1. Home
  2. Nigeria

Nigeria

Bitcoin Soars Above $52K, Yet Public Interest Shows Decline, Google Trends Data Reveals

Bitcoin Soars Above K, Yet Public Interest Shows Decline, Google Trends Data RevealsAs bitcoin’s value surged to $52,545 this week, the fascination with it appears subdued, with Google Trends indicating a low level of interest. Currently, global metrics from the last 90 days reveal the search term “bitcoin” holds a score of 36 out of 100, significantly less than when bitcoin first exceeded the $50K threshold nearly […]

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Stakeholder urges swift implementation of Nigeria’s blockchain policy

SiBAN president Obinna Iwuno stressed the necessity of establishing a forward-thinking regulatory framework to accelerate the infusion of blockchain technology into diverse sectors of the economy.

A stakeholder in the blockchain and fintech ecosystem has called on the federal government of Nigeria to implement regulations that will foster the widespread integration of the approved blockchain policy in the country. Nigeria’s National Blockchain Policy aims to deliver economic growth, job creation and more financial inclusion. 

Obinna Iwuno, the president of the Stakeholders in Blockchain Association of Nigeria (SiBAN) — an association of blockchain and digital assets industry players advocating for a friendlier digital asset landscape in Nigeria — recently highlighted this during an interview at the National Information Technology Development Agency and Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria Stakeholders’ Policy Dialogue held in Lagos. Iwuno stressed the necessity of establishing a forward-thinking regulatory framework to accelerate the infusion of blockchain technology into diverse sectors of the economy.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari approved the National Blockchain Policy in May. Iwuno told Cointelegraph that Nigeria is fully equipped to implement blockchain technology:

“This is the first time we have a full house of industry stakeholders, regulators and operators. We are ready for full adoption now, and the blockchain policy initiated by the government positions Nigeria as a trailblazer in the continent’s digital economy landscape if fully implemented.”

According to the National Blockchain Policy, the potential of blockchain technology is far-reaching. The blockchain policy document states that the technology holds the potential to drive economic growth, foster job creation and tackle the long-standing issue of financial inclusion.

Related: Arrest made in Nigeria’s Patricia Technologies crypto wallet heist

According to Iwuno, with technological advancements driving leading countries today, the call to position Nigeria as a formidable contender on the global stage resonates strongly. The journey toward integrating blockchain technology into Nigeria’s mainstream is not merely a governmental initiative but a collaborative one driven by the collective determination of stakeholders to position Nigeria as a leader on the global stage, he added.

Iwuno also highlighted the collaborative drive between industry stakeholders and the government to transform Nigeria into a global blockchain hub.

Magazine: Ethereum restaking: Blockchain innovation or dangerous house of cards?

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Nigeria’s Patricia Technologies relieved as arrest made in crypto wallet heist

The Nigerian Police Force spokesperson said in the statement that Ambassador Wilfred Bonse has been arrested concerning the theft, conversion of cryptocurrency wallets, and unauthorized fund diversion from Patricia Technologies Limited.

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) said it has arrested one politician, Ambassador Wilfred Bonse, concerning the theft of over $246,153 (200 million naira) from Patricia Technologies’ crypto wallet.

The disclosure was made by ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer, in a statement issued on Friday. It was reported that Bonse assisted hackers in laundering $61,538 (50 million naira) from the stolen funds.

He stated that the Force, via its National Cybercrime Center (NPF-NCCC), has achieved notable progress in probing an intricate financial fraud case reported by Patricia Technologies Limited. The case encompasses criminal conspiracy, unauthorized alteration of computer systems and network data, and the illicit diversion of funds exceeding $246,153 (200 million naira), as outlined in a petition submitted to the Inspector General of Police.

The NPF spokesperson said in the statement that Ambassador Wilfred Bonse has been arrested concerning the theft, conversion of cryptocurrency wallets, and unauthorized fund diversion from Patricia Technologies Limited. The petition detailed the alleged involvement of several individuals, and while some are still at large, Bonse has been apprehended.

He is accused of conspiring to launder $61,538 (50 million naira) from the fraudulent diversion of $747,076 (607 million naira) from Patricia Technology’s account to his bank account through a cryptocurrency wallet. The investigation is ongoing, and the Nigeria Police Force assures all involved individuals will be brought to justice.

The arrest linked to the Patricial Technologies heist brings potential relief to the crypto trading company. Patricia Technologies faced significant scrutiny after a hacking incident earlier this year resulted in the loss of billions in customer funds.

Responding to customer requests, Patricia converted the value of customer assets into Patricia Tokens, assuring repayment in the future. A White Paper attributed this move to a cyberattack that resulted in asset loss. Patricia emphasized its dedication to integrity and customer trust, introducing the Patricia Token as an internal customer holding.

