with 61.4% of that figure using the micro-blogging platform, Twitter. Therefore, there are around 20 million twitter users in Nigeria, almost a tenth of the country’s population. While this may not seem like a lot compared with the rest of the nation, Twitter has been instrumental in Nigeria in formulating public opinion, having conversations as well as being a site for various campaigns. The power of Twitter in the hands of Nigerians became very apparent in October 2020 as it was the platform of choice for the organization of the now infamous #ENDSARS protests.

Quite a lot of reasons make twitter as popular as it is especially amongst Nigeria’s young people. The ease at which posts on twitter could travel far and wide compared to many other social media platforms means it is a solid tool for advertisement for large and small entrepreneurial ventures alike, the latter of which many Nigerians are participants of. Secondly, Nigerians have grown weary and distrustful of traditional media outlets and often times get their information through social media, thereby, turning Twitter into a place where views can be aired quite easily. The fast nature of information transfer on twitter allows it to be the platform of choice for activities such as crowdfunding, organization of protests and in some cases, crime watch.

Bitcoin serves as the umbrella term for cryptocurrencies, especially in Nigeria, much like “Indomie” does for noodles. Nevertheless, as Africa’s Bitcoin Nation, cryptocurrencies have seen tremendous growth in Nigeria over the last few years. This growth is largely driven by the same demographic that dominates social media use. 32% of Nigerians surveyed online by Statista said they owned at least one cryptocurrency asset. And, in the first quarter of 2021, Nigeria’s peer to peer BTC trade volume was in excess of $99 million, nearly 3 times the volume of the next highest nation, Kenya. In 2020, Nigeria generated $400 million worth of bitcoin transactions, ranking third place worldwide behind the US and Russia.

So why are bitcoin and/or other crypto assets so popular? Well for one, it highlights the dire state in which Nigeria’s economic scene finds itself. Nigeria’s unemployment rate stands at 33.3%, which is what one would describe as dangerously high. Also, the local currency, the Naira, has been constantly fraught with increasing inflation. Hence, the naira has been largely unstable and it’s purchasing power has fluctuated a lot recently. In response, a lot of people have turned to cryptocurrencies to act as a buffer against the volatile economic scene. Furthermore, the decentralized and peer-to-peer nature of cryptocurrencies give a lot of people a preferred alternative to traditional banking institutions.

The benefits afforded by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and social media platforms like Twitter were put on full display during the #ENDSARS protests. Twitter was the mobilization platform of choice for its ease in information dissemination while bitcoin was the value exchange system of choice for crowdfunding and financing the protests due to the inability of regulatory authorities to pin down cash flow. All in all, both platforms underscore a discontent and distrust of the populace toward traditional methods of communication or wealth creation. 

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Crypto Assets

Is Ethereum at the Forefront of the Crypto Market?



Ethereum on bitcoin
Image Credit: Kabiru Yusuf

In recent times, the word on the crypto market has been that Ethereum might surpass Bitcoin as the world’s leading coin. Popular names like Goldman Sachs have reported that Ethereum could overtake Bitcoin as the dominant cryptocurrency. Other popular names have also seconded this notion, with Todd Morley, a crypto and blockchain investor, stating that he thinks Ethereum has “much higher utility” than bitcoin, and is “where the action is.” 

Analysts have gone further to state that ETH could rise by 40% against BTC. This analogy came to be after the June 27th, 2021 rock-bottom of 0.0552 BTC, by 21.28%. It revealed that most traders have chosen to sell their Bitcoin assets to seek opportunities in the Ethereum market recently. Following this analogy, Ethereum has already surged by more than 160% against Bitcoin. 

Owing to imminent scantiness in Ethereum and price stability in Bitcoin, investors and traders see huge prospects in the Ethereum market. Ethereum’s poor supply in dissemination (due to its price increase) against growing requests would make it more appreciated than it is today. Currently, Ether has a market cap of $233.77 billion. The decentralized finance market, which is mostly built in line with Ethereum, saw an amassed profit of 9% on July 4th, 2021. The total market value of Decentralized Finance market coins is $75.7 billion, as seen on CoinGecko data. 

While the price of ETH is still some substantial reach from BTC, the distance is reducing and Ethereum’s hold is jammed with the kind of supply Bitcoin did not have at the same point in time. Analyst Simon Peters believes that Ethereum has what it takes to become the dominant store of value, however, it will take a few years. Bitcoin and Ethereum have often run on similar interests that elucidate the confused faces of many traders across the world.

Lately, Ethereum has been drifting into another path, working on building considerable development away from Bitcoin’s pace. Simon Peters added that it is also key to remember that Bitcoin had a six-year head start. He said, “If you look at where the market cap of Bitcoin was six years ago it was approximately $5 billion, whereas Ethereum at a similar point in terms of its life cycle has a market cap of $300billion.” 

In retrospect, investors and traders will be looking at which coin has the most room for growth and potential. Ethereum is making moves to address its financial scheme with the forthcoming release of the EIP 1559 Ethereum Improvement Proposal). According to Abdelhamid Bakhta, one of the six authors of the EIP 1559, he said the main purpose of this development is to achieve block elasticity which would mean that the capacity of the platform is doubled. 

Several analysts claimed Ethereum’s next stop would be around $3,000 and once that mark is hit, the mark of $5,000 would be within reasonable reach over the coming months. Popular opinion shows that most analysts believe that Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin eventually, however, there are still words of caution. Susannah Streeter, senior investment and market analyst was quick to state that although Ethereum has made great strides in recent times, its future direction is far from certain. She went further to say that traders should be careful about getting caught up with the news surrounding Ethereum, as it is still a bet.

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