Nigeria is one of the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency adoption hubs. But its government is wary of the sector. However, the giant Binance is planning to change this by creating a special economic zone, in collaboration with local authorities.
A special economic zone supported by Binance to promote the rise of blockchain
In Africa, Nigeria is a forerunner in terms of cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption. The country consistently features in the rankings of the most active countries, with over 22 million crypto asset holders, according to estimates. The arrival of Binance in the territory, with a special economic zone, is therefore not exactly a surprise.
Learn more about the rise of the exchange platform with our Binance 2022 review and tuto.
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
Bloomberg media reported yesterday that the Nigerian authorities are in talks with Binance to establish this digital hub, which will be modelled on Dubai. As a reminder, the exchange platform had already helped the Emirate to develop its crypto ecosystem. If this zone is created in Nigeria, it will be the first in West Africa.
Seeking opportunities in cryptocurrencies
Adesoji Adesugba, one of the leaders of this future special economic zone, spoke of its objectives:
“The aim [of this zone] is to create a thriving digital free zone, to take advantage of this digital economy and blockchain, which is worth close to a trillion dollars. “
Binance intends to foster dialogue between the crypto industry, of which it is a flagship, and the Nigerian government, which is historically quite hostile to the sector. Indeed, although Nigerians are massively turning to crypto-currencies – more than 10% of the population would own them – the Central Bank has banned banks from validating transactions with crypto services.
In parallel, it has launched its central bank digital currency (MNBC), the e-naira, sometime in 2021. The government therefore certainly sees cryptocurrencies as potential rivals to the latter. The arrival of Binance in the territory, with its known clout, could however begin to change the game.