Related: Nigeria’s NITDA advocates AI integration in payments for global recognition

As per the firm, the Token is committed to reimbursing holders with 1 USDT for each Patricia Token, ensuring asset recovery post the security breach. Patricia clarified that the Patricia Token is not on-chain but functions as an internal token, representing debt and managed by the company.

To appease its concerned clients, Patricia Technologies revealed in October that it had enlisted DLM Trust as an escrow agent for distributing customer repayments. Despite DLM’s withdrawal due to disagreements, Patricia Technologies intends to proceed with the repayment schedule this month.

Magazine: Big Questions: What’s with all the crypto deaths?

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Nigeria’s NITDA advocates AI integration in payments for global recognition

NITDA chief Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said it’s crucial to take proactive measures to harness AI benefits and mitigate threats.

In a bid for greater global recognition and domestic use of the Nigeria Payments System, the director-general (DG) of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has stressed the importance of collaboration between NITDA, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and financial institutions.

In an interview with Cointelegraph at the CBN’s 2023 Payments System Management Departmental Retreat program, Inuwa said collaboration is necessary to leverage emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to deepen digital payments.

Inuwa said financial technology (fintech) has shown it can help drive Nigeria’s performance in the industry and environmental, social and governance sectors, especially with the application of a developmental regulation approach and enabling policies co-created by the tech ecosystem.

Image of the director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi. 

Inuwa said it’s important for measures to be deliberately taken to reap the benefits and forestall the impending threats of AI, and he emphasized that NITDA will be working collaboratively with the CBN, as with others, in regulating the AI space. He added that if the CBN adopts a particular technology, the potential to move quickly is high.

Asked about Nigeria’s strategy around the opportunities and threats posed by artificial intelligence, Inuwa explained that the federal government had noted the trajectory of AI models, which have seen growth proportions shift from linear to geometrical. He added that the government had, in the previous administration, started working on an artificial intelligence policy through the agency, which he said would be soon unveiled to the public.

Related: Italian regulators investigate online AI data scraping

This AI policy will serve as the foundation for outlining rules, and agencies like NITDA, tasked with implementation, will discuss strategies, frameworks and guidelines for adopting and deploying artificial intelligence. Inuwa noted:

“Although artificial intelligence is often regarded as a double-edged sword, the potential and benefits are tangible but not without a lot of threats, and that is apart from the biases that abound, notwithstanding, our regulatory approach has always been not to stifle innovation.”

Inuwa, while citing a list of other policies of the federal government for the industry, claimed that the initiatives are startup ecosystem-friendly.

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, recently unveiled the 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT) program. This is intended to offer over 1 million applicants the chance to follow an introductory AI course.

Magazine: Train AI models to sell as NFTs, LLMs are Large Lying Machines: AI Eye

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Nigeria and UK foundation launch Code Clubs for digital literacy

Nigeria’s communication ministry said the Code Clubs will introduce young participants to coding and digital technology and encourage them to deploy creative problem-solving in their everyday lives.

The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, has entered into a partnership with a UK-based computing education charity, Raspberry Pi Foundation, to launch Code Clubs across Nigeria.

The initiative is crafted for students aged 7 to 17, and the Code Clubs represent a series of extracurricular artificial intelligence (AI) programming clubs aimed at fostering digitally literate and innovative young minds in Nigeria.

Announcing the program in a statement issued on Wednesday, Nov. 8, the ministry said the Code Clubs will introduce participants to the world of coding and digital technology and encourage them to deploy creative problem-solving in their everyday lives. These clubs, which will initially start from 17 knowledge exchange centers, will further expand to other locations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, emphasizes the importance of fostering a knowledge pipeline in Nigeria through free coding clubs in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The initiative aims to accelerate Nigeria’s digital economy by enhancing technical knowledge and talent development.

Within the collaboration, the Raspberry Pi Foundation will offer educators and young participants extensive toolkits, assistance, and directives. Simultaneously, the ministry will oversee the creation and functioning of Code Clubs nationwide through a partnership framework.

The partners, including individuals, educational entities, and enthusiastic organizations dedicated to advancing computing education, will be assisted with resources, support, and operational guidance by a specified central organization.

Related: Nigeria’s 3MTT program draws 1M+ applicants, introduces AI course

The ministry said the educational pathways offered to Code Club partners will encompass a diverse range of coding and technology-related topics, spanning Robotics and Electronics, Game Development, Algorithms and Problem Solving, Introduction to Coding, Basic Concepts, Web Development, Programming Languages, and Project-Based Learning.

In October, the Nigerian government unveiled a program providing 5 million naira ($6,444) grants to 45 AI-focused startups and researchers. This initiative is a component of the newly launched Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme, aiming to promote the extensive application of AI for economic progress.

Magazine: ‘AI has killed the industry’: EasyTranslate boss on adapting to change

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Nigeria’s 3MTT program draws 1M+ applicants, introduces AI course

The training will unfold in three stages according to the government’s disclosed implementation strategy.

