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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

Yahoo Finance Adds Cryptocurrency Market Data on its Website

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US based financial news firm, Yahoo Finance has partnered with Coinmarketcap to add cryptocurrency market data on its website amongst other financial reporting data.

The data which is supplied by the popular cryptocurrency market data aggregator Coinmarketcap now allow visitors on the website to track the prices of cryptocurrencies daily.

Currently available on the website are 118 cryptocurrencies ranked in the order of their market capitalization. The price data on the website are denomination in USD.

The website has a feature which it calls Heatmap View. It allows visitors to see the price actions on each crypto assets. A red signal shows the asset has dipped while a green signal reveals a gain in the asset.

Registered users can add any cryptocurrency to their portfolios.

Just like coinmarketcap reports, the Yahoo Finance website also reports detailed information on each cryptocurrency it has listed in its website.

The website reports on each website various market data such as current price, changes in percentage and amount, market capitalization, volume and circulating supply.

Yahoo finance also have individual pages for each cryptocurrency listed on the website. Yahoo Finance was quoted saying “We are thrilled about this partnership which comes timely as we continue to level up our game with the new liquidity-based metrics for ranking market-pairs and an improved pricing algorithm coming soon.”

Other than data from Coinmarketcap, Yahoo Finance also have two indices Crypto 200 (including Bitcoin) and Crypto 200 EX (i.e. excluding Bitcoin)

The data on the website incorporates pricing from over 200 exchanges, according to the Finance reporting organization, the indices provide exposure to the broader cryptocurrency market by including the cryptocurrencies that represent more than 90% of global market capitalization as of the index launch date.

Its daily newsletter and blog content will also be integrated into the news stream on finance site’s cryptocurrency screener landing page as well as the individual cryptocurrency pages.

The firm said in the future, it will plan to produce more educational video features, which it hopes will further add to the educational content on the website.

Image: Yahoo Finance

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Finance

Facebook to launch Facebook Pay to Provide Users With Secure and Convenient Payment Experience

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Is Facebook Pay an alternative to Libra?

Facebook has announced it will be launching the Facebook Pay service to provide people with a convenient, secure and consistent payment experience across its platform.

According to Facebook, people already use payments across its platform to shop, donate to causes and send money to each other. The Facebook pay will make these economic events easier while continuing to ensure user transaction information is secure and protected.

In order to use the service, users are to add their preferred payment method once and then use the service where it is available to make payments and purchases on the facebook’s platform apps. This will ensure users are not inconvenience as they wouldn’t be required to enter their payment information again.

The Facebook Pay will be available on Facebook and Messenger this week for US customers for fundraising, in-game payments, and event tickets, person-to-person payments on Messenger and purchases from select pages and businesses on Facebook marketplace.

According to Facebook, over time, the service will become available to more people and places including on its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms.

Security

Facebook iterates its desire to continue investment in security of its platform.

Facebook said “We designed Facebook Pay to securely store and encrypt your card and bank account numbers, perform anti-fraud monitoring on our systems to detect unauthorized activity and provide notifications for account activity”.

Facebook Pay allows users to add Pin or use their device biometrics for extra security when sending money or making payments. Facebook argues it will not receive or store users device biometric information based on its privacy policy.

To the Future

The Facebook Pay is part of our ongoing work to make commerce more convenient, Facebook said and this also will make it accessible and secure for people on its app.

And it will continue to develop Facebook Pay and look for ways to make it even more valuable for people on our apps.

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Finance

Bankera Announces the Release Its Crypto Lending Solution, the Bankera Loan 

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Bankera has announced the release Bankera Loan, its crypto lending solution. The Bankera Loan according to Bankera is geared to providing flexible and secure crypto-backed loans to cryptocurrency holders globally.

The Loans are to start with a minimum of at least 100 EUR and to as high as 1 million EUR.

Bankera Loans act as an option for cryptocurrency owners who desire access to financing, but do not want to liquidate their assets. The solution offers cryptocurrency holders the ability to access funds by using their cryptocurrencies holdings as collateral while retaining ownership of their crypto assets.

According to Bankera, the solution aims to democratize access to core banking services for all cryptocurrency market participants by giving them facility better suited for either individual or enterprise needs.

Co-founder of Bankera Vytautas Karalevicius expatiating on the solution said “We see a big interest from the community in smaller crypto-backed loans. This market has been heavily underserved, and typical loan minimums in the current market are often too high”.

Continuing, Vytautas said “Bankera Loans solution offers our clients the possibility to take a loan as low as 100 EUR so that all clients can obtain the financing they need”.

Enterprise clients can also use their crypto asses to get quick facilities for leveraging positions, for expansions or other needs.

Taking a loan is simple, Bankera revealed. It can be achieved by a sign up which is followed after by a deposit of crypto assets to Bankera Loan wallet. This deposit are required and used for as collateral.

Once this is done, Bankera said a customer can then personalize the facility by selecting amount, duration, withdrawal and collateral currencies. Once approval is achieved, the customer/clients receive the facility to his/her Bankera Loans account.

Though the more assets or currencies will be added to the platform in the future, the Banker Loans platform currently supports just over half a dozen currencies such as the EURO, Banker (BNK), Tether (USDT), Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), NEM (XEM) and privacy coin Dash (DASH).

Bankera aims to revolutionize banking by taking advantage of what blockchain technology has to offer while still focusing on scale by becoming a one-stop store for all financial services, in the same way traditional brick and mortar banks are now, while using technology to reduce the number of counterparties, thus lowering the cost of banking for the end consumer.

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Bitcoin News

25-Year-old pleads Guilty to Running Unlicensed Crypto Exchange.

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Kunal Kalra, a 25-year-old from West wood Los Angeles has been said to have pleaded guilty to federal charges of having exchanged over $25million in cash and cryptocurrencies.

Kunal, also known as  “Kumar,” “shecklemayne” and “coinman,” was indicted on Friday, August 23 for allegedly trading cash and cryptocurrencies including drug dealers partially via his Bitcoin ATM kiosk.

The exchange was a front for other illegal activities

Kalra was said to have agreed to engagements in other illicit activities such asd distributionof methamphetamine, operating an unlicensed money transmitting virtual platform, laundering money and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering instrument.

According to an announcement made by the U.S Department of Justice last Friday, Kalra had said that he has agreed to plead guilty to the offence of converting Bitcoin for cash for criminals, drug dealers who acquired cryptocurrencies from trading narcotics on the dark web, as well as a number of other persons involved in various illicit activities. He had also confessed that he used platforms such as Localbitcoin and a company known as Paxful.

It was alleged that Kalra had been running this cryptocurrency exchange from May 2015 through October 2017. The justice department also went ahead bro say that without the implementation of an anti-money laundering program, Kalra facilities these kinds of transactions with a commission knowing fully well that the proceeds came from drug trafficking.

As at the time of this report the law enforcement agency had already seized about $889,000 in liquid cash from Kalra, about 54.3 Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, worth more than half-million dollars.

The announcement also said that the maximum sentence that Kalra stood a chance of facing was life imprisonment.

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