Nigeria and Binance are in preliminary discussions to establish a crypto-friendly economic zone
September 5, 2022 6:13 AM
A cryptocurrency-friendly digital city, modelled after Dubai's virtual free zone, is the proposed joint venture's end goal.
A preliminary meeting between the government of Nigeria and the cryptocurrency exchange Binance was held to discuss the possibility of creating a crypto and blockchain-focused economic zone in Nigeria.
According to a blog post published on September 2nd, the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has already begun discussions with Binance and the technology infrastructure company Talent City about the proposed digital city, which they are calling a "Virtual Free Zone."
According to NEPZA's managing director Adesoji Adesugba, the proposed zone will be the first of its kind in West Africa and will function similarly to Dubai's virtual zones, which aim to provide crypto-friendly laws, regulations, and tax incentives for crypto businesses.
According to Triple A, Nigeria has one of the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption in the world, with more than 22 million crypto owners.
Adesugba stated the zone would increase "employment opportunities" for Nigerians and aid in the growth of the country's digital economy.
"To take advantage of the nearly trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchains and the digital economy, our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free zone."
On Friday, Adesugba met with Binance Executive Director Nadeem Ladki, Talent City CEO Luqman Edu, and NEPZA director Sikiru Lawal in Dubai to talk about their preliminary plans.
To further push crypto adoption in the West African region, Adesugba said the move would be a part of Nigeria's economic development agenda.
In keeping with the Authority's mission, the Honorable Minister's directive, and the economic development agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, we seek to break new ground to broaden economic opportunities for our citizens, he said.
Cryptocurrency adoption in Africa has increased over the past few years, fueled by the continent's inadequate financial system, unstable government policies, and high inflation.
According to a recent survey conducted by CoinGecko, residents of Nigeria are the most crypto-obsessed nation, as they have performed more searches for "cryptocurrency" and "buy crypto" than any of the other 14 countries surveyed.
Nigeria also launched eNaira, the country's first central bank digital currency (CBDC), in October 2021. This initiative, now in its second phase, aims to promote financial inclusion by bringing Nigeria's unbanked population into the banking system.