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, said the 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT) program’s million applicants will undergo an introductory artificial intelligence (AI) course.

The minister shared this information on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Wednesday, adding that all applicants are being onboarded onto the platform before the selection of the initial cohort of 30,000 fellows.

Tijani said on Nov. 6 that program applications had surpassed a million and told applicants to expect further instructions via email. Those who received and confirmed the email are currently undergoing onboarding on the fellow platform.

Tijani said several applicants, already part of the onboarding process, are swiftly finishing the AI course. He noted:

“All 1m+ #3MTT applicants are being onboarded onto the fellow platform, directed to an intro to #AI course while awaiting news on the first cohort. It’s reassuring to see many completing the course rapidly. We are onto something, and I am excited watching it all unfold.”

Conversely, several program applicants haven’t received confirmation emails, as grievances in the minister’s post indicate. Some face challenges with registration confirmation due to a technical glitch and experiencing issues with one-time passwords (OTPs).

The training will unfold in three stages according to the government’s disclosed implementation strategy. The initial phase aims to involve 30,000 participants, the subsequent stage plans for 300,000, and the comprehensive program for three million is slated for the third phase.

The initial stage of the program, conducted in partnership with NITDA, will engage various stakeholders, encompassing fellows, training providers, partners, and placement organizations.

Related: Kenyan lawmakers ask local Blockchain Association to come up with crypto bill.

According to the minister, during the initial phase, participants will receive training in skills leveraging technology to enhance diverse roles, excluding direct tech creation. These skills encompass Digital Marketing, Project Management Software, Cloud Platforms Navigation, Data Analysis and Visualization, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), CRM Management, Accounting Software, Graphics Design, and UX/UI Design.

In October, the Nigerian government announced a grant of 5 million naira ($6,444) to 45 AI-focused startups and researchers. This initiative is part of the recently introduced Nigeria artificial intelligence Research Scheme, designed to facilitate the widespread utilization of AI to drive economic advancement.

Magazine: ‘AI has killed the industry’: EasyTranslate boss on adapting to change

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Patricia exchange CEO announces debt restructuring via convertible notes

Patricia's CEO also revealed that these shares will be managed by a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)-licensed trusted third-party trustee to ensure complete transparency.

Following the launch of Patricia token (PTK) issued to customers to manage users’ debt by Patricia, a Nigerian cryptocurrency exchange, the chief executive officer of the exchange (CEO), Fejiro Hanu, has confirmed that customers now have the option to convert their owed funds into Patricia shares.

According to a statement from the CEO, this process forms an integral component of the firm’s strategy for fundraising and reorganizing its debts. In anticipation of the firm’s upcoming app relaunch and in preparation for its fundraising initiative, it is affording its users the opportunity to transform their debt tokens into convertible notes at a favorable discount in Patricia.

He also revealed that these shares will be managed by a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)-licensed trusted third-party trustee to ensure complete transparency.

However, this option doesn’t seem to agree with some agitated users who took to a Patricia affiliated outlet to make their case heard but met no one. In a video making rounds on X social platform (formerly known as Twitter) the agitated users are seen hanging around the empty building and making statements reflecting their dissatisfaction with the situation of things.

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Hanu stated that the video content is misleading and mischievous as the firm runs a full remote structure. He stated that the office in the video is an innovation hub set up and announced in 2022, to offer free working spaces to developers and crypto enthusiasts as Patricia does not actively operate from that office.

When asked about the current solution for users who are still unable to withdraw their funds, Hanu stated that the Patricia app that is about to relaunch is currently at Beta testing, and invites were extended to customers to experience the app before opening to the public. Few customers who opted for the testing process are currently getting their PUTX redeemed.

Related: Nigerian gov supports AI initiatives with $290K in grants

According to Hanu, Patricia users have also notified customers of the plan to redeem their balances in batches as soon as the firm reopens.

This development follows the company’s previous disclosure of a security breach resulting in fund losses in May 2023. Despite asserting that customer funds remained unaffected, platform users have faced ongoing difficulties in accessing their funds since April.

Magazine: Can you trust crypto exchanges after the collapse of FTX?

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Nigerian gov supports AI initiatives with $290K in grants

The recently introduced Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme is designed to facilitate the widespread utilization of AI to drive economic advancement.

The Nigerian Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, revealed on Friday, Oct.13, that the government intends to grant 5 million naira ($6,444) to 45 artificial intelligence (AI)-focused startups and researchers.

This initiative was disclosed by the minister in a post on X (formerly Twitter) and is part of the recently introduced Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme, which is designed to facilitate the widespread utilization of AI to drive economic advancement.

