The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world is strengthening its presence on the African continent. Following announcements regarding South Africa and Cameroon in particular, Binance has entered into discussions with the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and tech hub Talent City to make Nigeria the first country in West Africa to establish a virtual free zone.
In a statement issued by the Nigerian authorities on August 3, Adesoji Adesugba, Director General of NEPZA, explained that once concluded the partnership would allow the establishment of a virtual free zone similar to that of Dubai, whose regulator (VARA), the only one in the world to date for virtual assets, announced at the end of August new regulatory guidelines on virtual assets.
trillion of dollars
Adesoji Adesugba also outlined NEPZA’s ambitions, under President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic development agenda: to expand the frontiers of innovations to operations and management of free zones in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. “Our goal is to create virtual free zones to take advantage of a nearly trillion-dollar virtual economy in the field of blockchains and the digital economy”, insisted the Director General of NEPZA.
NEPZA in discussions on partnership with Binance and Talent City for the first Virtual Free Zone in West Africa similar to the Dubai Virtual Free Zone. At Preliminary meetings in Dubai this week are Nadeem Ladki (Binance Executive Director-Regional Strategic Partnerships).
— NEPZA (@officialNEPZA) September 2, 2022
As the continent’s largest demographic power, Nigeria is increasingly relying on digital technology to diversify its economy, which is still heavily dependent on oil. Regulations to better regulate the use of digital assets have thus been enacted this year, while the Nigeria Exchange plans to launch a blockchain-based platform in 2023 to deepen stock market trading.
Nigeria, one of Africa’s fastest-growing tech hubs, has recently seen some of its fintech start-ups such as Interswitch and Flutterwave panic the fundraising counters: their valuations hit $1 billion and $3 billion, respectively. of dollars.
Cryptocurrencies: how Changpeng Zhao (Binance) wants to conquer Africa
Established on the continent since 2018 via the Ugandan crypto exchange, Binance, which processes the equivalent of $ 76 billion in cryptocurrencies daily, has multiplied announcements in the past two months.
In the wake of his first African tour (Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal) in July, his boss, Changpeng Zhao, made a discreet trip to Morocco, during which he met Abdellatif Jouahri, governor of the Central Bank of Morocco, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Moroccan Capital Market Authority as well as private bankers. Since the beginning of 2022, the Moroccan executive has been working on drafting a bill to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies.
In addition, in August, the one whom the cryptosphere nicknamed “CZ” announced on his networks that he had met Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the President of the Central African Republic. At the heart of their interview, “education, investments, the regulatory framework and the adoption of cryptocurrency”. The first African country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, the Central African Republic had sparked the ire of regional financial and regulatory institutions.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) August 5, 2022
In Cameroon, Binance announced at the end of August the launch of a hub entirely devoted to crypto, “one of a kind” in Africa, in partnership with Inoni Tech, a local incubator. The new hub is intended in particular to open blockchain learning sessions for crypto enthusiasts, from beginners to the most seasoned. A move that follows the introduction by Binance in South Africa of a platform for transferring funds in the rand, the national currency, in a context where the Rainbow Nation is also about to regulate the sector. cryptocurrencies. In the sights of Binance for a future expansion, Kenya, Ghana, and Egypt, understands the specialized press.
In a recent interview with Young Africa, Changpeng Zhao announced his intention to “invest or acquire” start-ups in the blockchain and mobile payment sectors. Discussions are underway, according to the billionaire Sino-Canadian