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Nigeria plans additional rules to combat illegal trading in digital assets

Nigeria plans additional rules to combat illegal trading in digital assets

NIGERIA plans to roll out additional rules in the coming days to combat illegal trading in digital assets and ensure that those dealing in such instruments are registered, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. The SEC director general, Emomotimi Agama, told major blockchain and cryptocurrency associations in Nigeria on Monday that the naira currency needs to be delisted from peer-2-peer (P2P) trading to avoid manipulation. Agama made the comments as the central bank announced new charges on domestic money transfers to tackle cybersecurity. "I want to seek your co-operation ... as we roll out in the…
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Nigeria to charge levy on domestic transfers to fund cybersecurity

Nigeria to charge levy on domestic transfers to fund cybersecurity

NIGERIA'S central bank plans to charge a levy on domestic money transfers to help fund cybersecurity, it said. In a circular published late on Monday, the central bank told all banks and mobile money operators to charge 0.5% of the value of electronic transfers as a cybersecurity levy, starting in two weeks. The bank said the funds will managed by the country's security adviser's office and that non-compliance will attract a charge of 2% of the institution's annual turnover. The new levy follows a clampdown on cryptocurrency, which officials have blamed for Nigeria's currency weakness. The naira has hit record…
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Scramble in SA crypto market ahead of licensing round

Scramble in SA crypto market ahead of licensing round

SOUTH Africa is witnessing an expansion in cryptocurrency offerings as the country gets closer to issuing its first operational licenses to financial service providers. Payment firms and fintech companies are driving the move, with commercial banks expected to follow suit. One of the latest offerings enables users to purchase goods and services using cryptocurrency, while another allows them to withdraw digital currency as cash from automated teller machines. Stitch, a South African payments infrastructure company, has launched a new payment method called "Pay with Crypto," which allows customers to use cryptocurrency directly when purchasing goods and services in South African…
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Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges

Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges

JASPER WARD, LUC COHEN and ANGUS BERWICK FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas at the behest of U.S. prosecutors, the day before he was due to testify before Congress about the abrupt failure last month of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The arrest marks a stunning fall from grace for the 30-year-old entrepreneur widely known by his initials SBF, who rode a boom in bitcoin and other digital assets to become a billionaire many times over until FTX's rapid demise. The exchange, launched in 2019 and based in the Bahamas, filed for bankruptcy on November 11 after…
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Grocery retailer Pick n Pay to start accepting cryptocurrency payments

Grocery retailer Pick n Pay to start accepting cryptocurrency payments

ONE of South Africa's largest grocery retailers Pick n Pay is expanding a pilot of adding cryptocurrency as a payment option to more stores after the successful completion of the first phase, it said on Tuesday. The announcement came weeks after the Financial Sector Conduct Authority formally declared crypto assets as a financial product in South Africa, enabling them to be regulated and clearing the way for cryptocurrency to be a mainstream method of payment. "Increasingly cryptocurrency is being used by those under-served by traditional banking systems, or by those wanting to pay and exchange money in a cheaper and…
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Central African Republic launches ‘Sango Coin’ cryptocurrency amid industry rout

Central African Republic launches ‘Sango Coin’ cryptocurrency amid industry rout

RACHEL SAVAGE THE Central African Republic will start selling a cryptocurrency it says will be worth $21 million next week, it said, amid a wider rout in the industry and scepticism over the project's feasibility in a poorly connected, war-torn country. The "Sango Coin", described as a "national digital currency" will go on sale on July 21 with a minimum investment of $500 to be paid in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and Ethereum, according to the country's Sango investment website. The Central African Republic, where access to the internet and electricity is low, became the first African state to make bitcoin…
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Russian invasion: Five ways tech is being used to help Ukraine

Russian invasion: Five ways tech is being used to help Ukraine

UMBERTO BACCHI FROM offering refugees their spare rooms to donating cryptocurrency, people around the world have been using technology to channel help to Ukrainians since Russia launched its military assault last week. Some tech companies like Google and Microsoft have taken steps targeting Russian state media or helped start fundraising campaigns following Thursday's invasion, which the U.N. refugee agency said had forced more than half a million people to flee Ukraine. Here are five ways people and companies are using tech to help Ukrainians: 1) SPARE ROOMS AND FREE DOCTORS Home rental company Airbnb said on Monday its non-profit arm Airbnb.org would offer free, temporary housing for…
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Africa’s race for the future of money heats up

Africa’s race for the future of money heats up

CONRAD ONYANGO AFRICA’S appetite for digital currencies is growing significantly. Private cryptocurrency providers are also increasing on the continent and even central banks are making sure they are not left behind, by exploring better ways to create and own virtual money, inside secure ecosystems. A number of African countries are looking to launch their own virtual money, backed and issued by central banks, as appetite for digital currency grows exponentially across the continent. A Central Bank Digital Currency tracker from US think-tank, Atlantic Council, shows six African countries are among 81 countries in the race to revolutionize global finance. The…
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What Africa tweeted last month

What Africa tweeted last month

SETH ONYANGO, BIRD NEWSROOM COVID-19, the European Championship and Bitcoin dominated conversations on Twitter in Africa last month, according to research from Africa No Filter, as Africans appeared keen to jump on the global cryptocurrency bandwagon. In nearly all countries on the continent, coronavirus was the leading trending topic with tweeps in 53 states engaging in topics related to the deadly pandemic. Data analysed and compiled by Africa No Filter shows the just-ended #Euro2020 was the second most popular hashtag in 46 African countries. “#Bitcoin came in third place and was the most popular hashtag in Tunisia. #KeepitOn - used…
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South Africa’s $3.6-billion crypto scandal

South Africa’s $3.6-billion crypto scandal

TIM COCKS LAWYERS for investors in a cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa, which told clients in April their accounts had been hacked, say $3.6 billion has disappeared from the platform and that the two brothers who ran it cannot be traced. If confirmed, Africrypt's losses would rank among the biggest crypto losses yet. For the whole of 2020, losses in the crypto sector through fraud and other crime were $1.9 billion, down from a record of $4.5 billion in 2019, according to crypto intelligence company CipherTrace. Africrypt COO Ameer Cajee said in a letter to clients, dated April 13, that…
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