As outlined on the scheme’s official website, the focus areas include agriculture, education and workforce, finance, governance, healthcare, utility and sustainability. To be eligible for a grant, applicants must form a consortium comprising a startup or tech company, a researcher from a Nigerian university or a foreign researcher, according to the ministry.

Applicants should present a research proposal aligned with the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy’s AI focus areas. Furthermore, they must provide a comprehensive proposal highlighting the project’s potential economic impact in Nigeria.

Related: China sets stricter rules for training generative AI models

Applicants must have a proven track record of excellence in research or entrepreneurship and are expected to publish at least one peer-reviewed article within one year of receiving the grant.

In August, the Nigerian government extended an invitation to scientists of Nigerian heritage, as well as globally renowned experts who have worked within the Nigerian market, to collaborate in formulating its National Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

The application period commences on Oct.13, 2023, and concludes on Nov. 15, 2023. The ministry has indicated that a panel of AI specialists will assess the proposals.

Magazine: ‘AI has killed the industry’: EasyTranslate boss on adapting to change

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Central Bank of Nigeria: eNaira no threat to financial stability

Nigeria’s central bank issued a press release in response to “news items on some media platforms,” suggesting that the eNaira threatens Nigeria’s financial stability.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had to publicly insist that its eNaira project — one of the world’s first operating central bank digital currencies (CBDC) — doesn’t threaten the country’s financial stability. 

The press release from the CBN came out on Oct. 9 in response to “news items on some media platforms,” suggesting that the eNaira threatens Nigeria’s financial stability. Some news pieces — for example, the one published in a daily Nigerian newspaper, Punch, point to the CBN’s recently released report called “Economics of Digital Currencies: A Book of Readings.”

In this report, CBN experts highlight the gradual rise of eNaira adoption, marked by 0.2% share if compared to Nigerian banks’ liquidity. They also admit the simple fact that the funds held by citizens in the eNaira wallets can’t be used by commercial banks. The very hypothetical threat that could arise from this observation is the lack of liquidity suffered by the banks in the case of total adoption of eNaira. However, such fear is one of the fundamental theoretical aspects of the discussion about any CBDC.

Related: India, Nigeria, Thailand top Chainalysis’ 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index

In its release, CBN doesn’t do much explaining, limiting itself to a plain rejection of the claims in the media and referring to the “in-depth understanding of CBDCs” ingrained in its report:

“The eNaira structure continues to evolve and undergo modifications targeted at improving the user experience across all interfaces. We encourage Nigerians to embrace the technology for, amongst other things, greater financial inclusion.”

A recent global survey featuring respondents from 15 countries indicates that Nigeria has the most cryptocurrency-aware population in the world. According to a joint study by ConsenSys and YouGov, 99% of Nigerians are more knowledgeable about Web3 than people in major economies like the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Germany.

Magazine: The Truth Behind Cuba’s Bitcoin Revolution: An on-the-ground report

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux

Blockchain could have prevented Nigeria’s naira scarcity — Local experts

According to Christopher Eniayemo, the decision to print new naira notes could have occurred via DeFi, involving Nigerians and aiding readiness for the change.

Blockchain technology can help solve economic problems in Nigeria and throughout the African continent, according to a group of local blockchain experts who cited Nigeria’s currency flow shortage as a case study.

At the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN)’s Digital Assets Summit 2023, held in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, stakeholders discussed the decision by the previous government to print new naira notes — Nigeria’s fiat currency — and the country’s recent efforts to increase central bank digital currency (CBDC) adoption, which both led to a shortage in the flow of naira at the time.

According to Christopher Eniayemo, a co-founder of Sahara ICP Hub West Africa, the decision to print new naira notes could have been made within the decentralized finance (DeFi) system, allowing Nigerians to have a say and helping them prepare better for the switch.

“Bringing blockchain system to Nigeria and Africa as a whole will help promote the advancement of DeFi and give citizens control over their own monies and economy.”

Blockchain technology provides the technical infrastructure and principles that empower DeFi to operate in a decentralized, transparent and secure manner, offering users a wide array of financial services without the need for traditional financial intermediaries.

However, the current Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, released a manifesto during his campaign, which, if implemented, would allow the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the nation’s banking and finance sector.

Related: Nigeria central bank missed opportunity for blockchain regulation in 2021 — Convexity CEO

The manifesto suggests reviewing existing Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission regulations on digital assets to make them more business-friendly. The new regulation provides a framework for regulating digital assets like cryptocurrencies and other digital tokens in Nigeria.

In 2022, Nigeria imposed limits on the amount of cash individuals and businesses can withdraw from banks and ATMs in an attempt to push a “cashless-Nigeria” policy and increase the use of its CBDC, the eNaira.

Magazine: How to protect your crypto in a volatile market: Bitcoin OGs and experts weigh in

ETH Denver Top Builders Base by Supermoon, Cointelegraph, NDC, Horizen, and Conflux