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TACKLING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA WITH THE BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

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The blockchain technology is taking the world by a storm and Nigeria is part of the countries riding on its tide. It goes beyond cryptocurrency which is its most common use case and branches into various industries and sectors. The blockchain technology is a decentralized, open source and distributed database used to record transactions across many computers in such a way that data cannot be altered without causing a disruption across subsequent blocks in the network.
The big question seems to be how the blockchain technology can cause a radical change in the way and method in which things have been done in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular? And if there is an aspect that the transparent nature of the blockchain technology would be needed in Africa, it would be in tackling corruption. The adoption of the technology across the continent is moving quite slowly but surely. Countries like Kenya have embraced the technology by setting up an 11-member task force to focus on how the country can maximize the benefits of the blockchain and Internet of things (IoT).
Although countries like Nigeria, known as the giant of Africa is still dragging her feet on the blockchain technology, choosing rather, to focus on cryptocurrency and its volatility. The blockchain technology will aid in fighting against corruption in the following sectors.
ELECTION
In February, Agora a Swiss-based blockchain company offering verified voting solutions built on their blockchain network to governments made a claim that they conducted the very first blockchain based election in the world in Sierra Leone. Although the Government debunked the claim, imagine the bloodshed and stress a trustworthy election can prevent in Nigeria. The 2015 presidential elections that was reportedly rigged in some parts of the country can be verified using the blockchain technology.
HEALTHCARE
The public healthcare system of Nigeria is hanging by threads and applying the blockchain technology to this sector will help a great deal. As it stands, the rural healthcare institution is relatively untouched by technological advancement. Also, the sector is even grossly unrepresented in the national budget with just 3.95% of the total national budget for 2018 allocated to health. The problem isn’t the misrepresentation of the health sector in the national budget but the fact that the budget is not fully actualized leading to a depreciated health sector. But with the application of blockchain to issues ranging from medical records to managing pharmaceutical supply chain transactions and execution of the healthcare sector can be monitored on the blockchain network.
SECURITY
Most of the Northern states in Nigeria have been battling with terrorism for some time now. With a terrorist group known as Boko Haram kidnapping young girls and training teenage boys to be suicide bombers. Tracking transactions is still needed as the blockchain technology makes it difficult to fund terrorism especially with the use of a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
The blockchain technology can be applied in a multitude of ways including identification such as the government of Estonia is doing. By allowing citizens access variety of services and rights enable by their e-identities. Pensioners should not be left out as tracking their pensions and gratuity will be easy and there will be lesser pension and tax fraud.
While we wait for the Government of Nigeria to adopt the blockchain technology, its citizens are already making use of cryptocurrencies, solving problems by creating blockchain startups and creating a name for themselves. The dream of Nigeria taking the front row in the crypto and blockchain space is one we hope comes true very soon.

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Finance

 $9.2Billion Hedge-Fund, SkyBridge Capital Is Set to Stake on Bitcoin and other Altcoins 

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SkyBridge Capital, a hedge-fund run by Anthony Scaramucci just enabled itself to invest in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Now, the fund is able to stake on crypto (really digital assets) from a distance. 

From recent registrations with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, US SEC, which were made public on the 13th and 16th of November 2020, the Asset Manager revealed that two of its hedge funds “may seek exposure to digital assets.” 

The filings at the United States SEC are to enable Skybridge to intelligently stash monies into the crypto space or fund business enterprises within the crypto sector.  

Mind you, don’t conclude that this ten years old hedge fund is set to soly stake on bitcoin (BTC, +2.85%) particularly. It appears that the fund is really open to the crypto sector as a whole. It appears that from the filings, SkyBridge is looking to test the waters of many a digital asset regardless of how volatile it can be.

Information from one filing states that

“Investment Funds may invest in digital assets without restriction as to market capitalization or technological features or attributes (including lesser-known or novel digital assets known as ‘altcoins’) and may invest in initial coin offerings, which have historically been subject to fraud.” 

This decision comes in the wake of many funds staking heavily on Cryptocurrencies. Many funds have even gone down the drain and others continue to scale. Let us keep our fingers crossed as we experience what comes of this.

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Finance

NFL Player and Investor, Reginald Fowler May Resort to Plea-bargain in 850 million Shadow Bank Case

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For reasons unknown at press time, the legal counsel to beleaguered NFL player and financier, Reginald Fowler, have moved a motion to pull out from handling a suit revolving around unlawful crypto procedures. It is not surprising that no reasons have been revealed for this move, as this information remain within the purview of privileged information between a lawyer and his client.

Nevertheless, the NFL Player and Investor’s attorneys, James McGovern and Michael Hefter found cover under Local Civil Rule 1.4, which allows a lawyer to plea for a leave of court to withdraw from a suit for “satisfactory reason.”

It was gathered from the motion filed that the attorneys had been on Fowler’s neck that they wanted to pull out from handling the suit at hand even since Feb. 26, 2020. They had only been stalling in a bid to allow Fowler’s new legal counsel get a grasp of the suit. 

Fowler and one Ravid Yosef, the latter being yet unknown, were both alleged to have been involved with “shadow banking” processes for crypto trade platforms. 

The pair were suspected to have hidden under false pretenses by administering real estate contracts, they opened a bank account with several banks so as to unlawfully and pretentiously hold monies for crypto trade platforms. Fowler is alleged to have been involved with the shadow bank issue which is linked to an $850 million black hole of crypto funds which got lost in 2019 from the Bitfinex trade platform.

It appears that at the state in which the case is, the NFL Player is contemplating going for plea bargaining so as to reduce the level of his judgment liability.

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Paypal Increases Trading Bandwidth for Crypto to a Weekly Limit of $15K/Week 

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The Executives of Fintech giant PayPal note that there is going to be a major explosion in the world of Crypto with cryptocurrency services increasing at the speed of light come 2021. These remarks were made at the Company’s Third-quarter earnings call.

Dan Schulman, PayPal’s CEO also added that crypto services will come to Venmo and international customers in the first two quarters of 2021.

All Things Being Equal More US Residents Will Use Crypto Tools

He continued that at present, approximately 10% of US Customers are able to utilize the new Crypto. If all goes as planned, every other American will be able to utilize the tools in the coming two or three weeks.

PayPal made huge profits after allowing more weekly crypto payments from $10,000 to $15,000. This became the new norm starting from October 21st, 2020 – the day the payment giant made a huge announcement to that effect.

Schulman went on to project a future turn of events in a setting where Paypal will continue to scale in a digital financial system where financial services like payments is highly digitized. 

PayPal Planning to Create Expansive Digital Wallet Following CBDCs

With respect to retail facing Central Bank Digital Currencies, Schulman noted that PayPal is planning to create “the most expansive and compelling digital wallet in the world.” world sees a future where their Initiative will thrive.

PayPal recently revealed that they had been working on integrating new features to their technology that will enable their esteemed users trade and store Cryto.

Although Bitcoin (BTC,+2.23%) has since surged by 15% after PayPal gave the October 21 news, the Fintech giant has however battled a net downturn by a significant 12%.

The number of traders using the payment platform grew rapidly by 1.5 million to a whopping 28 million in the third quarter of 2020. It also experienced a whopping 36% increase in the number of new payments to about $247 billion in Q3 2020 during the same period. The Payment services provider now boasts of about 361 million active accounts- this is a consistent  22% increase from one quarter to another. 

In spite of all of these, PayPal’s latest  earnings report only cursorily alluded to cryptocurrencies in its Business Updates section  by just touching on its October 31st news.

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