Nigeria wants to create a virtual free zone for cryptos and wants to be inspired by that of Dubai, with the help of the Binance company.
Will we see a cryptocurrency hub emerge in Africa? In any case, this is the wish of Nigeria and the Binance crypto exchange. As mentioned in a press release from the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), the organization that manages free zones in the country, it has started discussions with Binance and Talent City with a view to setting up a virtual free zone in Nigeria, which would be the first in the West African region.
Meetings between the parties took place in the United Arab Emirates. And if the press release does not mention the details of these meetings, it nevertheless indicates that once agreed, the partnership would be similar to that of the “Dubai virtual free zone”.
“We seek to innovate to expand economic opportunities for our citizens in line with the Authority’s mandate, the Honorable Minister’s directive, and President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic development agenda. Our goal is to create a thriving virtual free zone to leverage a nearly trillion-dollar virtual economy in blockchain and digital economy,” said Adesoji Adesugba, the CEO of NEPZA.
As a Bloomberg article reminds us, Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, now sees technology as a way to diversify its economy in order to be less dependent on oil revenues. The country has a developed fintech ecosystem and has unicorns (valuation over $1 billion) such as Interswitch or Flutterwave.
Moreover, a recent study showed that after the collapse of cryptocurrencies, Nigeria would have become the country where the population is most interested in cryptos.
A virtual free zone inspired by that of Dubai
At the end of 2021, Binance signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai to set up a global digital asset hub.
“With the MoU, Binance will help advance Dubai’s commitment to establishing a new international ecosystem of virtual assets that will generate long-term economic growth through digital innovation,” read the statement. announcement of this protocol by the exchange.
“Binance believes that the new Dubai program will contribute to the growth of the global economy. To support this, Binance will participate in this knowledge-sharing ecosystem by sharing its experience of working with global regulators to help develop progressive virtual asset regulations,” the company added.
The goal: is to help exchanges and other companies involved in blockchain obtain a license in Dubai.